Relief from Chronic Pain by Eliminating Inflammation Caused by Food, Supplements and Medication [Interview][Transcript]

Guest: Dr. Daniel Twogood
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Daniel Twogood graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1973 with a degree in physical education. He graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles in 1983. He began practicing at the International Spots Medicine Institute in West Los Angeles where he treated many of the athletes in the 1984 Olympics. He opened his own practice in Apple Valley, California in 1985 where he discovered the diet/pain connection. He has written four books, the latest is Chronic Pain Gone 90 Days.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Dr. Twogood discusses the connection between chronic pain and substances found in foods.


Health Professional Radio

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I am your host Neal Howard. Thank you so much for joining us today. Many of us suffer with chronic back pain, maybe chest pain, a pain that will not go away. A pain that is lasting much longer than we expected it to either unexpectedly or through some type of injury that just doesn’t seem to go away. There are also pains that are caused by what we ingest, some of this pain are caused by prescription drugs that our doctors are prescribing to us. Our guest in studio today is Dr. Daniel Twogood. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1973 with a degree in physical education. Graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College in LA at 1983 and he began practicing at the International Sports Medicine Institute at West Los Angeles where he actually treated many of the athletes in the 1984 Olympics. He’s the author of four books, his latest of which being “Chronic Pain Gone in 90 Days” and he’s currently a practicing chiropractic. How are you doing today Dr. Twogood?

Dr. Daniel Twogood: I’m doing very well. Thanks for having me on Neal.

Neal: When we’re talking about chronic pains, we’re talking about a pain that won’t go away. A pain that’s lasting much longer than expected either a surgery that won’t heal or a broken bone that seems to not set correctly. But what about the pain that is caused and it’s chronic pain that is caused by simply what we’re ingesting, thinking that well is gonna help my pain when it really exacerbates the problem.

Dr. Twogood: Yeah, that’s where all my work comes from. And just figuring out what specific substances are feeding this ongoing inflammation. I have total faith that human body will heal, we’ve all seen it heal if cut yourself or bruise yourself or you strain your back, whether you get treatment or not you eventually heal. So what’s happening in the people who have chronic pain is this inflammatory process which is the beginning of healing. When you feel inflammation coming on it involves heat, swelling and redness which are the body’s chemical reaction to stressors, injuries stress or infection. And so your body wants to have this inflammatory reaction to warn you that there is something wrong Number 1: by stimulating pain receptors but also by starting the healing process. And so when you do have a bruise or something then you’ll heal in a reasonable period of time. Chronic pain is caused by this stuck-on inflammation mode that keeps feeding the inflammation over and over and over again. And my discovery is there are certain specific substances that feed this inflammation. You know just like a doctor will have you swallow an anti-inflammatory substance. Now if you have neck pain and the doctor prescribes Advil let’s say, you don’t take that pill and rub it on your neck do you? No, you put it in your mouth, you swallow it, it gets into your blood stream you allow it into your blood stream and it circulates throughout your whole system and it chemically interferes with the chemical inflammatory process that’s going on. And so it dumbs down the inflammation and inflammatory response a little bit so you get maybe a little bit less pain. But you don’t want to stop inflammation because that again it’s just go proceed to healing. But if it stuck on inflammation for days and weeks and months and you’re not getting better, it’s really unproductive to keep taking, keep ingesting anti-inflammatory pills because you’re not getting anywhere. So instead of doing that, you have to figure out what is feeding this inflammation and those are very specific substances that we swallow in food, food additives, supplements and medications – they all have an effect on how we feel. If you don’t believe it, swallow a bunch of alcohol and watch how that affect your nervous system. You’ll definitely see the effect or a bunch of caffeine, but everything else in food to a certain degree either nourishes us or poisons us and that’s where chronic pain comes from.

N: It seems as though when I’m watching television or listening to the radio or reading something in print, it’s almost like I’m being programmed to believe and assume that all inflammation is all bad all the time and I need to get rid of all my inflammation. Is that the message that’s being delivered?

T: Yes it is. And again inflammation is beginning of healing. And it is a pain, there are things you can do when you bump your head, you can rub it, you can take some aspirin. There are things that you can do to placate the pain while it’s severe, so that you can get through the severe pain.

N: Uh huh.

N: To me anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication have their use but it’s when the pain is unbearable, if you have a huge gash or you had a bad accident. And you cannot tolerate the pain you can’t sleep, you can’t go to work then those medications are useful for a short period of time to help you through the rough edges and then get through that and then get off the medication. The problems come especially when we talk about chemicals that cause side effects and health problems, is then the use of medications that are prescribed for lifetime. If you never had a health issue and you’re going for a physical exam and you have a high blood pressure, the doctor will prescribe a Lisinopril or Atenolol or one of those blood pressure medications and then if the patient asked the doctor “Well Doc how long do I take this for?” They almost look at you like you’re insane and go “Well forever. You need to take this forever.” When you ingest a poisonous substance which pharmaceuticals are forever, eventually you’re going to suffer with the side effects and lots of other problems too. So the inflammation that’s something that you want to deal with, but you don’t want to eliminate it. It is a useful active process of healing.

N: Okay. So I didn’t break my leg, I didn’t bump my head and I didn’t pull a muscle in my back. Yet I’ve got back pain that won’t seem to go away. How is that connected to my food? Are you talking about chemicals and substances in food specifically? Let’s say I’m not taking any drugs. What is in my food that’s causing this inflammation to become stuck where I’ve got this chronic pain?

T: Yes. Usually both pain is a result of some injury or stressor that you had at some point in your life and so you have a weakness. And so like when you swallow an anti-inflammatory drug it goes everywhere in your body. If you have a toothache or you have an ankle pain they’re still gonna give you Advil. It’s not like Advil seeks out certain kinds of pain, it lowers inflammation is what it does. And other substance raise inflammation and so what happens when that happens is that it raises the inflammation and you’re gonna feel it where you have weakness, either injuries that you didn’t even know about sometimes. So like a doctor will prescribe Advil for a backache. I prescribe the elimination of specific substances that are pro-inflammatory, let the inflammation run its course without interfering it with a drug but at the same time don’t keep pouring gasoline on the fire. And there are some substances that are highly inflammatory not to everybody but to certain people who are susceptible to them. So that’s how the process works, you raise the inflammation and your body hits you where you’re weak. So if you want to recover you want to lower the inflammation in your body by eliminating the gasoline that’s feeding the fire.

N: Now do you specifically coach and advice your patient as to their diet in addition to other chiropractic techniques?

T: Oh sure, absolutely. A lot of most cases do need some treatment and we continue with that but if we continue with it and they’re not getting better like in the chronic cases you have to do something else. And I always start with, I started out as a cave man and if I didn’t really know what I was looking for. I had a patient tell me a weird story that I didn’t really believe. He suffered with chronic back pain and migraine for 20 years, he came to see me for a shoulder problem and I asked him a bunch of questions and he told me about his chronic back problem. And said “Well I can help you with that.” And then he goes “No, no that’s all cured now. I had it for 20 years, but now it’s gone.” I said “Wow I don’t see that very often. If you have something for 20 years, you pretty much have it.” But he told me the story how he went from doctor to doctor to doctor and nothing was working for him, chiropractic care, acupuncture, drugs nothing would helping him and the doctors kept testing him like they do. And when the blood test came back, they said everything is normal except you cholesterol is really high. So they told him that he needed to take cholesterol pills or he was gonna be at risk of dying of heart attack or having a stroke. He refused the medication, he said “I don’t want help with that, I just want my back fixed.” And they told him “Well it’s chronic, you’re not gonna get better.” But he started worrying about his cholesterol because several doctors showed their concern for it. So he decided he wanted to lower his cholesterol by diet and exercise changes so when he read up cholesterol he found out that cholesterol and foods only exist in animal foods which is eggs from chickens, dairy food from cows and meat. So he decided to stop eating cholesterol and it would lower his cholesterol and it did. He went back for a checkup three months later, he had lost 20 pounds, the cholesterol have dropped a 100 points and the weird side effect to all of this was he said his migraines and back pain were totally gone. And so I said “Do you think your back pain was caused by your cholesterol?” And he said “No, it was caused by my diet.” And so he told me that it was a specific thing in his diet that once his eliminated it, it’s just went away he didn’t really know why. But later when he started slipping on his diet and he’d noticed that one particular food whenever he ate it he got a migraine and back pain the next day. I really though he was out of his mind but I looked in the research and I couldn’t find anything but then I started like a cave man just asking questions when people had pain for no apparent reason. I was asking them everything “Where did you go? What did you do? What did you eat ?” Etc., etc., etc. And then it started congealing based on the start that he gave me, pointed me in the right direction. The analogy uses that all of us are trying to create chronic pain or looking for the needle in the haystack. The problem is the reason we can’t find it is because the needle is not in the haystack. It’s not what you did so much, it’s not where you went so much, it’s what you ate. And that’s the question that’s not being asked.

N: Now in your book “Chronic Pain Gone in 90 Days.” Is this something across the board that you see? Is it 90 days kind of like the standard if you just say “Hey, I’m gonna eliminate this from my diet or eliminate this from my lifestyle and then 90 days, there will be some positive results.” Is that the premise of your book?

T: Yes, and actually it’s much sooner than that. Normal healing like you said you know, using you stub your toe or something, normal healing you will see this healing normally within 7 to 30 days. The first 7 days maybe the part where you have a lot of inflammation and then you’re hurting a lot. But then between 7 and 30 days you will see a noticeable difference in your condition and your pain level, if your healing mechanism is working right. And so when I interview patients and find out what specific substances I think are causing their problem, and after doing it for 30 years I’m not just wondering in the dark anymore. I know exactly what I’m looking for, I’m looking for specific things. And when I find the things that I think relate to their symptoms then I say “Let’s eliminate those things.” Between 7 and 30 days they’ll see a noticeable change in their symptoms. By 90 days they should have a complete elimination of their problem. Now that happens in most cases, the hardest part is getting compliance. A lot of patients, I tell you when we look at the substances that cause chronic pain, it’s not lima beans and liver, it’s the thing that you really really like.

N: Yeah.

T: And that’s very difficult for people. So, but if they can follow instructions and if we can surmise the specific substances that are causing the problems, yes they will heal. They’ll notice a big difference within 30 days and a total healing within 90 days. And that sounds bizarre and if I’m telling you that someone who have migraine, now they’re cured. There’s really no objective data for that. There’s no evidence of that, the patient either said they had a migraine or they don’t. But in my book I have a picture of chronic psoriasis case, that the before and after pictures that showed that there was total healing by eliminating the specific substance that was feeding the inflammation. So that’s an objective, that person can say they have psoriasis or not, but you can look at their skin and see it. And now they can see as it’s gone, so that is the proof of what we do.

N: I’d like to ask you about your website, Now is this some informational website about your practice or is there helpful information that someone can go and look at, print out, download in order to address or at least make an informed decision as to how to address their chronic pain?

T: They absolutely can. Of course I promote my practice and what I do here, but also I have a YouTube video that you will see the video right there, you click on that and I give a I think it’s 22 minute talk on how chronic pain works and what those specific substances are. So you can get all the answers right there. You can look at that and it will either make sense to you or it won’t. I tried to be very logical about it, because first of all I know that it’s all true because I’ve observed it in my practice. I’m just reporting what I’ve seen. So yes, you can get all the information you need there, give you directions on where to look in your diet, in your supplements, in your medication for the problems that you’re having. And then hopefully motivate you to get the book so you read the details about how this all happened. It’s not a miracle, it’s just this is how the human body process pain and this is how the body heals from pain. And when you figure out what’s causing it and how to eliminate it, then it’s not a miracle – it’s just the way the body works.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been talking this afternoon with Dr. Daniel Twogood, chiropractor and author of “Chronic Pain Gone in 90 Days.” He’s been here with us today talking about some of the causes of chronic pain and some of the ways that what we ingest is basically the culprit. It’s not necessarily an injury that’s ongoing, it may be an injury that you had years ago. But we’ve been talking about how to eliminate chronic pain and some of the misconceptions about chronic pain and its causes, especially when it relates to inflammation. It’s been great talking with you today Dr. Twogood.

T: Hey thanks very much for letting me share Neal.

N: Transcript and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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