- How the Rheumatologist couldn’t believe his progress
- CRP and ESR levels are now normal without any medications
- Discipline is required to keep pain free, but it’s worth it
- How he was called a ‘miracle’ by the Rheumatologist and ‘dismissed’
- How to throw drugs over your shoulder in total happiness!
Disclaimer -the information on this site is not medical advice. Before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, exercise, drug or supplement routines you must first discuss the changes with a licensed professional.
Clint: Thanks for joining us today. Well, we’ve got a guest coming back for this episode because he’s got another update, and it was so heartwarming and wonderful to receive this update. I thought, why not reach out to him again and get him to share this update with us, so everyone can listen and be inspired? So Shaun’s back on the call. We spoke at length last time about all the challenges that he had been through. He previously was on maximum dose of Methotrexate. He was also on Sulfasalazine and also on Plaquenil. He’s now off all those medications, and he just had a fabulous last consultation with his rheumatologist. So Shaun, welcome back. You’ve got so much great news to share with us, haven’t you?
Shaun: Yeah, yeah. It’s been great, Clint. So everything’s going really well, and yeah, pain’s gone away. And yeah, I’m right on track. So yeah, it’s going really well.
Clint: Well, as I just said, you know, like this good news needs to be shared because it’s so inspiring, and we only read about online, negativity and it can’t be done, and diet doesn’t work, and you’ll be on medications for the rest of your life. And it’s just so negative that when we have these good stories, I wanna share them to as many possible people. And so that’s why I wanted to get you back. So for those people who haven’t listened to your previous episode, which I suggested everyone do, can you just refresh our memories, even if we have listened to it, and just give us like a one-minute recap of where we got up to last time we spoke?
Shaun: Yeah, so probably end of 2013, I was diagnosed with RA. I had gone on to see the rheumatologist. It was sort of like the desperate measures to see him. Yeah, I went through the whole regime with him, the quarterly or three monthly visits, and you know, virtually got on to the maximum dose of Methotrexate, the 25 milligrams. I was on the Sulfasalazine and Plaquenil. Yeah. So I don’t know what the Plaquenil and the Sulfasalazine was the maximum dosage, but you know, I was right up there. And as I said in my previous podcast, I went on a cruise and eating all the wrong foods as we know, and yeah, just in that massive pain. So I got back from the cruise, and it was sort of desperate measures because I was just in so much pain, and that’s when I came across your program, and just probably what…you know, gradually over the 12 months, I’m reducing and reducing in medication until today, with my last visit to the rheumatologist on Tuesday.
Clint: Okay. Well, sensational. So by this point, you’re off all the medications, right? And I just want to ensure people understand that you worked with your doctor to do this, and on the occasions where you may have been a little bit more aggressive with your reductions, that’s something obviously that’s not the practice that we recommend. But look, let’s be honest, that’s what you did at some times, if I’m correct.
Shaun: Yes, yes. I worked together with the rheumatologist, and he went through, and he also said, “Well, okay. We’ll keep you off that,” and sort of just kept on moving forward from then.
Clint: Yeah, beautiful. All right. Well, this is now the juicy bit that I want us to get into. You shared on my website about how it all went down. I want to hear it in person, and walk us through it. So you’ve gone in there for your regular checkup, and you’ve got no medications. And so walk us through how this went.
Shaun: Okay, so my last visit six months ago, he gave me a script to go and get some x-rays with my hands and feet. So I got all those done. I took them into him. He did a full blood test. So I went in to see him, looked at blood tests and sort of went, “Yeah, all good.” He also did the rheumatoid factor. No, I spoke to him about that. And he said, it was actually high than when I first went to see him, the rheumatoid factor. He said that’s up, but he sort of said, “Look, we could go for the same test tomorrow, and it could be totally different.” So he didn’t really…he wasn’t concerned about the rheumatoid factor. All he said was, you know, “You’ve got rheumatoid arthritis.” That’s it, but he was happy with all the blood results.
Clint: Okay, so this was Tuesday, right? So rheumatoid factor was higher than what it was when you were originally diagnosed, but the doctor said, “Look, it fluctuates like crazy.” So all that means is that you have the disease, and that’s about all it tells us.
Clint: That’s exactly what my rheumatologist said as well. My rheumatologist used to say, “Look, all it is is an indicative test. We do it once at the start. We know then that we can officially diagnose you with rheumatoid.” But after that, then it’s not something that we ever need to check again, and all that you wanted to look at after that was the inflammation levels and examine my fingers and everything else. And an important factor in what we’re trying to achieve here, we’re not trying to get rid of rheumatoid arthritis so that we show that we actually have never had it and that rheumatoid factor and CCP in the normal range, because I’m not actually sure if that’s possible. What we wanna do is show no inflammation, have no physical symptoms, and ideally do that without being on any medications, if at all possible. And I think that should be the goal. And so, yeah. Okay, tell us what else you found in the blood tests.
Shaun: Yeah, so it moved on from the blood test. In the last visit, I got the x-rays out. He had a look at the x-rays, and he sort of sat there, and he put them up on his screen and he looked at them. And he looked at them very closely, and as you know, every visit you have to the rheumatologist, there’s always the bad news. And I’m thinking, “Oh, no.” He’s looking at these x-rays like going through and sorting each one, looking at the hands. And he was really closely looking, and I was sitting there, thinking, “Oh, yeah, what’s he looking at? Uh-oh, what’s wrong?” And then he grabbed the x-ray report out, he read through that. And then he started to get the…I wasn’t too sure. I thought I’d take my old x-rays back from 2013.
And he said… he grabbed those out and he put those up and he had a close look. But then he started… he got the left hand and he got the left hand with the new x-ray and he started really closely looking at them. So I asked him a question, “What are you looking at?” And he showed me the degeneration of the joint where it’s eroded badly, or not badly, but you can see the erosion in there. And then he started pointing out in the new x-ray where he can see improvement in the joint.
Clint: Yeah, that’s phenomenal.
Shaun: Yeah, he said, “This is the dark areas where the erosion is,” and there was the light. He said, “This is like regrowth in the lighter areas of the x-rays.” So he said, “Look, there is improvement.” All along he kept on saying to me, “You’re a miracle. You’re a miracle.”
Clint: How about that?
Shaun: He says, “Look, I only really see these results in people along Methotrexate, like the improvement.” I mean I’ve been totally off the Methotrexate. I mean 100% off the Methotrexate now since the first of January in 2016.
Clint: Right, and as a timestamp, we’re now in… what, we’re at the end of October 2016, so it’s like 9 or 10 months since you’ve been off that, yeah. Okay. So yeah, the miracle. Not bad being called a miracle case, is it?
Shaun: Yeah. So yay. He just sort of went along and said, “Yay,” about the miracle. And then sort of went from there, he asked me about the diet again, what I was avoiding. And you know, I told him I was plant-based and avoid the animal proteins. And he just said to me, he said, “Look, the best thing you can do is just stick to what you’re doing.” And then he said, “Look, no need to come back and see me.” He said, “But, you know, if inflammation comes back and the pain comes back, well, definitely come back and see me and make an appointment.” But just in his mannerism, he was very confident that he probably won’t see me again.
Clint: How about that? Yeah. How does that feel?
Shaun: Yeah, it just feels great. I mean, as you know, every visit you have to the rheumatologist is just… it was just some negative and just sort of walk out there, you know, head down.
Shaun: I’m thinking, “Oh, no,” because it was just all bad news when you got out of the rheumatologist, like you’re gonna be on these drugs for the rest of your life.
Shaun: That’s it.
Clint: Yeah. I think it’s really, really daunting when you have to go and see your rheumatologist. The first time I went, first of all, I had to wait two to three months to get my first visit. You go in there with this grand expectation that it won’t be what you’ve heard, that it’ll be like in terms of, “Maybe my condition is not as bad as other people, and maybe I won’t need all these drugs. And in my first meeting ever, there was a discussion straight away about Methotrexate.”
And as I say in my keynote presentations at health conferences and stuff, I say that in the first meeting, he said, “Oh, yeah. You know, we normally treat the disease very aggressively from the start. And the first thing that I wanna put you on is Methotrexate, which is a cancer drug, a chemo drug. It’ll cause great amount of fatigue, it’s very toxic, so you’ll need liver tests every single month. And whilst on this drug, you won’t be able to have children.” And he said, “Why don’t we get started straightaway?” And I’m like, you know, well, that does sound attractive, but I need some time to think about it.
And that’s when I went away and tried my own thing, which in hindsight, was not wise because it wasn’t until several years that I start to make all the discoveries and connections that enable me to start lowering my pain naturally. So in the first year, without being on the drugs, I did very poorly. So if you are doing things naturally, but you’re doing the wrong things, and you don’t have any medications, that’s the worst case scenario. That’s why you’ve got to be very careful that you’re doing the right things with your eating and dietary and exercise habits if you’re not on the medications. In fact, even if you’re on the medications, just so that you don’t need more and more medications, right, because we know that many of these start to wear off with time and become less effective.
So mate, that’s absolutely sensational. And I just want to also find out, did you talk to him about telling other people about what you’ve done? And did he want to take some notes? And did he want to get you to…I don’t know. Like if I was a rheumatologist, I’d say to you, “How about I get a lot of my patients together, and you come and you give a presentation?”
Shaun: Yeah. I just wish he would do that. But somehow, I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. He spoke about the study, I think the [inaudible 00:12:14] study. He said, look, the only result, the only studies that he’s seen is people not eating. And he said, you know, “You won’t live too long not eating.” So he said that’s the only thing that’s out there that you can see these results with.
Clint: Yeah, and that’s just not true, you know. It’s just a shame that… first of all, he gets at least more marks than the average rheumatologist because a lot of them don’t even know that study. A lot of them just say, “Look, there’s no data driven results that show that diet plays a positive impact on rheumatoid arthritis.” That’s the most common exact phrase, no data driven results. That’s just not true. The studies are out there. I’ve got them all in the program, and I’m creating this guide for rheumatologists which might just get rolled into the published book that I’m putting together because it’s doubling up my work. So I’m just going to publish my book in the next few months and then that contains it all, and the rheumatologist can just read the book, so we’re not having multiple documents.
But yeah, just more motivation for me to keep working hard, and get things finished, and get it out there. And mate, did you tell him… have you ever mentioned my program and have you told him to look at it?
Shaun: Yeah, I mentioned your program. I asked if he heard of it. He hadn’t heard of it. When I started talking about it, he said, “Look, probably more than likely you didn’t have RA.” He says, “There’s a lot of people out there that have been diagnosed with it and they haven’t got it.” And you know how they are with their time. They’re sort of [inaudible 00:13:51] further conversation, so they sort of do… they’ve got this method of cutting the conversation short.
Clint: Yeah. No, that’s true. That’s true, because it’s an area of expertise that… you know, it’s just not an area of expertise, is it? And I guess there are… and I saw this myself. When I was looking for help with my condition, there are so many different opinions of ways to do things from people who don’t sort of have any qualifications or any kind of hard data on their actual results that they have achieved themselves. And so it is confusing out there. And when you’ve got so much sort of momentum behind bad approaches, like paleo approaches and high fat, low carb diets at the moment, like just the major trend, it’s really hard to cut through that and get to the truth. And to get to the truth that can create results that are long term and lasting, and not just for a year or so, which many other approaches can do.
So mate, look, I’m really grateful that you shared that with us. And I know that we have to stick with these things. You know, it’s now the sort of thing… well, you’ve been given the all clear, and the goal is now to be able to not see your rheumatologist again for a long time. It’s been about four to five years since I’ve seen mine, and the only times I’ve thought about… and it’s been rare, the only times I’ve thought about going and seeing him again is to go and help him understand what needs to be done. I’ve never felt even a remote need to see him for his expertise from a rheumatology point of view, but I do hope at one point that we all have either himself or a bigger audience of rheumatologists to speak in front of or work with or something.
Shaun: Yeah, but at the end… he virtually certified me. He says, “Yes, you definitely have rheumatoid arthritis.” And he said, “If I were you, like go and put yourself on the internet.”
Clint: Go and put yourself on the internet. Yeah. So, awesome, mate. So, congratulations. I think this is just a short episode for everyone to get some inspiration and to see that it is possible to be on the common medications at maximum dose and be able to get off those medications safely working with your rheumatologist, and the rheumatologist to pat you on the back and say, “You’re a miracle.” And I think miracle just means extreme dedication to an end result. You need a little bit of luck on your side because I know a lot of people have worked tremendously hard to try and achieve the results that you have and still on their journey after many years.
So you need a little luck on your side, with the sort of particulars that you have wrong on the inside, in your intestines. I don’t think… you take 100 people and they do exactly what you did with your changes. You’re not gonna get 100 people get the results that you have. So you’ve also been blessed a little bit in that sense. But that doesn’t mean that the rewards are any less deserved, and that you haven’t done all this through hard work and effort. So, well done, mate.
Shaun: Yeah, and as you said before, I could probable switch it on tomorrow. I can just go back and eat the wrong food, because I think now, my body, I’ll eat something… like the other day, I had a salad and I thought, “Oh, I’ve got one of those.” There’s wraps you buy at the supermarket, you know, garlic wrap. And you know, I wrapped my salad in that and ate it. You know, it was nice at the time. But you know, afterwards, I could feel… I thought, “Oh, you know, that just doesn’t feel right.” Something here just didn’t feel right. So that’s just something to avoid in the future.
Clint: A hundred percent. Like just for example, almost exactly the same as that, yesterday when I was traveling back from Melbourne after giving my presentation, I was at the airport, and hot chips used to be something that would smash me because of the vegetable oils that they use in the deep fryer. And so what I did yesterday, I’m at the airport, but I know that I can eat them now, but I know that they’re not good for my body, so I had a bag of prewashed supermarket baby spinach and I traveled with it, and I sat there, and on one hand, I’m eating baby spinach out of a bag, and on the other hand, I’m eating my hot chips because I knew that I can just offset any of the problems with my baby spinach. So that’s what I do as well because I don’t wanna take any risks or do things that I know are not friendly for the digestive system.
Yeah. So we do some weird things, but we get the life that we want as a result. Everything, it comes back to the pain of discipline versus the pain of regret, doesn’t it?
Shaun: Yes, and that’s the big motivator, isn’t it? The pain, you just don’t wanna go back there.
Clint: That’s right. That’s right. So it’s nothing to wrap a burrito in some green leaves or to have a little bit of salad with some hot chips. So mate, thank you very much. I’ll let you get back to enjoying your beautiful Saturday morning. And I hope everyone listening has been inspired and motivated once again to keep up the hard work because there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So thanks very much, Shaun.
Shaun: Most definitely. All right. Yeah, and thanks for just getting your program out there, Clint. I think it’s just what everyone needs and just to stay on track, you know, just stick it out, like, do it. Just stick to it for one month and just see the results. In the beginning that was my… you know, I said to my wife, “I’ll do these for a month. I will just stick it out.” And as each day went by slowly, slowly, you can sort of see that something was changing. So from then on, I just stuck to it.
Clint: Yeah, brilliant. Brilliant, mate. Well, keep it up.
Shaun: And I still keep my mementos as my memory.
Clint: Your drugs. Hold them up there.
Shaun: They’re still full.
Clint: I like that.
Shaun: It’s getting the nerves, you know.
Clint: Oh, yeah. I can relate. Checking the drugs, I love it. I love it. Oh, man, they’re everywhere. You’ve got lots of those bottles.
Shaun: You save yourself a small fortune. I mean the last visit to the rheumatologist, $140 and you know, yeah, Medicare gave you the whatever it is, $65 back and then the drugs on top of that. So, really, you know, your program is a small investment.
Clint: Right. You put money back in the bank.
Clint: Yeah. You know, that’s great. Now, I love the pill throwing. That’s awesome. We got to do that more often. No, good on you, Shaun. Thanks very much, mate. And I’m sure we’ll chat again down the track.
Shaun: Yeah, all right. Thanks very much, Clint. All the best.