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Nutrition and Disc regeneration

Started by djprieve on 01/23/2010 9:37pm

I need multiple levels of discs replaced and have been researching all alternatives. Since I do not presently have the funding to allow disc replacement for all levels in Germany, I searched for alternatives. I started to work with nutritionist Karen Hurd atwww.karenhurd.com and wished I would have found her long ago. She has almost 20 years of experience helping people with health ailments with success. My condition will take 18-24 months to see improvement she states. She is available in person or can consult over the phone. I have only been working with her 3 months and wanted to lose any extra weight and gain core strength until I can afford surgery. Even though I am housebound with disabilty from my back condition and get no exercise, I have lost 15 pounds and I am eating all the time and never feel deprived or hungry. Please note that I am 2 inches shorter than I used to be from disc degeneration, I am 5'8" weighed 195# and now weigh 180#, If I lose another 15# over time this should take stress off of my spinal column while I save for disc replacement surgery. I have noticed some activation of core muscle and she is confident of cell regeneration of the disc material given time.....time will answer that question and it is an option that is non invasive. If you cannot afford to pay for disc replacement and choose to avoid a fusion, it may be an option for you as well. If anyone has any other suggestions it would be very welcome to me.

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15 Responses


Stop spamming this community with your gimicky URLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hi Everyone, In response to a reply, I just want to say that my suggestions and personal testimony is shared with you as information only and in know way is spam or should be considered gimicky. I have been bounced around by many medical proffessionals that have no solutions to offer or suggest. I feel that this is a tool that at least I can use and sincerely wish that I had this option presented to me earlier in life. I thought these message boards were to share personal positive information and experiences.

Best Wishes to every one, Dave


Thank you djprieve, unlike some people, I do appreciate positive stories regarding alternative therapies for disc related problems.

I have been suffering with severe pain from 8 pinched nerves in my neck due to severe degeneration in all cervical vertebrae, that along with lumbar spine problems has me on the waiting list for a neurosurgical consult which can take some time here in Canada.

So in the meantime I search for and welcome any information/ advice that I can get on therapies that may help me with my pain and mobility. Exercise is not an option for me...and if there are any means possible that may help me avoid surgery I'll gladly take them!!!

Malli : )


This REALLY sounds like an advert!! ... As if those ailments were authentic the pain would be so severe there would be no escaping the reality of surgery, and I KNOW what I am talking about from personal experience!! If it sounds too good to be true.......


Hi, For those that have doubtful responses, I will curb my enthusiasm in future posts of any topic. If you google "reversing degenerative disc disease" you will find supporting evidence. Please keep in mind that the spine is extremely complicated and that everyones situation is unique at they are certainly at different stages. Surgical intervention may be needed for those who are too advanced....however, these nutritional steps are most likely beneficial no matter what stage you are at. If you require disc replacement some great resources for research are you tube and metacafe....type in wockhardt adr or Stenum Adr to broaden your horizon on surgical possibilities. If your disc degeneration is so advanced as mine you take every beneficial step while you save for artificial disc replacement. My insurance will not cover ADR surgery as I have appealed and been denied many times and fusion has not been offered since there not any good supporting discs left in my spine. Artificial disc replacement in the USA is slow to advance due to the FDA. Many other parts of the world have leap frogged the USA in healthcare in my findings, however, it has an out of pocket cost.

Best Wishes to Everyone and I apologize if anyone thinks free suggestions are advertising...remember all opinions are free, so you are free to investigate or move on, Thanks though and I will curb my enthusiasm for least cost alternatives while I save money for possible surgical intervention and improve my spine health as best allowed .


Here is a simple formula

total # of lbs - # of pounds lost = less pressure on the spinal vertebrae, joint's and what have you.

weak core Vs strong core = you be the judge. It ain't rocket science. Try it before you knock it!


Thank You.......If surgical intervention is a possibility for me in the future, losing weight and gaining core strength will only increase my recovery results.



I started to suffer from my cervical spine after 4 years of having a truck accident(ugly compression) , now 8 years back, also have injured my low back lifting heavy loads at about same time of crisis began, ??, and again about a year, same story with the lifting. Now, I am attending to the chiropractor's office receiving physical therapy and adjustment altogether with laser and traction. I am 5'8'' and about 180 pounds too, and 49 years old. I agree with your behavior to follow up, it is a must to lose weight while feeding with high quality foods like cereals, fruits, veggies and so on, either you face disk replacement or not, wish you the best you can reach.


I have had degenerative disc problems for about 15 years now. when i first found out about it i was much more active and in much better shape. my doctor recomended i work out and strengthen my back muscles in order to support around the spine. this helped for a very long time, however, over the past 7 years i have gone back to school and have had much less physical jobs; actually i went from very physical jobs to not physical at all, and slowly over that 7 years i have gained nearly 70 lbs. I am waiting to go to the doctor tomorrow, as this is the 3rd time in the last 14 months that my back has gone out and i can not stand up straight. ANYWAY - what i'm getting at is that there definately is something to the nutrition and excercise statement. I went without having to see the doctor for my back for close to 13 years. I'm not saying it didn't bother me at times, but if i did the back excercises and/or went to the nearby rec center and used their "back machine" ( i don't know it's technical term, but you add weights and lean backwards) it would put my back back into place. What i'm curious about "djprieve" is what specific things you are eating to help "rejuvenate" your discs? I know diet is important, but are their specific foods that help more than others? i am currently unemployed and can not only not afford surgery, but i can't afford a nutritionist either - i'm lucky to be able to muster the $65 to get my back put back into place by my osteopathathis doctor. i realize you can't give away all of the nutritionists "secrets" and also that each individual is different, but any suggestion would be appreciated - and if they help then i will testify for you and get these other - - - - - of your case. Thanks, and good luck to you.


Hi there, in response to the nutrition it is a diet with 3 servings of protein and 3 half servings of protein each day spread throught the day, protein such as meats, fish, eggs and avoiding all sugar and items that have some form of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Include 3 half cup servings of beans each day, such as brown beans, black, red ect. Avoid all breads potatoes, rice, any grain products. Include servings of vegetables as desired, really no limit. No fruits as they contain too much sugar and sugar feeds any degenerative condition. That is the majority of the items, the beans are a great sorce of soluable fiber and exchanges the bile in the liver where all toxins are stored in the body and the beans are very important. Avoid cheese and dairy products, milk has casein and is not digestable by the human body so it can create issues, cheese is a non efficient protein and also constipates you.

I also have MS and a recommendation is 2 tablespoons of cod liver oil, 2400 units of Vit E, and 5000 units of lecithin daily before sleep seperate from any other foods, expecially beans since the fiber in the beans will bind to the fish oil making it non effective.

After researching cod liver oil and fish oil, I wish I had been taking that all of my life as there is only good news rather than mixed reviews of pharmecueticals.

The nutrition she suggests is similiar for many and protein, fiber, veg and fats (nuts and butter) without prepared foods without sugars is primary

You can always post this is not any advertising, just what I am doing nutritionally and works for me.


One of the most important considerations when trying to lose weight is to know the different food groups: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats, and pay attention to portion/ serving sizes. Learn to read food labels.

Serving/ portion sizes:

Grains: 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta (about the size of a 1/2 baseball).

Vegetables: 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist), 1/2 cup of other vegetables or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice.

Fruits: 1 medium fruit (medium is defined as the size of a baseball); 1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit; or 1/2 cup juice.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans and Nuts: 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish; 1/2 cup cooked dry beans; or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese: 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces fat-free or low-fat cheese.

Fats and Sugars: as little as possible, dairy and meat contain plenty of necessary fat, while fruits contain enough natural sugars.

First-time dieters can find the process of calculating serving sizes and calorie counting confusing, and due to the nature of the sheer volume of variety of supermarket products, serving sizes are commonly inaccurate refer to product label.

Choose lean meats and meat alternatives such as beans, lentils, and tofu,and lower-fat milk products (skim or 1%).

Chicken, beef, fish, beans, or other high-protein foods slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestine. Slower stomach emptying means you feel full for longer and get hungrier later. Protein will help keep blood sugar levels stable. The body uses more energy to digest protein than it does to digest fat or carbohydrate.

They provide the body with fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function, and they are an important part of a healthy diet. But some kinds of carbohydrates are far better than others. Avoid the whites; white bread, rice, potatoes, etc.

Chose a wide variety of vegetables and fruits every day, but don't include white potatoes as a vegetable. Potatoes are a starch, and a rapidly-digested one at that; nutritionally, they have more in common with white bread and white rice than with other vegetables, and they should be eaten only occasionally. Go easy on fruits that are higher in carbohydrate, such as oranges, bananas, apricots, cherries, grapes, mangoes, pineapple and pears. Also, avoid fruit juices, since they contain a lot of sugary calories; choose whole fruit instead, since it has more fiber and will make you feel more full.

Out with the bad, in with the good. Unsaturated fats are called good fats because they can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and play a number of other beneficial roles. Unsaturated fats are predominantly found in foods from plants, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. They are liquids at room temperature.

There are two types of unsaturated fats:
* Monounsaturated fats are found in high concentrations in canola, peanut, and olive oils; avocados; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans; and seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds.

* Polyunsaturated fats are found in high concentrations in sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and also in foods such as walnuts, flax seeds, and fish and Omega-3 fats, the body can't make these, so they must come from food. Good sources of omega-3 fats include chia seeds (sold as Salvia), flax seeds, walnuts, and oils such as flaxseed, canola, and soybean.

Bad Fat:
As a general rule, it's a good idea to keep your intake of saturated fats as low as possible. Seven percent of total calories or lower is a good target. Commercially prepared baked goods, snack foods, and processed foods, along with French fries and other fried foods (trans fats) prepared in restaurants and fast food franchises, red meat and dairy fats are the main sources so keeping these low is the primary way to reduce intake of saturated fat.

Saturated fats come mainly from meat (lard, beef fat, bacon fat), seafood, poultry with skin, (chicken fat), and whole-milk dairy products (butter, cheese, milk, cream and ice cream). A few plant foods are also high in saturated fats, including coconut and coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. Saturated animal fats are solid at room temperature. Also high in saturated fat are, salad dressings, shortening, mayonnaise and miracle whip.

When grocery shopping:

1. Aim for less saturated fats and avoid trans fats. Choose lean meats and meat alternatives such as beans, lentils, and tofu,and lower-fat milk products (skim or 1%).Choose regular or light margarine's. Choose a product that has zero grams of trans fat, and scan the ingredient list to make sure it does not contain partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid baked goods, snacks, fried foods, high fat cheese, full fat dairy.

2. Try to aim for fresh vegetables, or choose vegetables with little or no added fat or salt. When preparing yourself do not add oil or butter, try some fresh squeezed lemon or Mrs. Dash sodium & fat free seasoning). Look for the Nutrition Facts table to find out the type of fat used in the product.

** Don't forget fiber. Healthy individuals should consume 21 to 38 of fibre daily. Look for
foods with at least 2 grams or more of fibre per serving.

**Drink plenty of water.

** Use liquid plant oils for cooking and baking. Olive, canola, and other plant-based oils are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Try dressing up a salad or spring vegetables with a delicious, olive oil-based vinaigrette.

Health Check and the Heart and Stroke Foundation have developed numerous healthy living resources to help people with shopping tips, meal planning, and general nutrition information. Here is the link: http://www.healthcheck.org/page/resources

And remember this simple rule:

Weight loss/ change = calories in – calories out.

If you burn as many calories as you take in each day, there's nothing left over for storage in fat cells, and weight remains the same. Eat more than you burn, though, and you end up adding fat and pounds. Regular exercise can help you control your weight, and it is key part of any weight-loss effort.

Hope this helps...........Good Luck.

P. S. I have been suffering in pain for 8 yrs (Severe spondylosis C3 - C7, prominent neural foraminal encroachment upon C3-C7 bilaterally, herniated discs at C3/C4, C5/C6, etc.) ever since a motor vehicle accident in 2002 in which I was the passenger in a car that was rear ended. Prior to that I was a personal trainer, very fit and perfectly healthy.

Some good references can be found here:







THANK YOU!! Both djprieve and Malli - your helpful suggestions are greatly appreciated and i am going to give it a try. I must be honest and admit that i will have to wean into the change, i'm afraid that if i go "cold turkey" i will fall off the wagon, but if i slowly but steadily change the "bad habits" i've become accustomed I am more likely to stick to it and eventually change my diet and lose the weight that has really started to have an adverse effect on my back. Thank you again, and i will keep you updated from time to time.


One suggestion is instead of thinking of it as: i'm afraid that if i go "cold turkey"
When you are trying to change your eating habits, try to change your thinking in to that of...
Look at all this good, healthy, nutritious food I'm putting in to my body that will make me feel better...instead of thinking about what you can not have or bad foods. Another good tip is to remove the unhealthy choices from your environment (fridge, cupboards) because when you are more tempted to eat them you wont be able to...lol. Or lock up your snacks somewhere and allow your self a small treat every now and then, once per week. Eat healthy nutritious food all week and allow yourself a treat at the end of each week. It will be challenging at first, however think about the future, set realistic goals, achievable goals to a healthier, happier, less painful you. Over time you will lose the craving for the sweet, salty, fatty stuff. Really... it will happen!

Try to remember that exercise is a key element to weight loss as well. I posted some tips here. Pilates for weight loss?

Don't beat yourself up if you falter. Baby steps before big steps!


Good Luck Lakota57. You have already made the first step...congratulations!



I am working on the disc regeneration's disease thanks for the comments



Greetings all. Thank you djprieve and Malli for some great diet advice. I would like to add my 2 cents worth as someone who used to weigh 370 pounds and was getting to the point where I could barely move due to pain and now weigh 180, eat healthy, excercise daily and have a relatively pain free life. Concentrate on what you need to eat/drink and don't say that you can't have something that you want to eat. I love chocholate and sometimes "need" to have a candy bar. I don't say that I can't have one, I just have to eat my "colors" and drink my water first and then if I still want a candy bar, I get a snack size one and savour it slowly. I make sure that I eat 7 "colors" a day...red apple, purple cabbage, green broccoli, orange yams, red beans, etc. Natural foods with a variety of natural colors. Check off the good things you eat and the water you drink and work on consuming more good stuff, even if you are still eating junk food, you will naturally start eating less junk as you eat more "colors". The colored foods also have good visual appeal and that helps you enjoy your food. Do NOT cut fat out of your diet completely. We need good natural fats to be healthy. Olive oil is a great choice. I also use real butter (but sparingly). Natural fats actually help to mobilize your fat stores.
Take vitamins and minerals...especially Vitamin D, glucosamine/chondroitin, and the fish oils. I used to be on 50mcg fentynal patch and now get by with tylenol and tramadol as long as I take the vitamin D and glucosamine/chondroitin supplements. If I run out of them, I start having bad pain again and then it takes a week or two of taking them to get back to feeling good.
Walk as much as you can every day and try to walk a little more each day. Little changes can make dramatic changes in improving your health and comfort level over time.