month: Q&A with Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., Internal Medicine
specialist, and author of Pain Free 1-2-3: A Proven
Program to Get YOU Pain Free Now and
From Fatigued to Fantastic!
Q: I’m exhausted, but when I get in bed, I can’t
sleep. I hurt all over. My doctor is completely clueless.
A: Basically, you’ve blown a fuse because your
body needed more energy than you could make! You can
tell this is the case because you’re exhausted
and you can‘t sleep. If you’re exhausted,
you should be able to sleep all day. When a patient
tells me these paradoxical symptoms, I know what’s
gone wrong. The name of the fuse you’ve blown
is the hypothalamus, the small area in the brain that
controls your sleep, hormonal system, sympathetic nervous
system (blood pressure, blood flow) and temperature
plus much of the energy production in your body.
In addition, when your muscles don’t get enough
energy, they get stuck in the shortened position –just
like in rigor mortis when someone dies -- and they hurt.
This is why you can’t sleep despite being exhausted.
So what happened to your energy levels? Any of a number
of stressors can overdraw your energy account and blow
that fuse. You can often tell what’s causing the
problem by whether the problem starts suddenly or gradually.
If it starts gradually, common causes include: chronic
stress, yeast overgrowth, hormonal deficiencies (despite
normal blood tests) or autoimmune problems. If it starts
suddenly, overload of the hypothalamus usually occurs
after pregnancy, injuries, or acute infections.
I got chronic fatigue syndrome after a bout with what
I call the “drop dead flu.” It was so bad,
I dropped out of medical school. I was sick for a year.
The interesting thing is that this illness, often called
chronic fatigue syndrome &/or Fibromyalgia, is really
a group of protective mechanisms to protect your body
from harm. Think of it as a circuit breaker.
So how do your turn your fuse back on?
The key is to increase energy production and decrease
energy loss. Balance your energy bank account.
To do this, remember the acronym THINS.
T- Toxins. Address them, whether they are toxins in
your food, water, household environment, work environment
or even toxic relationships.
H- Hormonal Support, especially thyroid and adrenal
support are essential to your return to health. A knowledgeable
and caring health care professional physician can help
you with appropriate testing and help you find natural
remedies to address these problems.
I- Infections. The most important of these is yeast
overgrowth, which occurs in most people with chronic
fatigue and fibromyalgia. Parasites and viral infections
can also sometimes trigger the symptoms you’re
describing, so be sure to be tested for them as well.
N – Nutritional support. Of course, you already
know that eating whole, natural foods and drinking clean,
pure water are keys to good health. Avoid professed
foods, refined flours and table sugar. (More on the
sugar issue in a moment.) You also need to consider
supplements to aid you on your return to health. There
are some great ones on the market, but one I really
like and I take myself is Enzymatic Therapy’s
Energy Revitalization System, a formula containing more
than 50 nutrients specifically designed for sufferers
of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Instead of swallowing
35 capsules a day, this system requires only one capsule
and a good-tasting drink. It’s available at
S – Sleep. You need it! Get at least 8 hours a
night. My web site and books discuss healthy treatments
for your insomnia
That’s the THINS system—it works and if
you follow it carefully, you’ll be feeling better
soon. Our landmark study( which can also be seen at
) showed a 91% improvement rate in CFS/Fibromyalgia
with this approach!
I also want to talk about something near and dear to
Chronic yeast overgrowth is very difficult to deal with.
The diet is difficult, I’ll be the first to acknowledge
that. It’s my personal opinion, however, that
you should not feel deprived at this time. You’ve
had enough hardship.
For many people with yeast overgrowth, sugar has become
an absolute no-no. Yet, I believe you should never eliminate
a pleasure without substituting something that is equally
enjoyable. it’s really important for health care
professional not to just keep telling people they have
to eliminate this pleasure and that pleasure. You can
enjoy your food and get the pleasure of sweet things
in a way that is healthy and feels just as good.
People with yeast overgrowth can easily tolerate the
sweeteners stevia and maltitol and even Splenda. Even
Ben and Jerry’s has a new ice cream sweetened
with Splenda that tastes good and won’t upset
your anti-candida regimen if you can tolerate dairy.
Malititol is a sugar alcohol that is not absorbed like
other types of sugar.
In my speaking engagements and with patients, I always
say sugar is bad. But I always add the three magic words:
“Except for chocolate!” You may think this
sounds really out of the box, but the health benefits
of chocolate are so great that they really neutralize
the negative effects of eating some sugar. Better news:
Russell Stover has an outstanding line of chocolates
sweetened with maltitol so you can have your pleasure
and stay healthy. One small warning: sugars with “ol”
at the end of their names can cause diarrhea in some
I’m a firm believer that things that feel good
are good for you. If you’re living 120 years and
you live a life that you hate and has no pleasure, you
might as well just drop over dead right now. I repeat:
Things that feel good are good for you. In addition,
there is now also effective treatment for fatigue and
pain. It’s time for YOU to get a life you love!
Dr. Teitelbaum is medical director of the Annapolis
Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies in Annapolis,
Maryland (410-266-6958). He is senior author of the
landmark study "Effective Treatment of Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia -- a Placebo-controlled
Study" and author of the best-selling book ”From
Fatigued to Fantastic!, Three Steps to Happiness! Healing
through Joy" and the just released “Pain
Free 1-2-3- A Proven Program to Get YOU Pain Free Now!”
His website is www.Vitality101.com.
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