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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Natural therapies for reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)

"Dear Gary
I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. If you know of a good calcium supplement I would appreciate it. I am starting a search now. I am 53 and have never taken a pharmaceutical drug and hope never too. I am going for a bone density study as soon as I can I guess to see what is up with the bones and if I have osteoporosis. I wish our medical profession here was more natural. Oh well it is not. Thank you again."
(Brenda injured her foot some time ago and never recovered)
Gary Moller comments:
Brenda: First of all there is no need to panic. It is a mouthful of a name and sounds terrible; but means little more than a very sore foot that won't let up. Do not focus on the examples of the worst cases that often get presented as examples. I have encountered this condition several times and can report that every case has resolved - eventually. Let me explain what it is and what you can do to assist a full recovery.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) or Complex Regional Pain Disorder, is a neurological disorder that causes a deep burning sensation in the muscles, skin, bones, and joints. The cause is not well understood, but most people that suffer from RSD have had previous immobilisations, heart attacks, sprains, head injuries, or sports injuries that ended with broken bones.
The main symptoms of RSD differ from individual to individual. In addition to the burning in the joints, limbs and extremities, many victims of this sometimes debilitating disease often develop sensitivity to touch, excessive sweating, and severe swelling. Most perplexing to doctors and victims alike, the symptoms of RSD do not always match with complete consistency the injuries that caused them. A minor injury may cause incredibly intense pain, although this degree can shift from constant to intermittent.
Please discuss with your doctor the advice that follows.
The natural therapies approach I recommend is directed at assisting the body with settling the inflammation and with healing. This could be aided by a quick-fire course of Prednisone over just one week. The Prednisone may be all that is needed to settle the inflammation sufficient to allow your body to get on top of the problem. Your doctor may recommend an alternative tyo Predinisone. The following supplements should be given three months or longer to take effect.
  1. Take quality natural B vitamins. These assist with settling the nerves including reducing nerve inflammation
  2. Take glucosamine and chondroitin to build healthy joints and collagen
  3. Take MSM (methylsulfonyl methane) to reduce inflammation and to build healthy collagen
  4. Take up to 2,000 mg daily of natural vitamin C
  5. Take 2-4,000 iu of natural vitamin D daily or go outside and get a light sun tan. Vitamin D is a powerful immune regulator and is essential for healthy joints and bones
  6. Evening Primrose oil, fish oil and flax oil may be beneficial
(All of these items are available through my online store)

While there may be some signs of bone demineralisation about the site of pain, this should resolve as the condition settles. Bone density tests are notoriously misleading, so take any adverse results with a grain of salt. If your vitamin D levels are high then the need for a calcium supplement are minimal. You would be better off taking a mineral supplement that has some calcium such as is found in the Active Elements range of mineral salts on my website.

Gentle massage and modest exercise may be beneficial; but take care. Exercise in water is ideal.

You might find soaking the leg daily in Epsom Salts dissolved in warm water gives relief.

Give these measures three or more months to have a beneficial effect and be giuded by your doctor.

All the best, keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

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