Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Vitamin B6 Deficiency
What You Need To Know
By: Christopher Barr
December 15, 2007
(reprinted from 2005)
The most recent issue of a Mayo Clinic magazine for women addressed carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). CTS always brings to fond remembrance Dr. John M. Ellis, M.D. (retired). It was through the writings of Dr. Ellis that I learned how very simply that CTS can be handled. I've spoken with him from time to time through the years. The other day I called to touch base with him one more time.
What's up, Doc?
"One with carpal tunnel syndrome should first take 200 milligrams of vitamin B-6 every day for 90 days. If there is no response after that time then surgical options should be considered," Dr. Ellis told me. It was good to hear him sound so very robust at 87 years of age.
"In my experience I have found this regimen to provide a 90 per cent success rate," Dr. Ellis said.
That is saying a lot. The experience of Dr. Ellis with CTS goes back more than 40 years to 1961. It was then that he made the connection to vitamin B-6. He continued with this regimen until he retired in 1992 on the 50th anniversary of receiving his medical degree. That adds up to more than 30 years experience with CTS and vitamin B-6 with a 90 per cent success rate.
Good for the goose and gander
Dr. Ellis told me that he himself has taken 200 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily for more than 40 years. Many of his vitamin B-6 patients have passed the 100 years old mark. It won't surprise me at all to see Dr. Ellis do the same and will please me greatly to see that come to pass.
His 'Vitamin B6: The Doctor's Report' is one of my treasures. It is no longer in print and that is a tragic shame. It is one that I never loan out for it is too precious to risk losing. It covers far more than carpal tunnel syndrome.
As for myself, I have never known a single case of CTS not responsive to vitamin B-6 going back almost two decades. Part of the 100 per cent success that I have seen might be due to not having seen as many people with CTS as Dr. Ellis. On the other hand, the success that I have always seen has usually been with only half as much vitamin B-6 or less than Dr. Ellis used, and always with results seen in less than 30 days.
Dr. Ellis experience was with what is called USP vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride). Man makes it in his laboratories out of petroleum. That is what is most commonly available everywhere. My experience has been with vitamin B-6 that is grown. It is not commonly available. There is a difference and the body knows it. Our bodies were designed for that which is grown (food) rather than for petroleum by-products (how about a spoonful of motor oil?).
The worst instance that I ever knew of was a northeast Arkansas woman with CTS for several years. She had been a factory worker for more than 20 years. This woman continually refused surgery. Both of her arms required special braces to be worn at almost all times. She even had to wear them in order to sleep. After more than five years with CTS this woman received some relief in 30 days using 75 milligrams of grown (food) vitamin B6 daily. She doubled her intake to 150 milligrams and received more relief over the next 30 days. Complete relief for her came over the next 30 days with 225 milligrams of grown (food) vitamin B6 daily. After some time she reduced her level back down to only 75 milligrams of grown (food) vitamin B6 daily. She continues as a factory worker in good health to this day.
Will they ever learn?
The recent article I read on CTS noted, "It's not understood why carpal tunnel syndrome is more common among women." If the folks at the Mayo Clinic would just study the works of Dr. Ellis, as well as that of another physician, Dr. Guy Abraham, M.D. out of UCLA, they would understand very well. These two doctors showed that both pregnancy and menstruation bring about an increased need for vitamin B-6. Since men don't get pregnant or menstruate it should be very clear "why carpal tunnel syndrome is more common among women". I have always noted this important detail to women with CTS, and that they may want to take a little extra vitamin B-6 at that time of the month. One woman who was very happy to avoid surgery for her CTS said she became annoyed when it suddenly started to flare up again. She told me that she then remembered what I told her about that time of the month. She realized that it was upon her and took a little extra vitamin B-6. Things went right back to normal for her again.
I am very thankful for the thorough work of Dr. John Ellis, and of Dr. Guy Abraham. It is a tragic shame that their work is so little known today.
Christopher C. Barr writes Naturally Speaking from Arkansas: The Natural State … naturally! You may write him c/o P. O. Box 1147, Pocahontas, Arkansas 72455 or by e-mail at servantofYHVH@hotmail.com .