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Dr.

Frank Shallenberger’s

Vol. 7, No. 5 May 2008

How to Knock Out Digestive


Problems Once and For All
If you suffer from gas, bloating, heart- vide some relief — as long as you continue to
burn, constipation, or any other digestive take them. But stop using them, and the
problem, traditional doctors will recommend problem will usually come back. Why?
drugs like Donatol, Nexium, Mylanta, or Because all these treatments — natural and
Kaopectate. And natural health practitioners conventional — merely address the symp-
will recommend remedies like chamomile, toms. They don’t address the root cause.
peppermint tea, fish oil, or charcoal pills. So how do you find the root cause? In
Almost any of these remedies will pro- almost all cases, the root cause of digestion
problems is one or more of the following:
food sensitivities
In this Issue low stomach acid and/or low
Take these drugs to stop simple digestive enzymes
stomach problems you could infection
end up with stomach cancer ...... p. 3
yeast overgrowth
Feeling run down, losing your Fortunately, I have some very easy ways
memory, and struggling with heart
to correct all of these problems. And, most of
problems? It could be a simple
deficiency .................................... p. 4 the time, you can knock out your digestive
problems in less than a month. Let me show
Using prescription drops won’t you how…
stop dry eye better than a
simple natural solution .............. p. 6 The Most Common Cause of
Stopping seizures isn’t as hard as Digestive Problems
your doctor thinks. This treatment Have you ever noticed that as you age,
works every time I use it .......... p. 8
more and more foods just don’t agree with
you? It’s a very common problem.
Coming Next Month
For example, some people simply can’t
• If nothing seems to work for your tolerate carbohydrates anymore. They had
stomach problems, it could be a hidden
yeast overgrowth. I’ll show you how to no problem eating them as a child. But as an
get rid of it once and for all. adult, the carbs really cause problems. In
fact, when I put patients on a low-carb diet
• The surprising cause of bipolar disorder
to help them lose weight, they notice that
— and how to cure some cases with
simple do-it-yourself treatments. their heartburn, gas, bloating, and stomach
cramps go away almost instantly.
The reasons we see such responses is The Surprising Cause of
that we develop food sensitivities as we age. Digestion Problems
The most common sensitivities are dairy,
eggs, wheat and/or gluten, corn, and soy. The second most common cause of
Notice that many carbohydrates, particular- digestive problems may surprise you. Most
ly breads, pastas, and processed foods will people think the cause of acid reflux and
contain several of these. Bread, for instance, heartburn is too much stomach acid. But
has dairy, eggs, and wheat with gluten. So actually, the reverse is true. Too little stom-
it’s no wonder a low-carb diet fixes so many ach acid and stomach enzymes cause far
people’s digestive problems. more problems than too much stomach acid.
And the same is true for other offend- Here’s why:
ing foods. When you stop eating them, your As we age, we don’t produce these
symptoms go away very quickly — usually enzymes and acid as well. So we don’t digest
within a day or two. our food as well. The result is gas, bloating,
Does that mean you have to avoid acid reflux, and heartburn.
these foods for the rest of your life? The The easiest way to find out if you lack
answer is no! enzymes is to buy a bottle of digestive
In most cases, you can get rid of the enzymes from your local health food store.
food sensitivity simply by avoiding the food The most popular brand is Beano. But there
completely for just three months. are others. Take the enzymes for a week or
two and see if your symptoms go away. If so,
Please note that there’s a big difference you know that was the cause of your prob-
between a food sensitivity and a food allergy. lem. This is one case where you may have to
Food allergies are a genetic or hormonal take the enzymes on an on-going basis.
problem. While there are ways to treat many However, you don’t have to take them all
of them, some are quite severe and will never the time — only when your stomach prob-
go away. These severe allergies can even be lems arise. And the longer you take them,
life threatening — the most common being a the less you’ll need.
peanut allergy. Of course, no one with a
severe food allergy should ever try reintro- If your symptoms don’t clear up, then
ducing such a food to their diet, except you may not have enough stomach acid.
under the careful supervision of their doctor. This is a lot more common than you might
think. About 70-80% of acid reflux sufferers
Another difference between food aller- don’t produce enough stomach acid.
gies and sensitivities is the reaction. Most
allergies will produce an immune response, Here’s an easy way to determine if
which is evident in the sinuses, eyes, throat, your digestive problem is too little stomach
and/or lungs. Food sensitivities typically will acid. The next time you have heartburn,
affect the digestive tract. gas, or bloating, simply take a teaspoonful of
lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. If your
problem clears up, it means you don’t have
Real Cures (ISSN 1062-4163) is published monthly by enough stomach acid.
Soundview Publishing, LLC. Publisher: Wallis W. Wood;
Editor: Frank Shallenberger, MD. Subscriptions $49 per If the problem is chronic, I suggest you
year; foreign addresses add $13 U.S. per year. Send new
subscriptions or changes of address to our Business Office: talk to your doctor about a fairly new tech-
P.O. Box 467939, Atlanta, GA 31146-7939, 800-728-2288 or nique that makes diagnosing and treating this
770-399-5617. Real Cures is a newsletter containing gen-
eral comments on health, nutrition, and medicine. Readers
problem much easier. It’s called the Heidelberg
are advised to consult with their own physician before Capsule System, and here’s how it works:
implementing any health idea they read about, whether
here or in any other publication. Copyright © 2008 by The patient simply swallows a plastic
Soundview Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. capsule that’s about the size of a vitamin
Unauthorized reproduction of this newsletter or its con-
tents by xerography, facsimile, or any other means is illegal. pill. Inside the capsule is a transmitter. Once
inside the patient’s stomach, the capsule

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measures the pH level (acidity) and trans- is actually good at producing acid. To do
mits the information back to a receiver that, have your doctor give you bicarbonate
attached to a computer. of soda to neutralize the existing acid. Then
The capsules are single-use and pass have him test again to see how long it takes
safely through the patient’s system in the for the stomach to re-acidify.
normal course of digestion. (The Heidelberg If you’re producing enough stomach
Capsule System shouldn’t be used with any acid, it should take about 10-15 minutes for
patient who has a history of intestinal block- your stomach to re-acidify. But some people
age.) They can tell your doctor if you’re not can take an hour or more to re-acidify. These
making stomach acid or if you’re not mak- people aren’t making enough stomach acid.
ing enough. Once you’ve determined the problem,
If the capsule measures a low acid the solution is very simple. You can simply
reading (a pH of 4 or higher), then you take betaine hydrochloride (most products
know your stomach has low acid levels that will have Betaine HCl on the label) to nor-
need to be treated. malize your stomach acid levels. Betaine
But even if the test shows you have hydrochloride is readily available at health
enough acid, you’re still not in the clear. food stores. In fact, many manufacturers
You still have to confirm that your stomach include it in their enzyme preparations. So

Studies Link Common OTC Drugs to Stomach Cancer


Masking symptoms is never the best the actual cause of atrophic corpus gastritis in
approach to treat a disease or infection. It’s these patients. But the long-term use of pro-
even worse when masking those symptoms ton-pump inhibitors accelerates the process.
can lead to a more serious problem. And And here’s the problem: I’ve found H.
that’s exactly what may be happening to you pylori bacteria in nearly all of my patients
if you take proton pump inhibitors. suffering from reflux disease. In fact, reports
You probably know these drugs by their have concluded that up to 88% of reflux suf-
common brand names Prilosec, Nexium, and ferers are also infected with H. pylori.
Prevacid. Proton pump inhibitors are the most
Well-meaning doctors have prescribed commonly prescribed remedy for reflux.
proton pump inhibitors for millions of Even if you don’t suffer from reflux dis-
Americans. And millions more self-medicate ease, it may not be safe to take proton pump
with over-the-counter versions of these drugs. inhibitors for an extended period of time. H.
But studies have linked the long-term pylori is common even among those who
use of proton pump inhibitors to a condition don’t have chronic gastric distress. I estimate
called atrophic corpus gastritis – a common about half of the population over 60 has the
precursor of stomach cancer. infection.
The authors of a 1996 study reported in This heightened cancer risk is just
the New England Journal of Medicine another good reason to treat the root cause of
claimed a clear link between long-term use of gastric distress, rather than simply masking
proton-pump inhibitors and the development the symptoms.
of atrophic corpus gastritis. References:
Then a 1999 Irish study took the results Kuipers, E.J., L. Lundell, E.C. Klinkenberg-Knol, et al.
one step further. It linked the increased risk “Atrophic gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infection in
of stomach cancer to long-term proton pump patients with reflux esophagitis treated with omeprazole or
inhibitor use by those infected with fundoplication.” N Engl J Med, 1996;334:1018–22.
Helicobacter pylori. O’Connor, H.J. “Helicobacter pylori and gastro-oesophageal
reflux disease-clinical implications and management.”
The implication is that H. pylori may be Aliment Pharmacol Ther., 1999 February;13(2):117-27.

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Is Your Doctor Ignoring antacids and other drugs used to treat the symp-
This Common Cause of Folic toms of reflux and heartburn. These include
Tagamet, Nexium, Protonix, Prilosec, Prevacid,
Acid Deficiency? AcipHex, Reglan, and Zantac. All of these drugs
You probably already know how important suppress the body’s ability to produce stomach
folic acid is for your health. It’s vital for energy acid. And stomach acid is required for you to
production, cancer prevention, cardiovascular absorb folic acid. When you use these drugs on
health, mood, and brain function. It’s also a a regular basis, they can cause a deficiency.
critical nutrient needed to prevent birth defects. Then there’s the anti-seizure medication
If that’s not enough, folic acid deficiencies Dilantin. Doctors have used Dilantin (pheny-
can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, toin) for decades to control seizures (see page
gout, and restless leg syndrome. And to make 8 for a better way to control seizures). I know
matters worse, folic acid deficiency is common. you may not suffer from seizures. But some
Several studies show that 30% of people over 60 anti-aging researchers are now promoting it as
are folic acid deficient. These deficiencies usual- a so-called “smart drug.” They say it’s able to
ly are the result of a poor diet. But most doctors protect the brain from the deteriorating effects
overlook another common cause. of aging.
Certain medications can cause folic acid But Dilantin causes folic acid deficiency. It
deficiency. Some of these drugs are very popular. does so by interfering with the enzyme mucosal
The most common is aspirin. A close second is conjugase. Your body uses mucosal conjugase to

you may be able to take one product to health issue. That’s because the early symp-
resolve two issues. toms can be relatively minor.
More Problems With Low But, left untreated, an H. pylori infection
can lead to gastritis, acid reflux, and ulcers.
Stomach Acid
The typical symptoms of an H. pylori
Stomach acid doesn’t just help you infection are a nauseous, boring kind of dis-
digest your food. It also protects you from comfort. It’s almost like a strong hunger
all sorts of nasty bugs. In fact, your diges- pang in the pit of your stomach. It’s usually
tive system is your body’s first line of eased somewhat by food. And gets worse
defense against foreign invaders. So low when you don’t eat anything at all.
stomach acid is a real health problem. And This “gnawing” sensation indicates an
many people who have low stomach acid inflammation of the stomach. And it can
also have these bugs in their gut. eventually lead to an ulcer.
One of the most common bugs to infil- Diabetics have a similar gnawing prob-
trate your digestive system is the bacterium lem. But there’s a difference between H.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). You may pylori’s nausea and hunger pang and the
have heard of the link between H. pylori kind blood sugar problems can cause. With
and ulcers. But this bacteria is linked to blood sugar problems, you usually feel weak
other digestive disorders as well. In fact, and run-down. But with an H. pylori infec-
I’ve found that virtually all my patients who tion, you don’t get that weak feeling. You
suffer from acid reflux also have an H. just get the gnawing in your stomach.
pylori infection!
Because the symptoms don’t seem
An H. pylori infection is one of those severe at first, people don’t seek treatment
problems that seems almost insignificant at for an H. pylori infection until it has led to
first. It’s more of an inconvenience than a real problems, such as an ulcer. And, due to

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absorb folic acid in the intestines. The anti-cho- will suffer just as if you were deficient.
lesterol drug cholestyramine acts in much the Another drug that does the same thing is
same way. methotrexate. Methotrexate is a chemotherapy
Another cause of folic deficiency is the drug used to treat cancer, lupus, and rheuma-
class of medications called the progestins. The toid arthritis.
drug medroxyprogesterone (used in Provera If you’re taking any of these drugs, do
and Prempro) is a progestin. Birth control pills yourself a favor and find a doctor versed in nat-
all contain progestin. Just how progestins result ural treatments to help you find a substitute.
in depleted folic acid levels is unknown. Then take at least 2 mg (4,000 mcg) of folic acid
However, the fact is well established. a day for a few weeks. Then have your blood lev-
The drugs I’ve mentioned so far are the els checked to make sure you are taking enough.
most commonly used ones, but there are others. References:
Trimethoprim is one example. This antibiotic,
Alter, H. J., et al. Interrelationship of rheumatoid arthritis, folic
which is an ingredient in the drugs Bactrim and acid and aspirin. Blood. 38:405-416, 1971.
Septra, prevents urine infections in adults and
Runcie J., Folate deficiency in the elderly. Folic Acid In
children. Trimethoprim inhibits the enzyme Neurology, Psychiatry, And Internal Medicine by Botez MI and
dihydrofolate reductase, which folic acid Reynolds EH. New York, Raven Press, 1979, pp.493-99.
requires to function in the body. With this drug, Russell, R. M., et al. Effect of antacid and H2 receptor antago-
your blood levels of folic acid can be normal, but nists on the intestinal absorption of folic acid. J Lab Clin Med.
your body won’t be able to use the vitamin. You 112:458-463, 1988.

widespread antibiotic resistance, most doc- Next, take a combination of cabbage


tors now use a multi-drug approach. juice and cayenne pepper. Both of them kill
Regimens based on the antibiotic drugs H. pylori. Scientists have proven both kill
Clarithromycin or Metronidazole — and the bacteria in the lab and in patient studies.
sometimes both — are fairly common. Some I recommend an ounce of cabbage juice
of these regimens, which can involve as and one capsule of cayenne pepper, three
many as four drugs taken together, are fair- times a day on an empty stomach. You’ll
ly effective — wiping out H. pylori in 80% or probably have to juice the cabbage yourself –
more of the cases. cabbage juice isn’t a popular product. But
The drawback, of course, is that these it’s easy to do using a juicer. You can also
antibiotics also wipe out the good bacteria in buy a cabbage juice extract from the health
your gut. But I’ve found the use of antibi- food store. Take 20 drops in some water. You
otics is entirely unnecessary. In fact, you can can buy cayenne pepper in capsule form at
easily wipe out H. pylori without any drugs most health food stores.
— in just two weeks. This combination almost always elimi-
You may have heard that garlic, onions, nates the infection in 7-10 days. So I tell
licorice, cinnamon or New Zealand people to use it for two weeks, just to be sure.
“Manuka” honey, can treat an H. pylori I also recommend you take a supple-
infection. While all of these substances may ment called mastic gum. Mastic gum is
inhibit bacterial growth and reduce symp- made from a Mediterranean shrub. It heals
toms for a while, none offers a cure. the stomach lining and, at the same time,
Here’s what works for my patients: gives immediate relief of the symptoms.
Amazingly, it can even reverse the damage
First, eliminate any stress you can. Re- done by NSAIDs.
duce — or eliminate — your intake of coffee,
soft drinks, and alcohol. Also avoid NSAIDs. But mastic gum does more than that. It

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also kills the H. pylori bacteria. So it’s doing H. pylori is a common cause of periodontal
double duty. And combined with cabbage disease. And swallowing the bacteria from
juice and cayenne pepper, this powerful your mouth can cause recurring infections
combination has provided relief for every in your gut. But the chewing gum usually
one of my patients who has tried it. clears up this problem right away.
Take 1,000 to 2,000 mg of mastic gum There you have easy solutions to two of
a day. It’s available as a chewing gum or as a the most common causes of digestive prob-
wafer in most health food stores. I recommend lems. Next month, I’ll discuss the other two
you take both the wafer and the chewing – and give you more great solutions that
gum. The wafer will take care of the bacteria really work. And I’ll show you a unique way
in your gut. And the chewing gum will kill to prevent digestive problems that you’ve
any H. pylori you might have in your mouth. never heard before.

Stop Dry Eyes Without a


Prescription or Side Effects
You’ve probably seen the commercial at Here’s how it works for dry eyes. First,
least a half a dozen times by now. A beauti- something starts to irritate the eyes. This
ful model comes on and very sincerely says, could be something as simple as a reaction
“Thank you, Restasis.” She’s so delighted to dust, mold, animal dander, or pollen. Or it
with the fact that this new wonder drug has could be something subtler, such as the
helped her dry eyes, that she actually fumes from a perfume, a furniture polish, or
thanks it. It’s really quite touching. the smell of new carpets or drapes. The irri-
For now, let’s forget the fact that the tation could even come from a food allergy.
model looks like she’s in her 30s. Let’s also Or it could be from the radiation and glare
forget that almost everyone affected by the of computer screens.
serious dry-eye disorders that Restasis In addition to an irritation source,
treats is over 60. there’s always an imbalance in the body
But let’s not forget that Restasis treats that prevents your body from adapting to
only the symptoms, not the cause of the and resolving the irritation. The most com-
symptoms. mon imbalances that can lead to this prob-
lem are an insufficiency of the adrenal, thy-
From Big Pharma’s perspective, roid, and/or sex hormones. This is precisely
Restasis is the perfect drug. Since it relieves why the condition is so much more common
only the symptoms without actually correct- in older women. They usually have a defi-
ing the disorder, you have to take it forever ciency of all the above.
to keep the symptoms at bay. There’s no
doubt that a drug like Restasis has the But other deficiencies also play a role.
potential to generate sales forever. The most common are deficiencies of vitamin
A, zinc, selenium, or the essential omega-3
But is it safe to take it forever? and omega-6 fatty acids (the kinds that are
Restasis eye drops contain the drug found in fish oils and evening primrose oil).
cyclosporine. Cyclosporine is an old drug. Very often, all of these factors work together
So we already know a lot about it. It’s an to create a chronic irritation of the eyes.
immunosuppressant, which suppresses
the activity of the immune system. Your So How Does Restasis Work?
immune system eliminates toxins and infec- Your immune system recognizes this
tions from your body. But cyclosporine irritation and starts to do what it’s supposed
interferes with that function.

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to do: It eliminates the irritation. And it 1-5%. However, please keep in mind that
uses inflammation to do so. However, the the longest study I could find was only 12
immune system can’t stop the original months long. Nobody really knows what’s
cause from constantly irritating your eyes. going to happen after 12 months.
So your immune system just keeps on creat- Since you’re supposed to use Restasis
ing inflammation. indefinitely, I don’t think you should use
Then, after months or even years, the this drug unless you feel like being a guinea
chronic inflammation causes the eyes to pig for Allergan, Inc.
stop producing tears. The lack of tears only
worsens the original irritation. And the Correct the Problem Instead
whole process intensifies. The end result is Rather than being a guinea pig, why
a patient who complains of irritated, dry not just correct the problem that caused
eyes that can be relieved only by putting a the dry eyes in the first place? After all,
drop of artificial tears in each eye every one everything has a cause. This may include
to two hours. That’s where Restasis comes hormone replacement therapy (using
to the rescue. bio-identical hormones) and/or vitamin
Restasis contains an immune-suppres- supplementation.
sive drug. So putting it in your eyes will Until you find the results, there’s a
suppress the immune system, which elimi- far safer way to treat the symptoms. I’ve
nates the inflammation. The good news is had great results over the years using a
that instead of needing to use artificial tears homeopathic eye drop that you can now
every one to two hours, you can have the buy over-the-counter. It’s called Similisan
same level of symptom relief by using Pink Eye Relief.
Restasis only twice a day. The bad news is
that since Restasis does nothing to clear up These drops contain homeopathic con-
the actual cause of the dry eyes, you must centrations of belladonna, hepar sulphurius,
use it forever. and euphrasia, and they are very effective
at eliminating eye irritation no matter what
Relief Comes With Terrible the cause. They don’t contain any drugs.
Side Effects And they can be safely used even in preg-
nant and nursing mothers. While the
Before you decide to use Restasis for Similisan drops treat the symptoms, you
the rest of your life, let me suggest that and your doctor can look for and eliminate
you take a look at the side effects of the the factors that caused the irritation in the
drug it contains. Some of the worst are first place.
seizures, loss of consciousness, difficulty
You can find Similisan Pink Eye Relief
controlling body movements, changes in
at most health food stores and on the
vision, confusion, headache, diarrhea,
Internet.
heartburn, muscle or joint pain, breast
enlargement in men, and difficulty falling References:
asleep or staying asleep. Galatoire, O., C. Baudouin, P.J. Pisella, F. Brignole. “Flow
cytometry in impression cytology during keratoconjunctivitis
That’s an awfully long list of potential sicca: effects of topical cyclosporin A on HLA DR expression.” J
problems. And to be fair, in all the studies Fr Ophtalmol. 2003 April;26(4):337-43.
that I investigated, none of these side NIH web site: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/
effects showed up. The only reported side medmaster/a601207.html.
effects were burning of the eyes in 17% of Restasis website: http://www.restasis.com
those using the drops, and redness of the Stonecipher, K., H.D. Perry, R.H. Gross, D.L. Kerney. “The
eyes, discharge, eye pain, strange body impact of topical cyclosporine A emulsion 0.05% on the out-
comes of patients with keratoconjunctivitis sicca.” Curr Med
sensations, itching, stinging, and visual dis-
Res Opin. 2005 July;21(7):1057.
turbance (most often blurring) occurring in

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Q. Will ozone therapy help someone ness, heat, and swelling. It can also attack
the ankle or knee, but this is very uncom-
with seizures? My grandson, age 9, is
on several drugs, but he continues to mon. A key to the diagnosis is the blood uric
have seizures. — Audrey P., via e-mail acid level. It will always be abnormally high
in an acute attack, and is usually high even
Dear Audrey, when the attack is over.
This is one of the few conditions that Here’s the best natural treatment:
ozone will not help. But there is a treatment Limit your diet to only vegetables, fruit, and
that’s worked in every case I ever tried — water until the attack is over. Take 400 mg
children and adults. It’s so easy, you can do of boswellia extract every eight hours, and
it at home. drink 10 ounces of pure cherry juice every
four hours. In all but the worst cases, you’ll
All you have to do is completely elimi-
see relief within 24 hours.
nate all carbohydrates from his diet. This
includes fruit, cereals and grains, sugars, Once it’s gone, prevention is important.
starches, and beans. What’s left? Meat, The condition is genetic and will return if
dairy, eggs, salads, and vegetables. you don’t take the proper measures.
Check his urine every morning with First of all, limit dietary protein to the
marker sticks you can find in the drugstore minimum you need to be healthy. This often
called KetoStix. When you have eliminated means eating animal protein only once or
enough carbohydrate from his diet, the twice a week. The worst protein in this
sticks will turn purple. This indicates that regard is the red meats and seafood, such as
his body is now producing something called shrimp and shellfish.
ketones. Ketones are a normal byproduct of Next, limit your alcohol intake.
metabolism. Ketones have a very calming Alcohol, particularly beer and wine, tends to
effect on the nervous system, and I have block the ability of the kidney to excrete
never seen them fail to prevent seizures. uric acid, and can precipitate an attack.
When the seizures are under control, Third, watch out for aspirin and cer-
you can try adding in a little carbohydrate, tain supplements, particularly anything that
just enough to cause the purple color to dis- contains yeast, niacin, inositol, RNA, or
appear on the KetoStix. Of course, also DNA. Also, watch out for the sugar fructose.
make sure that he has had a hair analysis to You’ll find large amounts in soft drinks. Too
check for heavy metals, as well as full nutri- much will raise the uric acid level and cause
tional testing. My favorite nutritional test is gout. Follow these measures until you can
the Functional Intracellular Analysis per- verify that you are keeping your blood uric
formed by Spectracell Laboratories. This is acid level in the normal range.
a blood test, and your doctor can learn more
about it at www.spectracell.com.

Q. What are the symptoms of gout? Got a Question?


What is the natural cure? — Juanita P., Do you have a question for Dr.
via e-mail Shallenberger? If so, please send it (typed
only) to him c/o Soundview Publications,
Dear Juanita, P.O. Box 467939, Atlanta, GA 31146-7939 or
feedback@RealCuresLetter.com. While he
Gout is very easy to identify. There’s won’t be able to respond personally, he’ll try
nothing else quite like it. It almost always to answer as many questions as he can in
limits itself to the big toe, and is character- these pages.
ized by severe pain, marked tenderness, red-

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