New Thoughts on Arthritis: Could the Real Cause Be Long-Standing Infections?

A few months ago I suddenly experienced a great deal of joint pain and stiffness, even though this has been a mild winter and I’ve never been prone to arthritictype pains before. I wondered if it was just my imagination, but I still went to see my favorite chiropractor, Dr. Joe Givan, and his adjustment relieved the problem somewhat. Nevertheless, within a day I was experiencing lower back in pain, and both my knees and my left shoulder had also begun to ache badly.

I was bothered by this new development as it forced me to curtail many of my activities. Not only that, but it made for painful awakening during the night and stiffness in the mornings. Like so many people, I succumbed to the risky relief of ibuprofen in an effort to get some quick results. But after a few days without any lasting pain relief, I knew that had to stop!

As I sat quietly to pray and contemplate what to do, I remembered Dr. Givan mentioning that it was probably just a little arthritis. I dismissed his diagnosis at first, thinking I could simply endure the pain until it just went away (a dumb thing to do). In fact, it only got worse…much worse. (Ouch)

The morale of the story is to listen to your holistic practitioner rather than act like you know better!

When the pain didn’t stop, I decided to dig a little deeper. I learned that this disorder affects literally millions of people! In my research, I found some arthritis-related statistics from the CDC, including these startling numbers: From 2013–2015, an estimated 54.4 million U.S. adults (22.7%) annually had ever been told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

This information should scare us all. The numbers are only through 2015, and they are probably much greater now!

Springing to Action

The next morning, I began to peruse my library of healing books. As providence should have it, the one book that stared me in the face was The New Arthritis Cure by Dr. Bruce Fife.

Getting comfortable, I determined to find how Dr. Fife could so boldly use the word cure.I nevertheless grew hopeful, while still maintaining some of my skepticism as a true cure, in most cases, is rarely promised, let alone delivered. It wasn’t until Id read all twelve chapters, plus the “Seven Days Whole Food Challenge” section, that I dropped my smugness and decided to try his suggestions. After all, sometimes even a nutritionist like myself needs to follow the recommendations of other practitioners.

Providentially, Id also recently attended a great Standard Process seminar in which Dr. Michael Gaeta discussed the topic of bone healing and soft tissue repair at length. The information presented at this seminar fit perfectly into the causes of joint pain and modes of healing. I’m beginning to feel the results I achieved after combining the recommendations of each of these learned practitioners, and I wanted to share this information with my readers.

I now believe that you can stop hurtingand possibly even reverse this painful conditionif you’re serious about following the recommendations below. (Of course, it also depends on how long you’ve already endured this agonizing disorder!)

My Dental Issues and the Beginning of Joint Pains

Before I go any further, allow me to tell you of some serious dental issues I struggled with prior to the sudden arthritis diagnosis by Dr. Givan. My sad story starts when I first visited a regular dentist for a persistent stinginglike sensation on a molar in my lower left jaw.

After X-rays, this dentist determined that the molar was seriously inflamed. He said it needed to be pulledor, better yet, that I should get a root canal. I immediately vetoed that suggestion as I’m aware of the dangers of root canals thanks to the work of Dr. Weston A. Price and Dr. Royal Lee. But I did agree to have the tooth pulled.

Unfortunately, the annoying sensation didn’t go away once the tooth came out.

Disappointed, I decided to seek out a holistic dentist. That’s when I found Dr. Chris Brady, who was trained under the auspices of the dental principles of Hal A. Huggins, DDS. After a much more thorough and careful examination, Dr. Brady found that I had several other molars that were seriously infected (remember that word). After paying great attention to the treatment options and researching his credentials, I made the decision to have the work done as he suggested. Very expensive if you don’t have dental insurance!

My recovery from all that dental work was slow. But I could have healed faster had I or my great new holistic dentist remembered that this infectioneven after it’s remediedcould still cause the pains in my joints. Which brings me back to Dr. Fife’s book The New Arthritis Cure, in which he explains how infections may cause arthritis and outlines a protocol for eliminating them. Once I cover that that, I will also detail the therapeutic recommendations of Dr. Gaeta.

The Real Cause of Arthritis

Dr. Fife states early on in The New Arthritis Cure that there are only two primary types of arthritis: acute infectious arthritis and chronic infectious arthritis. He also explains that all major forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout, are all variations of infectious arthritis in one form or another. Each has its own pain and damage path. All, however, include the infectious part.

Fife details how infections migrate to the joints, especially when the immune system is compromised. Causes include some common but rarely acknowledged culprits such as wounds, insect bites from mosquitos, ticks, etc., inhalation, sexual contact, food poisoning, ulcers, vaccinations, and, as in my case, infected teeth or gums! (Personal note: Dr. Gaeta agrees with this statement.)

What Other Experts Say

Dr. Fife’s solutions, which I describe below, seem straightforward and simple, and his book includes many impressive testimonials from real people who say they were healed with these techniques. But I also wanted to find out if other experts had similar opinions. After reading Dr. Fife’s book and then talking to Dr. Gaeta, I almost cannot believe that mainstream medical doctors still prescribe antibiotics on a regular basis (even though antibiotics are dangerous when taken consistently), and will even simultaneously prescribe highly damaging pain killers that, in the end, do nothing to reduce the progression of the disease!

At, I learned that the specific kinds of bacteria behind bacterial joint inflammation can enter the body through the skin, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and mucous membranes. Specific bacteria are also associated with certain infections:

  • Staph infections (staphylococcus aureus)
  • Strep throat (streptococcus)
  • Bacterial pneumonia (streptococcus pneumonia)
  • Gonorrhea (neisseria gonorrhoeae)
  • Tuberculosis (mycobacterium tuberculosis)
  • Lyme disease (borrelia burgdorferi)

Personal note: Complete reparation of damaged bone and joints may not always be possible, depending on how advanced your joint issues are at present. However, be assured that mitigating and slowing down the continued damage is always an option that’s open to all of us.

Now, let’s get started!

Why Dr. Fife Recommends Coconut Oil for Clearing Infections

Dr. Fife is a worldrenowned expert on coconut oil, so it should come as no surprise that he recommends it as the primary remedy for reducing or even eliminating infections that would otherwise continue to cause pain and joint inflammation, and in some cases erode the cartilage and or the bone.

Dr. Fife recommends coconut oil because of its unique composition. It contains lauric acid, capric and caprylic acid, and myristic acid. All of these components play a role in making this inexpensive product. The anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial effects in coconut oil are very helpful in an overall protocol to aid in the reduction of infections throughout the body.

Fife indicates that the mouth is one of the most noted breeding grounds for bacterium. Oil pulling, which is his first recommendation, provides the perfect way to keep infectious bacterium from getting into the bloodstream. He also recommends eating 34 tablespoons of unrefined virgin coconut oil daily. This consistently delivers a substance that helps reduce the bacterial load in your body, thereby preventing infections in your joints and digestive system. I can also support a weakened the immune system. Read more about coconut oil at the Coconut Research Center.

Personal note: I’ve read in numerous articles that we should also consider brushing our teeth before as well as after we eat to prevent ingesting any bacteria that may have built up in our mouth prior to our next meal or snack.

Dr. Fife’s InfectionReducing Protocol

Salmon tartare.
  1. Pay attention to your teeth. Fife recommends using the technique he outlines in his book Oil Pulling Therapy every morning for 1520 minutes upon awakening, and again before you brush your teeth. Heres a wonderful YouTube tutorial of Dr. Fife explaining how to do this. And Paula Widish has very good blog post on oil pulling that explains the many benefits related to this ancient Ayurvedic practice.
  2. Reduce sugar and refined grains (white or unbleached flour). Fife explains that these two foods are the number one cause of cavities and gum disease, and they can initiate infectious conditions—not to mention the numerous other serious problems these two health enemies bring about. Sugar consumption is a very real invitation to lessening the health of your immune system.
  3. Eat a whole foods diet, which means eliminating inflammatory foods. Please take the time to learn about which foods are truly anti-inflammatory.
  4. Lighten the load. In other words, lose the extra weight. It directly affects joint strength and effectively makes any recovery very difficult if not impossible. Coconut oil is noted for its ability to help maintain proper weight when taken daily over the long term. If you’re looking for help in losing weight, Eat Fat, Look Thin is a great book to read.
  5. Exercise. Fife is also adamant regarding exercise, telling us to move, move, and keep on moving. Unfortunately, most people stop moving when they have joint pain, which is the direct opposite of what we should do. He suggests this rebounder for those with joint pain. It’s perfect for making exercise easy on the joints, and it helps drain the lymphatic system.

Dr. Fife’s Recommended Inflammation Busters

Along with Dr. Fife’s recommendations, here are some of my favorite brands:

  1. Omega3 fatty acids (Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil or SP Tuna Omega-3 Oil)
  2. Turmeric (SP Turmeric Forte)
  3. Ginger (SP Ginger 1:2)
  4. Cherry Juice (Northport Organic Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate)
  5. Pineapple (fresh, raw, and organic)
  6. Fresh whole foods and vegetables (not canned, frozen, or packaged!)

No matter how humble, use fresh, organic foods whenever possible. If you would like to know the most nutrientdense foods, look at this list on

Immune System Warning from Dr. Michael Gaeta

Without going into a lot of medical terms, Dr. Gaeta stated in our conversation that in his experience infections are primarily due to a weakened immune system. I asked him to explain this phenomena a little deeper, and he referenced the importance of being aware of distress, such as worry and other negative stressors, with little or no eustress, or the kind of emotions we associate with happy, joyful, and positive experiences. To learn more, see my blog post on eustress and the painkilling effects of endorphins.

Dr. Gaeta strongly believes that too much distress is a major cause of our immune system finally succumbing to illness. It weakens our body’s ability to kill off infections that otherwise would easily be destroyed at the onset. But when our immune system is so weakened, it cannot fight back.

Dr. Gaeta warns that unless we learn to deal with our many stressors (as outlined in my longevity blog post), serious health problems and infections will be just the tip of the iceberg! Think nervous disorders, heart attacks, and shorter lifespans. (Personal note: Dr. Gaeta offers comprehensive consultations. visit to learn more.)

Bone Health and Raw Food Supplementation

Regarding arthritis, Dr. Gaeta agrees with the assessment of Dr. Royal Lee: arthritis is the cooked food disease due to the lack of raw protein in the diet. If your diet lacks the right combination of cooked and raw foods (more about raw foods below), Dr. Gaeta encourages the following supplements:

Calcifood Powder This bonebuilding food is a source of rare amino acids, consisting of 50 percent protein and 50 percent minerals. The protein derived from the raw bone meal in Calcifood Powder is high in amino acids that are commonly lost in cooking.

Tryptophan Stops dental caries in children but is commonly lost when it comes in contact with sugar while cooking.

Methionine A detoxifying factor known to be important in eclampsia, shock, cirrhosis of the liver, liver enlargement, and liver necrosis.

Lysine Helps with fatigue and irritability. (Lysine and tryptophan combined enhance corneal vascularization.)

Protefood Supports protein metabolism and immune system response function as well as skeletal and muscular and cellular health. Protefood also supports healthy protein metabolism and contains the essential amino acid lysine, needed for proper collagen formation.

Nutrimere Supports protein metabolism and cellular activity. Nutrimere includes the building blocks for normal protein metabolism, encourages healthy cell functioning, promotes vitality, and supports the healthy aging body.

Three Recommendations to Support Lymph Drainage and Clear Infections

ThymexSupports the thymus gland with bovine thymus Cytosol extract and supports a healthy thymus gland, the master gland of the immune system. Thymex is a good source of vitamin C (69 per day).

DermaCo Contains sarsaparilla, cleavers, Oregon grape, burdock, and yellow dock. DermaCo supports normal flushing of toxins from the body, cleanses the blood, promotes healthy liver and intestinal function, promotes the body’s normal resistance function and much more. Click on the link to get full description of its efficacy (34 per day).

Immuplex Supports a healthy immune system response, helps maintain normal white blood cell activity already within a normal range, and supports the body’s normal inflammatory response as it relates to periodic challenges like consumption of a high fat meal or strenuous activity. Immuplex is also high in vitamin C and E.

For Pain Relief

Turmeric Forte According to Dr. Gaeta, the word forte in this product infers that it is strong. He further states that it is the highest quality turmeric supplement on the market. Turmeric Forte supports a healthy inflammation response, liver function, and digestion, and traditionally maintains and supports healthy joints.

Let’s Now Talk About Some Really Special Raw Foods

Most of us think we can only eat raw foods in the form of salads, fruit and vegetable juices, and maybe some nuts or seeds. Yes, we see many articles and tons of great juicing equipment that keep us drinking glass after glass of raw juice with everything thrown in but the kitchen sink. (Smile)

In fact, I was one of those juicing vegetarians until I discovered Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell. That’s when I learned about (and found recipes for) the most nutrientdense raw super foods: meat and fish, bone marrow, raw milk, butter, and cheeses—foods that keep us healthy and satiated. I was always hungry as a vegetarian, but I now know about the dangers of this diet.

I later made my 90minute DVD and booklet, Cook Your Way to Wellness. In a very detailed fashion, I show how to make much more than just raw juices or salads by including ultrahealthy fermented beverages and other great foods. These are totally raw and packed with all the enzymes and goodness a tummy could want. Along with the other health benefits, they also feed and support your immune system.

Talk about a great way to incorporate raw food at every meal. I hope youll take the opportunity to watch the DVD and read the booklet. Along with Nourishing Traditions, you’ll be ready to embark on an exciting health giving adventure.

In closing, I hope that with the toolbox of suggestions I’ve made in this blog post, you’ll wake up in the morning with a hopeful heart and a strong incentive to get yourself going to a new and painfree tomorrow. Below is a recipe I use often with great success.

Raw Milk & Liver Cream Shake
Adapted with permission from Kim Schuette. This real raw smoothie contains the raw food supplements I mentioned above. Serves one.

Note: People following the GAPS diet should omit raw cream. Instead use sour or piima cream. Ideally, raw or sour/piima cream is best for supporting hormone health. Cultured cream may be made from viili, piimä, and filmjölk cultures (all mesophilic room temperature cultures). Cultures may be purchased online at

24 oz. raw organic cream or coconut cream (such as Artisana coconut cream)
36 oz. raw milk or kefir or yogurt, if desired (or coconut milk or whole milk yogurt)
1 cup berries, fresh or frozen (optional)
23 raw organic raw egg yolks (optional)
1 tablespoon or more (I use 3 ounces) raw liver, frozen for at least 14 days prior to use
1 teaspoon raw honey (optional, I use no sweeteners)
1 tablespoon organic, unrefined coconut oil
1 tablespoon Calcifood Powder
1 Protefood capsule, opened and added to the ingredients

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until well blended. Enjoy!

Oh, and before you go, look at my blog postThe Yuck Factor so you can see what dense nutrition liver has to offer, whether cooked or raw. (But raw and hidden away in a smoothie is even better!) Also, listen to this great podcast by Sally Fallon Morrell regarding the importance of raw foods.

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Afterthoughts from the Traditional Cook

Do you love to read about natural remedies? I sure do, and I always find the best of the best in my two favorite magazines, The Herb Quarterly and The Essential Herbal. I urge you to subscribe to both of them. You’ll find soothing stories and plenty of potent and welcome herbal recipes of all kinds, many which deal with pain, healing, and happiness. Enjoy reading about new and old hobbies and ways to keep your body feeling better with Mother Natures pharmacy.

Be well my dear readers,
Maria Atwood, CNHP

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Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.

Images from iStock/humonia (main), meteo021 (vegetables), Maria_Lapina (salmon tartare), viki2win (woman).

Maria Atwood, CNHP

Maria Atwood is a semiretired Certified Natural Health Professional and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader in Colorado Springs, CO. Visit her website at Also check out Maria’s Cook Your Way to Wellness DVD (also available as an e-learning course) and be sure to follow her Tips from the Traditional Cook blog.
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