Medical Advice Wanted

medical-symbolNaples tennis senior and teaching pro, Joe Dyser is (up north) and out of commission with an ailment he would like advice on treating. His message is below…

George–I’ve developed a poly myalgia rheumatic–meaning an inflammation of the shoulders and hips. I’m treating it with prednisone–10 mg daily. The prednisone really helps but it shuts down the immune system.

I’m looking for good natural inflammation fighting foods, herbs, vitamins and various supplements. Anecdotally, age 70 is the demographic most visited by this uninvited ailment.

Any feedback from your readers would be helpful. Thanks. Joe

Advice? Please let us/him know. thanks

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11 thoughts on “Medical Advice Wanted

  1. Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disease of muscles which usually begins after age 65. It is associated with another condition called giant cell arteritis, which causes severe headaches in the temples, jaw pain, visual problems and scalp tenderness.
    The primary treatment for both of these conditions is prednisone. Unfortunately, prednisone has potentially serious side effects and stopping it results in flares of the myalgia.
    Another drug, called methotrexate, is also used for these conditions, but it too has some potentially serious side effects.
    I am unaware of any herbal or benign therapy which is effective in treatment. Physical therapy, however, can be of benefit. Unfortunately, polymyalgia rheumatica is one of the many diseases for which medicine has not yet developed effective therapy which is without potential serious side effects.

    Joe – I wish you the best and hope you have a speedy remission.

  2. Turmeric is a natural anti inflammatory. There is a supplement raved about called zyflamel available on Amazon. Takes 3 months to really take hold. Also get a blood test done that checks you for over 180 food allergies. Inflammation is often caused by them. Start by eliminating, all breads, flours, dairy, eggs, and sugar. Basically eat only nuts, seeds, vegetables, limited fruit because of high sugar, berries are best, and organic meats. The test will help you if there are any other big reactions to foods you may not be aware of. Clearing your throats constantly, bad headaches, insomnia, and joint pain are all symptoms of food allergies. Don’t drink water from plastic bottles as once water is purified and minerals are removed it becomes acidic causing the plastics to emit into your drinking water. The only safe over the counter bottled water is figi because it has a high ph and minerals have not been removed. I personally have a water ionizer on my tap that removes all of the chlorine and bad things added to the water but raises the ph and doesn’t remove the natural minerals from your water like reverse osmosis does. If you use reverse osmosis you need to re- mineralized your water or the water will absorb your minerals in your body as water naturally tries to return to its original state. Many people don’t know this and think that they are doing a good thing using osmosis but really it’s more harmful to you if you don’t add minerals back into the water. All cheap bottled waters use osmosis and are acidic and needy. Needy in regards to wanting it’s minerals back. Water is a huge part of your diet so it needs consideration.

  3. I’ve had PMR three times and handled each one with prednisone. I agree with Robin; no known substitutes for a short term treatment. I also take turmeric supplements and use it in cooking extensively, by the way. 10 mg is not a big hit and you should be weaning yourself off the drug once the condition has stabilized and by stabilized I mean the pain is completely gone. If it’s not gone, you aren’t taking a high enough initial dosage. Tried methotrexate and (1) it didn’t help, (2) it was much more expensive and (3) the potential side effects are considerable. I never had noticeable side effects from prednisone and I think someone may have over-stated the impact on the immune system (my initial dosages were 20 mg and 30 mg and was off them within 18 months — none of my three rheumatologists expressed concern about immune system reactions with the amount of time I was to be on the drug). I’m not a doctor, by the way, just experienced in the malady.

  4. If you are actually diagnosed with temporal or large cell arteritus, stick with your doctor ‘s recommendations. My mother in law lost her eyesight because the diagnosis was missed and she was not on prednazone soon enough.

  5. Besides the perfect advice that Robin gave you, I have found essential oils that have hugely helped my inflammation in my upper and lower back. I was a Natural Foods Chef for years and the diet Robin gave you is crucial. Contact me at and I will give you the info. There is also a major health breakthrough for getting blood to the capillaries in the body called the Bemer machine which I got . It is expensive however but has started the ball rolling for me eliminating the inflammation I have had.

  6. Ok, not an MD by any means , but I can share what I’ve experimented with and what seems to be logic trajectory for overcoming inflammation in the body…
    What I don’t like about current treatment options ( especially prednisone and its ilk) is that it only treats the “symptoms” . Treating the “symptoms” of a natural defense the body is activating seems counter intuitive to me. Inflammation is the body “dealing” and “signaling” thag things are going awry.

    There is a HUGE movement currently of “lifestyle medicine” ( the president dr David Katz has is under consideration for surgeon general )spearheaded by incredible traditional doctors that are seeing INCREDIBLE improvements with the adoption of a “real food ” diets. The proof so far clearly shows that “life style diseases” of which arthritis is one, can be seriously effected by food/fuel intake.

    I’m not a big believer of food allergy testing as most get said test done when things aren’t right. Naturally the body (possibly in an inflamed state) will be “sensitive” to many inputs. This type of sensitivity can change witching 3-4 weeks and is dependent on so many factors. Better to “clean up” a bit for a few months and in a state of feeling well, get yourself a food allergy test if so inclined. Keep in mind that you can check yourself for food allergies by dong a simple elimination and reintroduction protocol.

    Next , deficient Vitamin D levels directly affect inflammatory markers. I know it’s weird living in (Naples) Florida , but many people in Florida have low vitamin D levels. (Between the fear of the sun, clothing, sunscreen and hats, there’s not a lot of exposure actually )so getting vitamin d levels tested is a big on in my opinion. I shoot for 45-70 Ng/ml concentration . Great resource

    If you are game… I would try giving your body a SERIOUS brake from your regular diet.
    I would also incorporate some intermittent fasting to activate some autophagy ( natural process where cells “eat” other cells for clean up purposes. It’s our natural “destructive ” mechanism.). I would try to incorporate a ton veggies in my diet over the coming weeks. Salad doesn’t really count 🙂

    Next…sadly, no idea Joe on your alcohol intake, but if it’s 1-2 a day, I would eliminate for a few weeks and see if it brings relief. Alcohol also creates a massive inflammatory response (of which some is good actually)

    Joe, I can give you links galore for your own research, so if you would like , email me (
    I have found over the years through experimentation and countless years of conversation with like minded friends (including some that are doc and surgeons ) that unless we have an emergency wherein our medicine is some of the best in the world, when it comes to the “lifestyle ” diseases, we are on our own and have to figure it out on our own (hopefully with the help of a good and open minded md so they can advise and monitor ) .

    Also, I can’t recommend highly enough the benefits of infrared sauna. A good sauna session overpowers the parasympathetic nervous system (the other side of flight and fight) and really “slows your system down” .when your system is relaxed and not assaulted by stress, the body has som outrageous self healing and correcting mechanisms.

    Lastly, do you take Statins?

    I will stop for now 🙂

    I have a lot to share Joe, email me if you would like links etc.


  7. Never heard of that stuff before , Joe. But hang in there and follow good advice . See you in Naples .

  8. Joe, after discussing your condition with a friend (graduate Veterinarian believe it or not) he suggested I google polymyalgia rheumatica and cryotherapy. I found quite a detailed and lengthy read but seemed to address a number of the suggestions above as well as cryotherapy as a treatment. Here is the URL:

    Let us know if any of these things offer you any help. George could alert us via this blog, right, George?

  9. Thanks for the link Bernie.

    Cold/heat exposure is a game changer in my opinion, so wanted to add that part of my sauna routine is cold exposure after sauna.

    As I commented on a post before there’s a ton of solid scientific research on this stuff and is used massively with professional athletes. Research also shows that you don’t need ice baths, 70 degree temperatures start the process. So to all, rinse of with a cold shower for 30 seconds after your showers for a few weeks…..

    I promise you will notice some interesting things……give it a try. 🙂

  10. Robin, Sheldon, Michael, Kathy, Dave, Marc, and Bernie thank you all for your info. I am using some of these modalities already but some of the others will help I’m sure. Again, thank you for these kind words. Joe

  11. Turmeric Curcumin has several benefits, one of which is it being an effective natural anti-inflammatory. I have a degenerative right hip, not a whole lot of cartilage left, and a hip replacement is on the horizon. Do NOT take ibuprofen for any length of time! I have had good results with turmeric…two 500 mg caps daily, 12-hour interval. I’m on the court every day, coaching and/or playing. Without it, it would be tough.

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