I have arthritis. Specifically, the common osteoarthritis version. After 10 years of enduring pain and bad medicine, I found a cure.
My arthritis started innocently as sore joints in the hands and feet. Ever increasing doses of aspirin seemed to reduce the symptoms.
A few years later I hurt my knee in an accident. As is the modus operandi of HMO doctors at Kaiser Permanente, the diagnosis for the painful knee was inflammation, and the treatment for inflammation was Motrin.
The pain continued. So did the treatment. More Motrin.
Motrin is one of a collective of anti-inflammatory medicines known as NSAIDs– a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug. It reduces inflammation, and the resulting pain.
Interestingly, Motrin does not eliminate the cause of the inflammation. Scientists don’t know much about the cause of many diseases– but they’re good at treating symptoms. Treating symptoms takes less time, fewer tests, and gets quicker results, hence the reliance on the likes of Motrin.
After awhile, I was living on Motrin to reduce the spreading arthritis symptoms. Not only was the knee in such pain that I limped, I had a similar inflammation which spread to my ankles.
Since Motrin was no longer effective, the Kaiser method was to avoid determining a cause for the inflammation, and to step up to stronger medicine. Next on the list was Vioxx.
For awhile, Vioxx was quite effective at reducing the pain, but, as it was with Motrin, increasing dosages were required to keep the inflammation to a tolerable level.
Even Vioxx had limits. One of them was my stomach, so my doctor switched me to Bextra, another anti-inflammatory. It worked reasonably well for a couple of years, reducing the pain in hands and feet. I limped less often on my bad knee.
Again, Bextra required increased dosages to remain effective. I had gone down that path before and decided not to do so again– one day I quit. Cold turkey. No Bextra. No aspirin. No medicine. Life was painful for a few weeks, but then the pain subsided to a tolerable degree.
Yes, there was still soreness in the knee and ankles, and occasionally the hands and shoulders, but nothing similar to the pre-Motrin or pre-Bextra days. Not taking any medicine wasn’t a cure but my body seemed to approve.
A few years later I went to a gastroenterologist for some tests on a stomach ailment. The doctor’s tests found nothing out of the ordinary, except for some inflammation in the stomach and intestines. I was on a fasting diet for a week prior to the tests and wondered about the source of the inflammation.
A few months later my father sent me some information about nutrition, including research from a Dr. William Kaufman who used Niacinamide to reduce inflammation in arthritis sufferers. His research was conducted over a 50 year span with a success rate of over 75-percent. Those are good odds.
For moderate osteoarthritis, Kaufman recommended 250mg of Niacinamide (vitamin B-3), six times daily, exactly three hours apart. Niacinamide is water soluble and requires a few ours to go through your body. The treatment, when effective, takes about six to eight weeks to show results and must be followed religiously.
That’s what I did. After six weeks I could tell that my hands and feet were much better. Even my very sore and arthritis damaged knee was improved and I walked without a limp. After two months, energy had increased, and I could walk a mile and not tell much difference between the good knee and the arthritic knee.
After four months I was virtually pain free, sleep was better, digestion was improved, energy increased, and my overall mood was more level and not subject to as many ups and downs. That’s a side effect.
Further research revealed that Niacinamide is also used to reduce depression. I can attest to the effects of a Niacinamide treatment on mood. It has a calming effect.
Niacinamide, taken appropriately, appears to work well on an increasing problem among American adults– inflammation leading to arthritis and other diseases. It appears to be safe, effective and inexpensive.
Why don’t more doctors prescribe such a treatment for their patients with arthritis? Consider the implication of this: the last doctor to examine my arthritic knee recommended that I have a knee replacement. He called me a perfect candidate. Perfect in what regard?
Instead, I chose a synthetic lubricant treatment to reduce the pain. Knee replacement seems to be a permanent solution and I have yet to meet anyone with an artificial knee who does not walk with a limp or have regular pain.
On the other hand, niacinamide costs less than $7.00 a month. I have no pain, I don’t walk with a limp, and I got to keep my original knee.
Thank you, Dr. Kaufman.