Polymyalgia Rheumatica: Holistic Therapy & Folk Cures - Ted's Q&A

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Posted by Jackie (Melbourne, Victoria) on 09/12/2006

I love this site, thank you!! I have recommended it to so many people. I just read on the site that you are interested in feedback on Fibromyalgia. My mother was originally diagnosed with this about 3 years ago. She has since discovered that it is Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR). I don't know a lot about the conditions but I believe that they are not related at all. Mum is in constant pain & has been to various specialists & alternative therapists. For 3 years she has been trying to find relief & answers on this condition but no-one seems to be able to help her. Please let me know if there is anything you can offer to help her. It is inflammation of the blood vessels in the muscles. She has been to many different specialists & alternative therapists & is still in constant pain. Are there any known cures or treatments that you or your readers know of? Thank you

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
384 posts

Dear Jackie: Try taking plenty of vitamin B complex, where B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 are about 300 mg/day, while B12 at 300 mcg per day. The other vitamin Bs can be obtained from be obtained from taking plenty of brewer's yeast and apricot pits. Also take some aspirin, as it will not only help with the inflammation, but this seems to dissolve and kill nanobacteria which might be causing the inflammed joints. It is important to take vitamin C sodium ascorbate and perhaps apply comfrey poultrice to the area of the joint and some nice heating pads to help the pain.

Taking plenty of cod liver oils and fish oils are both anti inflammatory as well as reduce the heavy metal buildup which prevents the joints from repairing itself. You need to take 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/4 teaspoon citric acid with 1/2 glass of water once in bed time and once in the morning on an empty stomach to help alkalize and this should restore the blood to its proper biological terrain for healing purposes.

This will not cure the condition, but the pain should be greatly reduced. Magnesium is synergistic with the vitamin B6 so therefore you need to take about 250 mg of magnesium chloride, or magnesium acetate, or magnesium citrate.

Replied by Norma
Scottsburg, Indiana

My mother at age 90 got her annual flu shot, within 3 days she had developed severe pain in shoulders and arms, she was unable to walk or lift her feet. She was diagnosed with PMR after extensive tests, etc. Her physician says the condition came on as a result of her prescribing fosamax for my mothers osteoporosis. I have researched chemicals that are added to flu shots and found that aluminum hydroxide that is added to vaccines can put people at risk for developing polymyalgia rheumatica. My mother is severly underweight and needs to gain weight soon. Any suggestions for weight gain would be appreciated. Thanks earth clinic for this great service.

Replied by Mmg
Somewhere, Europe

Spirulina helps.

Replied by Bess
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Hi Norma - Perhaps you could make your Mom smoothies with added protein. It would be easy to swallow (some older people have trouble chewing or their appetite isn't as keen as it used to be) and you could vary the ingredients to make them tasty as well as nourishing. Using a large straw (like they use for milkshakes) makes it easier to drink. Best of luck to you and your Mom. Cheers, Bess

Replied by Walter
West Palm Beach, Florida

My mother had the H1N1 flu shot prior to going on a trip and within a weeks time she was in tremendous amount of pain that started in her legs and eventually moved to the shoulders and neck leaving her paralyzed and not able to move without pain. She went to the drs and found that she had severe inflammation and told her she had polymialgia (PMR). I now know by looking at this site and searching the Internet that a salt called aluminum hydroxide found in vaccines is linked to some cases is severe polymialgia in some people. I have asked my moms dr for a aluminum test, will be interesting to find out how high her levels are. I thank all of you for all the great info. Mom knew from the get go that the vaccine was the cause of all this. I will get her to strengthen her immune system and detox her body of the metal in her system.

Replied by Jody
Koh Samui, Thailand

Hi Ted,

I live in Thailand and was wondering if you can point me in the right direction to buy natural products. I need iodine, magnesium and vit b, adrenal supplements (preferably in liquid form for all). At the moment I buy my supplies from NZ.

Are you a practitioner in Thailand and do you have a clinic?

Thanks, J

Replied by Debbie
Melbourne , Australia


Instead of supplements you could source real foods for your nutrition.

You could buy green coconuts (very nutritious, full of vitamins) and drink the juice alone or add pineapple juice.

Aloe Vera - buy a plant and juice it yourself... they don't call it the tree of life for nothing.

Green juices... They are so healthy, they will supply all your nutrients you need.

Wheatgrass juice, spirulina, chlorella so healthy for you.

Coconut oil ..

Thailand is full of natural products. I used to take a lot of supplements but have recently decided to go with superfoods instead.

Replied by Francisca
Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France

Well, Debbie, the problem about relying on food is the bad quality of the food we buy nowadays! Even bio foods are often not at all what they are supposed to be! I hope that you are lucky where you live and that the food is better than what we buy here because here it is simply awful! The soils are depleted, they add so much stuff which is not good for us, fruit sold unripe and with no taste at all, milk full of all kinds of chemicals and antibiotics, also pasteurized therefore without most of what we need, meat full of nasty stuff.... One hardly knows what to eat anymore!

I hope Australia and Thailand are better as far as food goes........ Here they are even saying that the fruit is being manipulated to add sugar (they surely already add a lot of water to it) so that we don't notice the lack of taste but we end up eating loads of sugar. I have noticed that some fruit like pears and pineaples are awfully sweet, but a strange kind of sweetness that sometimes makes me want to throw up. All very sad....

Replied by Peggy
Swansea, Sc


Thanks for this website: I am 49 years old. I have been diagnosed with PMR at age 46. Just awoke one morning with chronic pain in my hips. I went to the rhumatologist whom diagnosed me with Polymylgia Rheumaticia. OK. I was put on 40mg of prednisone at that time within 4 days I was in much less pain. I was tapered down on the prednisone gradually. I am a health nut. I go to the gym 4 days a week. Eat right no junk. Ht 5"6" and wt 120. I have always been a healthy person. The only thing I can remember doing before I woke up in pain at age 46 was I got the flu shot.. Ok... Never really thought about that untill now. Never knew about metals in the body till I read on your site. I have major flare ups frequently. Which changes my life for a few days until I increase the prednisone. This I am back to square one.

I am on 20 mg again today because I saw the Rheumatologist yesterday. I have been in severe pain. Hips, shoulders, ribs and neck. The PMR has flared.. So in a few days I will feel better. I just cant get off the prednisone completely. I would love to. It is such a miracle drug for me. No side effects with this drug yet. I am sure they are coming, though. I would love to know your thoughts on this. I have thought about the accupuncture. I have tried fish oil. I just did not see any results. Maybe I did not stay on it long enough. I have been going through this for so long. I want instant relief. The prednisone does that. I want to get off it. God only knows what it's doing to my adrenal gland. I have not been pain free in 3 years now. Always have hip pain no matter what. Can you help me?

thanks, Peggy

Replied by Jr
Coloma, Mi

Peggy, my father has had polymyalgia rhuematica for over ten years. He was started on a pretty heavy dose of prednisone to begin with and was tapered down. However, every time he got completely off, his pain would come back. Since he was in his eighties, the Dr felt it was best to just keep him on 5 mg and keep him out of pain. Now he is 96 years old, still lives independently and drives his own car. Of course he has some pain, he's 96 but his life is good and he isn't having any side effects from it.

So, don't fight the prednisone for now if it keeps you out of pain. I know there are people here who won't agree with me, but once you are no longer hurting, you will be better equipped to look for healthier ways to get off of it.

Replied by Gavin
Manganui, Northland, New Zealand

Why does a perfectly healthy person develop these pains in the first place?.. Do you live and work in an environment where cleaning liquids are stored?.. Like the upper floors where the solvents from the liquids powders tend to rise too. These things are notorius for starting flare ups. Or perhaps you use Amonnia type cleaners? .. My wife has stopped taking the Prednisone, and is considering dropping the Methatryxate... Shes been on 6mg of Boron daily, One kelp tablet, 1000mg of vit C., a popular multi, 3 garlic pearls.. But before bed has been taking a cup of Steeped ginger, two caps of ACV in it and a teaspoon of honey... She is doing well and the only flare up was when exposed to a raft of cleaning chemicals, after a sleep away from the smells she was ok again. 50% of people on Prednisone develop cataracts within two years. So it's a toss up between pain and side effects.

Replied by Louise
Pafos, Cyprus

Hi found your page very interesting, I have had PMR now for 1 year and have been battling on, on my own with no support or help, I live on my own, my Dr just asks me what dose of steroid I am on and prescribes more to keep me going. The PMR started a month after I had the flu vacc and is slowly getting better, I eat well and have taken vitamin C, E and B complex for many years, these vitamins did not stop me getting extreme stiffness and excruciating pain ALL over my body, I am now down to 5 1/2 mg prednisalone with no good quality of life, I feel I sleep my life away due to the feeling of illness and the exhaustion, but have recently discovered that a banana a day helps enormously, it has been suggested that chinese cupping will help heal this illness, does anyone have any suggestions? thanks - Louise

Replied by Lida
Dallas, Texas

Serrapeptase for Polymyalgia Pheumatica also called giant cell

Serrapeptase is a proteclylic micro-organism serratia E15. This enzyme is naturally processed commercially today through fermentation and was disovered in the silkworm intestine this immunologically active enzyme is completely bound to the alpha 2 marroglobulin in biological fluids. stuedis reveal powerful ant-inflammation effect of this naturally enzyme.

Taking this serrapeptase, her condition went from 100% to 75% in 3 month then in 6 months it went from 75% to 25% by next month we should know the final results. Her blood cells are back to normal. It is not expensive if you check the www. serrapeptase information.com ) and type Polymyalgia it gives you all the information you need. Now she is no longer taking the prednisone. With the serrapeptase she also took vitamins and other listed on the information. She got what ever she could find along with the serrapeptase but at any rate she is recovering, from the miracle drug. Lidia

Replied by Dee
Narooma, N.s.w

I too am a sufferer of that dreaded PMR. I finally got myself off the steroids by going on a strict alkaline diet. I cut out all meat even chicken, drank rice milk, no wheat or dairy products and changed to white wine as red is harder on the liver to break down. I stuck to this religiously (and its not as hard as it sounds as there are a lot of alterative foods) As I did this I dropped my steroid dosage by 1mg per week till I was finally free. The only tablets I have now are 2Panadol Osto maine with 2 Lyprinol (Blackmores, sorry to drop the name but its what I found to be the most effective) which is a natural anti-inflam. (N. Z. Green lipped mussel) and to repeat this at night. I am not free of pain but going from 100% to 20% anything is worth a shot. I have read the previous letters on the lemon and soda and will also combine this with my other medication. Thanx to all that write in with PMR because sometimes you feel like you're alone fighting this... family and frinds sometimes don't get how debilitating it can be.

Replied by Gb08
La Porte, Tx, USA

Juat want to comment that I too was diagnosed with PMR [polymyalgia rheumatica] a few months ago. I just woke up one morning and horrible stiffness in the normal places that is related to PMR. I live in Portugal, the Azores I live in the community but work on a military base. I too, have to take the magic pill (steroid) every day. I am 59 a few months from 60, a high school coach and teacher. Play golf 3 time a week, watch what I eat, and one day I wake up and have PMR. Still asking why. Has to be something in the water, my class room has mold on the walls. I too took a Flu shot. I want to find the reason then maybe the cure. I still play golf 2 to 3 times per week, but not as good. I have no tips, just take the 20mg of the magic pill and hope I am not hurting my body till an answer is found. I did go back to a specialist in Houston to make sure the military doctor was right on the diagnoses and treatment. I think I am just venting a little but it so distrubing. Should I go to the Mayo clinic. I am coming back to Houston for a few months in summer, or are they just going to say continue with steroids?

Replied by Kay
Athol, Massachusetts

Recently diaagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica. 76 years old and have been very lucky healthwise. Having PMR ... It's like I have aged 25 years! I'm interested in any suggestions that will make it less severe. My chiropractor friend thinks I got PMR because I slept in my recently-acquired RV, which smelled strongly of mothballs and had been cleaned over and over again... Anti-odor sprays, rug cleaner sprays and powders, air fresheners, etc. probably 6 or 7 different types.

Replied by Maureen
Tampa Bay, Fl

A friend of mine sorda did the same thing, insecticide and then slept in the RV, he has not been the same since...

Would like to mention a couple things for you to do some reading on... My sister-in-law just was talking about a chiropractor she started going to @ HealthyTallahassee(dotcom), he used a method called Nutrition Response Testing, it's like Kinesiology (I think). She cleaned up the aluminum in her body by simply taking cilantro drops in warm water twice a day, (a great chelator of heavy metals)... just a step in the right direction.

Take this site and look up all the symptoms you have, write them down, almost become a detective... and go with that...

You might need to take some extreme precaution while you are letting your body heal... Go organic as much as possible, if the RV still smell like moth balls, try Odoban, (Sam's has it) it's all natural eucalyptus and other floral extracts... Only one I use... Check out any of Hulda Clarks books, she's a bit extreme, but you'll learn a lot. If you have a VitaMix, learn to do the Whole Food Blending, you can see some on Jeffs site Qigong(dot. Com) he's big into the Organic, smoothies for healing our poor old bodies... And I like Green Smoothie Girl... Lots of folks out there that can give you lots of direction---

In another direction, take a look on YouTube, you can see a demo of something called the "9Breath Method Instruction by Jeff Primack", there are others, but I like Jeffs version... Learn how to put oxygen into you blood... That is more or less the idea. You will be amazed at this... best of luck and just wanted to give you some paths to travel...

Replied by Judith
Milton, Otago, New Zealand

Hi, I have just found this site and wish I had months ago. Thanks for the thread about PMR. It makes me wonder if it was the flu injection that gave it to me. And I still get it yearly, Hmmmm

I was told I had this problem 3 years ago after being sick for several weeks and even being in hospital with suspected swine flu. Finally I was given predisone and the pain went, but I cant seem to get below 8mgs. The pain returns.

The hospital specialist has also put me on azathioprine, a year ago, to try and get me off predisone because I have ended up with ostopirosis. So now I am 2 strong drugs that affect your immune system plus drugs for my bones. I really want off the 2 of them. I am going to start the 2 tsp ACV and 8 oz water 3 times a day to see if it helps me. Any other thoughts from you all would be welcome. Thankyou

Replied by Sandy
West Jordan, Utah Usa

I was diagnosed with PMR 10 years ago after having a case of the flu. As some of the aches and pain subsided, I noticed my back and then shoulders and arms were getting worse each day until I finally could not even feed myself. It took 3 months and several doctors to diagnose. They started me on 50 mgs of prednisone which immediately helped and also on methotrexate. The swelling effects of prednisone were so severe the doctor said it was killing me so I began the slow process of cutting down. Methotrexate did not help so for 18 months I was in a tremendous amount of pain until the doctor convinced me to take it intraveneously. Though that began to help I was stil lin a lot of pain until I finally tried herbs that reduce inflamation. Within a couple of months I could turn over in bed and climb stairs again. I have contined to take the herbs and slowly reduced the methotrexate from 10cc to 4 and prednisone to 2. 5 until most times I now have an almost normal life. Herbs I found helpful are MSM, Bromelain, Boswellia, Cayenne and tumeric. Whenever I forget to take them for a week or so, the pain comes right back. Hope this will help someone.

Replied by Joan
Melbourne, Victoria Australia

I have been a PMR sufferer for 21 months. After many blood tests etc. Was given the outcome as PMR in March 2011. GP started me on 25mg Prednisone daily, the moon face and swelling started not long after. The pain and swelling went away after a few months. I weened off the steroids monthly reducing the intake, until 1mg in September 2012. By November 2012 I was back to excrutiating pain in the joints and my ESR level to 70. Ready to try anything now, other than steroids. Safe alternative Suggestions please

Replied by David
Toronto, Canada

HI Joan, read your experience with PMR (polymyalgia rheumatica). My mom has had a similar experience. It developed to temporal arteritis. We suspect it all started with a flu shot as we make detailed journals for our health.

We found that using ozone therapy (autohemotherapy, at 3-4 grams of oxygen/ozone mixture) 3x a week and now EDTA chelation therapy (will chelate until arteries are clearer) to make a difference in the condition. So far it has helped and we are continuing treatment. We did a DNA rheumatoid arthritis profile test and found chlamydia pneumonia (not an STD) in her blood and a Doppler ultrasound of her carotid arteries and found reduced blood blow in left arteries. So we are approaching this condition as a possible infection and arterial blockage. The ozone will deal with the infection and the chelation will deal with the arterial narrowing by removing the calcium build up.

We believe this is the cause of the condition and hope to see continuing results.