303 of 312 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2008
Thank you, thank you, Dr Teitelbaum. Here is THE definative work on M.E. CFS & Fibromyalgia.
I have been a sufferer for a great many years and am now well enough to help others in my neuro-therapy clinic. If there is a single book I reach for most often it is this one. The updated 2007 version is outstanding. Thorough, broad ranging, expert, clinically tested treatments that cover the board and are presented in a way which empowers the M.E/CFS sufferer to treat themselves or work with their doctor.
Dr Teitelbaum advocates the SHIN protocol. Actually I would suggest it should be called the SHINE protocol. Here are the stages and what each letter stands for:
S = sleep. Without 8-9 hours of good quality deep sleep a night the body cannot heal. This is the foudnation stone. And Teitelbaum is deadly serious about getting this right. Many pages cover every conceivable issue and long lists of useful supplements and medications to get you there. My sleep was truly awful. I reckoned that no doctor could help it and gave up after a few attempts at sleeping pills (hang-over, side effects, useless etc. But this section of the book gets you back on track. It WILL help you learn how to get back that missing sleep.
H = hormones. They're all discussed here in a rational intelligent way. DHEA, Thyroid, Adrenals, Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone and a few little extras. He is passionate about which hormones need testing and the PROPER tests to do. How to interpret the results, or indeed how to trial the supplements without tests. Which type of each hormone to use, the dosage, the test ranges to aim for, the possible complications, the safety issues (bio-identical hormones are way safer than pharmaceutical ones), where on his website to read more and WHY hormone replacement is so very critical to healing.
I = Immune and Infections. Lots of people with M.E /fibromyalgia have lots of infections. There's a big chapter on how to deal with these - from parasites to bacteria, from viruses to candida. There is an emphasis on natural treatments but he also uses antivirals and antibiotics where indicated. Also an emphasis on getting the immune system back up and running - essentially balancing it out again
N = Nutrition. This is basically why and how to supplement with lots of good nutritional pills. Lots of great discussion on why certain minerals and vitamins are important in M.E - each one discussed in detail and the dosage etc. Although this is the section that is often covered in other books on the disease, Teitelbaums version is superior in my opinion because it is based on experience with tens of thousands of patients and their actual outcomes.
Finally, I think Teitelbaum should add an E to the end of his SHIN protocol and call it SHINE, because
E = Energy. The very first chapter of the book is about how to get the mitochondria - the cells little powerhouse - working again and thereby give your body, your heart and your brain more energy. Essential, of course. The big new thing out there - and Dr T is crazy for it - is D-Ribose. He discusses how much to use, how it is the single most powerful tool in his clinic and what sort. Additionally he advocates Co Q 10, Acetyl L carnitine and Malic Acid/Aspartate for energy.
About half of the book is taken up with the SHINE protocol in a way that is highly user friendly whilst also in depth. The second half is:
a) A serious look at additional treatments for M.E/Fibro out there, including the Shoemacker work on Neurotoxins (an important one), Dr Berg protocol for blood clotting and a BIG section on Pain Relief. He's good on pain. He really gets it and attacks it with vigour and intelligence.
b) Lots of Resources, where to buy stuff, how to diagnose yourself with various sub-groups, internet resources, psychological issues relating to M.E, spiritual (in the broadest sense) support that helps healing, and good usable lists of supplements for various categories.
I cannot praise this book too highly. Dr Teitelbaum and his clinic have conducted the only blind, placebo controlled published study for an integrated medicine approach to M.E/Fibromyalgia. And it was a huge success. He draws on great and deep experience in the field and writes with compassion and understanding. But also with a strong grounding in science and proof of efficacy. There are other approaches out there which make good adjuncts to this one - but if you can only have one then, WITHOUT A DOUBT it should be this book.
Just a few extra tips/resources.
If you do want to follow the natural remedies recommended then there is no better one-step shop for everything you could want than [...] There are the cheapest and largest on the net
If you feel you have no choice but to go the pharmaceutical route and feel that you cannot find or afford a doctor who will prescribe for you (I am not advocating this, merely respecting that this is a reality for many) then the best no-prescription pharmacy that I know of on-line is [...] They have never let down anyone that I know of over the past five years, their stuff is always the real thing and they are extrememly cheap and fast. There is pretty much nothing in the book (medicine wise) which you cannot get yourself from this company. A subsidiary one is [...]
If this you follow the Teitelbaum progamme really seriously for several months but make no significant progress then I would bet these are you two next best options (they are the areas T is least stong on)
1) Gut involvmet. The gut plays a huge role in immunity, toxicity and even brain health. See "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" on Amazon.
2) Toxins. I do not know of a one stop shop for how to really deal with a toxic overload in the body. But I tend to use those protocols designed for autism - as many autistic children have an immune and central nervous system (CNS) collapse due to toxic overload. And some forms of M.E/CFS/Fibro are essentially just and immune/CNS collapse syndrome.
Finally there are two psychological therapies for CFS in the United Kingdom that have significant effect for many sufferers. The first is Mickel Therapy - check it out on Google or YouTube. The second is Gupta Amygdala retraining. These therapies in NO WAY suggest that CFS/M.E/Fibro is a psychological disease. But rather that processes in the mind affect the body and vice versa.
After some pause writing this I would say that if you have these diseases the first two things in the world that you should do are
a) Buy this book
b) Look up Gupta Amygdala retraining on YouTube. It is pretty much free to view and learn the main bulk of his outstanding work on how deep parts of the limbic system interact with our thoughts and keep the brain and immune system in a state of alarm. Brillian stuff and virtually free.
If you want to take it deeper - or you know you have a toxin issue/lots of neurological symptoms/lots of gut and digestion problems then proceed to
c) Gut and Psychology Syndrome book
d) [...] books on autims esp Healing Childhood Epidemics by Bock on Amazon
c) Look up some of the stuff currently around on chronic Lyme (which often mimics M.E)
But buy this book first and foremost. About 70% of you poor fellow suffers will never need to look any further.
My warm best wishes to you all and best of luck.
228 of 237 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2007
From Fatigued to Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum MD, Third Edition.
Most doctors are familiar with Dr. Teitelbaum featured as an eloquent keynote speaker on the medical lecture circuit, dazzling the audience with his encyclopedic knowledge of both conventional and natural medicine. Trained in internal medicine, Jacob Teitelbaum, is a gifted and brilliant medical researcher and clinician. He is also a model for ethical business conduct, because unlike other crass, commercially oriented docs who hide their knowledge or charge for it, Teitelbaum openly shares his medical knowledge with the public and other doctors. All of Teitelbaum's treatment protocols are listed in Appendix G of the book, and are posted on his web site. In addition, all profits from books and nutritional supplements are donated to charity.
The 400 page book is lengthy, and is actually four books in one. Where previous authors have written entire books on each of the four main topics, with the acronym SHIN for Sleep, Hormones, Infections and Nutrition, Teitelbaum combines them all into one large volume which can be used as desk reference on chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
In addition, the book can serve as an introductory text for the open minded MD interested in integrating natural medicine into a conventional medical practice, since sleep disorders, hormonal imbalance, chronic or hidden infections, and nutritional deficiencies are some of the more common reasons to seek medical attention.
This is the third edition of his book, and Teitelbaum has managed to make a great book even better. Those familiar with the work of the Connecticut cardiologist, Steven Sinatra MD, will recognize the triad of D-Ribose, L-carnitine and Co-Enzyme Q-10 mentioned by Teitelbaum to jump start energy in the chronicly fatigued.
Insomnia or poor quality sleep is a major issue for many chronic fatigue sufferers, creating a vicious cycle which perpetuates the disorder. Teitelbaum provides a long list of natural remedies such as L-theanine 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, Melatonin, and Magnesium, as well as today's prescription drugs for sleep heavily advertised on television.
The Hormonal Support chapter is the meat of the book, with Teitelbaum crediting the landmark work, the Safe Use of Cortisol, by McK Jefferies, and Broda Barnes' work on natural thyroid. To these medical greats, Teitelbaum adds his own unique insights gleaned from years of clinical practice. For example, Teitelbaum finds that most patients need only 5 to 12.5 mg of cortisol, and recommends keeping cortisol dosage below 20 mg per day to avoid adrenal suppression.
Like many other natural medicine docs, Teitelbaum finds bio-identical hormone supplementation important for a successful outcome, and asserts that bio-identicals are safe, a conclusion based on his own clinical experience and medical literature reviews by Kent Holtorf, MD, posted on Teitelbaum's website.
Teitelbaum found that many of his patients had chronic infections of sinuses, urinary tract, prostate, and respiratory system, and had taken multiple courses of antibiotics leading to kill-off of the friendly bacteria in the colon, as well as fungal overgrowth, also called Candidiasis. Teitelbaum credits The Yeast Connection by William Crooks for much of this information which includes a lengthy discussion of anti-fungal drugs and natural remedies for Candidiasis.
The Nutrition chapter covers a detailed program with a complete vitamin, mineral program with recommended dosages, and discusses dietary avoidance of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour and other practical considerations.
My hat is off in admiration and thanks to Jacob Teitelbaum MD, for this third edition of an important book, the definitive work on chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. No doubt, many have benefitted and will continue to benefit from the medical insights in this book. We expect and look forward to a continuing stream of valuable insights in future works as his medical career continues.
Other books recommended are Pain Free 1,2,3 by Jacob Teitelbaum MD, The Safe Use of Cortisol by McK Jefferies, and Adrenal Fatigue by Wilson.
Jeffrey Dach MD
150 of 156 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2007
The second edition of From Fatigued to Fantastic was the best discussion of fibromyalgia treatment, until the current third edition was printed. Please read my review of the second edition of this book, in addition to this review.
Even if you have already read the second edition, you will find considerable new information in the latest edition. The third edition contains new sections discussing:
increasing energy with Ribose;
an enlightening discussion of the dangers of Premarin and progestins, in comparison to bioidentical hormone replacement;
new antiviral treatments, including Nexavir and Valcyte;
extensive information concerning sleep apnea and CPAP treatment;
information explaining how to win a disability claim;
a succinct, comprehensible, streamlined explanation of the Shoemaker protocols, for testing and treatment of Lyme Disease and other neurotoxic illnesses, which are often the cause of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Updated information concerning prevalence of Ambien triggered sleepwalking;
and using theanine and magnolia extracts to lower anxiety.
Some of the treatment protocols have been moved to an appendix, labled "for physicians," which makes the remainder of the book more readable for nonphysicians, but the physician section, is comprehensible to well read laymen.
The infectious disease section deals with the causes of fibromyalgia and their treatment. Dr. Teitelbaum observes that Immunoglobin G titers for Epstein Barr Virus frequently decrease with antiviral treatment.
Teitelbaum provides an integrated, comprehensive nutritional, hormonal, herbal and pharmaceutical treatment approach to fibromyalgia. He is very aware of the costs of testing, nutrients, herbals, prescription and nonprescription drugs and often suggests less expensive diagnostic and treatment protocols, realizing many fibromyalgia patients have been bankrupted and lost health insurance coverage, due to this illness.
Dr. Teitelbaum is quick to credit or acknowlege the contributions and effective testing and treatment protocols of other leading researchers and practitioners, and this book contains contact information for some of them.
I have never seen a fibromyalgia patient who did not experience at least some improvement, with at least one of the treatments recommended in this book. Many of these fibromyalgia patients had consulted dozens of practitioners, in an agonizing, frustrating seven or eight year quest for treatment and experienced no improvement, prior to following treatments recommended in this book. Treatment of the thyroid, testosterone, estradiol, progesterone and DHEA hormonal deficiencies often produces rapid relief of some of the fatigue, anxiety, insomnia and pain.
Clinical testing of fibromyalgia patients, at Florida Detox, has confirmed many of the hormonal and nutritional deficiencies, hypercoagulopathies, allergies, and infections causing fibromyalgia, including viruses, fungal overgrowths, and Lyme Disease, which are discussed in this book.
The exceptions I would take to this book concern use of Xanax, Klonopin, Gabatril and Ultram. Ultram, in particular, appears to be far more addictive than published literature indicates and Ultram withdrawal is severe. Xanax is one of most difficult addictions to treat. Klonopin is one of the three most difficult addictions to treat. With skilled use of Jacob Teitelbaum's protocols, almost all insomnia should be treatable, without using Klonopin or Xanax. In patients with anxiety disorders, Xanax does not appear to offer any advantage over longer half life benzodiazepines, including Klonopin and Valium, while it does allow anxiety to peak, two to four times daily, due to the short half life.
Although Gabatril is very effective for anxiety and insomnia, the slight risk of seizures can prevent Physicians from prescribing Gabatril to anyone who operates a motor vehicle or is alone, for more than a few minutes.
135 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2012
Before I embark on a critique of one of the better known icons of pop medicine, I should begin by saying that I have followed Dr. Teitelbaum's career for many years, and have read most of what he has written. And lest you doubt my credentials, I was diagnosed with CFS 20 years ago by one of the giants of the field, Dr. Cheney. I have also written a book on the topic of CFS treatments, which required a great deal of medical research.
What is apparent from Dr.Teitelbaum's book is that it is not actually geared toward patients with CFS or FM (which are two distinct conditions), but for those with an amorphous entity known as "fatigue." On page 6 of his book (2007 edition), Dr. Teitelbaum states that if you have unexplained fatigue and any TWO of the following symptoms: "brain fog, poor sleep, diffuse achiness, increased thirst, bowel dysfunction and/or recurrent and/or persistent infections or flu-like feelings," then you probably have CFS. This means that only three symptoms need be present. I am not sure how Dr. Teitelbaum derived this simplified definition. It does not correspond to the CDC criteria (which are on the next page) nor to any of the other case definitions developed since 1994. Nor does it correspond with anything written by established researchers and clinicians, even the broadest of which requires at least six symptoms (which is still on the short side). Moreover, it is irresponsible to lead people to believe that with only three symptoms they "probably" have any illness (most of which generate more than three symptoms), let alone CFS, which produces symptoms by the dozen.
Later, when Dr. Teitelbaum attempts a more in-depth description of CFS, he attributes post-exertional malaise to faulty energy production. True enough. But when he suggests in the next sentence that lack of exercise leads to "deconditioning" and recommends ten weeks of walking, he is undercutting his own argument. There are no studies that show that ten weeks, or any other amount of walking, increases ATP in people with CFS. (However, exercise does help people with fibromyalgia, which, again, is not the same illness.) On the contrary, there are several studies that show that graded exercise is the one form of therapy that consistently makes people with CFS (CFIDS) feel worse.
There are many problems with Dr. Teitelbaum's treatment protocol as well. Improving autonomic function, hormone imbalances, and immune system dysregulation is all well and good. The problem is that he uses every medication known to mankind. For improving sleep, he not only includes every herbal and natural sleep aid, he also prescribes all of the hypnotics, all of the sedating antidepressants, and all of the minor tranquilizers. What else is there? It's like throwing the PDR at a patient, which is not a useful approach for treating any illness, let alone one as complex as this one. That being said, for those who are unfamiliar with natural treatments, he does include all of them. The problem is that he includes too many, the dosages are, in general, too high, and he adds them too quickly. To treat CFIDS, all medications (whether nutritional or pharmaceutical)should be started at extremely low doses (many CFIDS patients are exquisitely sensitive), should be given one at a time (to test for tolerance), and should be spaced out over long periods of time (effects may be long in coming). The breakneck pace with which Dr. Teitelbaum adds medications, the number be gives and the combinations are in excess of what patients with CFS can tolerate, and this could provoke relapse.
Some of Dr. Teitelbaum's suggestions, unfortunately, are downright dangerous. While low thyroid function is indeed a consequence of HPA axis (endocrine) dysfunction in CFS patients, treating them with high-dose T3 (Cytomel) is very ill-advised (p 101). My daughter has thyroid disease, and she doesn't take a tenth of what Dr. Teitelbaum suggests. There is a simple reason for this. If she did, she would have a heart attack. (This is, in fact, what happens with abrupt high-doses of T3.) What is Dr. Teitelbaum's advise based on? An endocrinologist? A biochemist? It is based on the "work" of John Lowe, a chiropractor. (According to his website, Lowe holds an MA in general psychology and "voluntarily" surrendered his clinical license in two states.) Apart from the dubious nature of the source, there is not one single medical study in the PubMed database to support this course of treatment.
On close examination, Dr. Teitelbaum seems to base many of his more outlandish treatments on "research" gleaned from questionable sources. Although the basic components of CFS are all there - mitochondrial impairment, HPA axis suppression, immune dysfunction - Dr. Teitelbaum has completely missed the boat on sensible treatment. Ultimately, I believe this lack of awareness is due to a very poor understanding of CFS (and a very good understanding of how to market a book. If nothing else, Dr. Teitelbaum is an excellent businessman). Unfortunately, many second-rung "alternative" physicians are employing Dr. Teitelbaum's book as if it were a cookbook for treating CFS. I can only say that following his advice, as written, is a recipe for disaster.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
I've had Fibro for most of my life being diagnosed about 20 years ago. I have read dozens of books on this subject and tried almost everything out there to help myself. I think this book is the easiest to understand about our condition and the program for getting better the most reasonable. I am now into my second week of following the SHIN protocol and have already noticed a difference in my sleep and energy level, without using any of the drugs I had used in the past. Whether or not I continue to improve is something yet to see but this book was very helpful to me and I actually enjoyed reading it.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2008
From Fatigued to Fantastic! By Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.
This book could easily have been subtitled: "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, but Were Too Tired to Ask." No need to ask, because as one commercial goes, "It's all in there!" Not only is the coverage comprehensive, it is written with compassion, care, and concern for the person plagued with chronic fatigue and its related syndrome, fibromyalgia.
The core of the book is Dr. Teitelbaum's SHIN protocol. This acronym represents Sleep Issues, Hormonal Support, Infections, and Nutrition. Each of these four important areas of treatment has its own chapter, because he believes these four issues, with symptoms treated simultaneously, are the most crucial to overcoming chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. However, the book goes well beyond these four important points, because Dr. Teitelbaum includes natural remedies and prescription pain relief remedies, weight gain associated with the illnesses, and the mind-body connection in illness. For example, Chapter 10 is called "Am I Crazy?" and one I would recommend reading first if you have any doubts about the reality of CFS/FMS.
Read, learn, and restore your energy.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2011
This book is awesome. Easy to read, easy to understand, so full of sensible approaches to getting well... and best of all, it works! If you're tired of reading reviews of books where the readers praise the writing and the content, but fail to report on results, then you'll probably find my review informative.
The information I found in "From Fatigued to Fantastic" is the first thing that's helped me feel better in 2 years. It helped me realize there is a diagnosis for me, that identified and listed all the "symptoms" I thought were meaningless because the doctors ignored them completely (e.g. "I seem to pee out everything I drink"), that explained why I was increasingly unable to cope with the tiniest bit of stress resulting in major, very uncharacteristic meltdowns.
_From Fatigued to Fantastic_ is the first health book I've found where the doctor lays out the multiple etiologies for a health problem like fatigue/constant aches & pains, helps you identify which ones may be at work in your situation (and chances are, it's more than one), then sets up a systematic way to treat them as a whole. Most doctors -- and in fact, most academic research -- approach CFS/FMS with a "it could be this, or it could be that" attitude. Unfortunately, that's ineffective as CFS seems like truly a "it is this, and it's also that sometimes, and a bag of chips!"
Dr Teitelbaum explains how CFS is one big, self-perpetuation cluster of symptoms -- it doesn't matter what got it started, whether it's stress, bacterial infection, viral infection, fungal infection, parasite infection, toxicity, medicine side effects, or whatever else. Or some combination of the above. It only matters if the trigger issue(s) are still present and active (and he helps you figure out which, and if so.)
Here's my story, in case it's helpful to you... maybe it even sounds familiar.
My problems really started after a pneumonia-like viral infection knocked me on my butt for 6 weeks, 2 years ago. It was NOT pneumonia, but doctors didn't try to identify what it WAS. Now I think it was my mono recurring. Since then, I've never been the same. But I have had steadily worsening sleep, steadily worsening deep-bone fatigue, muscle pain, inability to cope with stress, feeling like I lost 30 IQ points, forgetfulness, dizziness, clumsiness, apathy, violent reaction to environmental irritants that would barely bother me before, violent reactions to medicines I could previously tolerate without side effects, random swelling, poor body temperature regulation, uncontrollable shivers when entering air conditioned rooms, etc. And been on antibiotics all the time, but they've never cleared up my sinusitis -- at first they worked for weeks at a time, now they don't help at all. Plus I seem to be unable to fully absorb nutrients from food (despite eating lots of meat, I'm low in a lot of meat-sourced vitamins and even very low on iron). Right before I got sick, I had been working on exercising daily for just over a month, having worked up to 45 minutes of aerobic activity a day. Since I got sick, my asthma returned, I have been unable to take asthma medications I used to tolerate very well (violent reactions, panic attacks, & hallucinations!), and if I exercise even a little, I suffer in unbelievable pain for days. In other words, textbook CFS/FMS.
Of course, none of the doctors I saw ever did any serious investigation. They all seemed to write me off the very moment that their first hunch didn't work out. "Oh, you can't take this asthma inhaler? Try this one. Oh, that still bothers you? Well. *shrug*." None ever acknowledged my symptoms such as eyebrows falling out (possibly thyroid, possibly nutritional issue), being unable to hold onto liquid ("goes right thru me"), and on and on. I thought I'd die from frustration if not from this disease. And nobody knew what I had! No matter how many times I said, "There must be some common denominator here," no doctors would buy the idea that I had an underlying syndrome causing all these issues. I guess I was too annoying!
Thank science I found the book "From Fatigued to Fantastic" a few weeks ago and realized that not only is a diagnosis clear and easy to make, but that there are ways to treat it. Then, according to Dr Teitelbaum's SHIN protocol, I found a doctor who agrees with the medical basis of his recommendations, and has put me on:
* anti-fungal for sinusitis (did you know fungus is indicated in >90% of chronic sinusitis cases), and suspected yeast overgrowth in the gut/gut dysbiosis, which can cause malabsorption and other issues -- made a noticeable difference
* Desyrel to improve sleep, when I can actually fall asleep (increases stage 3&4 sleep) -- made a HUGE difference
* magnesium and iron
* medical electrolyte mix, because my body underproduces vasopressin ("the antidiuretic hormone") so I can't hold water/potassium/sodium in (this is in the book - when I read that, I slapped my forehead. "IT IS a real symptom!")
* and myself, I added C, B12, D-Ribose, Green Tea extract (for stress) and Adrenal Stress End, an OTC supplement designed by Dr Teitelbaum, who donates all profits to charity; ADS includes a vitamin B-x panel and adrenal cortex extract (I actually tried this on a whim, bought it at Whole Foods, and it worked so well that I sought out the doctor's book. I didn't believe it would help, nothing else had. But lo and behold...)
Even though they all attack totally different problems, they all help -- it's a very noticeable cumulative effect. If I skip any of them, I can really tell the difference. Until I got in the antifungal & magnesium, for example, my body temperature was always under 97.5 (96.5ish in the mornings) AND all over the place, very poorly regulated. Just a few days later and I'm a roasty 98.x most of the time. Two days ago, my husband felt my forehead and said it felt like I had a fever. Nope! I was 98.4! He'd just forgotten what that felt like. Temperature issues were in the book.
Another serious symptom that resolved when I added the combo of electrolyte and magnesium? POTS! Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is when your heart rate jumps 30bpm or goes over 120bpm within 12 minutes of transitioning from lying down to standing up. My heart rate would usually DOUBLE, from about 65 to 130+. That is very very bad, not to mention it made me feel dizzy and weak as a kitten. And all it took was some freaking electrolytes and minerals. That was in the book too.
I don't think I ever would have found a doctor who would A) listen to my long laundry list of problems with enough attention to notice the trends, or B) be considerate enough to try to treat them all together. So yeah, I'm a total Team "From Fatigued & Fantastic" Fan Girl.
For me, it's a continuing journey. Case in point: now my sleep is much higher quality, when I can actually fall asleep. But it seems like, as with many CFS sufferers, my cortisol body clock is totally off. I am my most mentally awake at night. It's not that I lie in bed stressing about stuff... I just can't fall asleep, no matter what I do or how relaxed I am. Regular schedule, eyemask, ear plugs, comfy new bed, warm milk, green tea extract, the works. Nothing helps. Next week I'll start trying different drugs to help me fall asleep, just as Dr Teitelbaum suggests. The Desyrel helped me feel so much better with the sleep I did get -- it's clear how bad my sleep problems were, and how much they were contributing to my illness.
I really love this book!
What's REALLY amazing about this book is that it was the first CFS resource I read. Then when I went out on the internet looking for more information, and talked to doctors, it turns out that almost none of them are aware of even the basic interventions that Dr. Teitelbaum suggests (like magnesium, & sleep meds to short-circuit the sleep disruption cycle that makes CFS worse & worse). The consensus elsewhere is that there are NO MEDICALLY RECOGNIZED treatments for CFS. When I look back to From Fatigued... and see how thoroughly Dr Teitelbaum has laid out his case, explained the underlying mechanisms, and how it happens, and how it is perpetuated, and how to treat it, and how thoroughly he has cited hundreds of research papers to document his conclusions... I realize just how silo'd modern doctors can be. And it makes me want to scream. I can understand that the urge & will to pick up all the different threads and turn them into a tapestry is unusual and rare. But why don't the other doctors read the damn book? It's hardly any effort. That part I don't understand.
Even if you DON'T think you have chronic fatigue syndrome, it's a valuable & interesting read. The info on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, the role of d-ribose and other sugars in the production of ATP, the role of CRP, the information about how the body replenishes the energy stores in muscles, the explanation of mitochondrial function and dysfunction, gut dysbiosis, the reason that the standard thyroid panel cannot be trusted, why thyroid/adrenal/cortisol underproduction is so common and underrecognized, and generally speaking what nutrients/minerals you need to be healthy (that, if you are an American, you are almost surely lacking)... well, the book's worth it just for that.
Example: chances are you are low in magnesium and potassium, since most Americans are. Magnesium and potassium deficiencies can cause a huge range of symptoms, including brain fog, constant pain, low body temp, and depression! It (along with many other mineral deficiencies) can act just like hypothyroidism, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. But doctors seem to generally ignore this very simple, core, easy-to-fix source of suffering.
So maybe you have a blood test (for magnesium, potassium, thyroid, cortisol, anything) and hear your levels are "normal" -- but you could still be very low, just not low enough to put you in the hospital. As it turns out, lab "normal ranges" vary from lab to lab & are based off broad population studies. You'd expect blood levels to be Recommended, like your intake of vitamins are, but nope. They're average. And since the average person is deficient, it's a cycle of doom.
That's one of the many things I've learned from this book. Now I read my own damn blood tests and check the levels against as many other sources as possible.
That said: there are 2 points which I must criticize strongly. On every topic, Dr. Teitelbaum cites study after study to back up his assertions... except 2. One, he suggests that (failing antifungal and saline treatment) you might use small amounts of colloidal silver for chronic sinusitis. There's no evidence for this. Secondly, he seems to believe that NAET exposure therapy works for allergies. There's no evidence for that, either. These two seem to be blind spots of his. I accept that, and verify the medical advice myself, and move on. (Hell, even Isaac Newton believed in God. Nobody's perfect.)
One more criticism/caveat, which is second-hand -- I have not heard almost any good things about the treatment centers to which he has leant his name. They seem to largely follow formulas without taking into account your individual disease process. He didn't found the string of clinics, but joined them recently. It's unclear how deep his involvement is. So, the book may be incredible, but buyer beware of the clinics.
In short: If you feel badly, tired, achey, unmotivated, depressed -- try _From Fatigued to Fantastic_. I'm not 100% yet, but I'm so much better that I feel totally comfortable saying that this book gave me my life back.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
THIS IS A GOOD START: I have been fatigued for 3 years, and doctors cannot find nothing wrong with me (I am convinced I have CFS), I was doing most of what the book said, but between "Clean" and this book, I found the perfect balance, I still go down but not as often and not as long periods of time.
1) DETOX first, use any product (I particularly like the one you can keep eating, there are some supplements out there).
2) LOG, LOG, LOG. I did not believe it at first but if you log, you will find what makes you flare up. I discovered (after 1K hypothesis) that no matter what I do, I flare up during ovulation and before getting my periods. Some friends at the office helped to find patterns! this was helpful because I always thought it was activity or food related.
I also learned that all the other weird symptoms and pain were not but a way of my body to tell me to stop and rest, when I listened to my body at the first symptoms and stop and rest for 10 min, I do not get as much wierd and scary stuff happen to me.
3)The Energy rev system powder was the second best thing that ever happened to me. I prefer mixed in Yogurt, I threw out a lot of tries before I found something I could live with, I actually enjoy it now.
4)CQ-10 Well this was the best that ever happen to me. My brain fog is so bad, Once I stared at a red light while driving and thought "look the light is red, cool" and just kept going. SCARY, forgot to eat a few times and basic daily functions. After I took the first 400mg of CQ-10 I was almost my old self, I do 800 on my flare up days to keep the fog out and is working grate, The ubiqunol form did not work for me.
5)D-Ribose: I followed the instructions to keep it for a month to see results and I am glad I kept it. I am doing 15m a day.
6)Juicing: I drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice and feel like I am drinking live. Will never stop. Buy a good juicer Beeville $99 so you don't spend all your time cutting vegies.
7) Excerise as fatigue permits. I do 45min in elliptical.
8) Massages every day or when in pain.
Here is my main symptoms:
1) Insomnia: (I got a sleep study so I am sure is not sleep apnea)
I take medication to sleep but I am going to stop and see if I can do it by myself.
2) Hypothyroid: My lab is in range. Taking synthroid.
3)Brain Fog: CQ-10 400 mg a day is working, 800 during ovul and periods.
4)FATIGUE: debilitating to the point I don't feel like talking, While I am in this state, I feel like a hmmmmmmm buz in my head kinda like after one has an "O".
5)PAIN PAIN PAIN: the pain is like when you lift more weights than you should or when you start weights after a while. I bought A massager in the airport. AWSOME stuff helps a lot and I can get a massage every time it hurts. It cost about $300 but 3 year warranty, and doing the math is already paid for.
6) Acid reflux: I got cough and did not know it was acid reflux, the doctor found it because i could not swallow.
7) Other symptoms when I kept pushing my body: Numbness, sound or ring in my ear, COLD or HOT to the extreme, Pains most muscular and moved around, Feel like my hart will give out (not pain just a feeling of I am done).
The symptoms were not at the same time and most will go away and change by month.
8) Doctor tried antidresent but did not do any good. He actually said I was not depressed but needed to see if the side effect of it would help.
I actually have tones of plans and looking forward to get better so I can travel and do stuff, I do get down and despaired some times because I wonder Why I got this awfal thing happened to me, but I have adapted and hoping to get well.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2009
If you suffer from unexplainable fatigue that never seems to go away, your doctor says based on your lab values you don't have thyroid disease or if you do the treatment doesn't seem to help, and you try excersise but feel exhausted afterwards. you may have chronic fatigue and this book can help!!! Everything from exhaustion to brain fog. The natural treatments he suggests are sympton specific and time specific. I am 50 yrs old and I feel better than i have in over 10 years!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2009
I have used this book as a resource for resolving the persistent virus symptoms I've had for seven years. I bought it at the same time I found a new doctor to help me so I can't say it was just the data in the book. In fact, my doctor doesn't necessarily agree with Teitelbaum.
However, the information in the book is vital and you do get the sense that in the sea of mis-information and ignorance about the illnesses addressed in the book, this is a lifesaver.
For me, B-12 shots and more recently, gamma globulin shots, are working. I am also taking a dozen of the supplements this book recommends (I bought them from the author's website and I think they are excellent quality). I feel a lot better than I have for many years.
As an example of how this book helped me, when I started the gamma shots, I got really sick after a few days. Teitelbaum explains why this might happen (die-off reaction) and so I went through it without the stress I might have otherwise.
The book directs you to resources you might never find otherwise. For this alone it is WELL worth the price, especially on Amazon.