21st Century Medicine Woman, Coach & co-author of Louise Hay’s new book: Loving Yourself to Great Health: Thoughts & Food–The Ultimate Diet

Solutions for Joint Pain, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia & Ehlers Danlos

Solutions for Joint Pain, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia & Ehlers Danlos

Hay House Radio Episode Recap

  • Episode Name: “Solutions for Joint Pain, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia & Ehlers Danlos”
  • Live Broadcast: September 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Replays: Tuesdays at 9:00 pm Pacific Time / 12:00 am Eastern Time, Saturdays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time / 5:00 pm Eastern Time, Sundays at 4:00 pm Pacific Time / 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Episode Summary Re-cap

If you have joint pain, fibromyalgia, or arthritis, you may feel like the pain will never stop. Maybe you’ve tried everything or you’ve been told there’s no hope. Some of you may have been told, “it’s all in your head.” Sleep problems, anxiety, and depression often go hand in hand with these conditions. Today, we’re going to turn the ship around, revealing solutions to nurture your body back to health. Learn tips to feel well again and say goodbye to pain.

If You Can’t Connect the Issues, Think Connective Tissues

Today, we are talking about joint pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia – and their common link – your connective tissues. Your connective tissues literally hold you together, hold your organs in place, and give you shape and structure. They support, bind, and separate tissues in your body, so that it can function properly. What makes up your connective tissues? Collagen (the most abundant protein in your body), and cartilaginous, fatty and elastic tissues.

Connective tissue can be loose (flexible) or dense (which helps things like bones and joints connect to each other), and specialized, like adipose (fatty) tissue, fluid (blood and lymph), cartilage, and bones.

So what happens when your connective tissues have problems? Often, it will result in symptoms like joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, or Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (which is a complex set of connective tissue disorders). Or perhaps, you are experiencing an autoimmune condition related to connective tissue disorders, like Lupus, or scleroderma. Today, we are going to focus mainly on joint pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I will reveal enough information to support those of you experiencing connective tissue disorders, so that you can understand the common links among these conditions. More importantly, we’ll cover natural remedies for healing.

Let’s start with the “Big Mama” of connective tissue disorders, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). We start here because EDS often results in one person having all of these symptoms, so understanding EDS means we have an understanding of how to find solutions for joint pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is a defective collagen disorder – or a disorder of the connective tissues.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and makes up your:
  • Bones
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
  • Cartilage
  • Fascia
  • Hair, Skin, Nails
  • Teeth & Gums
  • Lymphatic System
  • Circulation/Vascular System
  • Heart
  • Digestive Organs
  • Eyes

According to the Ehlers Danlos Society, “The problems resulting from one’s body being built out of a protein that behaves unreliably can be widespread and in a wide range of severity. It shows up in places that seem unrelated until the underlying connection to an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is recognized.”

Symptoms can be wide-ranging and include:
  • Hypermobile/dislocating joints
  • Arthritis (rheumatoid & osteoarthritis) & joint pain
  • Cataracts
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Digestive Problems (IBS, pseudo-obstructions, Crohn’s disease, gastroparesis, Celiac disease, food allergies, leaky gut, etc.)
  • Dysautonomia (malfunction of the autonomic nervous system)
  • Fat disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Gum Disease
  • Heart Problems
  • IBS
  • Organ Rupture
  • Organ Prolapse
  • Orthostatic Intolerance
  • POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)
  • Scoliosis

This is why doctors in the know say, “If you can’t connect the issues, think connective tissues.”

Master Protocol for Connective Tissue Health – Ehlers Danlos Sydrome, Joint Pain, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and More

#1 Priority – Self-Care/Stress Reduction

Experts agree that 90% of illness and disease are related to stress. In my epigenetics and functional medicine studies, we are finding that if you don’t reduce stress and focus on your self-care, you can do everything else perfectly and still not get the results you want to achieve in your health. The good news about this, if you’re willing to embrace it, is that an illness or disease can be our greatest teacher for self-love.

Learn more about why Self-Care is the New Health & Success Paradigm. This is a research-based article I wrote for Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation about why self-care actually helps improve your life, relationships and career.

#2 – Ditch Dietary Dogma!

Nourish Yourself with “Food as Medicine” that Works for Your Health Status: Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine said that “all disease begins in the gut.” In fact, 80%- 90% of your immune system is in your gut. Guess what else is in your gut? Connective tissue! Including the muscles that make your digestive organs work and a major network of lymph (connective tissue) that supports your immunity. See below for a list of foods to emphasize and avoid. Keep a food diary to learn what works for you.

#3 – CRITICAL: 2 Cups Bone Broth Per Day and 2 Scoops Collagen Powder

While this is also covered in the foods to eat and avoid section below, it bears mentioning as a major player in recovering the health of your connective tissues and reducing or eliminating the associated pain. Bone broth contains collagen and other properties necessary for connective tissue health, like essential fatty acids, amino acids, and minerals. Nutrition has a language that educates the mind-body, just like your thoughts are language that educates the mind-body. Bone broth brings the language of collagen back into your body, so that it can teach your body how to regulate healthy connective-tissue behavior. Studies show that the collagen (called gelatin) in bone broth helps to heal and seal the gut (helpful for leaky gut), improve immunity, boost energy, and support connective tissue.

2 cups of bone broth per day for at least 3 months will tend to relieve or eliminate may symptoms. Some of you may need to do this for 6 months before seeing major results. I cannot emphasize this enough as someone who has been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and has had all of these symptoms resolve. This is a zero-waste food that uses all parts of the animal and all parts of the plant, as our indigenous ancestors did. Never use factory farmed animals that are inhumanely treated. Choose farmers who raise animals outside, eating their native foods, and not being injected with antibiotics or hormones.

Fish Broth – You can do fish bone broth with non-oily, cold water fish (like halibut, haddock, cod, and snapper) if you are vegetarian or vegan and do not want to use bones from poultry or red meat.

3-Day Bone Broth Fast – A bone broth fast that can help to reset immunity would consist of 500 calories per day of bone broth with a healthy fat (like raw grassfed butter or ghee, or coconut oil). Some of you with severe blood sugar levels may be better off not counting the calories and sipping it as needed during the day to keep your blood sugar stable. Get support from an expert if you are not sure how to proceed. If you have trouble sleeping, sip some of the bone broth with fat before bed. Add sea salt for extra minerals.

Collagen Peptides or Collagen Hydrolysate – This is a powder made from the hides of grassfed cattle or fish skin. 2 scoops per day in any liquids or meals is really helpful. Stick with this for at least 3 months and see how you feel. You can get Collagen Peptides or Marine Peptides (from fish) online.

A note for vegetarians and vegans – Many people ask me if they can recover from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome symptoms or long-standing arthritis and fibromyalgia on a vegetarian or vegan diet. I have not found any way to do this unless my clients are eating eggs, butter, and fish. Keep in mind that the only source of collagen that is related to human collagen is animal protein. Every human’s collagen production reduces dramatically at the age of 40. Also, Dr. Weston A. Price looked all over the world in his studies on indigenous nutrition and was never able to find a vegan or vegetarian indigenous group. We adapted to vegan and vegetarian foods as a compassionate outcry to the horrible factory farming processes, the unhealthy, giant hunks of meat and potatoes that became a dietary staple in our processed food world, and the chemical additives and inappropriate diets that factory farmed animals eat (processed meat!). As an indigenous person, I have looked carefully at my ancestors’ eating habits and their use of all parts of plants and animals. I’ve looked at their sustainability practices and compassionate approach to all beings on earth. Bone broth can be one of those foods that allows us to go back to using all parts of animals and plants. You can also choose not to participate in the factory farmed, processed food world and use your food as medicine. For those whose only choice is to take pharmaceutical drugs, it’s a great alternative, since pharmaceuticals are not vegan or vegetarian, and often subject animals to harmful testing practices.

#4 – Take a Pain-Reliving, Mineral Bath

Baths are a great form of self-care and when you add minerals, you also get a healthy dose of pain-relief, stress-relief and healing. Here’s how to take a mineral detox bath. Be sure to avoid Epsom salts if you have issues with thiols (see below, in the section on “Digestive Challenges?”)

#5 – Are you Energetically Sensitive?

If you are an empath, psychic, intuitive, or you pick up on the energy of people, pets, and places, your symptoms may not even be yours some of the time! Symptoms are one of the big ways your body speaks to you. It’s not unusual for intuition to show up as a symptom where your body already has a propensity for challenges (e.g, if you have digestive pain or joint pain, you may experience symptoms when you are picking up energy from others or when your body is signaling you to make a change). Learn more about the signs of being energetically sensitive and how to manage it.

#6 – Listen to Your Body

This is important because your intuition speaks through your body and can give you clues about when to rest, when something is right or not right for you, and what foods are most nourishing for you. Here are some tips for listening to your body.

#7 – Are You Ridiculously Reliable? Set Boundaries and Learn to Say No

Connective Tissue disorders arise when the major protein that structures your body behaves unreliably. Most of the clients I’ve worked with who have these challenges are ridiculously reliable, almost as if they are overcompensating for something they feel at the DNA level as a weakness. However, these DNA switches are only turned on with some kind of trigger from our lives, poor nutrition, toxins/pathogens, injury, or poor lifestyle habits. So what happens if you keep doing something a certain way? You let people over-run your boundaries (think immune system, which is a boundary that protects your health) or you keep over-doing and holding everyone and everything up (or together…think connective tissues)? You likely have an underlying belief that you are not safe, which is behind these behaviors. Doing this for too long can teach your body that it’s not safe. Remember, the science of epigenetics – or the things outside our genes that determine our health – tells us that our thoughts and lifestyle matter when it comes to turning on symptoms from a gene mutation. Changing them can help turn those symptoms off as well. Some of you (like those with ME/CFS), may need to take many more measures around food and supplements to manage or resolve your symptoms.

#8 – Identify and Resolve Unfulfilled Desires of the Soul

In Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Native American medicine, one of the areas we look at for health and healing are whether the root cause stems from unfulfilled desires of the soul. To learn more, read: Why Self-Care is the New Success Paradigm.

#9 – Learn Your Mineral Status and Optimize Magnesium and Copper

Magnesium is critical for energy. You must have enough magnesium to bind with ATP (cellular energy) to create energy and over 3,300 enzymatic functions in the body, including mood, digestion, and connective tissue health. At least 80% of the population is estimated to be deficient in magnesium. Another issue is copper dysregulation (too much, too little, or not available to absorb). Your body needs to utilize copper properly in order to have healthy connective tissue.

Here’s how you can learn more about mineral balancing, why vitamin D could be a problem, and how to get an HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis).

Discover the signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

#10 – Reconnect to Family, Community, Loved Ones, Nature

Remember, the function of connective tissue? It holds everything up and together, it supports and connects. Where are the areas in your life where you have disconnected? Where are you feeling like you need support? Do you have a family you feel loved and supported by? If not, create a family of friends who feel supportive and are equally there for you as you are for them. Spending time with family (or family of choice), friends, and loved ones is very healing. Asking for support and being willing to receive help is another important way to reconnect. This is about the interconnectedness of human beings. Studies show that participating in this interconnection is healing.

And we all know how healing nature is. I believe the soil is the connective tissue of Mother Earth. It connects all beings, even our ancestors. In Native American culture, we believe that the first five feet of soil contains our ancestors. Put your bare feet in the soil, go out in nature, lie on the ground and meditate. Connect with the earth and your ancestors, asking for the support, connection, and healing you need.

#11 – Consider these Super-Star Supplements

These are known to support the nervous system, gut health, connective tissue health, good moods, and energy.

  • Enzymes – In addition to digestive enzymes, some systemic enzymes have been shown to be incredibly helpful, such as nattokinase, lumbrokinase, and serrapeptase. Nattokinase and lumbrokinase have been shown in studies to help fibromyalgia and may help with pain from rheumatiod or osteoarthritis as well. Serrapeptase has been shown to be helpful for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Take these systemic enzymes between meals and before bed.
  • Whole food vitamin C – Avoid ascorbic acid, which is only part of the vitamin C molecule and can cause a paradoxical vitamin C deficiency and lead to thyroid hormone production failure. Additionally, tyrosinase, a component of the whole food vitamin C molecule, is important for copper balance, which is critical for connective tissue health. Innate Response C-400 tablets  and Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C  are good brands for wholefood vitamin C.
  • B12 –Connective tissue disorders often coincide with an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency. Since B12 deficiency symptoms often mimic symptoms of magnesium, potassium, and copper deficiency, it is smart to get an HTMA and check your minerals first. For people with severe gut issues, supplementation with methyl B12 may be incredibly supportive until your gut heals and you can get vitamin B12 through your food, or natural supplements like Dessicated Liver.Methyl Folate, also called 5-mthf may be helpful after being on B12 supplements for 3 months. Start low at 1 mg or less, and go slowly if you need more. Never take folic acid, which is synthetic folate that your body will likely not be able to break down.
  • Minerals – Minerals are critical for connective tissue health, energy, pain relief, and immunity. Restoring magnesium, copper and the rest of your key minerals sets the stage for improved health. Consider magnesium glycinate, magnesium taurate, magnesium malate or magnesium L-threonate. Often, it helps to experiment to find the right form of magnesium for you. The goal is 5 mg per pound of body weight.Adding ¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt to an 8 oz. glass of water is a very affordable way to add trace minerals. My favorite wide-based liquid mineral supplement is Anderson’s Sea MD.In cases of connective tissue disorders, potassium is often low. Symptoms of low potassium include: Trying too hard to stay afloat (more stress than usual, derailing you), heart issues, blood pressure issues, blood sugar imbalances, diabetes, fatigue, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, anger that feels like it’s not you, tired and wired, kidney stress; and may coincide with problems with sodium. A liquid mineral supplement that includes a wide base of minerals with a higher dose of magnesium and potassium is 40,000 volts. Consider 1 – 2 teaspoons per day in an adrenal cocktail.
Foods to Avoid
  • Sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners
  • Flour, pasta, and bread
  • Gluten
  • GMO foods (genetically modified organisms)
  • MSG and other excitotoxins (e.g., natural flavors, white vinegar, citric acid, carrageenan, hydrolyzed protein)
  • Processed foods and fast food
  • Conventional meats
  • Trans-fats and refined fats and oils (e.g., margarine, canola oil and any oil that says “refined” on the label)
Foods to Emphasize (preferably organic)
  • Seaweed – seaweed is mineral-rich and bladderwrack is a medicinal seaweed that is great for the thyroid and adrenals.
  • Leafy greens (e.g., lettuces, Swiss chard, kale, collards, cabbage).
  • Vegetables in a rainbow of colors for variety and antioxidants.
  • Bone Broth (see recipe) – for easily digested collagen to heal leaky gut, along with vitamins, fatty acids and minerals to nourish the adrenals. Try this Joint Health Bone Broth Elixir recipe.
  • Vegetable broth – for easily digested nutrients.
  • Fruits that aren’t too sweet (e.g., Granny Smith apples, berries).
  • Organic grassfed and pasture fed meats and poultry.
  • Organ meats – full of B vitamins and important minerals.
  • Cold water fatty fish, like salmon and halibut.
  • Healthy plant fats – unrefined oils, like extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
  • Healthy animal fats from organic grass/pasture fed animals (e.g., raw butter, ghee, beef tallow, duck fat, chicken schmaltz, lard) – these fats help fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K2) and minerals absorb in the body, which is critical for recovery from adrenal fatigue.
  • Fermented foods – cultured vegetables, like sauerkraut and drinks like kefir and kombucha provide good bacteria to help heal the gut.
  • Glutathione-rich foods (for liver and detox support) – examples are: cruciferous vegetables, zucchini, asparagus, onions, garlic, meat, poultry, fish, schisandra berries, and bone broth.
  • Animal sources of vitamin A – e.g., cod liver oil, egg yolks, and butter.
  • Spices: Studies have shown that these herbs and spices can help with certain connective tissue challenges.
Spices for Osteoarthritis
  • Bay leaf
  • Celery seed
  • Chile
  • Fennel Seed
  • Galangal
  • Ginger
  • PomegranateRosemary
  • Turmeric
Spices for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Bay Leaf
  • Black pepper
  • Celery Seed
  • Fennel seed
  • Ginger
  • Juniper berry
  • Pomegranate
  • Pumpkin seed
  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric
Spices for Gout
  • Basil
  • Celery Seed
  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric

Digestive Challenges?

If you have severe digestive issues, SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) and/or pseudo-obstructions and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, consider looking into a low thiol diet. Try it for 2 weeks and see how you feel.

Learn more about why thiols can be a problem for some people in this video.

Learn how to follow a low thiol diet (including which supplements to avoid) by focusing on low thiol foods.

Read: Why Self-Care is the New Success Paradigm

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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!

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