Alternatives to Prednisone and NSAIDs – Top 3 Natural Treatments for Autoimmune Arthritis, Psoriasis, and Colitis

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Anti-Inflammatory Herbs, Nutrients, & Lifestyle Changes

Ozone has multiple benefits for the body such as strengthening the immune system and stimulating oxygen metabolism at the level of the mitochondria

In conventional medicine terms, “autoimmune” means that the body’s own immune system is attacking itself because it is unable to differentiate between normal cells and foreign cells. Autoimmune diseases include psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid disease, and others.

The conventional medical concept is that the problem is an overactive immune system. Specifically, the inherent problem with an overactive immune system is that it mistakenly attacks its own body, resulting in tissue inflammation and damage experienced as symptoms like joint pain, redness, and swelling.

The Problem with Prednisone and Immunosuppressive Drugs

When physicians see swollen and red joints, anti-inflammatory medications may be used such as prednisone or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  If the situation deteriorates, physicians may resort to using stronger immunosuppressive drugs such as Methotrexate or Imuran or other powerful “biologics” that cost many thousands of dollars per month.

What are the consequences? Let us use an analogy. Suppose the immune system is the police force. By using medications to suppress the immune system, these medications counteract the gunfire of the police force, and the police force’s hands are tied up, allowing invaders to be let loose.

Using these medications can make it seem like everything is resolved since the police are no longer “firing”, however the true criminals are allowed to thrive. The real problem has not been solved, just suppressed.

Causes and Solutions for Autoimmune Diseases

In my opinion, there are indeed foreign invaders that the body is reacting to and attacking. Who are these invaders? I believe that there are a three major categories of foreign substances that the immune system can react to:


Certain bugs, such as Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, and the human herpes virus can have a tendency to linger in the body, despite proper treatment with antibiotics. If these microorganisms are still actively circulating in the bloodstream, the body’s immune system will usually take care of them.

But once the bugs have penetrated certain tissues that do not have good blood supply, they can hide in these “caves”, such as the joints and nerves. Once hidden, they are not easily reachable by the immune system and can persist for years  with very few overt symptoms.

However, when the body’s defense system or “police” become aware of their presence, they will mount an attack, and send bullets and bombs into the hiding places of these invaders.

Possible treatments:

Dr. M. Brown, a professor at Harvard University, recommends treatment of these autoimmune diseases with antibiotics, such as Minocycline, Clindamycin, etc.[1] This type of treatment seems to be quite successful. But there are drawbacks. A low dose antibiotic is needed to be used on a long-term basis and the antibiotics can’t always readily penetrate the tissues easily.  Higher doses, on the other hand, can cause significant side effects such as gastrointestinal damage when used chronically.

My treatment approach: High Dose (10 Pass) Ozone Therapy

Medical ozone (O3) is a form of oxygen that has been used as a powerful disinfectant for over 150 years. It inactivates bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Ozone also has multiple benefits for the body, including strengthening the immune system and stimulating oxygen metabolism at the level of the mitochondria. Thus, instead of suppressing the police force, we are supporting it. We use a 10 Pass High dose ozone therapy because it delivers more ozone in a shorter amount of time and leads to better saturation of red blood cells with oxygen without damaging it.

During the 10-Pass treatment, 200 ml of a patient’s blood are drawn under negative pressure. The blood is then mixed under positive pressure with 200 ml of ozone at a concentration of 70 ug/ml, and then re-infused into the patient’s vein, also under positive pressure. This is repeated 10 times and can be  administered 1- 2X per week for 10 sessions initially.

Treatment 1 to 5: The patient may develop flu-like symptoms (die-off effect) because the Ozone would initially break down and flush out the infectious agents and toxins into the blood stream.

Treatment 6-10: This effect will gradually subside and will not require additional treatments. Symptoms like chills, low-grade fever, achy-ness can be used as a yardstick of improvement.

After 10 Treatments: A follow-up consultation needs to be booked with me, so I can analyze the patient’s progress and revise the treatment plan if necessary.


Foods are interpreted as foreign substances to the body until they are broken down into basic building blocks or “letters” that are familiar to the body. If all the food can be broken down appropriately by the digestive system into simple molecules,  the immune system does not recognize it as a foreigner.

But if certain food particles are not fully processed by the digestive system, an immune response is triggered. The immune response, coupled with “leaky filters” that people have within their gut wall, can cause colitis. The foreign substances can circulate in the bloodstream and around a systemic immune response or inflammation at distant sites causing arthritis, dermatitis, etc.

In my opinion, identifying food allergies and eliminating those foods can really help resolve autoimmune conditions.


Heavy metals such as lead (example: from lead pipes), or mercury (from amalgam fillings) can enter the body as contaminants. When they get attached to our tissues, the body can not eliminate them from the system. The body can then start to attack these tissues.

My treatment approach: Chelation Therapy

Using agents that have the ability to “magnetically bind” to heavy metals will free the body of these contaminants.  It is wise to remove these heavy metals because they compromise normal body functions.

In conclusion, the medical profession and patients need to take the above concepts into consideration. As an alternative to using stronger and harmful immunosuppressive drugs such as cortisone and NSAIDs for treatment of autoimmune diseases, there are, in some cases, more natural, less harmful ways of ridding the body of disease.

Note: This article is not intended to replace the advice of your own healthcare provider. Please consult a professional before making any changes to your healthcare routine.


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Dr. Fred Hui, MD is a pioneer in integrative medicine. For the past 40 years, he has dedicated himself to helping patients with the most difficult medical problems. Dr. Hui has a passion for learning, always using the most innovative techniques and modalities. As a complement to conventional treatment, he uses naturopathic and traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, supplements, herbal medicine), joint manipulation, and IV therapies such as chelation, vitamin and nutrient therapy, nutraceutical therapy, and hyperbaric ozone therapy. Dr. Hui completed his Medical Degree at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1979. He has studied traditional Chinese medicine at Beijing Hospital, and Orthopedic medicine at British Orthopedic Medicine Society. He studied Chelation with the American Board of Chelation therapy. Dr. Hui has consistently ranked among the top physicians among over 3,500 family doctors in Toronto. For more information or appointment visit:

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