Rheumatoid Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
Physicians told Dr. Goldberg as a young man that he would be permanently crippled by severe rheumatoid disease, accompanied by advanced ulcerative colitis, environmental allergies, chronic fatigue and psoriasis (see picture on left). Through the study and disciplined application of nutritional biochemistry, clinical epidemiology and natural hygiene, he recovered his health (current picture on right).
Since that time, for over thirty years, Dr. Goldberg has successfully helped chronically ill patients from across the U.S. recover from a wide variety of difficult, chronic, conditions by carefully seeking out and addressing the individual causes of ill health. Read more
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, (IBD), is a general term referring to
inflammatory diseases of the intestines of (medically) unknown etiology
(cause). It includes the major syndromes of Crohn's Disease and
Few appreciate the extraordinary suffering people endure from chronic
inflammation of the intestines/colon. Children and adults alike suffer
from these syndromes, which often result in a lifetime of poor health,
pain, life altering hardships and hopelessness.
Patients with IBD can have numerous signs and symptoms most frequently
among them; bloody diarrhea, intestinal cramping, ulceration of the
colon, anemia, fever, fistulas, etc. Both Crohn's Disease and
Ulcerative Colitis start most frequently in people between the ages of
20 to 40, although no age is exempt.
THE MEDICAL SEARCH FOR CAUSES
Medical investigation as to the causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease,
Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis has not proven fruitful. The
major areas that have been investigated include genetic, infectious,
immunologic and psychological factors:
Some ethnic groups are more susceptible including Jewish people but no
group is exempt.
The chronic inflammatory nature of IBD has led to an ongoing look for
specific infectious agents, yet no single infectious agent has been
Studies looking at associated abnormalities of cell mediated immunity
all seem to revert to normal, when the disease is in a quiet state thus
suggesting that they are part of a secondary phenomenon and not part of
the etiological foundation of IBD.
Psychological features of patients with IBD have been looked at
extensively. Patients suffering with IBD often exhibit anger, anxiety,
depression and frustration. These emotions, however, are likely to be
an outcome of having the disease rather than a fundamental cause of it.
Negative emotions are an understandable outcome of people who have been
afflicted (often in the prime of their lives) with an ailment that
causes so much pain, disability, fatigue and uncertainty. Prolonged
physical discomfort often brings about a depressed and anxious mental
state. Exacerbations of IBD are commonly seen in emotionally stressful
As with other chronic conditions, there is a ready marketplace for
overnight remedies promising quick relief from Inflammatory Bowel
Disease. Most of these fall in the category of so-called natural "bowel
cleansing" products and a host of so-called natural food and herbal
No amounts of colonics, enemas or "colon cleansers" will prove of
benefit to the IBD sufferer. Addressing "treatments" to the bowel
itself rather than to the body as a whole is counterproductive. "Colon
cleansers", enemas and colonics do nothing to address the cause of the
IBD and irritate the delicate lining of the bowel. All disturb the
bowel flora and further stress the patient.
If the first thing the doctor does with the IBD patient is suggest a
host of herbal or other nutrient supplements, the patient would be well
advised to seek out a different practitioner who is oriented toward
looking for etiological factors. ... We do not acquire IBD due to a
lack of any specific herbal or food supplement, and we are therefore
not going to get well from such either.
Related Health Issues With
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease commonly develop other health
issues due to the systemic effect bowel inflammation has on the rest of
The following list includes some of the many problems associated with
IBD in patients:
Low back pain
Many of these issues likely arise due to the increase in gut
permeability that occurs with IBD. Tragically, many of the common
prescription drugs used as anti-inflamatories actually increase gut
permeability and thus worsen the patient's long-term condition. This
lays the groundwork for allergic and rheumatological diseases
particularly. Patients with arthritic problems are often observed to
have GI (gastro intestinal) problems. The link between IBD and
rheumatoid diseases is believed by many to be altered gut permeability.
This must be addressed by seeking out specific causal factors in each
patient and restoring good overall gastrointestinal and immune health.
The relationship between the gastro-intestinal tract and the nervous
system is an intimate one. The gastro-intestinal tract is highly
innervated, containing as many or more neurons as the spinal cord.
Every attempt should be made to improve and balance neurological
function. Acupressure, specific Chiropractic Care and Trigger Point
Therapy techniques may all prove helpful if given in conjunction with a
comprehensive program to address individual causal factors. Each person
differs, however, and proper analysis is important.
Other measures to improve the nervous system that patients may use to
advantage include Meditation, Hatha Yoga, Tai Chi and Biofeedback.
An irritated ulcerated intestine needs rest above all else.
A properly supervised fast by a qualified, experienced, natural hygiene
practitioner will frequently expedite the patient's recovery and in
some cases is essential. During the fast, body functions are able to
normalize; toxins and allergens are speedily removed; and the tissues
have the opportunity to heal. The fast allows all the body tissues to
rest and regain vitality.
Following the fast, the rested body is in a much better position to
appropriate foodstuffs and build healthy tissues.
For patients unwilling or unable to fast, liquid diets of different
types suitable to the needs of the particular patient may, in some
cases, be used to advantage, under experienced supervision.
Breaking of the fast and the resumption of eating must be done
carefully. Improper breaking of the fast (or liquid diet) may prove to
be detrimental to the patient. The need for experienced supervision is
Functional Gastrointestinal Analysis
The doctor must be familiar with how to analyze the gut from a
functional standpoint, not simply repeated colonoscopies to see how
badly damaged the intestines have become followed by endless toxic
pharmaceutical agents that carry numerous risks.
The bowel flora must be examined, allergies excluded, emotional issues
addressed if present, fatty acid imbalances uncovered, carbohydrate
sensitivities explored, etc., etc. There are numerous different factors
at play in each person and therefore patients must be addressed as a
world unto themselves.
Getting well from Inflammatory Bowel Disease requires a comprehensive
approach. Some of the hygienic basics that the patient needs to keep in
mind are the following:
* Sufficient rest and sleep.
* Chewing food very well and not overeating.
* Ingesting food only when there is emotional calm
and real hunger present
* Avoiding exhaustion.
* Obtaining adequate sunshine and fresh air.
* Maintaining cordial relationships with friends and
* Having work that is rewarding.
* Avoidance of toxins such as coffee, tea, soft
drinks, alcohol, junk foods, etc.
Patients must be patient.
Each patient should set their sights on good health and not simply
focus on their symptoms. For most people, it took years to evolve into
a poor state of health. Hard work, determination, persistence and
effort are needed factors along with the right professional guidance.
Those who expect to make full recoveries in just a few days or weeks
will likely be disappointed.
My patients who have had the most success understand these things. They
accept that, along with their genetic predisposition, they have evolved
into poor health and that they must work hard and make changes to
evolve into good health. They understand the need for patience although
many are surprised at how rapidly they begin to improve once the
factors behind their illness are addressed. They also understand that,
once they are well, if they return to old poor habits, that their
problems will return.
A good doctor analyzes each patient as an individual, his or her
biochemistry and habits, makes recommendations and guides the patient
along the way. It is often not an easy task for either the doctor or
patient, but when done properly can allow the patient a return to good
health to obtain a new lease on life something which drugs and
surgeries that remove vital organs cannot.
I have watched patients who were unwilling to make the needed changes
evolve further into poor health. I have also had the pleasure of seeing
many patients make the needed efforts and evolve into vibrant health.
The following studies will illustrate successful cases where patients
made the needed efforts and were successful in overcoming Ulcerative
Colitis or Crohns Disease
GOOD HEALTH IS POSSIBLE!
Inflammatory Bowel Disease whether termed ulcerative colitis or
Crohn's, need not lead to hopelessness and a life of misery.
Most patients with proper effort, under hygienic care, can improve
greatly and often recover entirely.
Endless steroids destroy health leading to diabetes, osteoporosis,
adrenal exhaustion, premature aging and many other problems. The newer
"biological drugs" such as Remicaide while sometimes temporarily
relieving symptoms, frequently fail after a time and the patient has a
full resumption of their symptoms and often they are left much worse
than before and then are led to resort to intestinal surgery and
removal. Others on Remicaide or other immunosuppressive drugs develop
cancer, tuberculosis or other serious infectious issues. These tragic
outcomes can usually be avoided if proper analysis and the right steps
are taken in time. The following case studies from The Goldberg Clinic
help to illustrate some of the concepts addressed in the article.
CASE STUDY 1:
A 45-year-old male entered our office with a 15-year history of Crohn's
disease. During this time, he had undergone four intestinal reactions,
each time having a portion of his inflamed small intestine removed.
Between operations, he was kept on a variety of immunosuppressive
drugs. Since nothing had been done to address causes, it was only a
matter of time before another segment of intestine was removed. At the
time the patient came to see me, his gastroenterologist had told him
that while his intestines were badly inflamed once again, nothing more
could be done surgically, since there was not enough small intestine
left to be able to remove any more of it.
The patient was badly debilitated, underweight, weak, depressed and
pale. He had severe diarrhea on an ongoing basis.
His diet was poor and his medical physician had told him that his food
intake had nothing to do with his disease so he could eat whatever he
cared to. The patient tried to exercise, but found his efforts futile
due to his profound weakness.
The patient's diet was heavy in coffee and refined carbohydrates. His
plasma amino acid levels were extremely low although his diet was rich
in protein-containing foods. There was evidence of bacterial overgrowth
in the bowel, likely due to the massive doses of antibiotics and
steroids he had been on. The patient was anemic. He was unhappy in his
occupation as a salesman.
The patient was initially taken off all refined carbohydrates, coffee
and other unhealthy substances. He was put on a light diet of easily
digested natural foodstuffs with attention given to eating habits as
well as types of foods eaten.
After two weeks, the patient was placed on a fast that lasted nine
days. The patient was concerned about losing more weight but understood
that his weight loss had occurred due to his inability to digest and
assimilate food properly and that the fast could help in that regard.
He completed the fast feeling "clear-headed and refreshed" although the
first two days were uncomfortable as is sometimes the case. The fast
was broken and the patient found his cravings for coffee and junk foods
had disappeared. Further steps were taken to restore improved GI
function. While he lost 8 pounds during the fast, this was quickly
recovered, and within a month the patient had not only recovered al the
weight lost during the fast, but gained an additional 7 pounds for
which he was very pleased.
I counseled the patient on the need to adjust better to his occupation
or find a new one. The patient took the advice seriously and located
another sales position, which proved to be much less stressful and more
Six years later the patient remains well. He takes excellent care of
himself and has followed recommendations almost to the teller. Due to
having had so much of his intestines previously removed, he still has
some diarrhea, but reports it is mild in comparison to what it had
previously been. He is careful not to return to former habits and to
lead a healthy lifestyle.
CASE STUDY 2:
CHILD WITH SEVERE DIARRHEA AND WEIGHT LOSS
An 11-year-old male was brought to me by his mother, desperate for help
and seeing me as a "last resort", having been referred by another
Nine months previously, the boy had begun to experience diarrhea, along
with weight loss and accompanying fatigue. His pediatrician sent him to
a local hospital after a course of antibiotics failed to produce any
results. A colonoscopy was performed. Due to the ongoing weight loss,
the boy was transferred to a well-known Atlanta Children's Hospital,
where he was given further testing and another colonoscopic
examination. He stayed there for two weeks, undergoing extensive
testing. The tests were unrevealing and he continued to lose weight. He
was transferred to another children's hospital associated with a
university. In addition to repeating the same tests, a careful search
for malignancy was conducted, but was negative. An extensive
psychiatric evaluation was then conducted.
After two weeks at this hospital, the patient was still continuing to
have diarrhea and weight loss, leaving him with a "skin and bones"
appearance. The university hospital sent him home with the following
counsel to his mother:
Her child was in serious condition,
but there was nothing more that could be done at the hospital. Having
ruled out any organic cause for the patient's problems it was assumed
to be the result of a psychiatric imbalance resulting from his parents'
divorce and that he needed to receive psychiatric care.
The hospital's registered dietitian
advised the mother to give the boy "regular feedings of ice cream and
milk shakes to help maintain his weight, along with a balanced diet."
The child's lack of progress and
continued weight loss indicated that he might not survive -- that
re-hospitalization would likely be needed within the next few weeks to
put the boy on intravenous feedings.
At this point, the child's hospital and doctor bills totaled over
The patient presented in a very weak state. Both he and his mother were
frightened by his condition. I ran a battery of functional tests,
including food allergy testing and multiple stool parasitology samples.
Test results showed the child to have the presence of a protozoa named
giardia and a high sensitivity to cow's milk.
I immediately took the patient off of all the dairy products (including
the milk and ice cream the registered dietitian wanted the mother to
give him) and put him on a light diet of easily digested natural foods
that he exhibited no allergic responses to, along with a few nutrient
supplements, in light of his emaciated condition. Simultaneously, I
referred him to a local medical doctor with the results of his
parasitology test to receive appropriate medication to rid him of the
The patient rapidly improved after the allergens were removed from his
diet and he was treated for giardia.
Within the next two weeks, his weight increased along with his
strength. His mood elevated (as did his mother's!).
This was ten years ago. Since then, he has turned into a tall, well
built young man, who played football in high school, went to College on
an academic scholarship, graduated and is currently married, employed
and healthy. He has had no recurrence of his illness.
Hospital workups frequently fail to identify even basic causes of
disease quite commonly even with their highly sophisticated equipment
and many specialists. We have frequently seen patients who have been to
many medical facilities including the Mayo Clinic, Columbia, and The
Clinic and other "prestigious institutions" where the basic causes of
disease and the factors needed for the successful restoration of good
health were overlooked.
CASE STUDY 3:
ULCERATIVE COLITIS WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
A 57-year-old female with multiple complaints of eczema, arthritis
pain, back ache, severe ulcerative colitis, headaches and fatigue
entered the office in a depressed state, having been referred to me by
her Doctor of Chiropractic.
The problems had begun 18 years earlier with bowel discomforts, and she
had been originally diagnosed with "irritable bowel syndrome."
Since then, she had seen numerous doctors for her multiple conditions
including dermatologists for eczema, Doctors of Chiropractic for back
discomforts, Rheumatologists for arthritic pains and
Gastroenterologists for ulcerative colitis. She had consulted with
medical dietitians as well.
She was receiving a variety of steroids by the rheumatologist, the
dermatologist and the gastroenterologist. The patient had received
Chiropractic Care, which she found helpful, but the low back pain
persisted. The patient complained of chronic fatigue, ongoing bloody
diarrhea, stiffness, pain and depression. She described her condition
The patient was tested a number of functional issues including mineral
imbalances, intestinal dysbiosis, fatty acid balance, cortisol
production and food allergies. Food sensitivity testing was positive.
Foods the patient was allergic to e.g. eggs, wheat products and dairy,
were the same ones recommended to her by her gastroenterologist and
medical dietitian to "soothe the colon."
There was a complete absence of normal bacterial flora in the
intestine, along with the presence of yeast in excessive amounts.
Program of Care:
The patient was put on a hypoallergenic liquid diet for a period of 10
days, followed by a diet of cooked vegetable foods and moderate amounts
of proteins, excluding all allergens. The patient was instructed on
hygienic measures to take (e.g. additional rest and sleep, fresh air,
emotional poise, etc.). The fatty acid imbalances, flora imbalances and
abnormal cortisol levels were addressed. The patient began to reduce
the amounts of corticosteroid compounds prescribed for the colitis and
arthritis. Appropriate steps were taken to restore the normal GI flora.
During the first two weeks, the patient went through a stormy period of
discomfort. By the eighth day, the bowels began to quiet. Joint pain
subsided by the sixth week, accompanied by an increase in the energy
level. In three months, the patient reported her stools were partially
formed without blood, and that her joint pains had reduced by 80
In her fourth month of care, she went off her plan and ate a variety of
foods she had been warned to avoid. Within 10 days, she was again
passing bloody stools and experiencing severe joint and muscle pain. We
gave her a program for resting the gastrointestinal tract and urged her
to follow the entire health program carefully. She was soon feeling
well again and reported she had "learned her lesson".
The patient has continued well for seven years without joint pain or
colitis and only occasional mild looseness of stool. Her headaches and
skin problems gradually dissipated and she no longer takes any
It is common to see patients with medical diagnoses of Crohn's and
ulcerative colitis report that they also have rheumatoid arthritis,
fibromyalgia, skin problems, etc. These patients frequently have poor
digestion and allergy problems.
Medical care, including corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDS), serves to aggravate and complicate the clinical picture.
Resolution of the patient's digestive dysfunction and bowel problems
frequently results in ending the bowel problems and rheumatic
complaints and other health problems simultaneously.
DISEASE - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: I have ulcerative
colitis and also have skin problems and very bad arthritis. Can these
A: Yes. The relationship between the bowel, the skin and
the musculoskeletal system is a very intimate one. Gastro-intestinal
dysfunction commonly is accompanied by skin and musculoskeletal
problems, and likewise when the G.I. tract is returned to healthy
functioning, these problems usually disappear as well.
Q: My ulcerative colitis
is advanced. Are there any special steps I will have to take in order
A: In some cases, where tissues are damaged, it is often
advisable for the patient to undergo a supervised fast as an initial
step. Just as you would not expect a broken leg to heal if the person
continued to walk on it and did not allow it to rest, neither is it
reasonable to expect a bloody, ulcerated colon or small intestine to
heal while the person continues to send undigested food and feces
continually over it not allowing the digestive tract a chance to rest.
Q: How long a fast is
usually required and how does one go about it?
A: The length of the fast varies greatly from person to
person, and the total time cannot be determined at the onset. It
depends on the progress of the fast, which should he determined by a
doctor who is specially trained and experienced in fasting supervision
(not something taught in medical school). Ideally, the fast is
undertaken in a quiet environment away from home, business and family,
where the person can obtain unlimited rest, both for their digestive
tract and for the body as a whole.
This should not be attempted on one's own, but only
under the careful supervision of an experienced doctor trained in the
art and science of fasting. Most doctors experienced in fasting
supervision are members of the International Association of Hygienic
Physicians, a professional organization that credentials doctors for
fasting supervision. Conducted properly under supervision, fasting is
safe and effective at helping to restore good function. It is a true
"physiological rest". I have supervised fasting patients for over 30
years, yet am still amazed at the healing power of the body to remedy
difficult problems when we give it the opportunity and quit all of our
meddling with pills, potions and treatments.
Q: What conditions would
contradict a fast?
A: Generally insulin-dependent diabetics, patients currently
taking steroids, patients with cancer, those with advanced tuberculosis
and pregnant women should not fast, although short fasts of a day or
two may sometimes be employed.
A problem with some patients is the fear of missing
a meal or two, i.e. psychological factors. Americans are so
indoctrinated with the thought that if they miss a meal or two,
something terrible will happen. How often I've seen patients surprised
to find that, after the first few days of fasting, while they may have
some transient discomforts, they felt stronger and more clear-headed
and saw their disease symptoms disappear. I have had cases where I
needed to convince the patient to break their fast, because they felt
so well after the first two or three days, they did not want to stop!
Q: Does the fast result
in a permanent cure of the patient's IBD?
A: No. It must be followed by an individually tailored program of
living for the patient to adhere to. The fast when employed is just a
beginning step. Returning to old habits will eventually result in a
return of disease.
Q: Must the patient make
lifestyle changes in order to get well and stay well in most cases?
A: Emphatically yes! It is time we dispensed with this irrational
notion that we can take some treatment and be cured of diseases
(including IBD) that evolve out of a combination of our habits and our
genetics. There is no treatment or pill or potion that will alone
resolve this degenerative condition. It first takes a search for the
individual causes of the problem in each patient, followed by a
comprehensive health program tailored for the individual, who then must
follow through with patience and perseverance. This includes
understanding and respecting one's own limitations and making
appropriate lifestyle changes as recommended.
Q: I read a book that
says that all disease is caused by parasites, including colitis. What
is your opinion on that?
A: It would be convenient if all health problems were related to
one single factor. There are many "one cause-one cure" type theories
most of which involved a certain degree of cultism. We are a diverse
population of individuals living under diverse conditions. Health and
disease have numerous causes for them, and no single factor is
responsible for all cases of IBD, let alone for all health problems.
Parasites, particularly protozoa, can be responsible for some cases of
colitis, although in the United States it is not a primary factor in
most cases. Having a good stool microbiology/parasitology conducted,
however, can help eliminate the possibility of parasitical involvement.
Unfortunately medical physicians sometimes overlook parasite
involvement and fail to appreciate the importance of normal bowel flora
in health and disease.
Q: What are the
determining factors in how long it takes to recover from IBD?
A: Each case will vary. The most important factor, as with most
health problems, is the extent to which the patient is motivated to get
well and make the needed efforts.
Those unwilling to undergo proper analysis, followed
by a program that will likely include dietary restrictions, disposing
of bad habits, change of rest and sleep habits, a period of
detoxification, steps to insure emotional poise, adequate sunlight,
fresh air and activity, cultivation of a balanced state of mind, and
other specific steps will fail. Simply eating a little better or giving
up a few bad habits alone will rarely suffice.
The amount and types of drugs taken, their age,
their energy reserves, the extent of bad habits they have had, their
ability to avoid stressful situations and obtain rest and other factors
all play an important role.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (since childhood), Extreme Pain, Joint Pain, Inflammation, Insomnia, Low Energy
Swelling, Numbness, Undiagnosed Neurological Condition, Pain Allover, Pain in Stomach - Legs - Head, Bad Hearing, Tired, No Energy, Bed-bound, Down-and-out
Multiple Sclerosis, Drooping Face, Extreme Weakness & Paralysis in Right Side of Face, Very Tired, Extreme Pain in Joints & Feet & Wrists & Elbows & Eye, Dizziness, Balance Problems, Chronic Fatigue
IBD, Colitis, Severe Exhaustion & Fatigue, Raynaud's Disease, Cold Fingers, Cold Feet, High Blood Pressure, Rheumatic Symptoms, Mental Problems
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Pain, Head Aches, Stomach Aches, Pain in Knees & Hips, Weight Gain & Side Effects from drugs
Severe Allergies, Digestive Problems, Seasonal Allergies, Low Energy