I first heard about Dr Jacob Teitelbaum, the specialist in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalitis (CFS/ME), fibromyalgia and thyroid disease, through Mary Shomon’s website. When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and began doing my research, it soon became clear to me how important it is to use high-quality supplements when you have thyroid disease or another autoimmune disease. This is because many such illnesses cause nutritional deficiencies, for instance as a result of malabsorption. This may well be due to Leaky Gut Syndrome, which many believe to be a key trigger for autoimmune diseases.
Mary personally recommends Dr T’s End Fatigue Daily Energy Enfusion (which is available in both the US and Europe – NL: http://bit.ly/gTQrf0; UK: http://bit.ly/ggKmr8), a high-quality multivitamin which is geared towards those with conditions such as hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and CFS/ME. I decided to give it a try and I must say that my nutrient levels have significantly improved as a result. Two other friends have also had good experiences with it. I prefer the citrus flavour and l like that it comes as a powder (which now also includes the B vitamins – these used to come as a separate capsule) that you can make into a drink because many of us have absorption problems and so fare much better when we take a multivitamin in liquid form.
Dr T’s site states that the powder replaces the equivalent of 25 – 35 tablets a day, although I have found that I need to take an extra Vitamin D supplement (I take a gel capsule by Nature’s Bounty) because my Vitamin D was so rock-bottom when I started Dr T’s multivitamin that I needed a little extra help. I suspect this may be the same for many of us – Vitamin D is so important for fighting cancer, balancing our hormones and so many other things.
One thing I should mention is that Dr T’s multivitamin contains a small amount of iodine (daily dose of ½ – 1 scoop = 100 – 200 mcg), so for those who are steering clear of iodine, this might not be suitable for you. I did however email the manufacturer and asked if their product is suitable for those with Hashimoto’s because some Hashi’s patients find that iodine can cause a flare-up in their antibodies. However, this is not the case for everyone and I personally have never had this problem. I was told: “The Energy Revitalization System does contain iodine, but not very much of it, so you should be fine taking it. As with any medication, if you don’t like how it makes you feel (or if you think it’s causing a Hashimoto’s flare), then either cut the dose in half or stop taking it for a while. Most of our customers that have Hashimoto’s are fine taking the Energy Revitalization System”.
I found the website’s customer service to be so friendly that I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask if I could possibly interview Dr Teitelbaum. By this time, I had read quite a bit about his work and techniques, particularly the SHINE protocol (more on this below). Dr T agreed to an interview and I called him at his home. I’d like to thank him for being so very generous with his time. It became apparent to me through talking to him how eager he is to help others and in fact he is one of those doctors who can truly relate because he himself was forced to drop out of medical school as he was the victim of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It seems that this illness spurred him on to research and help others to get well and improve their quality of life. Sometimes illness encourages you to do extraordinary things with your life.
Before I publish the interview (which I’ll post on Friday), I’d like to first publish an article courtesy of Dr Teitelbaum himself about his treatment protocol and recommendations for patients with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and related illnesses such as thyroid disease. Most of the products mentioned in this article are available from the Supplements section on Dr Teitelbaum’s website. I have also added a couple of my own experiences with the SHINE protocol in square brackets. Check back on Friday to read my interview with Dr T!
Effective Treatment For Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and Muscle Pain –You can go “From Fatigued to Fantastic!”
by Jacob Teitelbaum M.D.
The new edition of the bestselling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! is out, and it is –Fantastic! For those of you with fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and/or fibromyalgia (FMS), the book will take you through a step by step program and show you how to get well NOW. In addition, at www.Vitality101.com you can do a detailed educational questionnaire (the “short form” program is free) that will tailor a treatment protocol to your specific case and sign up for a free e-mail newsletter that will keep you up to date on the newest developments and research!
Ready to Get Well NOW?
Our study titled “Effective Treatment of CFS and Fibromyalgia” (Journal of CFS-see full text at www.Vitality101.com) showed that over 90 percent of patients improved with treatment, with an average improvement in quality of life of 90 percent. Many patients no longer even qualified for the diagnosis of CFS or fibromyalgia after treatment! In support of our work, an editorial in the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management (the largest multidisciplinary society of pain specialists in United States) noted “the comprehensive and aggressive metabolic approach to treatment detailed in the Teitelbaum study are all highly successful approaches and make fibromyalgia a very treatment responsive disorder. The study by Dr. Teitelbaum et al. and years of clinical experience make this approach an excellent and powerfully effective part of the standard of practice for treatment of people who suffer from fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome”.
What is causing these syndromes?
CFS/FMS acts as a “circuit breaker”, with the hypothalamus decreasing its function to protect the individual in the face of what is perceived to be an overwhelming stress (just like blowing a fuse/circuit breaker in a house). This center controls sleep, hormones, temperature, and blood flow/blood pressure/sweating. In addition, if your muscles do not have enough energy, they will get stuck in the shortened position and you’ll be in pain (think rigor mortis). This “Energy Crisis” can be caused by any of a number of infections, stresses, or injuries.
To Get Well, Think “SHINE”!
These are the 5 key areas that need to be treated for your ‘circuit breaker to turn back on’ and for fatigue and pain to resolve:
1—Sleep. Because the hypothalamic “circuit breaker” that is offline controls sleep, most patients need a mix of natural and prescription sleep treatments. For you to get well and pain free it is critical that you take enough of the correct natural & prescription sleep treatments to get 8 to 9 hours sleep at night! I prefer to start with natural therapies. An excellent one (which I developed –‘Revitalizing Sleep Formula’ by Enzymatic Therapies — 100 percent of my royalties for all products I develop are donated to charity) includes theanine, Jamaican Dogwood, wild lettuce, valerian, passionflower, and hops. Take 1 – 4 capsules 1 hour before bedtime. If the correct ones are used, prescription sleep aids are also appropriate in this setting. [Sarah: if I need extra sleep, I like to take 3 mg melatonin, a hormone that is naturally produced by our body’s pineal gland. Some people report that this also works well for jetlag by naturally balancing our body clock. However, I should mention that some people with active autoimmune disease might experience flares in their symptoms or even wake up groggy. As with any supplement, use with caution and as everyone is an individual, everyone will have different experiences. My antibodies are not active and melatonin has worked fine for me without any problems whatsoever].
2–Hormonal deficiencies. The hypothalamus is the main control center, via the pituitary, for most of the glands in the body. Most of the normal ranges for our blood tests were not developed in the context of hypothalamic suppression or these syndromes. Because of this (and for a number of other reasons) it is usually necessary to treat with natural thyroid [Sarah: i.e. Natural Desiccated Thyroid such as Armour Thyroid], adrenal (e.g.-glandulars such as Adrenal Stress End & DHEA), and ovarian and testicular hormones — despite normal blood tests! These hormones have been found to be reasonably safe when used in low doses.
3—Infections. Many studies have shown immune system dysfunction in FMS/CFS, which can result in many unusual infections. These include viral infections (we are seeing dramatic benefits by treating HHV 6 and CMV viral infections), parasites and other bowel infections, and most importantly fungal/candida infections.
[Sarah: when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I was simultaneously diagnosed with chronic Epstein-Barr virus, which seems to be a common trigger for thyroid disease. It can also be caused by the impaired immune system that is a symptom of hypothyroidism. My doctor treated me with Immunovir and I instinctively knew when the virus had gone because it was as if a veil had been lifted. I felt like I had lived in a fog all that time and once the virus departed things drastically improved. Of course, there are several other antivirals available. Another one I recently read about in this context is olive leaf extract. That said, I have also been told by my thyroid doctor that as those with thyroid disease balance their hormones, they might find that their body is more able to fight off infections such as Epstein-Barr due to the strengthening of their immune system.
In addition, Dr T is also referring to infections such as candida. In his book “From Fatigued to Fantastic”, Dr T “recommends that almost all of my CFS/FMS patients use Diflucan 200 milligrams a day for six to twelve weeks”. A high-quality probiotic is also a good recommendation, not only because of the Leaky Gut Syndrome I mentioned above, but also because it helps build up the good bacteria in your intestines, making you less prone to fungus].
4–Nutritional supplementation. Widespread nutritional deficiencies are common, and require dozens of nutrients. As people are tired of being part of the “Handful Club” (taking handfuls of supplement tablets each day), I developed a product that contains 50 key nutrients in 1 capsule and ½-1 scoop of powder taken daily (as a good tasting drink). Called the “Energy Revitalization System” by Enzymatic Therapy, it replaces well over 35 supplement tablets with 1 drink. A new nutrient discovery called Ribose is also revolutionizing how CFS/FMS and even heart disease are being treated.
5—Exercise as able. Do not push to where you crash the next day. You will find your ability to walk increases after 10 weeks of being on the other treatments. At that point you can increase your walking by up to a minute each day.
Ribose (Corvalen)-An Exciting New Discovery!
Corvalen (D-Ribose by Bioenergy Labs) is an outstanding new nutrient (a special sugar-even OK for those who need to avoid sugar!) for those of you who want a powerful energy boost! In addition to its role in making DNA and RNA, those of you familiar with biochemistry remember Ribose as the key building block for making energy. In fact, the main energy molecules (like “Energy dollars”) in your body (ATP, FADH, etc.) are made of ribose plus B vitamins/phosphate. That makes these energy molecules similar to the paper that money is printed on- kind of like being able to print your own energy currency!
Corvalen has many uses, including treating heart muscle weakness (Congestive Heart Failure). We were so impressed with this product that our research center recently completed a study which was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Two thirds of CFS/Fibromyalgia patients improved, with an average increase in quality of life of 30%- outstanding for a single nutrient! A second study (of 257 CFS/FMS patients at 53 medical centers) has recently been submitted for publication. Take 1 scoop 3 times a day for 3 – 6 weeks, then decrease to a scoop twice a day, but lower the dose if you get hyper from being too energized. The use of Ribose (Corvalen) is a major step forward in treating fatigue with the average CFS/FMS patient in the studies having an average ~60% improvement in energy after 2-3 weeks. In our studies, pain, sleep, and “brain fog’ also improved.
There are many other treatments available as well. Our free patented “Online Physician” can analyze your labs(if you have them available) and symptoms to determine what is causing your CFS/Fibromyalgia, and tailor a treatment protocol to your case, with natural alternatives offered for all prescriptions. See http://www.endfatigue.com/treatment_options/Online_program.html to do the free “short online symptom analysis program”.
In addition, there is an exciting new development. The Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers (see www.FibroAndFatigue.com ) has opened up a chain of clinics throughout the US that see patients from all over the world.
My newest book, “Beat Sugar Addiction NOW” also can show you how to eliminate the causes of your sugar cravings, and this can also help you recover.
At this time, you now have all the tools you need to get well! We wish you all of God’s blessings and our best wishes in your healing!
Jacob E Teitelbaum MD
Jacob Teitelbaum MD is Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers
(www.fibroandfatigue.com ) and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z.”
Senior author of the landmark studies “Effective Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia — a Placebo-controlled Study” and “Effective Treatment of CFS & Fibromyalgia with D-Ribose.” Author of the best-selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! (3rd revised edition, Avery/Penguin Group) and Pain Free 1-2-3—A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now (McGraw- Hill). His newest book is Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! (Fairwinds Press; March 2010). Dr. Teitelbaum does frequent media appearances including Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News Channel, the Dr Oz Show and Oprah & Friends. He lives in Kona, Hawaii. Web site: www.Vitality101.com
For Part 2 of this article, please click here
Hi as a 57 yearold mum of 7 , and an 17 year sufferer of CFS, ive really enjoyed reading some of this information. Where is this amazing doctor with all this information siutuated. I live in Victoria, Australia? x
I’m very glad that you enjoyed the article (Part 2 – the actual interview) is coming out on Friday. Dr T lives in Hawaii and from something I read recently I think he has mostly retired, although he still does speaking engagements/interviews. I have heard that it is possible to be treated by his assistant.
There are however several doctors throughout the US and even some worldwide who have specialised in his treatment protocol. I just checked and unfortunately it doesn’t look like there is one for Australia:-(. But here is the link anyway: http://www.endfatigue.com/resources/practitioners.html. The site itself provides very useful information, as well as quite a few articles.
If you want to ask them about practitioners in Australia (in case they know of some that are not listed), you could try contacting them on their Contact page. I found my contact with all people there to be very friendly and professional:
BTW: what is your current doctor like and are you currently on any particular treatment for CFS? Have you had your thyroid tested? Hypothyroidism is a common trigger of CFS.
Let me know if you have any more questions.
All the very best,
Awesome info, as always. I used to be so diligent in my research and feel so behind the ball. But I am sure as they continue to increase my thyroid meds I will be more myself. Ive heard of so many people who had fibro, and chronic fatigue who once there thyroid was diagnosed and well balanced felt so much better. I can certainly attest to the fact that being off sugar helped quite a bit before my thyroid was so weak. I look forward to more on the subject.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Heide. I hope that you are going to go from strength to strength with the thyroid hormones. Check out Part 2 on Friday. I’ve just finished writing it!
This is great info. Dr. T provides wonderful resources and tools. As you know, I have Hashimoto’s and take the Enzymatic Energy Enfusion. I don’t have a problem with the iodine in it and agree it is a small amount. Actually, yesterday at my appointment I was told I am not getting enough iodine and was recommended to add this in the form of a kelp supplement, which I started yesterday. My doctors practice does not believe this will be a problem with Hashimoto’s so we’ll see, but we all need iodine, as a lack of this alone can lead to a poorly functioning thyroid. Glad you mentioned D-Ribose, I’ve heard and read good things about this and it has been on my list of supplements to try, as I still have problems with muscle recovery and myofacial pain, although this has improved immensely since starting natural desiccated thyroid treatment. I have had wonderful results with Cat’s Claw (a very powerful anti-inflammatory) but had an allergic reaction with itching and rash when I increased the dose recently. This herb works so well that I plan to reintroduce it at the lower dose that I had tolerated. Hopefully I won’t have a problem when I reintroduce it but there are other options that I am confident will help if still needed.
This discussion reminds me, I recently saw there is research going on treating fibromyalgia with T3 with positive results so far. This makes so much sense to me, as this is what has helped me in amazing ways! The word “fibromyalgia” means muscle pain: fibro – meaning fibrous tissue, my/myo – meaning muscle, and algia – meaning pain. I believe fibromyalgia is a symptom and the cause of the symptom/s is what needs to be found! However, as we all know, fibromyalgia is usually associated with many other symptoms, in addition to muscle pain, and I find it more than interesting they are similar to a malfunctioning thyroid. I just feel so strongly there are answers for all of us that have been diagnosed with these “illnesses”, whether thyroid related or not, and we should not settle!
Thank you, Sarah! Very interesting topic. Looking forward to reading your interview with Dr. T on Friday!
Glad you liked Part 1, Lori. I was VERY grateful for Dr T for taking the time to talk to me. I didn’t even tell him what site I was writing for – he didn’t seem to care. He is more concerned about helping people in general.
His SHINE protocol makes so much sense to me and I have applied some of it to help improve my own illness. Let me know how you do on the kelp. Iodine is such a touchy subject with some doctors. Our doctor is strictly against it, but because I know that everyone fares differently on it I decided to give it a try because I don’t believe that there is one solution for everyone when it comes to iodine and I have had negative antibodies ever since I’ve been on the thyroid hormones, plus my thyroid on the ultrasound has vastly improved, so I must be doing something right.
I’m curious to try the ribose at some point, but sometimes taking all these supplements can be overwhelming. I read the same study you are referring to about giving fibro patients a trial of T3. I’m so glad that Natural Desiccated Thyroid has helped your fibro so much. I know it’s quite controversial to what extent fibro is linked to thyroid disease, but I do believe that every fibro patient should try and get proper thyroid testing and maybe even a trial of thyroid hormone to see whether or not this helps them. I also suspect that some may really need to be on Natural Desiccated Thyroid, such as Armour or Naturethroid, before they notice an improvement in their fibro symptoms.
Tune in again on Friday – I think Dr T has some very interesting things to say in the interview.
I get the same impression from Dr. T, that he really does want to help people, and I believe does do just that. I’m with you, all these supps can get overwhelming and I wasn’t thrilled with taking another one, but since there is still room for improvement I’m giving the kelp a try. I know iodine is controversial among doctors for those with Hashimoto’s and when I asked about that, she said as kelp (seaweed) is a natural way to get it, versus iodine drops, which she would not recommend, it won’t cause a problem. I guess I’ll find out but as my thyroid is still not “dead” and it does still need some iodine, I personally feel it’s reasonable to try, for me.
I agree fibro patient’s need to be screened for thyroid disease and even given a trial of NDT. I think most doctors probably do check for thyroid disease, like I was for years, but only with a TSH and the majority would treat with T4 only. Therein lies the problem! I doubt many people with fibro would see improvement with a T4 only drug. Hopefully, as studies like the one with T3 are done, conventional doctors will start taking notice.
Thanks again for your valuable insight. I totally understand your decision to try the kelp and I’d probably do the same. I’ve got no idea what my iodine levels are like because our doctor is so strictly against iodine for Hashi’s that he won’t test them. However, in addition to taking the Teitelbaum supp, I eat a ton of fish (my doctor wouldn’t like to hear that, but that’s the way it goes – I love fish and meat not so much. Plus, fish is healthy for you and I don’t get antibody flares from eating iodine or even feel ill like some people seem to)..
T4-only is the therapy used by too many docs. NDT just seems to work best for so many. I also wish they would stop being so fixated on the TSH. It seems that patients of ages gone by got a lot better deal when there weren’t half as many tests and synthetic drugs – Synthroid was only introduced in the 70s!
Very helpful post man, thanks for the info.
Thank you very much – glad if it helped.
chronic pain in left side every time I eat. what could it be. No doctors seem to find a cure.
Dear L Gaines,
Unfortunately, as I am not a doctor, I not in any position to provide you with medical advice, though I would suggest that you might like to see an integrative/alternative practitioner as they are often able to uncover things that conventional doctors do not. They also tend to explore more avenues. Pain in your side – what kind of pain? It sounds like possible digestive issues, which could be caused by a variety of things such as food intolerances, but it’s impossible for me to know really as I am not a medical professional and even if I were I would need to see you and examine you.
is it possible to get in touch with dr teitelbaum assistant please let me know paula
I don’t know the answer to that. I would contact him through his website:
I believe that’s how I originally contacted him.
Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Enola. Happy to share, and hope it helps. It was truly a pleasure to talk to Dr. Teitelbaum, and he was so generous with his time!