Washington, DC — Pain researcher and clinician Jacob Teitelbaum, MD., believes the solution to the country’s opioid epidemic is finding an alternative to addictive narcotics for managing pain.

President Trump this week declared the country’s opioid crisis a “national emergency,” putting it on the same level of severity as natural disasters, mass infectious disease outbreaks, and terrorist attacks. Opioids are the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. today, and the amount of opioids legally prescribed has nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2010. The president is currently weighing various solutions to this national crisis, none of which address the underlying issue — pain.

One in three Americans suffers from chronic pain. According to Dr. Teitelbaum, pain is simply an alert that something is wrong and needs attention. He believes that addressing the cause of the pain can be an effective way to relieve discomfort as opposed to treating pain itself, which only masks the symptoms. The underlying root of pain can include metabolic problems, inflammation, gut complications, chronic insomnia, hormonal imbalances, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise.

A study conducted by Dr. Teitelbaum, which utilized his S.H.I.N.E.® protocol, showed dramatic pain relief in 90% of subjects in three months, all of whom suffered from fibromyalgia. S.H.I.N.E. refers to five key areas that when addressed in combination provide a blueprint for promoting optimal energy. These are Sleep, Hormones, Immunity/Infection, Nutrition and Exercise.

In another study, Teitelbaum used ribose, a five-carbon sugar that helps to reenergize mitochondria in cells, to help treat chronic fatigue patients.

“By using the entire healthcare toolkit—not just medications and surgery—pain can be much more effectively treated,” said Dr. Teitelbaum. “This way, we can stem the flow of narcotics contributing to the 64,000 overdose deaths yearly, while still making sure that people in pain get pain-free.”

There are many natural ways to manage chronic pain. According to David Foreman, the Herbal Pharmacist, there is sometimes a link between vitamin D deficiency and chronic back pain, arthritis (mostly Osteo and Rheumatoid), migraines, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome. In cases like these, supplementing with vitamin D may prove to be beneficial [1].

Inflammation is also a common cause of pain. The curcumin in turmeric, a member of the ginger family, has long been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve joint and arthritic pain [2].

There is also scientific evidence which suggests consuming black or tart cherry juice can help relieve muscle pain, arthritic pain, and the pain of gout. Their anti-inflammatory, pain-killing effect is likely due to the anthocyanins that give cherries their color [3].
  1. Managing Chronic Pain, Naturally.” WholeFoods Magazine, Aug. 4,  2017.
  2. “Turmeric | Curcumin | Uses, Safety, Doses, and an Anti-Inflammatory Agent.” Dr. Weil com, 10 July 2017.
  3. “Cherry Juice to Relieve Joint Pain? - Ask Dr. Weil.”  DrWeil.com, 1 Dec. 2016.
Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 10/27/17