Gary's new website

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Advice for a young man with degenerative disc disease of the spine

I was looking into something for my back injury, I have bulging discs and degenerative disc disease through my entire back. My neck, hips, upper back and especially lower lumbar experiences extreme pain through the day. I am 21 years old as well, and have lost my dream of becoming a firefighter. I have been #!@# around by about 10 different doctors in the past 3 years, all of them referring me to different types of ridiculous treatment or simple prescribing NSAIDS, yet I've only gotten worse.

I'm sure an honest businessman like yourself, only looking to profit from other people's physical discrepancies and utter desperation will have little to no realistic advice, but I think it's worth a shot. Maybe you could recommend multiple expensive and placebo-based supplements and vitamins, I'm sure that would cure my miserable #!@# life!

Thanks in advance!
Gary responds:
Thanks for seeking my assistance: While I had a good laugh over the last part of your email, I understand, as well, your deep frustration (Thanks for the additional info, btw, which is not published).

As you have found, NSAIDs and most physical treatments are mostly a waste of time for the kind of back pain that you are describing. I am fascinated by the increasing number of cases of spinal disc prolapse in young people that seem to be more of a spontaneous event, rather than through usual causes of violent injury or repeated misuse. Rather than looking for a mechanical cause, the answer is surely to be found in biochemistry. And, so there is!

Let's assume that you have completed a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) and found a number of biochemical imbalances, the most interesting of which is a disturbance between copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn).

The copper connection with back pain and disc prolapse
Adequate amounts of Cu are required for the normal production of elastin and collagen, which are the primary components of ligaments and the spinal discs. Cu is essential for the cross-linking of protein which gives strength and integrity to these structures. Zn is required for the body to synthesise protein, therefore an imbalance between Cu and Zn can lead to ligament and structural abnormalities, including spinal disc prolapse.

High tissue Cu is commonly found in patients with scoliosis. Scoliosis commonly afflicts young girls, especially at puberty. One possible reason is that Cu in tissues rises with hormones at puberty. If tissue Cu levels are already high, the impending increase can cause a weakening of the spinal structures, leading to the spinal collapse seen in scoliosis. The same phenomena occurs during pregnancy. Resulting elasticity enables the pelvic ligaments to relax during childbirth.

Within what I have just described lies a possible biochemical explanation for many cases of unexplained disc prolapse.

Therapy takes time and effort and relies on carefully adjusting the biochemical imbalance, as per the HTMA. This is done by changing the diet accordingly and administering specific supplements, such as zinc or copper. Therapy is not always as simple as this sounds. For example, Cu deficiency may be due to the excess of an antagonising nutrient such as vitamin A and vitamin C.

If there is evidence of a Cu overload, possible sources of environmental contamination, such as old copper piping, need to also be identified and removed. Even a Cu bracelet can lead to a Cu excess in the tissues.

How to order a HTMA
The next step, if you really do want my help, is to order a HTMA which you can do through me here. I must have from you a physical mailing address to send the kit and information to. You pay the lab's agents (Pacific Health) direct by credit card (NZ$225).

Once the results are back you need to contact me to arrange to arrange a time to review the results by phone, Skype or a physical meeting if living in Wellington (The first consultation is included in the HTMA fee).

Incidentally, a Cu excess exposes the person to viral infections while being resistant to bacterial infection, whereas low Cu exposes the person to bacterial infection and resistance to viral ones. This pattern of infection is observed in women who are comparatively more susceptible to viral infection during menstruation and bacterial infection after. This is also an explanation as to why teenagers are susceptible to either viral infections like glandular fever or bacterial ones like acne; but seldom both. This may also explain why these infections are extremely resistant to "usual" treatments.

Another interesting observation is that Cu/Zn ratio disturbances are associated with mental function. High Cu/Zn is associated with tendencies for emotional outbursts. Is your email to me really your Cu losing its Cool?

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Cameron said...

I knew it, not ONE person in this world can just offer some realistic advice that doesn't require incredulous amounts of spending and bizarre advice. Thanks for nothing, "Doctor".

Gary Moller said...

You might want to read more carefully what I have written and not be so dismissive of advice that is given freely and without obligation.

The lasting solutions to your back pain lie in gaining an understanding of the underlying causes of your disc degeneration and correcting them.

Unfortunately, most people have been thoroughly indoctrinated that there is a quick fix solution to everything. "Give me a shot Doc" simply does not work in cases such as you.

Your body is good for 100 years but only if you nurture it with great care. Bombing with drugs and surgery is inappropriate in most cases of ill health that arise from poor nutrition and lifestyle.

Good luck with your quest Cameron. I am sorry that I was unable to assist.

Robin Ingram said...

Hej there Cameron - my name is Robin, and I just read this entry tonight, and I would like to say this: (altho' Gary is a competent adult male who is perfectly capable of both laugning at himself and defending himself, as the case may be, and I'm sure he doesn't need my help!)that in my experience, as someone with two years of working with Gary on a spinal issue of my own, having had spinal problems for over 30 years, since I was 15, he most assuredly is not someone who is " only looking to profit from other people's physical discrepancies and utter desperation".

Anonymous said...

Well said Gary. It is interesting that people often want a "miracle pill" and also want it for free. I did some work in a pharmacy at one point, and it is amazing the amount of people who "cry" about having to pay for prescriptions. While I understand that it isn't budgeted for when we get sick, surely if it is going to make you feel better, why moan? If this Cameron is so insistant on getting better, surely he would have to part for some money to do so? You cant expect a mechanic to diagnose an issue with your car and not to get a bill for it. "Nothing is for free", but I find your blog and your numerous articles via email very informative and I truely value your experience and advice. So from I would think a number of people who feel the same - Thanks Gary!

Greg Mawson

Gary Moller said...

One of the themes of this blog is "self help" by way of education.

There are few places one can go for advice in response to direct inquiries that is given freely. I make no money directly from this service.

If a product or service is purchased, then this is most welcome but there is no obligation.

Anonymous said...

in a mind body way of looking at it, someone like john sarno would say the anger leads to the back pain, and louise hay said a percieved lack of support from others leads to back pain.

and from a biochemical approach the very same nurrient and mineral deficieces could cause both anger and back pain

Anonymous said...

Cameron. As one who has also had bad advice from a top spinal surgeon re. my protruding disks, i.e. pain killers for a year then surgery, I have since been to a naturapath who also explained about the biochemical relationship to my pain, and also a similar explaination that Gary has given you. I have been on natural supplements to balance my issues, and have increased my water intake as that is supposed to help my disks be hydrated, and I am feeling heaps better without any pain killers. I would give Gary a try, as advice he has freely given on this site also 'cured' my husband's achillies tendonitis after four weeks, when top sports physios couldn't help. Our body is amazing and can heal itself if fed the right nutrients.

Wayne said...

if you think your copper levels are high, have a look at the kettle or jug you boil water in, is it copper on the inside, is the element copper??, then send it for recycling and buy one that isnt
don't use water from the hot water tap for drinking or preparing food in
copper water tank! and or pipes!
the copper disolves into the water when the water is heated.
of yes those copper pots and pans will have to be retired from use.
sorry , some traditions arent always the healthiest.