The story is fascinating, and I'd definitely say you're doing the right things in terms of approaching a doctor. Depending on your success, you might do well to contact a biochemist or regenerative medicine researcher who aren't MDs.
What strength was the magnetic field? I studied 2 years of Electronic Engineering, and would imagine field strength would be a deciding factor of the effectiveness of the magnet, not that I've ever felt better after an hour fully sub-merged in a 2 Tesla MRI scanner. (I doubt you've constructed a larger field, so you had nothing to worry about
in terms of damaging yourself - nuclear magnetic resonance has a proven track record of safety - unless there are metallic products inside the body (not excluding colloids or compounds like Iron or Magnesium as nutrients... that's a lie, I'm not sure what a magnetic field does to a colloid.)
You know, I'm almost tempted to try it, given it's easy enough to reproduce, and no harm done either way. I've got to say that the hypothesis is a little convoluted though - basically that a purulent bacteria induced extremely low-level septic arthritis, and was able to survive in the belly button.
My first question would be - if bacteria are buried in the naval, and were not connected to a blood supply (so there's no lymphocyte or phagocyte activity that could destroy the bacteria, nor was the tissue necrotised (dead, rotten, black, etc), then where is its flood supply? If dander etc was sustaining the bacteria, then submersion in water would potentially kill the bacteria (and on enough exposures, it would kill the bacteria simply by laws of statistics.)
I'm always wondering about
respiration without the presence of oxygen, it would have to be anaerobic, and the by-products would certainly be toxic, and potentially alcohol...
Anyway, I'm speculating on other reasons that MRI exposure to the naval (or a delayed onset from exposure to the rest of your body) would improve symptoms. Looking at the placebo effect, I'd say it's unlikely to be quite so potent as to force a remission (although of course, possible). Also, i doubt the effect would have lasted 3 years. So, alternatives.... if we assume the arthritis (etc) was reactive (sort of an over-blown defense mechanism if you will) then the bacteria is long gone... there are studies on magnetic waves improving joint pain, although they're never controlled (against a placebo or other product) and they're rarely blinded and randomized.
Occam's razor dictates that the least complex conjecture which is possible, is most likely to be correct, and in my opinion, the least complex solution is that the remission was caused by one of, or a unique combination of, or reaction to, the many known techniques and chemicals you've used to treat the condition. (Note I'm not saying this is what I believe - just what the simplest explanation is.)
Is the doctor you're working with a professional researcher (i.e. published in journals) or a physician in practice? (Or both, of course.)
I'd say from what you've described, the research will certainly be interesting - and if a trial is conducted, should confirm (or deny) the magnetic-field-exposure hypothesis. Either way, it's been fascinating to read (and think) about
. I'm currently flicking through both my Rheumatology, Orthopaedics, Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry text books thinking about
your story... long term conformational changes in the body from a "slow-release" bacteria actually offers a lot more than a treatment (or cure) for arthritis, I'm thinking in terms of biologic vaccines (i.e, to cure HIV - current research involves sealed molecular frames containing a poison, which detect and bind HIV infected cells only, I'm envisaging that if a bacteria can cause such long-term autoimmune behaviour
shifts, then it can in theory prevent HIV-replication within cells... I'm not first person to suggest this, but it gives credence to quite an esoteric area of biotechnology research)
EDIT - I just realised I completely hijacked the reason you posted, and I'm sorry for that, i didn't do it intentionally. I'm expecting to start my Phd thesis in about
9 months, in electronic diagnostic tools, like integrated bio-labs on a silicon/gallium chip, oh and I have arthritis & fibromyalgia, so it is obviously quite pertinent to me.
Post Edited (JayBespoke) : 9/2/2010 2:50:59 PM (GMT-6)