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Use Caution with Microdose Therapy Program
maplewood234 posted:
Hello, I wish to convey to you fellow sufferers about my experiences with Microdose Therapy from the Helens Foundation that claims to reduce pain for Arthritis, CFS, Fibromyalgia, back pain, migraines and even Parkinson's by using Hydrocortisone (Cortisol). You name the illness…they claim to "reduce it or eliminate it." Against the wishes from my RA & PC docs, who thought it was one of many ways to take advantage of chronic pain sufferers, I bit the hook of the promises to "arrest Fibromyalgia in 21 days" with a program where "patients averaged 77% relief." Desperate people in pain tend to do desperate things. Of course the people over the phone were very nice. They were also very happy to "get my check" of $7495.00 rather than my medical information.

During the "Shower" dose, of 100 mgs of Hydrocortisone (Cortisol), I experienced adverse reactions such as swelling/feeling of fullness of the face, jaw, neck and armpits. I also had a sore throat & minor chest pain. The head face & jaw pain was elevated above the usual level which made it unbearable to be around anyone or do anything. What really concerned me the most was an overwhelming, dark crushing depression and an extreme level of fatigue to the point that I could barely get out of bed. I haven't experienced anything like that before. I barely had the strength do complete basis daily activities and take care of my mom. These reactions were far worse than I experienced with Prednisone. I was told Hydrocortisone was a more "natural" drug than Prednisone but my body could not tolerate it and the side effects were unbearable even when I tapered the dosage down 20mgs. So I discontinued the drug and went back on the Prednisone at a lower dosage (1/2 of 5mg). I should have listened to my doctors who discouraged me from entering the program. The docs told me that Hydrocortisone is really NO different from taking Prednisone. They are both Corticosteroids but Hydrocortisone has lower dosing levels than Prednisone. However, Prednisone is longer acting.

In essence, it was a very expensive lesson for me to which the program cost me out of pocket $5545.00 out of $7495.00. They weren't concern with my reactions and wanted me to continue...probably to get the rest of the money. I paid $900 for Food Allergy Testing through the program which came from a Lab that mainly tests horses, dogs and cats. You can find a similar test for $400-500. I also had to pay $995 for a digital tracking system (a computer graphing program) that charted my daily fluctuating symptoms from 4 pages of pain diaries as "improvements" rather than recoveries from common flare-ups due to activities, storms & recovering from overdosing of Hydrocortisone. So there is how they get the "percentage of improvements" they claim to make. I didn't take a statistics class but I know there are false positive errors which factors can be misinterpreted. I lost a lot of money and I now regret entering the program. So be warned! You are either a predator or you are prey! I was a fool! Hydrocortisone (pill cortisol) in lower doses may work for you but please be very cautious about this program! You sign a contract and you will lose most of your money even if you can't tolerate the drug. You don't need to spend $7495! Just ask your doc to give it a try if you have problems with the Prednisone. Each Hydrocortisone tablet is 20mgs which is said to equal 20 mgs of Prednisone. In the Shower/loading stage, I started with 5 tablets (100mgs) for a week which caused me to flare up. I tapered to 3 tbs (60mgs) week 2; 1 ½ tbs (30mgs) for a week. I had to taper down early then stop the medication per doctor's orders. Eventually, you may find a minimal dose that will help reduce your pain and remain on it for the rest of your life. I hope this helps others from being preyed upon. When one is in pain, one tends to try everything and everything to help relieve our symptoms. This program is very expensive for what your doc can do with you. Take care.
star4health responded:
I am so glad to find this. I talked to the Helen Foundation today and they want me to sign up tomorrow. What is the rush? I need to talk to my doctor and others in the health alternative field I trust before taking a drug that is well known to be problematic. Also, is the cost justifiable with what they give you?
worn1 replied to star4health's response:
I have performed a web search on the Helen Foundation. I have found nothing but complaints. It looks like a scam operation. Check out the credentials of the Doctor involved. is just one of many places to look for consumer complaints on this foundation
There are none so blind as those that will not see
star4health replied to worn1's response:
Three peoples experience with The Helen foundation at: . One story there is by a person who was an employee and worked for a year with Dr. Stenberg (retired University of North Dakota chemistry professor), Ernesto Gallegos (car salesman), and Debbie Malone, the nurse who advises you while you are in the program and is an unlicensed nurse.
Sorry, sounds like a very expensive and potentially life threatening lesson in how to lose $7500. Cortisol medication has a long list of bad side effects
maplewood234 replied to star4health's response:
Hi. Thank you. I didn't know about Your right about Debbie Malone. While speaking to her she did not sound like a registered nurse. In every phone conversation she would start of by saying, "Oh, you sound better than the last time I spoke to you." At the time I was having a lot of adverse reactions to the high dosage and I wasn't feeling good at all. In fact I felt like hell. Finally, I said to her, "You would probably say the very same thing if I was on my deathbed and no I am not feeling better. I recently received some feedback that there is a consumer alert about Microdose Therapy on a website for people living with Fibromyalgia. I want to give people a heads up on this program regardless if you have PM, Fibro, RA, Arthritis, CFD, back pain, MS... The Helens Foundation is preying on people with many diseases/disorders! I have seen some of their solicitation replies to people posting their symptoms on message boards so be aware. I also received feedback from a fellow sufferer that Dr. Michael Jon Kell medical license was revoked and that he was convicted in Georgia of one count of felony Conspiracy to Defraud the State, one count of felony Medicaid Fraud, one count of felony False Writings, and three counts of felony Tax Evasion. Dr. Michael Jon Kell endorses Dr. Stenberg's program on the Foundation's website! Birds of a Feather Flock Together! When one is in pain, has a chronic disease or a disorder, one tends to try everything and anything. I did file a complaint with the BBB but the issue was not resolved as they indicated.
At no point did I personally speak to Dr. Stenberg. Outside of his pre-prepared emails and a rather insulting final letter I had no communications with Dr. Stenberg. How he came up with improvement" of my pain is beyond me outside of stopping the drug and allowing my body to recover on its own. In his final letter he wrote, "Which are we to believe: Ms...diary numbers or her words?" I do believe the numbers come from the words. When I withdrew from the program 3 weeks later I received $1950.00
I am still kicking myself in the @#% for being such a fool for entering this program. They wanted their money and a signed contract up front before determining if I was even qualified or able to safely take the Hydro-cortisone. Even if you are Medically Disqualified from entering the program by a local doctor due to a condition you will only get back a small portion of the $7495 you paid to enroll in the program. I was only able to recover $1950. All they care about is the money.
I thought they would have a Helens Foundation pain management clinic nearby where I could learn more about pain management. Instead I was sent to a regular neighborhood GP doctor who had many patients coming in and out of his office. I walked in. He wrote a prescription and I was out the door in a short time. Debbie would call you wanting your pain diary scores. All they cared about were your diary numbers which consisted 4 pages which you faxed in or emailed in. Debbie Malone bugged me for the scores. They forward the scores to Dr. Stenberg and he would put them in his graphing computer program which would generate color graphs like the graphs you played with in grammar school only this one costs you $995. Dr. Stenberg is holding a lot of seminars targeting suffers of Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis in addition to Arthritis & Fibro especially in Arizona. Someone wrote to me about how Dr. Stenberg is taking advantage of the temporary high from the steroid medication which eventually wears off several months later. I understand this feeling of well being from taking prednisone years ago. I did feel good and I had less joint pain and with a cup of coffee I could do almost anything but the good effects of prednisone were soon replaced with adverse effects that forced me to stop taking the med. The lesson I learned is to also run it by our docs. Hang in there.

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