In 1966, Dr. John Ellis published The Doctor Who Looked at Hands, followed by Vitamin B6, the Doctor’s Report in 1973. In both, he reported that carpal tunnel syndrome (pain, numbness, and tingling on the ‘palm side’ of the wrists, extending into the hands) could be eliminated with vitamin B6. Before Dr. Ellis published his observations, the only treatments had been surgery or injection of large doses of pseudo-cortisol (patent medicines much more powerful – and much more dangerous – than natural human cortisol).
The Tahoma Clinic got started in 1973. I was lucky enough to become aware of Dr. Ellis’ book, and recommended vitamin B6 to individuals with this problem. During the 1970s, the treatment worked nearly every time, and the carpal tunnel syndrome went away within weeks to months, the length of time usually depending on initial severity.
In the late 1970s Dr. Alan Gaby joined the clinic. He became interested in vitamin B6 while in Washington State, and after returning to Baltimore published The Doctor’s Guide to Vitamin B6, in which he also reported success with vitamin B6.
Over the years, Dr. Gaby and I noticed that vitamin B6 wasn’t working as effectively against carpal tunnel syndrome as it had in the 1970s and 1980s. The vitamin’s effectiveness had dropped to approximately 50% of the time, and that situation has remained the same. Unfortunately, the alternative treatments in mainstream medicine have remained injections of large doses of formerly patented pseudocortisol and surgery.
But, very recently, a research group has published a preliminary report which gives hope for another safe, natural treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s still injections, but this time what’s being injected is bio-identical progesterone, a ‘natural steroid’ found in both women and men, and safe in relatively large quantities.
The researcher’s preliminary report on a one-month study period stated: ‘Local corticosteroid injection for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) provides greater clinical improvement in symptoms one month after injection compared to placebo.’ However, they made sure to note that ‘significant symptom relief beyond one month has not been demonstrated and the relapse of symptoms is possible.’
So why bring this up now? One reason is that the researchers also wrote: ‘Neuroprotection and myelin repair actions of the progesterone was demonstrated in vivo and in-vitro study,’ which means that real nerve protection and repair of the nerve sheath (myelin) was observed in that one month, so it’s a reasonable prediction that even if a single injection wore off, repeating it would continue the healing.
The second reason is that the ‘standard of care’, injections of large doses of pseudo-cortisol or surgery are more dangerous and produce more unwanted after-effects, which bio-identical progesterone, even injected, is not likely to do.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, always try vitamin B6 first, using 50mg of the more active form, pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) two or three times daily, along with a B-complex capsule or tablet in the morning. If it hasn’t helped at all in six to eight weeks, it probably won’t work for you, but it’s still effective in a little under 50% of cases.
If B6 doesn’t work for you, show the research citation below to your doctor. Nearly any doctor can safely inject progesterone, or refer you to someone who can. You may very well avoid surgery or pseudo-cortisol injections.Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Jonathan V. Wright
Nutrition & Healing
Volume 7, Issue 5 – May 2013
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.