Crushing Rheumatoid Arthritis With Danny
In this podcast Danny tells his story about turning his health and life around from crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis. Danny and Clint discuss
- Getting off Prednisone for RA
- Getting off Sulfasalazine for RA
- Getting off Naproxen for RA
- Exercise and the Paddison Program to replace drugs and pain
- Getting motivated
- Mindset for overcoming RA
- The Paddison Program forum
- The importance of community and social support
Disclaimer – This podcast does not constitute medical advice. All changes surrounding medications, diet and exercise should be made in consultation with a professional who can assist your unique health circumstances.
Clint: Hi, g’day everyone. Today we’ve got a fabulous guest. I’ve been wanting to talk to this man for some time. He’s one of the stars of our community forum, he has inspired many people within that space, and is also inspiring people throughout the Netherlands with his amazing success story and journey so far with rheumatoid arthritis. His name is Danny and it’s an absolute pleasure to say good day Danny and welcome to the podcast.
Danny: Hello, Clint. It’s an honor.
Clint: Now mate, you joined our community forum about 12 months ago or something like that. When was that approximately?
Danny: Yeah, I joined the forum in April.
Danny: So it has been seven, eight months like that. It’s gone really fast.
Clint: Yeah, absolutely. It seems like longer because we communicate so often it feels like I’ve been communicating with you a lot longer. Normally we start on these story kind of episodes back when it all began and the tough times, and we will get to that in a second. But let’s just mix it up a little bit and tell us how you’re feeling today, what drugs you’re on and just your general outlook at the moment. Just describe how your body is today as someone with rheumatoid.
Danny: Well, right now I’m drug-free, I’m not taking any drugs. I used to be on Prednisone, Naproxen and Sulfasalazine and also some pain killers like aspirin or paracetamol. But I haven’t been taking those for four full months now. Since 1st of July, I haven’t taken any drugs at all.
Clint: Okay. Now some people, rightly so, may be listening and be concerned and think wow, your inflammation must be out of control because you’re not on any drugs. But tell us how things are even though you’re not on those drugs.
Danny: I’m virtually pain-free. So that’s really great. There’s still some pressure in my right knee but it’s almost normal. I can bend my knee fully. Only when I put a lot of pressure on it, I can feel some pressure in my knee and that’s it. But I can feel improvement every two weeks, four weeks. At first it was very dramatic improvement, but now the improvement is getting more subtle but it’s still improving. So I just know it’s going to be just fine in time.
Clint: What about your latest blood test results?
Danny: My latest blood test results was my ESR was two, and my CRP was less than one.
Clint: So below less than one it becomes immeasurable.
Danny: That’s good news.
Clint: Okay. It is funny because the average person on the street doesn’t have CRP of less than one. When mine got less than one, that’s when I too noticed that there was essentially…it’s hard to sometimes to tell because of a little bit of residual damage to the joint and stuff but essentially zero pain or zero inflammation. That’s because I had very, very responsive blood test results for C-reactive Protein and sed rate. Like I was originally over 50mg/L for my C-reactive protein. So to get that below one, my body certainly felt the difference.
That’s obviously outstanding stuff and you’ve been a bit of a pioneer and a bit of setting a new path in trying to educate people in the Netherlands about what can be done with health. Let’s talk about that at the end. Let’s now jump back and talk about the times when you were on that tough road and you were taking all those medications. Take us back, how long ago was that and tell us how it started and how quickly you got onto those drugs and how you felt?
Danny: Yeah, that was a nightmare. It was the end of November, it was on a weekend and I felt pressure in my feet and the next day it was a nightmare. It went from just slight pressure in my feet to absolutely a raging pain. So I could not walk, I was unable to walk. I could not walk. I was baffled, what is this. I couldn’t even put the sheets from my bed on my toes. My feet were so swollen. My right foot was so swollen, I couldn’t put the sheets on my toes, I was in such pain.
So my girlfriend, she was at work, so I had to call a friend of mine to drive me to the doctor because I didn’t know what was going on. I was lying on the floor because I couldn’t stand up anymore. I was in such a pain. He had to break into my house, get me off the floor, put me in the car and drive me to the doctors.
I came at the doctor’s office, it was a young doctor. I think he was a substitute, and he said, “I think you are having gout.” Like gouty arthritis, right? And I was like, “Gout? How can I have gout? I’m on a vegan diet for two years already, how can that be?” But of course most doctors don’t know anything about diet, most of them don’t.
So I went home with prednisone and I took the prednisone. I was really cocky. I was like, “Oh, I’m going to kick this in a week. I’ll just eat alkaline foods and the gouty arthritis will jump.” But after a week it went from my right foot to my left foot, to my right knee, to my shoulder and virtually my lower back, my upper back, my shoulders. It was really a nightmare. I couldn’t do anything anymore, even sleeping was a nightmare. If I slept at all, I was just a wreck. Yeah. And I was put on heavy, heavy drugs.
I was sent immediately to the hospital, to the rheumatologist and then I knew something was really wrong. Like you, I never heard of rheumatoid arthritis. I was just, “What is it? Rheuma what? Like what are talking about?” So yeah, it was really painful. I was in such a pain, I immediately got steroid injections. I got I think it was 30mg of prednisone a day and two tablets of naproxen and they were planning to get me on DMARDs. They wanted to have me on Methotrexate, but initially I refused and after a month I went on Sulfasalazine anyway. So, yeah, that was really a nightmare, I couldn’t do anything. Yeah. It’s amazing.
Clint: Cut this bit out. Can you just tilt your camera towards you a little more so it’s more in the center?
Danny: Like this?
Clint: That’s it. Because I may use the visual of this potentially maybe to drive traffic to our podcast or something. All right. So we’ll just pick it up from the end of your story. So tell us then what steps did you then partake in to start to reduce the pain?
Danny: Okay, all right. I hadn’t discovered your program yet. So I didn’t know about you back then. So what I did I was applying everything I had learned during travelling. I travelled a lot and I did voluntary work. I worked in Portugal, for example in a health retreat center, and it was alternative health retreat center and there were lots of cancer patients, and they treated these cancer patients naturally. I already had read about this stuff like the Gerson Therapy and all that, and I knew that cancer could be cured naturally but I wanted to see it for myself, like close up.
Clint: So you just went over there. Did you volunteer at this center so just you could get the experience and the exposure?
Danny: Of course. Yeah. It was really amazing experience. But of course they couldn’t say they were curing cancer patients because curing is something only the medical community can do. So they were afraid to get sued and all that. So they had to keep it quiet, which is sad. But anyway. So I was applying all their techniques to reduce my inflammation. And I was really cocky still like, “This is nonsense, this is rubbish, I’m going to kick this in two months, three months and I’m done.” It’s really amazing.
Clint: We’re very similar like that. I had the same attitude and it was a very humbling experience rheumatoid arthritis. That thing knows how to turn anyone who is cocky and make them look like a fool in a matter of weeks. So I can relate to that. I can relate to the feeling that I was going to beat that thing, but continue with your very interesting story.
Danny: So I went off the dairy products and I went off the meat. I had eaten meat and a lot of cheese like a kilo a week. That’s two pounds a week. I live in the Netherlands so cheese it’s like that’s the main food. We have 70 million people in the Netherlands and 2 million of them are having rheumatoid issues. That’s insane.
Anyway, I ate a lot of cheese, but two years before I got rheumatoid, I was having all these health issues like I had skin diseases, hay fever and all that. So I decided to change my diet and go vegan. I had done some research and I went vegan. So my skin cleared up and my hay fever got less, and less, and less. So that was a good sign. I got more energy and I lost a lot of weight. But I still got the rheumatoid in the end.
Anyway, so I decided to juice a lot. So I went on a cucumber and celery juice with cabbage and carrot, sometimes apples. And I was eating a lot of salads, but I was eating salads with a lot of oil because I was thinking like this is a healthy diet and I need my fats. So oil like, yeah. It’s crazy to think. It’s just crazy because I know that oil is just really bad for the gut and yeah.
Clint: Another massive parallel with my experience, same exact thing, salad, upon salad, upon salad because I’d found that the more greens that I ate, the better I felt. And my beautiful wife, Melissa, wanted me to enjoy them because I was complaining that I was just eating like a chimpanzee. And she said, “You’ve got to put oil on it, honey, it doesn’t taste nice if it’s plain.” So every time she was within a few meters of me, she would be trying to make my salad taste better by putting oil on, and eventually after months and months of frustration, I just said to her, I said, “Honey, don’t come near me with that oil.” She says, “It’s healthy.” I said, “No, it’s meant to be healthy. I just cannot allow you to put it on. I’m sure that it’s got something to do with it.” And sure enough, the one night she stopped, the next day the pain was less and it was a huge milestone.
Clint: Yeah. Again, another similarity there. Okay. So you’re in Portugal, you’re volunteering at a Gerson sort of therapy style center, you’re vegan and you have learned the power of eating more greens. So what next?
Danny: Well, just before I got the rheumatoid, I was on a lot of coffee, and I knew coffee was bad for me but I was really totally addicted, and I tried to kick the addiction but it was tough. I didn’t have really a motivation to do it. So I really had to kick the coffee. When I had the rheumatoid, I was still drinking coffee now and then. I knew I had to stop coffee, but I was still drinking coffee. It’s ridiculous but I was doing it alongside the oils, and then I researched on the Internet about rheumatoid issues and its stuff, and I discovered John McDougall, Dr. Klaper, and I was like, “Oh, I’m on the right track.”
But I wasn’t getting any results and I was so frustrating, I was actually panicking a bit like, “This is going nowhere.” I kept searching and searching, and then I found your presentation on YouTube. I’m like, “He’s talking sense. I’m going to buy his program.” Initially I had some trouble with payment, but I got the program eventually, and I read it in one stroke, just in one go during the night. I couldn’t sleep anyway because of pain, so I just said, “I’m going to take this information up,” and it just totally made sense. I stopped oil, I stopped the coffee and slowly things were getting better. So yeah. And I just drove right into the program full-on, 100%. So yeah.
Clint: In addition to the basics, you are a huge green smoothie man and a big green juice man. And this is an area that I really wanted to explore with you more deeply because I think this is an area that everyone could do with a little reminder and a bit more encouragement. People forget that the pain level in your body is inversely proportional to your intake of leafy greens. It is as simple as that, the more leafy greens you eat, the less pain you have. So people look towards fish oil tablets and krill oil because they’re high in omega-3. The point is, with leafy greens, that they’re an outstanding source of omega-3s and very importantly it has virtually zero omega-6s.
So you’re getting 100% omega-3s via a very alkalizing source and the leafy greens are so rich in nutrients and vitamins, you’re getting almost all of your required minerals and vitamins via a diverse range of leafy greens. I just see them as the ultimate source of healing for people with RA because on top of everything I’ve just said, they also are the preferred food for your healthy gut bacteria. Tell us, how often did you do green smoothies and do you prefer them over green juices? And tell us their impact on your pain reduction.
Danny: Yeah, well I started the program in February this year and I bought my blender at the end of March. So it took me almost two months to do the green smoothies. And I was already feeling improvement before I went on the green smoothies. So I bought the blender because I found it increasingly difficult to eat all the salads. I knew the salads were hugely important but I was used to eating salads with oil. It takes some time to adapt your taste buds and the gut flora to really appreciate the taste of greens.
Clint: Oh, yeah.
Danny: Yeah, it just takes a while. So I knew I had to eat a lot of salads but I was just deterring to eat a lot of salads because of the taste. So I had to find a way to get the greens into my body and I discovered one way to do it was with green smoothies. And I could already tolerate bananas which was a great plus. So I just made green smoothies with bananas.
Clint: Man, that’s exactly how I did. That’s exactly what I did. For the people who are listening who are adhering closely to the Paddison Program and have found that because of their particular gut bacteria portfolio that they can’t tolerate sugars at all, you can take heart and know that when you mix the sugars with the tremendous amount of greens that go with the bananas for instance in a green smoothie, that all of that plant fiber and all of that anti-inflammatory matter can really diminish any of the sugar effects that are present via the fructose in the banana.
So you shouldn’t exclude green smoothies with bananas for instance just because you’re finding it hard to tolerate bananas at the moment is definitely a different to be testing and there’s a better chance that they can tolerate a green smoothie with bananas than bananas on their own. It should be tested separately, and I’d expect a lot of people could be pleasantly surprised that they can tolerate a banana green smoothie, which will set them up fantastically for further healing. Awesome, so you got onto the banana green smoothies. Did you find that that helped you tremendously?
Danny: Yes. Like I said, I was already feeling improvement with the green smoothies. My green intake was huge. So it just kick started my healing really good.
Clint: Did you read by Victoria Boutenko called, “Green Smoothie Revolution”?
Danny: I watched a little YouTube presentation from Victoria, and I read one book, but I don’t know which book.
Danny: The only reason I mentioned that book specifically because as you pointed out, you don’t really need to read a book to learn how to make a green smoothie. If you’re not sure what it is and you’re listening, all that is you need a good blender, a Vitamix is the ultimate. The Vitamix is most outstanding blender. It will cost you a fair bit of money, but second place to that blender is a long way behind.
All you need to do is take some fruit and a huge amount of greens, a huge amount of greens. You put the fruit in first so that it can grab hold of that matter, and then you stuff in a huge amount of greens on top and you add some water, and then you hit go. And then before you know it, you’ve got this really smooth, delicious texturous mush, which sounds horrible, but tastes delicious. Because it tastes like the fruit and you get the benefits of the greens.
Danny: It’s perfect.
Clint: It is.
Danny: At first I saw it as a transition. I had to adapt my body to all the greens through green smoothies. But when I eat a green smoothie in the morning, I can go all day along. It’s amazing. I do one liter of green smoothie, and I can work, I can study, I exercise a lot. So I can do all the exercises like swimming, and biking and whatever. I come home in the evening and I just grab something to eat.
Clint: It really is phenomenal and I’m glad we’re giving it a lot of airtime. Victoria Boutenko’s husband, according to her, only a couple of sentences in that particular book, said that her husband had rheumatoid arthritis and that he completely got rid of it using green smoothies. Now she doesn’t elaborate on it, she doesn’t talk about how severe his case was and what drugs he was on. I haven’t been able to locate any more information than that but she simply quite states that.
That was enough for me to really sit up and pay close attention to this. It was quite a few years ago, I was an early up-taker of the green smoothie. It didn’t need much convincing to see that it was a good idea. So, yeah, I’ve always been a big fan of it. I encourage people to do the green juices as well, the celery and cucumber juice. That’s because it has zero sugar at all in the early stages and people can get all of the fiber that’s present in the green smoothies in other aspects of the Paddison Program, and they can get the benefits of the celery and cucumber without any sugar at all. Just in case people are banana intolerant or that they’ve eaten so much sugar now that they’ve got too much bacteria that thrives on the sugar and they need to avoid sugar for a while.
So, if someone’s wondering what’s better, green smoothies or celery and cucumber juice, well both of them are outstanding, and I would encourage people to look at both of them. And if they can tolerate the green smoothies, then go for it because you get calories out of it as well, and you get the benefit of the fibrous greens. But if you can’t tolerate the green smoothie, then do the celery and cucumber juice. It’s a good place to start for the 12 days starting process for the Paddison Program because it just means that you don’t even have to take any risks with the green smoothie, but after a while, after that period’s finished, definitely test the green smoothies in because when you can get on that train, it’s a good train to be on. It is a powerful healing train.
So tell us about your exercise. You incorporated a lot of exercise and you’ve inspired a lot of people inside our forum with the amount that you exercise. You have a very, very strong attitude towards exercise. So tell us, have you always been strong with your exercise or is it something that’s being driven by your determination to get well?
Danny: Yeah. I always loved exercise, that’s it. I knew from my childhood on that when you eat too much sugar and bad foods, you don’t exercise that good. So I was already aware. So when I read the Paddison Program, the program itself, and you mentioned the NSAIDs, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and I was on them the maximum dose per day, and I was totally convinced that it was holding me back. So I was like, “I’m going to cut it in half immediately.” But the pain returned immensely. So I had to find a way to reduce the pain. You mentioned that you have to exercise to reduce the pain so you can be on less medication.
That’s really great. But I couldn’t find a Bikram studio. I had to drive one-and-a-half hour with the car to get to the nearest Bikram studio. That’s impossible. So I had to do something else. I did a lot of swimming in the past. So I figured that I’m going to the swimming pool, I’m going to swim and because I don’t have inflammation in my elbow and I have only have inflammation in my shoulder. The rest of my inflammation was in my feet and my knees. I figured out I could do the crawling, crawling through the water, I could do it.
But I hadn’t touched my bicycle. So I called a friend of mine and I said, I really need to exercise but I cannot ride my bicycle, could you bring me to the swimming pool? He said, “Okay. I’m going to pick you up and we’ll just go swim together.” That was really nice. So I jumped into the water, I didn’t know if I could keep swimming. And I jumped immediately into the deep. I didn’t drown.
So I figured I could swim and I just keep doing it. Every time I went swimming I just felt great afterwards. So I could stay off the naproxen. And because of the swimming, my body was getting more robust and I could do bicycling because my knee was so swollen I couldn’t even do the biking. So I stepped on the bike and I drove to the swimming pool with my bike and back. So that’s really tremendous. I did it almost every day during the tough period. So I was getting off the drugs and I just exercised like crazy.
Clint: You did the right thing because you reduced the nonsteroidal drugs first. Because these are the ones that are at the discretion of users. It’s sort of thing where your rheumatologist and doctor can just say, “Look, take them as you need them. They’re an over-the-counter pill. Take them for pain relief as you need them.” So you don’t need to schedule appointments with your rheumatologist and doctors and have discussions about it. Some people, if they’re having a bad day, they’ll take a lot of them, and other days they’ll take fewer of them. These are the worst things for your gut health. Man, I’m not into negligence, I’m into applying good practice. And good practice is to use exercise like you did to reduce the number of these very, very harmful gut pills so that all the effort we’re putting in to heal ourselves with our dietary changes aren’t being shackled or reduced by the damn drugs we’re taking for the pain.
So that was an excellent move, and you’re now able to ride to the pool, and you’re exercising at the pool and on the way to the pool. Okay. And so I guess the results were compounding and you were improving more and more. So what about the other drugs? Sulfasalazine, prednisone, what was happening to these? At this point, you were just getting them in your target, weren’t you? You were thinking I want to keep this momentum going.
Danny: Yeah, that’s funny. Yeah, I was still on 50mg of prednisone. So first, I had to kick the naproxen, so the NSAID. I was feeling so great, I just stopped the Sulfasalazine cold turkey. I stopped it immediately because I wanted to make sure I was…how do I say. The Sulfasalazine it takes time to build it up in the blood and to take effect. So my doctor said you can feel it after four weeks. Four weeks, you can feel the effects of the Sulfasalazine. And I was taking the Sulfasalazine four weeks already, and I just wanted to know if it was the Sulfasalazine kicking in or just the exercise and the diet that was improving my condition. So what is it? Is it the Sulfasalazine or the diet and the exercise? But it was the diet and exercise of course, and I just stopped cold turkey. Yeah, I just waited on the effects.
Clint: And you saw no difference in your condition.
Danny: No, it was even getting better.
Clint: Right. Because we’ve discussed in our community haven’t we, that there’s an antibiotic effect in Sulfasalazine. So there is a part of that drug that, irrespective of what is very well known medically and discussed medically, there is aspect of that drug that myself and a lot of our community members are very concerned about. There is an antibiotic component of that drug, and it’s very disconcerting when we’re trying to rebuild our healthy bacteria to be putting an antibiotic into us. So that was something that worked in your favor in your particular case. All right, so everyone listening to this, you have to talk to your doctor about these drugs. Not just do what Danny did because Danny did it.
Now, Danny, tell us then, you’re down then to your prednisone, one of the notoriously hated drugs ever because it’s so hard to get off. As you get closer and closer to zero, it seems like it hangs on and tries everything in its power to stop you from getting off it. How did you do it? Talk us through it to people who are on this drug and are desperate to reduce or to get off their levels of this drug.
Danny: First of all, prednisone is harder than coffee. It’s the ultimate uplifting drug. So when you lower prednisone, you…I usually got a kickback after three years. On the third day, it was the worst. So I was really down, depressed, tired, pain, stiff. It was really horrible. But I knew it was an uplifting drug, it was addictive. So I just had to get through hell to get through the other side and see the sun again.
So what I did, I was eating less, juicing more. So eating less and juicing more and at the same time I was exercising more. So I felt really crappy, really down and tired. But I still rode my bike to the swimming pool and went swimming. And even after when I dropped the prednisone, the pain in one of my fingers was so severe, sometimes I could not pull myself through the water because of the pain in my fingers. So I had two options, tape my fingers so it wouldn’t…
Clint: Wouldn’t hurt as much?
Danny: Yeah, wouldn’t hurt as much, get too much motion in the water. Or just hold them together really tight. So that were my two options. So just exercise.
Clint: Did you just hold your fingers like you squeezed them together out stretched and just concentrated on not letting them have [inaudible [00:36:32].
Danny: Not letting them reopen.
Danny: Yeah. And I knew that if I could swim an hour, the pain would be less. I would get through it. So to say.
Clint: Wow. Okay. So huge amount of determination to put yourself through daily exercise of an hour or more because you’re riding to the pool each day. That was again similar to my approach, which was I absolutely hated Bikram yoga, but I would go there against every part of me that did not want to go again that day because I just knew that I had to go if I was going to at sometimes even just continue to walk, let alone try and get better. So I think your attitude reminds me of mine, which was look, you know you’ve just got to do it, and you’re just going to do it, and you’re going to allocate the time, and you’re going to put yourself through it. You’re going to make the sacrifice just because the alternative is just too awful.
Clint: Okay. So you would have lost a little bit of weight when you were doing a lot less eating, and you were juicing, and you were doing green smoothies, and you were exercising a lot, and so did you just decide that a bit of weight loss has to be one of the temporary side effects to your getting well process?
Danny: Yeah, most definitely. People are watching you, and you’re getting thinner and thinner. It’s hard to go against the opinion of your peers, right? Because I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing because I know my body. And I figured out that if I can get off the drugs very fast, my healing will accelerate, first. Second, I will gain weight again. Because I don’t have to exercise that much and juice that much. I can up my intake of foods. So yeah, that was really clear and simple.
Clint: Any strategies that you might have for people in getting off their prednisone? Let’s say first of all that they’ve got doctors approval to do so and that they’re improving and they’re following all of the appropriate dietary changes and Paddison Program, they’re doing everything right and they’re feeling better. Any tips for people because it’s, even under those conditions, difficult as you say.
Danny: Yeah, well first of all, it’s an uplifting drug, so you get down when you take less. So when I go down, I go down 5mg, not one or two, but 5mg when I go down.
Clint: A lot.
Danny: Yeah, it’s a lot. So what I did was I did hot cold showers in the morning because that’s uplifting, feeling the cold on your body, that’s a boost to your immune system anyway, that’s one thing. The second is I went outside a lot. So I would be in nature and I would feel the sun and be in the sun, that’s really important because the sun is uplifting, too. And exercise like crazy because that’s also reducing stress and just lifts you up. Yeah, that’s it.
Clint: Got it. Yeah, they’re absolutely fantastic tips there. You’ve got a countryman called The Iceman, for people who aren’t familiar with him, can you just give us a little bit of a background on him because I thought of him when you mentioned the cold showers. I think it’s worthy if you could just tell us a little bit about him incase he’s been an inspiration to you because I recommend people check him out.
Danny: His name is Wim Hof, Wim Hof, and he did all sorts of things. He’s called the Iceman and it’s crazy. He climbed the Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest in shorts, that’s it. No extra oxygen, just the shorts. It’s amazing. So he can swim in ice water, it’s crazy what he does. He can stand in a cube filled with ice for one-and-a-half-hour, it’s crazy. So he inspired me to at least do the hot cold showers. That’s the least I can do.
Clint: Didn’t he have an autoimmune condition, or isn’t he an expert or very, very good at helping people with autoimmune conditions because he teaches them how to influence the quality of their immune system?
Danny: Yeah. Actually at the university I studied in the Netherlands they tested him there. They injected a bacteria or a virus into his system and he could just by breathing exercises and his robust physique, he would not show any reaction. He would not get sick, it’s amazing. And he says that we can tap into the nervous system and your immune system to direct it. He does it through meditation and breathing exercises, very specific, and his cold therapy. So it’s all included, it’s one package.
Clint: I believe that it’s all relatively straight forward. If anyone wanted to check it out, they can just Google him, ‘The Iceman, Netherlands.’ I’m sure YouTube will present them with a lot of options. I just watched a few minutes of his breathing techniques from one of the videos that you posted in the forum, and found myself being able to follow some of his tips pretty quickly, and found the benefits of them very quickly as well.
All right, just wanted to bring him in as a side. You were eventually able to get off the prednisone. You’ve described now how you currently feel, and it’s pretty outstanding, and you have mentioned as well that every couple of weeks, every month you’re noticing that the improvements continue. You then went out recently and created a video of yourself climbing on a wall.
Clint: I might share that in the body of this podcast transcription for folks if they want to have a look at that, you okay with that?
Danny: Yeah, that’s okay.
Clint: So that must have been an incredible feeling to go out and then do some rock climbing being off your drugs, tell us how that felt.
Danny: Well, obviously it felt great. One moment you’re lying in bed and you cannot do anything and the next moment you’re just climbing a rock. You can use your fingers again. Because one of my fingers was really inflamed as I have told already. So I could climb the rocks without any pain or pressure at all and my feet were really inflamed and I just could climb all the way to the top without any problems, without any pain. That was great. That’s it.
Clint: Yeah. It’s incredible and it’s very uplifting. It was like the moment when I ran and I filmed myself running. These things will never leave us. These experiences of success, and joy, and elation. Tell us a couple of your key attitudes that you hold that have enabled you to get to where you are. If someone was to say what attitude do you need to adopt, to do what you’ve done, what are some of those attitudes that you feel are most important?
Danny: Well, like I said, I was really cocky when I got the rheumatoid. “I’m going to crush this in two months, that’s a piece of cake.” But obviously it’s not and you have to give it 100%. You just know that if you give 100% it will be fine. Just apply yourself, and for people who are not into sports or exercise, it’s really important. And with this diet, your body gets more clean and clean. So exercising will be less of a problem. I think most people today do not exercise because their diet is so crappy. Because they feel so sick, they just don’t want to exercise. They don’t feel like exercising, they’re always tired. That’s a summary of all. They just feel tired and sluggish. So they don’t exercise but they need to exercise. Your body is designed to move. Sorry what was the question again?
Clint: You’ve already answered it, but I was just looking for a little bit of insight into the way your brain thinks, the way that you’ve approached things with your attitude. I think it could be summarized from what you’ve just said that you’ve got to give 100%. There’s no success like you’ve had by just dabbling in healing, this has to become your priority in life. And when you’ve got a condition like rheumatoid, there’s really no excuse for it not to be because the disease is so debilitating and such a lifelong condition that gets away on you, or your requirement for drugs just keeps getting greater and it’s up to us. If it’s meant to be it’s up to me. It’s something that we have to give 100% and that’s what I’m hearing from you.
Danny: Of course you’ve got to give it 100%, but I was thinking, why are we having all these autoimmune diseases? When you go in nature and you find a group of animals aren’t having auto immune diseases. We are not going in and give them vaccines and medicine and all this stuff. You stop and think, well what’s the cause of this? What’s the cause? And we’re not doing it, we’re not searching for the cause, what’s the cause? In my opinion, we’re just living unnatural lives. That’s my opinion. So, yeah. Most people, like I did and I still do, I don’t even know what’s natural any more. That’s why a person like Wim Hof who is just going out in his shorts and be in the cold, it just shows you what your body can do. For me that’s really inspiring. So that’s where I get my inspiration from.
Clint: Absolutely. When I made the simple connection that when you cut your skin on the outside of your body, it heals. It just made so much common sense to me that when you cut yourself on the inside it also heals in the same way that if you have surgery, if you have a C-section as a woman, or if you have an internal surgery to correct something with your body, it heals on the inside. So, why shouldn’t our bodies heal from a disease like rheumatoid arthritis?
And I think we underestimate what the body can do. The body can heal, it just needs to be given the right fuel, it needs to be given rest from the stress that we put upon it all the time through our thoughts, the foods, through making it work harder than it should by carrying excess body weight. All sorts of things. And when we observe someone like the Iceman or we look at some elite athletes and we just think, “We could never do that.” Well, our goal is to do the equivalent in terms of amazing but on the inside. But on the inside where we’re injured and we’ve messed things up through whatever the things that we’ve done over our lifetime to get our gut into a situation that is in such a bad way.
So tell us, Danny, what are your personal goals going forward? What have you got on your plate now over the next say 6, 12 months? What’s your goals and what’s your plan?
Danny: Well, I’m still kicking RA’s butt. So that’s my ultimate, that’s my first thing. I want to completely get rid of it. So I’m still working less and exercising more, keeping my diet 100%. Most of my time goes into the healing. It’s no use to have a career and you’re sick at the same time. So it doesn’t make sense. Like Wim Hof, you need inspiration, and you’ve got to ask fundamental questions. The most fundamental questions, what am I, that’s the most fundamental. To be honest, I haven’t looked further than that. This is my one, this is my thing, this is my goal. It may sound really crazy but that’s it. I want to take kick this. I love it.
Clint: That’s 100% to me. Anyone listening to this, if they can’t relate to wanting to give 100% to have one goal and that is to get rid of the RA, then they’re probably listening to the wrong podcast. That’s what we’re about. We are about trying to do everything in our power to reduce to an absolute minimum or eliminate this dreaded inflammation.
You are inspiring people in the Netherlands at the moment. Yourself and a previous guest on our podcast, Hanna, have put together like a little mini book or mini testimonials on one of the Dutch websites. Could you just tell us about that before we wrap up?
Danny: Yeah. I was at the swimming pool and I listened to the radio at the swimming pool, and there was like a little spot from the Rheumaform, that’s the fundraiser for rheumatoid issues in the Netherlands and they were talking about a book you open, that’s like an open book. And they were mentioning the fact that if you have rheumatoid arthritis or rheumatoid related issue, you can write your own story on their website so people can inspire each other and just maybe support each other in some cases.
So I decided to write my story together with Hanna because both of us are doing the Paddison Program and are having huge success with it. And just inform people that there are other ways to battle rheumatoid arthritis if you want to. Because I discovered that a lot of people don’t want to take the responsibility to change. But still there are a lot of people who want to and are able to. So that’s the people I want to reach.
Clint: Most definitely. I think again another similarity between the two of us. I think we’re peas from the same pod. The reasons why a lot of people don’t want to commit to making the changes are numerous, probably even too many to list. But just a couple of them that I come across quite frequently that it all seems too hard to make all these changes to your diet and to exercise more. Some people find it hard enough just to prepare a meal at night as opposed to getting a takeaway meal. So to make dramatic changes like the ones that you and I have done and all the other people who are Paddison Program followers have done, is it’s too much for a lot people, a lot of people.
Then there’s another attitude aspect of it from the belief point of view and that when the medical community look their patients in the eye and say, “Diet has nothing to do with rheumatoid arthritis.” When someone with the authority and the position of power that a rheumatologist or even a doctor has, who says that to a patient, that can create an enormous amount of mistrust and of skepticism when someone then is presented with say my program. There’s actually a hurdle to overcome in their mind to even believe that it’s remotely possible. Let alone something that actually pretty much helps everyone who follows it to a small or an enormous extent.
So this is why I do podcasts like this. This is why I wanted to chat to you and I chatted to Hanna and Christine and all the other people that we’ve had in all the 15 or 16 episodes so far, to show that these are not one-off instances. This is happening around the world and that people like you are doing this and are setting a bar and an example that everyone should be aspiring to.
Danny: I love this, talking to you now on the podcast. Because me, myself, I was so sick and I was reading all these testimonials on John McDougall’s website. So it really encouraged me to walk the path I’m walking now. So, yeah, that’s just perfect. Works great.
Clint: You are helping so many people and I’m very, very grateful to you because the amount of support that you show people inside the community forum, new people that join, people who’ve been with us and have been learning and been part of our forum for a year, a year-and-a-half, you always step in on a regular basis and offer tremendous insight and motivation to other members. Anyone listening to this who wants to communicate with Danny and learn from Danny, not just Danny but myself, Hanna and so many others who we have on this podcast, we’re all part of a community forum, and we are all about helping each other and exchanging all of the lessons that we’ve learned and all of the tips and techniques and all of the mental aspects of healing RA. So I invite everyone listening to this to come and join us because there’s no better place that I can offer support than that. And I’m sure you would admit that it’s also a great place to be.
Danny: It’s all about inspiration I think. And it needs to come from the heart. So, that’s the first place to start. And even if you think, “Ah! I cannot do it because the diet is too hard and all this,” but you can also ease into it. For me, it was really comparatively easy to do it because I was already changing my diet for two years. So I was already progressing towards the Paddison Program. So it was pretty easy for me, but I can imagine that for other people it’s really pretty hard, but just stop eating meat, and just take things step by step. Yeah, it just takes time.
Clint: Yeah it does. The gut’s slow to heal, isn’t it? It just takes time. Some of these, we can’t see what’s going on inside with our own eyes, and that makes the whole process harder than what we would like. Because we all are such visual creatures. We want to see the healing, we want to observe something progressing, and there is quite an element of trust that goes on, and we just have to trust that the healing is happening.
But here’s one thing that most people never actually realize is in some ways a great benefit of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis always gives you the feedback that you need as to if you’re doing the right thing or not because your joint pain is an alarm signal. If you put the wrong thing in your body, whether it be an hour for some people and for some particular foods. Or whether it be 12 or 24 hours later, and you need to get to know this for yourself, but somewhere in that time period, your alarms are going to go off if you have eaten the wrong food. Now people with cancer, they do not get an alarm. They continue to eat themselves into the grave. With rheumatoid, your alarm signal is your joint pain.
Danny: And it can be frustrating too because you can eat something and two days after you eat something the alarm bell is going to go off. So you’re like, “What did I do wrong? I’ve been juicing all day yesterday, what’s wrong?” So it’s really hard, but I keep a diary just to log everything I eat, just so I know when something happens, I know where it comes from.
Clint: Absolutely. Well man, you’ve covered a lot of stuff. We’ve really gone over a lot of topics here and you’ve been very generous and explaining all that you’ve done. Again, I just want to thank you for just being such an outstanding person and a contributor to the community, not just ours but the wider community and helping people in the Netherlands with what you’ve done. I really do hope that with time as you continue to improve that we might be able to work together in some way, and I hope to get over to the Netherlands sometime and maybe even do some events with you, and even in my absence, I would feel in great hands if you were able to give some talks. We know that Hanna gave a talk in the Netherlands several months ago.
Clint: That was brilliant. She had a big audience of medical professionals. That was awesome, and I can see you doing exactly the same thing because you’re extremely passionate, your results are outstanding, and I just know from talking to you and getting to know you online that you are a man who just does not give up, and this thing has no chance. You’re going to crush this thing to the pavement.
Danny: That’s Helen’s saying, “I’m going it into the pavement.” What did she say? Grind the prednisone into the pavement.
Clint: Because we talked about it didn’t we? We talked about it online how you’re going to create a video and you’re going to pull those prednisone tablets on the ground, and you’re going to jump off the park bench and land on them.
Danny: Oh, great. Maybe I’ll do it.
Clint: Yeah, we’ve got to see that one. We’ve got to see that one. We’ve already written the story board for the video.
Danny: I have to do it.
Clint: That’s awesome. And you’ve got great support too. Just as we close out. I know you’ve got a girlfriend who’s very supportive, and I think that’s another point that I’d like to remind everyone of. If you’ve got wonderful emotional family support it helps tremendously. Doesn’t it?
Danny: It’s really important. My girlfriend and my friends were really the most supportive. All the other people are just let you suffer, right?
Danny: Because they don’t know, too. But my friends and my girlfriend they would not eat pasta, or pizza or eat loads of meat in front of my face, or drink coffee. It’s amazing, they would eat the same foods I would eat.
Clint: That’s incredible.
Danny: It’s amazing.
Clint: That support network that you’ve got there. One time I listened to a lecture, an inspirational talk from a neuroscientist. He was actually the coach for some of the Formula One drivers several years ago. A very, very smart man. His name is Kerry Spackman. He wrote a book, the name escapes me. It’s called, “The Winners Bible,” that’s what it is.
In his talk, he described how if you look at all of the factors of successful people, and they did this as a study. They broke down say several hundred of the world’s leading successful people in all sorts of areas, not just financial and business, but in all different parts of considered successful aspects of life.
And they said, “What makes these people successful?” They looked at all the different categories like was it education? Was it things like financial security upon growing up? Was it the place that they grew up? Was it the country, or was it the city? Was it the population of where they lived? Was it the weather? All different sorts of aspects.
They also went further and looked at all of the different psychological aspects as well, and they found that the number one common factor that outweighed everything else, of its greatest importance of success, regardless of what success you’re after, is your family and social support to achieve the goal that you aim to achieve. It is the number one thing that most successful people share in common.
So I had Melissa. Melissa was my rock. Melissa went to lengths to support me through rheumatoid that a partner should never have to see or go through ever. And it sounds to me that your girlfriend and your friends were that for you as well.
Danny: Yeah. It’s really important because the rest of the people you meet, they scoff at you. Like you should listen to the doctors, and this cannot be cured and all this. But then you have people like Wim Hof and you, who just show you what the body can do, what it’s capable of. That’s amazing. And you have your friends and your girlfriend who just support you in this. It’s really important because sometimes you think you’re a looney because everyone is saying what you’re doing is insane, or it doesn’t work, or take the drugs or whatever. So, it’s really important. Yeah.
Clint: Absolutely man. So everyone needs to be surrounded by like-minded people, people who love them and care for them and people who generally want to see them get well and who share their belief that they have for themselves because it’s the number one factor.
Danny: And also you mentioned something about a rheumatologist. My rheumatologist when she said this is going to be permanent, this is for life rheumatoid arthritis. I read your book and I watch your videos, and even with this knowledge, even when I was improving step by step, little by little at the beginning, I was crying.
After the appointment, I went to the toilet and I was crying a bit because, yeah, it is really hard when a doctor tells you it cannot be cured or whatever. Their opinions, they weigh a lot because you’re taught from childhood on, they are authorities. They know what health is all about. Yeah, you just get a strong emotional reaction. When I got out of the hospital, my girlfriend because she always came along with me to the appointment. So she said, “You don’t actually believe what she’s saying right?” So I’m like, “No. I’m giving my 100% again. I’m going to crush this.” So yeah, being surrounded by like-minded people is really important. Yeah.
Clint: No, no, no, mate, you’ve given us a lot of your time, and I think I’ve worked out the name of what we’ll call this episode. We’ll call, Crushing Rheumatoid Arthritis with Danny.
Danny: That’s the best.
Clint: We could talk all day but our listeners are probably wondering how long we’re going to for if we’re going to go on forever. Maybe we will continue it in another episode down the track when we can get an update from you and get some more insights because I’m sure everyone has really enjoyed listening to your story and to a lot of the information that you’ve shared.
So, stay on the line. Once we say goodbye here, we can chat about some other stuff, and I’d like to talk a little more, but let’s end this episode. Thanks very much for coming on, man. You’re an absolute champion and really grateful.
Danny: I’m really grateful to you Clint. Without you I wouldn’t be as far as I am at now. So it’s really great. Yeah. Thank you.
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