The pain developed slowly over time and became more frequent with days in bed, very low energy, and kept awake during the night for up to 4 hours in extreme pain. After various doctor visits and MRI scans, he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Some days my client’s hands were so swollen and painful, he couldn’t do up shirt buttons or pick up anything. He was referred to a top Rheumatologist. He initially prescribed strong painkillers which did nothing, then progressed to Methotrexate autoimmune suppressant medication with Folate to minimize mouth ulcer side effects and Cortisone, together with monthly blood tests to check for undesirable side effects such as kidney problems or leukemia. Cortisone eliminated the pain immediately, but after 6 months he needed to take Cortisone more frequently and folate daily due to worsening mouth ulcers. During Winter 2011 the medication became less and less effective. He was in despair over the pain and the effect of the medication on his mental state, struggling at work, unable to go to the gym or surfing, or windsurfing which he loved to do. He searched online for alternatives but came across nothing which seemed to hold any promise of an effective solution. In September 2011 an acquaintance mentioned he had recently met an artist friend who had stopped painting due to rheumatoid arthritis but recently restarted following successful treatment by our clinic.
We recommended diet changes, twice daily herbal medicines, many visits for various massages, steam, and other treatments. He was off methotrexate and cortisone more or less immediately, since the treatments aimed to purge the drugs out of the system and treat the cause, not the symptoms.
The pain was managed reasonably well initially with the treatments and herbal medicines and occasional use of Aspirin and Neurofen. The diet was often inconvenient, treatments time consuming and the medication was occasionally unpleasant, but the thought of the pain and a future with Rheumatoid Arthritis if this did not work provided the necessary discipline to stick.
During the first six months, the pain was volatile at times as the treatments started to take effect, however gradually the pain and incidences of being woken up at night became very infrequent and eventually stopped and energy started to come back. He had been pain-free now for nearly 18 months and took no drugs, no aspirin, and no Nurofen.
In August 2013 he went to Maui for 3 weeks, had an incredible time, and windsurfed every day for 3 to 4 hours in strenuous trade wind conditions with no pain. If he was taking conventional medicine, he was 100% certain there is no way he would have had the energy and lack of pain to do that trip.
In Patient’s Own Words:
I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Vanita for all she has done and supported through the difficult times. She says I have another year of treatments, albeit less frequent, for 100% recovery. My cure to date is due to the fact I stuck strictly to the diet, medication, and lifestyle changes and saw through all the treatments no matter how inconvenient.