This 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. Help!

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 my heart.

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 people.

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

Share this page with a friend!

Home - About - Yeast-Fighting Program - Connecting - Resources - From the Book - Store
Expert Advice - Yeast: Yes or No - Try This - e-News Signup - Success Stories - For Health Pros
© Woman's Health Connection. A Division of Professional Books. All Rights Reserved.
Read our privacy guidelines
Legal Disclaimer
Contact Us