fibromyalgia

  • A CFS/Fibromyalgia Physician’s Recovery Story

    IN 1975 I was in my third year of medical school, supporting myself working as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse in the Children’s Hospital. And this was the easy part of my life. My family, made up largely of concentration camp survivors from Auschwitz was going through an emotional meltdown. As is often the case with people with CFS/FMS, I was and am pretty empathic, making me the “family problem solver.” Putting myself in the middle of this battle was like getting between a group of drunks fighting. I got emotionally pounded to death. Like the sitcoms on TV, my uncle literally had a heart attack in my apartment while trying to convince me to manipulate my cousins, and landed up in the intensive care unit.

    In this context, I came down with a very severe viral infection. Although they could not identify the specific virus, the blood testing showed severe changes. Six weeks later though, when they felt that I should be fully recovered; I was still disabled and nonfunctional. My professors were very sympathetic, but after a while presumed that I must have, “depressed med student disease.” My being brain fogged and disabled continued for months, and I finally had to drop out of medical school. As my father had died years before, and I was paying my own way and could not work, or keep my student loans or scholarship, this also meant that I was homeless.

    Being homeless was not the worst of it. My whole life had been geared to being a physician and healer. With this destroyed by my illness, I suddenly was left with no purpose. For a while, I lived out of my old Dodge Dart, which broke down and was towed away by the police. After that, I was sleeping in parks, and ate when people were kind enough to feed me. I would note that the people I met in Tulsa during this time were incredibly loving and gracious.

    But something else happened. Something unexpected. It was as if the Universe had put a “Homeless Medical Student” sign on my park bench. Healers of many backgrounds, physicians, naturopaths, herbalists, energy workers, and countless others would come by and sit with me. We would talk and they would offer me their perspective on my illness. I was able to put together an integrated treatment protocol from these numerous different practitioners. In doing so, I was able to recover from my CFS/fibromyalgia. I had no idea that returning to medical school was even possible, but found out that it was. I was able to return, and do very well.

    But I never forgot my experience, and the numerous lessons that I learned living on a park bench.

    I am a science geek, and as a physician I have reviewed tens of thousands of studies. I also find that the realities of our current medical monopoly severely limits information to physicians, basically feeding them slick advertising masquerading as science. Simply put, most physicians are not aware of most of the treatments that can help people because they are simply not profitable. And they don’t even know that they don’t know.

    I have spent the last 40 years effectively treating thousands of people with CFS and fibromyalgia, getting the information to countless others, and training numerous health practitioners. We have also published four studies on effective treatment of CFS and fibromyalgia, including a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study showing that the protocol discussed below resulted in 90 percent of people improving with an average 91 percent increase in quality of life (p<.0001 vs. placebo). We call the treatment the SHINE Protocol, optimizing:

    Sleep
    Hormonal function
    Immunity/Infections
    Nutritional support
    Exercise as able

    I will be doing a series on how to get from where you are, to getting your life back. I will begin with an overview article on each of the five areas above. We will then go into more depth in each area. For example, sleep issues include not only natural and prescription things to help sleep, but also treating sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, nasal congestion and upper airway resistance syndrome.

    Basically, I will make you an expert so you can get yourself well. We will also point you to the tools and resources that can help you.

    We combine the best of natural and pharmaceutical treatments in the protocol. Put simply, the cost of a treatment bears NO relationship to its effectiveness. It only impacts how likely you are to hear about it in advertising and promotion. So don’t worry if some of the treatments we recommend are not an option for you financially. We will also be discussing low-cost alternatives, and how the overall treatment protocol can be done at very low cost as well.

    So here are a few tools to help you begin:

    1. Finding a physician. Although I do phone consults with people from all over the world (410-573-5389), many people simply cannot afford this. Find a local physician who is more likely to be familiar with CFS and fibromyalgia. (Find one that is holistically trained. There are over 2000 of these.) Begin at https://secure.endfatigue.com/cfs-fibromyalgia/find-a-practitioner—if there is not one near you there go to www.ABIHM.org. Sadly, insurance will not cover holistic treatments or the time needed to properly take care of these illnesses, meaning that most holistic physicians will not participate with any health insurance, making this not an option for many people. There is help though. Our goal has been to make effective treatment available for everyone. So here’s another tool that can help you.

    2. Basically, what is needed to help people get their lives back is to optimize energy using SHINE. I computerized the approach I used when I treated people, evaluating their symptoms and lab testing. I then computerized this in a complex program that burnt out three computer programmers over three years, and made it available online. I actually hold the U.S. patent for a computerized physician, which I designed specifically for people with CFS and fibromyalgia. Initially, we charged people $400 to use the computer program, but told people that if they couldn’t afford this, they could do it for free. Over 80 percent of people said they could not afford anything because they were disabled, so we have now made the program available free for everyone. It can be found at http://energyanalysisprogram.com/. It will analyze your symptoms in a series of quizzes, and if they are available, even analyze your pertinent lab tests. The lab testing, however, is not critical and can always be added later.

    3. For an overview of treating the illness, a lecture in CFS and fibromyalgia that I gave to several hundred physicians at their board review course can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuIRDzUDO3o.

    4. I invite you to read my book, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, if you would like an “easy reading” overview. If you want more detail and the study references, I recommend From Fatigued to Fantastic.

    I will be contributing regular articles to TotalHealth Online to guide you on the specifics you need to reclaim your health. I will begin with an overview of each of the SHINE components, and then go into key topics in detail. I invite you to join me in this journey of recovery.

    Please share this article with your friends, so they can also get their lives back. To sign up for the free newsletter that will have these articles, go to www.EndFatigue.com.

  • Autonomic Dysfunction in CFS and Fibromyalgia

    Autonomic Dysfunction in CFS and Fibromyalgia Jacob Teitelbaum

    Treating POTS, NMH, Low Blood Pressure And Orthostatic Intolerance

    As we have discussed earlier, the energy crisis seen in CFS and fibromyalgia triggers malfunction in a main control center called the hypothalamus. This controls:

    1. – sleep
    2. – hormonal function
    3. – temperature regulation—so 98.6 is a fever in this illness, and
    4. – autonomic function.

    Autonomic function regulates blood pressure, pulse, sweating, and gut function. This is why many of you find that you have weird sweating issues along with irritable bowel syndrome (gas, bloating, and alternating diarrhea and/or constipation) and acid reflux.

    Treating with the overall SHINE protocol can help all of these. But it is important to specifically also address the low blood pressure problems, as this is a very important contributor to the postexertional fatigue that limits your activity. For more information on treating irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux, see the free smart phone app Cures A-Z.

    Diagnosing Orthostatic Intolerance
    These are often called POTS or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and NMH or neurally mediated hypotension. This means that when you stand up, the blood pools in your legs, essentially starving your muscles and brain. Normally, the autonomic nervous system tells the legs to send the blood back up to your brain, where it is needed. But this doesn't work very well in fibromyalgia.

    The classic way of diagnosing this is by doing a tilt table test. This is expensive, uncomfortable, and often unreliable, and I don't generally recommend it. There are two easier ways to make the diagnosis.

    The easiest is to do a simple quiz. This is the one that we use as part of our free Energy Analysis Program (www.Energyanalysisprogram.com) that analyzes people's symptoms and lab's to determine what is causing their fibromyalgia "energy drain" and how to best address it. Here is the quiz. Circle the number in front of what best describes your situation, and add the totals. A score of nine or higher suggest a very high probability of orthostatic intolerance. I find that those with CFS or fibromyalgia who have a score of six or higher feel better when it is treated.

    Self Report Orthostatic Grading Scale
    Mayo Clin Proc. 2005;80(3):330–334
    ("Orthostatic symptoms" include worsening dizziness, fatigue, Racing heart or brain fog when standing)

    Circle 0 –4 below as best applies to you

    A. Frequency of orthostatic symptoms

    0 I never or rarely experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    1 I sometimes experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    2 I often experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    3 I usually experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    4 I always experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    B. Severity of orthostatic symptoms

    0 I do not experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    1 I experience mild orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    2 I experience moderate orthostatic symptoms when I stand up and sometimes have to sit back down for relief

    3 I experience severe orthostatic symptoms when I stand up and frequently have to sit back down for relief

    4 I experience severe orthostatic symptoms when I stand up and regularly faint if I do not sit back down

    C. Conditions under which orthostatic symptoms occur

    0 I never or rarely experience orthostatic symptoms under any circumstances

    1 I sometimes experience orthostatic symptoms under certain conditions, such as prolonged standing, a meal, exertion (e.g., walking), or when exposed to heat (e.g., hot day, hot bath, hot shower)

    2 I often experience orthostatic symptoms under certain conditions, such as prolonged standing, a meal, exertion (e.g., walking), or when exposed to heat (e.g., hot day, hot bath, hot shower)

    3 I usually experience orthostatic symptoms under certain conditions, such as prolonged standing, a meal, exertion (e.g., walking), or when exposed to heat (e.g., hot day, hot bath, hot shower)

    4 I always experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up; the specific conditions do not matter

    D. Activities of daily living

    0 My orthostatic symptoms do not interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)

    1 My orthostatic symptoms mildly interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)

    2 My orthostatic symptoms moderately interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)

    3 My orthostatic symptoms severely interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)

    4 My orthostatic symptoms severely interferewith activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing). I am bed or wheelchair bound because of my symptoms

    E. Standing time

    0 On most occasions, I can stand as long as necessary without experiencing orthostatic symptoms

    1 On most occasions, I can stand more than 15 minutes before experiencing orthostatic symptoms

    2 On most occasions, I can stand 5–14 minutes before experiencing orthostatic symptoms

    3 On most occasions, I can stand 1–4 minutes before experiencing orthostatic symptoms

    4 On most occasions, I can stand less than 1 minute before experiencing orthostatic symptoms

    Total Score Scores of 9 or higher suggest Orthostatic Intolerance

    If you scored six or higher, you will likely find that the treatments below will help you.

    Treating Orthostatic Intolerance
    These simple treatments from our treatment checklist can be very helpful.

    1. Treat adrenal fatigue. I do this if people have symptoms of irritability when hungry (what the commercials call "Hangry") or a morning cortisol level of 11 mcg/dL or less. This can be done with a supplement called Adrenal Stress End and/or by using the medication Cortef at a very low dose (20 mg a day or less). This medication is very toxic at high doses, but has been shown to be very safe at these low doses. This was discussed in my earlier article on adrenal problems.
    2. Increase your salt and water intake—a lot! If your mouth and lips are dry (and you're not on Elavil) you're dehydrated— drink more water (or herbal tea or lemonade sweetened with Stevia), not sodas or coffee. Celtic Sea Salt is an excellent form to use. I know you already drink like a fish, but you also pee like a racehorse! Drink more water and eat more salt. The main benefit of following the government guidelines for salt restriction, for people in general, is that they die younger—and the Social Security system thanks you. Unless you have high blood pressure or congestive heart failure, eat more salt!
    3. Get medium pressure (20–30 mm) thigh high compression stockings. People find that this often results in a dramatic increase in stamina. Wear them whenever you are upright for an extended period or doing significant activity. There are many videos on YouTube that will teach you about how to use these (search on "compression stockings"). Do not get the medical ones, as they will make you look like an 80 year old. Instead, go to a sporting goods store and get fashionable ones. Low-cost, no side effects, and dramatic benefit.
    4. Midodrine (Rx, Proamatine)— 5mg. ½ – 2 tablets. Take up to one hour before ‘exercise/activity' up to three times a day (for NMH/POTS) but do not take later than 5 PM. Lower the dose or stop it if it makes you feel overstimulated.
    5. The hyperactivity medications Adderall, Ritalin, or Dexedrine can be very helpful. These are in the amphetamine family and therefore tightly controlled. I do not see addictive problems as long as the dose is kept under 20 mg a day, and most adults do best on 2 ½ to 12 ½ mg daily. These can also be taken intermittently instead of daily.
    6. Interestingly, the antidepressants Prozac and Zoloft also helps orthostatic intolerance. These simple treatments can markedly improve your function—especially the first three, which you can do on your own.

    It's time for you to Get Well—NOW!

  • Candida—Eliminating Yeast/Fungal Overgrowth

    Have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or even sinusitis or spastic colon? You probably have overgrowth of yeast or Candida. Though poorly understood by most physicians, treating this underlying infection can have profound health benefits!

    There are no definitive tests for yeast overgrowth that will distinguish yeast overgrowth from normal yeast growth in the body. However, if you have ANY of the following conditions you should be treated with anti-fungals:

  • Effective Treatment for Chronic Fatigue, CFS and Fibromyalgia

    Having had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS), with the medical system having no idea how to help, I understand what you are going through. I also know you can get well!

    I came down with what I call the “Drop Dead Flu” in 1975 while in medical school, which triggered my CFS/FMS. As I was working to pay my own way through school, the illness left me homeless and sleeping in parks in Oklahoma. It is exciting, though, to see how life magically brings us what we need. I met many natural health practitioners while homeless, each of whom taught me bits and pieces of what I needed to learn to get well. And I did!

    After returning to medical school, I have spent the last 30 plus years researching and treating chronic fatigue and chronic pain (especially CFS and fibromyalgia). Our published research shows 91 percent improve using our “S.H.I.N.E. Protocol,” and hundreds of thousands have been helped.

    You can be one of them!
    Let's do it now.

    Ready to Get Well?

    Our study titled “Effective Treatment of CFS and Fibromyalgia” (published in Journal of CFS) showed that 91 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 the United States) noted, “the comprehensive and aggressive metabolic approaches to treatment detailed in the Teitelbaum study are 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.” These same principles work wonderfully for optimizing energy in those with day-to-day fatigue.

    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 or circuit breaker in a house). This center controls sleep, hormones, temperature, blood flow, blood pressure and 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.

    Five Main Categories of Problems Need to Be Treated—Think “S.H.I.N.E.!”
    These are the five 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 and prescription sleep treatments to get eight to nine hours sleep at night! I recommend starting with natural therapies and supplements.
    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, adrenal, and ovarian and testicular hormones — despite normal blood tests! These hormones have been found to be reasonably safe when used in low doses. Low thyroid, which reflects as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance and even unexplained infertility, is especially common, and the majority of those who benefit from thyroid have normal lab tests, so treatment trial should be given (using natural thyroid hormones) if symptoms are suggestive.
    3. Infections. Many studies have shown immune system dysfunction in CFS/FMS, which can result in many unusual infections. These include many different viral infections (the recently reported XMRV virus is one of many), parasites and other bowel infections, antibiotic sensitive infections, and, most importantly, fungal/Candida infections.
    4. Nutritional supplementation. Widespread nutritional deficiencies are common, and require dozens of nutrients. I recommend a good daily multivitamin. Ribose supplementation should also be taken as it can powerfully jump-start your energy. In our initial study, ribose increased energy an average of 45 percent in just three weeks. A second, larger study conducted by 81 physicians (currently being prepared for publication) showed an average of over 59 percent increase in energy in those with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
    5. Exercise as able. Do not push to the point of crashing the next day. Start by walking as long as you comfortably can (even if that is only two minutes). After 10 weeks on treatment, start to increase your walks by up to one minute more each day as able. When you are up to an hour of walking, you can increase intensity.
  • Exercise: Friend or Foe in Fibromyalgia?

    10 Tips For Healthy Exercise In Fibromyalgia by Jacob Teitelbaum

    10 Tips For Healthy Exercise In Fibromyalgia

    In previous articles, we have discussed the basics of using the SHINE Protocol:

     Sleep
     Hormones
     Infections
     Nutrition and
     Exercise as able

    To recover from CFS and fibromyalgia, double-blind placebo-controlled research has shown that 91 percent of people improve with an average 90 percent increase in quality of life using this approach. Today, let’s discuss the E in SHINE- Exercise This whole area has become very controversial. Not because there is uncertainty about the importance of exercise in any chronic disease. But rather, because there is still a small subset of fools who like to make believe that fibromyalgia is not a “real” disease, and who attempt to use the research showing that conditioning helps to somehow invalidate the illness.

    We have seen this before when multiple sclerosis used to be called “hysterical paralysis,” and lupus and rheumatoid arthritis were considered diseases of neurotic women. Just as some people will persist in believing that the world is flat, some will persist in believing that these illnesses, and fibromyalgia, are somehow all in people’s minds.

    Research is clear that exercise helps cancer — induced fatigue. Yet no one would dream of saying that this suggests that cancer is not a real disease. In the same way, anyone who implies that the research showing that conditioning helps fibromyalgia somehow suggests that the illness is not real is simply being a fool.

    For today, let’s ignore the fools.

    So what is occurring? Because of the energy crisis occurring in CFS/FMS/ME, people are unable to condition beyond a certain point. Instead, if they exercise beyond that point, they get postexertional fatigue, often being bedbound for a day or two. This, along with the pain, often leaves people afraid to exercise at all — leading to severe deconditioning. In this illness, the deconditioning can be devastating. In fact, it can be more devastating than the exercise.

    The answer? You want to begin a walking program so that you can condition as much as your body is able to. For some this may be 50 steps a day, and for others this may be two miles. Simply start slow, and listen to your body. If you feel good tired after and better the next day that was a good level of walking. Increase by 50 steps each day as able. A good $15 pedometer will help you to do this easily. If you get to the point where you feel wiped out the next day, simply cut back.

    The good news? After you give the SHINE protocol 10 to 12 weeks to build energy production, you’ll be able to start conditioning again, instead of simply crashing. When you feel your energy building on the protocol, continue to increase your walking by about 50 steps every day or two, as feels comfortable. It can be as simple as this, and does not need to be complicated. For many fibromyalgia patients, doable exercises include walking, yoga, and Tai Chi just to name a few. Walking is an ideal exercise.

    Here are 10 tips to get you started safely, and to make the exercise program more effective:

    1. Begin with light exercise, like walking or even warm water walking (in a heated pool) if regular walking is too difficult.
    2. Walk to the degree that you feel “good tired” after and better the next day. If you feel worse the next day, stop a few days and then cut back
    3. Walk only as much as you know you can comfortably (or start with five minutes). Then increase by one minute every other day as is comfortable. When you get to a point that leaves you feeling worse the next day, cut back a bit to a comfortable level, and continue that amount of walking each day.
    4. After 10 weeks on the “SHINE Protocol,” your energy production will usually improve considerably, and you’ll be able to continue to increase your walking by one minute every other day.
    5. When you get to one hour a day (or 5000–10,000 steps throughout the day if using a pedometer), you can increase the intensity of the exercise. Again, listen to your body, and only do what feels good to you. You’ll know the difference between how “good pain” feels versus “bad pain” or crashing. Overall, “No Pain, No Gain” is stupid. Pain is your body’s way of saying, “Don’t do that!”
    6. Do consider a pedometer. It makes it more fun to be able to see your endurance go up (set it for total steps you walk a day).
    7. When it’s cold outside wear woolen long underwear. A cold breeze can throw muscles into spasm. So can sweating during the walk if you’re overdressed. Woolen long johns will soak up any sweat and wick it away from your skin. Meanwhile, don’t forget a scarf and hat. Unless it is cold, and the cold flares your pain, I recommend you get your exercise by walking outside, so you can get sunshine your key source of vitamin D. Many people with CFS/Fibromyalgia are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D from sunshine (or supplements) will help improve immune function and will also decrease the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and cancer (low Vitamin D is responsible for upwards of 85,000 deaths a year in the U.S.).
    8. Enjoy Your Exercise! (Or you won’t stay with it.) No pain, no gain. You’ve heard that slogan, of course. It reflects the belief that unless exercise hurts, it’s not doing its job.I have another slogan I want you to say to yourself instead. Pain is insane! Exercise should be virtually pain-free.
    9. Find An Exercise You Enjoy. Find an activity you love to do, look forward to, and that fits into your routine. This way, you will be more likely to stick with it. Whether you begin with a simple walk to the mailbox, or as you improve you find that you’re doing a dance class, going for a walk in the park, doing yoga, or even shopping, doing something you love makes it more likely that you’ll stick with it.
    10. Have A Regular Scheduled Routine. And meet with a friend to do the exercise. The obligation of meeting somebody means that you’re also more likely to show up.

    Some of you will have orthostatic intolerance (e.g.—NMH or POTS), where your symptoms get worse if you are upright for an extended period.

    We have begun with an overview of how to use SHINE to recover from fibromyalgia. To make this easier, I recommend doing the free “Energy Analysis Program” at www.EnergyAnalysisProgram.com. This will analyze a series of quizzes, and can also analyze pertinent lab tests if they are available, to tailor a program to help optimize your energy production. I also recommend the free iPhone and android app “cures A – Z,” which you’ll find very helpful in addressing day-to-day problems, and my books, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution and From Fatigued to Fantastic!

  • Fibromyalgia and Oral Health—The Female Factor

    About half of all Americans, no matter how healthy they are, are more likely to develop oral health problems.

    Women need to be aware that they are at higher risk for periodontal disease and gum disease during puberty, pregnancy, their menstrual cycle each month, and then menopause—let’s face it, we’re at risk most of our lives. We now also know there is a correlation between high hormone levels in the body and inflammation in the gums surrounding the teeth as well as in the epidemic numbers of the disorder fibromyalgia—which afflicts mostly women.

    When hormone levels are very high, women can be more sensitive to a small amount of plaque or bacteria. For example, if you weren’t pregnant, and you forgot to floss for a couple of days, it probably wouldn’t be an issue. But if you’re pregnant and forget to floss, and plaque collects, you can develop swollen, painful growths in your gums that otherwise probably wouldn’t manifest as quickly.

    Being pregnant and having periodontal disease may also put your baby at risk. Studies show that pregnant women with periodontal disease have higher risk of premature labor and low birth weight. Scientists believe this occurs due to the inflammation and bacteria in the mouth that makes its way into the bloodstream. Author’s Note: A myth voiced by most dentists in years past is that pregnancy does not create more cavities; given the above data, that is not a correct assumption.

    A Timely Connection
    A few years ago I was honored to be invited to experience and consult with a globally-respected integrative medical hospital, medical and dental clinic and spa, located on the Pacific coast in Baja California.

    Having worked in the clinical and research dental field for eleven years myself, with my investigative “eye” continually searching to find a link between soft and connective tissue disorders like fibromyalgia and dental health, I was introduced to the director of the dental clinic, Walter De La O, DDS. The following are notes taken during discussions with Dr. De La O and his clinical experiences and methodologies for the potential connection of the oral cavity (mouth) to fibromyalgia, as discussed during my investigative visit and later validated in my clients’ experiences when their oral health issues were resolved.

    Fibromyalgia and Mercury… Dr. De LA O and I both agree that we have observed a strong relationship between fibromyalgia and the health and alignment of the oral cavity—as evidenced by clinical observation and research. There are many dental factors in play in disorders like fibromyalgia. This summary represents only a few “clues” as underlying contributing causes that my investigative work has uncovered.

    We KNOW the health-depleting effects of mercury amalgam fillings (silver fillings), which can be very toxic for the body— releasing mercury in the form of toxic vapors. This vapor release from mercury occurs every time the teeth make contact with one another (occlusion), when the pH of the saliva is altered, when friction is created on the teeth, or when the temperature inside the mouth is raised. This means that every time we are eating, swallowing (saliva or food), chewing, clenching/grinding, brushing our teeth or even smoking, we are potentially exposed to mercury vapors from our amalgam filling—which is most of the time.

    Toxic levels of mercury can cause or exacerbate the following, but definitely not limited to:

    • autoimmune diseases (i.e., lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, cancer etc.)
    • infections (i.e., chronic vaginal yeast in women, jock itch in men, sinus infection, swollen glands, thrush, etc.)
    • unexplained chronic fatigue
    • depression
    • nerve impairment
    • memory problems, decreased mental clarity, brain-fog
    • bowel disorders (chronic constipation, IBS, Crohn’s, etc.)
    • anxiety, panic disorders, ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s syndrome
    • emotional outbursts and instability
    • soft and connective tissue pain (fibromyalgia, arthritis, rheumatism, etc.)
    • migraine headaches
    • insomnia and sleep disorders
    • autoimmune autoimmune disorders
    • sluggish lymphatic system and swollen/tender lymph nodes and;
    • many other disorders that are seemingly unrelated.

    When the mercury vapors enter our body, they get deposited in various organs. Once they are stored, they begin generating free-radicals—the accumulations of both have been known contributing factors in disorders like fibromyalgia.

    Fibromyalgia and TMJS…
    In addition, there is another contributing factor to consider if you have fibromyalgia—temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (TMJS).

    The following is a summary by Dr. Wesley Shankland, author of over 65 publications on TMJS and facial pain, and president of the American Academy of Head, Neck, and Facial Pain. His statement and methodologies about TMJS and fibromyalgia are important to consider:

    Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful muscle and nerve condition characterized by pain in the skeletal muscles, tendons (which attach muscles to bone), ligaments (which attach bones to bones) and bursa (sac-like structures which are filled with synovial fluid and provide lubrication and nutrition to joints).

    Symptoms of fibromyalgia are characterized by generalized muscle soreness and stiffness lasting more than three months, poor sleep with morning fatigue and stiffness, tenderness at 11 of 18 specific sites and ‘normal’ blood test results. The more common painful areas include the low cervical spine, the shoulders, the second rib, the arms, the buttocks and the knees.

    Many other physical conditions are also found frequently with fibromyalgia. Each of these can, and does occur separately; however, they are also quite commonly associated with fibromyalgia.

    Many patients suffering with TMJS also suffer with fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recognize either TMJS or fibromyalgia or fail to see the connection of these two pain syndromes. Fibromyalgia almost always intensifies the painful symptoms of TMJS and when one or both temporo-mandibular joints are dislocated, the pain of fibromyalgia in the neck and upper back is greatly magnified. Both TMJS and fibromyalgia produce similar painful symptoms in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back, face and head as well as often causing dizziness.

    Fibromyalgia and Oral Health—The Biting Reality

    Body Balance and Alignment
    We are now aware that proper balancing of the body starts at your feet and how you actually take steps. Body balance and alignment will also depend on the length of your legs, position of your hips, deviation of the vertical spine and the balance of your shoulders.

    This balance doesn’t end in the shoulders; it ends in your head. Your head is supported and balanced by the vertical spine. This balancing, or alignment, also extends to the lower jaw, the mandible, being the only bone with mobility that is articulated/ hinged to the skull.

    The mandible has 3 pairs of muscles that elevate it: the masseter, the medial pterygoid and the temporalis. There are also four muscles that depress the mandible: the digastric, the geniohyoid, the mylohyoid and lateral pterygoid. In addition, there are other muscles that are active during the complex grinding actions of chewing.

    Important Muscles of the Head and Oral Cavity

    Masseter:
    A muscle in the cheek that moves the jaws during chewing. If you experience upper body pain and inflammation, be sure to have your biological dentist check your bite (occlusion) to see if the pain is originating from mal-aligned of the jaw.

    Masseter Muscle of the Jaw
    In humans, the masseter is the MOST powerful muscle of the body, with a record bite of 990 pounds observed in a man who suffered an epileptic seizure, which caused him to bite uncontrollably—shattering most of his teeth. Were the teeth of a human able to withstand the sufficient pressure, a human could bite a hole into an automobile tire inflated to 65 psi, chew up a cinder block, or bite through the rings or chain of a pair of handcuffs.

    The Biting Pain

    Muscles of the Head and Jaw
    Your masseter muscle is your primary chewing muscle, and it covers the sides of the jaw just behind the cheeks. It’s also the muscle that makes you clench your jaw and grind your teeth, unfortunately, and it may be the single most common location for trigger points (muscle or fibro knots) in the entire human body. It is an accomplice in pretty much every case of chronic jaw clenching, bruxism (that’s Latin for “grinding your teeth”), and temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (a painful condition of the jaw joint).

    The masseter muscle is often underestimated by the public and health care professionals alike (although I’m pleased to see a surprisingly strong interest in the subject among biological dentists and holistic practitioners). When irritated, the masseter’s muscle knots can cause and/or aggravate several problems including, but certainly not limited to:

    • Headaches, of course—this makes intuitive sense to most people.
    • Pain/Inflammation—especially felt in the neck, face, shoulders and upper back.
    • Earaches and Toothaches—which are much less obvious. A masseter trigger point can refer pain directly into a tooth, leading to disastrous results for an innocent tooth.
    • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and dizziness—both can be serious and complex problems, and are not necessarily caused by masseter trigger points. There are many other potential contributing factors—but the masseter is always a likely suspect that should be considered.
    • Bruxism—a grinding and cracking of molars.
    • Temporo-mandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)—a slow, painful failure of jaw joint function.

    Romancing the Masseter
    The therapy known as Perfect Spot No. 7 is extremely effective massage therapy for most jaw problems including bruxism, jaw clenching and TMJ syndrome. Fortunately, this procedure is extremely easy for the practitioner and just as much for the patient for self-therapy.

    The masseter muscle “hangs” from the underside of the cheekbone on the side of the face. The bottom of the muscle attaches to a broad area on the side of the jawbone.

    The Masseter Notch
    Perfect Spot No. 7 is conveniently located in a notch in the cheekbone, about one inch in front of your ears. The notch is on the underside of the cheekbone, it’s easy to find, and your thumb or fingertip will fit into it nicely, unless you have extremely large hands and fingers.

    If you press firmly inward and upwards with your thumb in this particular notch you will be rewarded with a sweet ache. The rest of the muscle, however, tends to feel like not much, or unpleasantly tender. Although the entire muscle can and should be rubbed gently, the Perfect Spot is definitely limited to that upper edge of the muscle.

    Note: The Perfect Spot Therapy is based primarily on the research and writing of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons— pioneers of myofascial pain syndrome research. Dr. Travell expired in 1997 after decades of tireless efforts to educate her medical colleagues about trigger points and the benefit of massage.

    The existence and importance of trigger points is NOT scientifically controversial, but it is obscure—the challenge is to get the word out. Doctors and dentists are generally uninformed about musculoskeletal health care—it simply isn’t on their radar. According to Dr. Simons, “Muscle is an orphan organ. No medical specialty claims it.”

    Perfect Spot No. 7 is a sturdy piece of anatomy, so don’t be afraid to work steadily up to hard pressure—if that’s what it seems to want, listen to what it’s telling you! Either constant pressure or small, kneading circles are both appropriate. Since this spot is so tough, another good trick is to use a knuckle for extra pressure, or even a small wooden ball with a handle like the opposite end of a wood spiral honey-dipper.

    Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome involving many triggers—some of them currently being discovered. What we do know in wholistic health is that when you begin to understand the connection to oral and intestinal health and overall body burden, we can then begin to solve the puzzle and regain quality of life…I did and so have the thousands of clients I’ve guided to wellness worldwide when everything else either didn’t provide relief or made them worse from toxic side-effects. Be informed; take charge of your health, Naturally.

  • Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain

    Because of the metabolic problems occurring in fibromyalgia and CFS, two in-house studies done in our research center showed an average 32 1/2 pound weight gain in this illness. As most of you have found, trying to lose this weight before one has addressed the underlying metabolic problems can be near impossible.

    A new study in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology1 has also noted that people with fibromyalgia are more likely to weigh more. Unfortunately, the perspective of the authors shows through even in the first line of the study where they note, "Fibromyalgia (FM) is a biopsychosocial disorder." So we will take their interpretations with a grain of salt. But the data is interesting. It showed that in fibromyalgia:
    • 0.4 percent were underweight;
    • 25.9 percent normal weight;
    • 29.9 percent overweight;
    • 43.8 percent obese.

    When comparing the people with fibromyalgia who were obese with those who had normal weight, the study did find what we have often seen before as well. People suffering with obesity report higher prevalence of abuse (48 versus 33.9 percent, P = 0.016) and sexual abuse (17.3 versus 6.8 percent, P = 0.01) than those with normal weight.

    My problem with the study? Although this study was well done, and I applaud the authors, their writing does reflect the general lack of understanding of this illness and the people who suffer with it. The study conclusion? "Physicians treating FM should discuss weight loss with their FM patients. Even if increasing BMI [weight] is not intrinsic to FM, it contributes to poor mood and functional outcome and should be a treatment goal."

    As if most people with fibromyalgia who have weight issues haven't tried to lose weight!

    So here are a few important points to keep in mind if you start hearing stuff related to this study:

    1. Our studies showed that the average 32.5 pound weight gain occurred after the fibromyalgia symptoms began. In other words, the weight gain was triggered by the illness not the other way around.
    2. The decreased metabolism likely directly contributes to the weight gain. Until this is addressed, it is unlikely that the person will be able to effectively lose weight. Just saying, "lose weight" without addressing these is setting the person up for failure. Key factors that must be addressed for the weight to be lost and the overall symptoms to improve are:

    A. Optimizing thyroid function?even if the blood tests are "normal."

    B. Optimizing adrenal function. Elevated cortisol can cause weight gain, and inadequate cortisol can cause sugar cravings and food cravings that trigger weight gain.

    C. Optimize sleep. Sleep contributes to the production of growth hormone which increases muscle mass and lowers fat. Inadequate sleep is associated with an average 6 1/2 pound weight gain and 30 percent increased risk of obesity.

    D. Treat the Candida. Candida overgrowth in the gut has clinically been shown to trigger sugar cravings, and the increased sugar intake can contribute to insulin resistance and weight gain. The sugar craving caused by low blood sugar (from adrenal fatigue) is an irritable "feed me now or I will kill you" kind of feeling. The sugar cravings from Candida are more what I characterize as "the happy Twinkie hunter," where you are happily going through the kitchen cabinets looking for something sweet. It is not uncommon in fibromyalgia to have both. When the underlying adrenal and Candida issues are addressed, not only will you feel dramatically better, but also the weight can come down and the sugar cravings resolve.

    E. Begin a walking program. Many of us are afraid to exercise because of the postexertional crashing. Unfortunately, this lack of exercise results in deconditioning, which is devastating in this illness. So start a walking program, and wear a pedometer. Look to increase your walking by about 50 steps a day as able. See my article on Exercise Friend or Foe in Fibromyalgia? In the April2016 issue of TotalHealth for more information.

    The free Energy Analysis Program at www.EnergyAnalysisProgram.com can analyze your symptoms, and even pertinent lab tests if available, to show you how to optimize energy production and metabolism in your case.

    Please do not beat yourself up over the weight gain. It was out of your control. But now with understanding the causes, not only can you feel better, but the weight can also come down as well.

    References:

    1. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/851088?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=24960PZ
  • Fibromyalgia– It’s not all in your head

    Fibro Knots: Real Pain, Real Disorder
    For our readers with “fibroknots,” it’s NOT all in your head—you don’t have a deficiency of Prozac®! You really do have knots. Fibromyalgia is made up of three words; Latin for fibrous tissue (fibro), Greek for muscle (myo), and pain (algia). This is another way of saying, muscle knots tied by painful ropes, a condition I know person ally and professionally only too well. These manifestations of the disorder are NOT emotional instability but rather of specific biological origins.

    Recent biopsy studies using immuno-histochemical staining techniques found increased levels of collagen and inflammatory mediators in the connective tissue surrounding the muscle cells in fibromyalgia patients.

    These “fibro-knots” are inflammation of the fascia similar to conditions experienced in plantar fasciitis and lateral epicondylitis, better described as a dysfunctional healing response. This explains why NSAIDs and steroids (oral or injectable) have NOT been effective in fibromyalgia patients—and actually add to their total body burden, specifically the liver.

    Poisons Within
    Toxic stress comes from more than the absorption of environmental chemicals. A wide range of potentially toxic substances is also generated from processes at work within our own bodies, namely the intestines. When the natural mechanisms of detoxification malfunction, or when internally generated toxins are produced faster than the organs’ ability to neutralize and detoxify, the toxins store within soft tissue—causing inflammation, fibro-knots and pain.

    Toxins are continuously generated from microbial activity in the intestinal tract. Everything we eat is either absorbed into the body or ends up in the colon where it is fermented by over 400 different species of bacteria and yeast. Since most of our immune responses are based in our gut, it only makes health sense to implement steps to reduce overall toxic burden. By doing this, we avoid toxins being reabsorbed and eventually stored within soft tissue—causing fibro knots and pain.

    Basic Steps to Reduce the Body’s Intestinal Toxic Load
    Scientists now validate that approximately 80 percent of our immune system is based in our gut…that’s right, our gut. However, most of us never consider fundamental protocols necessary to insure our intestinal toxic load is reduced. This reduction is strongly interconnected to liver health as well as countless invisible illnesses and allergic responses.

    When toxins are being “dumped” into our liver, faster than its ability to neutralize them, particularly from intestinal permeability (leaky gut), invisible illnesses develop. A protocol to reduce the overall intestinal toxic load and then add health-enhancing nutrients is imperative; otherwise the escalation of the disorder and decline of our immune defenses is inevitable. The following are steps I use and recommend for my fibromyalgia clients with great success in facilitating reduction of overall body burden:

    Foundational First Step—provide long-term relief and immune system support by detoxifying the body through use of a vegetable fiber-cleansing supplement for the colon, subsequently reducing overall toxic load for major pathways of detoxification, the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. An initial cleansing protocol should encompass 90 days. Thereafter, a maintenance dose should be taken daily to continue to “brush” colonic debris for elimination. If elimination becomes sluggish, or constipation occurs, take a non-habit forming herbal stool softener along with the fiber cleanse product to encourage complete evacuation.

    Second Step—provide as much natural non-drug support for the immune system by supplementing with plant sterols. Plant sterols act as immune modulators—taming an over-active system and stimulating an under-active one. These complexes usually reduce pain and inflammation within a few days and support overall immune responses.

    Third Step—Eliminate all foods known as “nightshades.” This family of botanicals contains a substance called solanine, a chemical known as an alkaloid which is highly toxic and known to cause inflammation, even in gum tissue in your mouth.

    Historical Perspective: The connection of nightshades in arthritis and inflammatory disorders was first brought to the forefront largely by Dr. Norman F. Childers, former Professor of Horticulture at Rutgers University. He discovered that inflammation caused by nightshades ranges from gastrointestinal inflammation, nausea, and diarrhea to dizziness, muscle stiffness, gum disease, and migraines.

    Cholinesterase, an enzyme in the body originating from the brain, is responsible for flexibility of movement in muscles. Solanine, in nightshades, is a powerful inhibitor of cholinesterase. In other words, its presence interferes with muscle movement, a symptom that can manifest as much as 72 hours after consumption.

    The nightshade group includes:

    1. Tomatoes/Tomatillos
    2. Potatoes (sweet potatoes and yams are NOT nightshades)
    3. Eggplant
    4. Paprika/Pimento
    5. Blueberries/Huckleberries/Goji berries (not true nightshades but contain the same alkaloids)
    6. Homeopathic Belladonna
    7. Okra
    8. Tobacco Products
    9. Peppers, all varieties (red, green, yellow, chili, cayenne, hot/sweet Tabasco®, A-1®, Worcestershire®)

    Some prescription drugs, especially those for insomnia and depression, contain potato starch. Check with your pharmacist for a list of ingredients if you have an inflammatory condition, including inflammatory gum disease.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Some victims of inflammatory disorders are also affected by artichokes; the best way to know is carefully listen to your body language, it’ll tell you. I can eat them occasionally with no symptoms of inflammation. However, when on a cruise I ate them two days in a row and I paid dearly with pain and inflammation that lasted for three days and was alleviated by taking handfuls of systemic enzymes and herbal supplements for pain.

    Fourth Step—Have a thorough dental exam by a biologicallyaware dentist. Many victims of inflammation and immune system disorders have a “false sense of security” because they have full gold, porcelain or composite restorations. Many victims’ have not been able to completely repair their immune system, only to find that beneath their expensive restoration is a toxic mercury/amalgam filling adding constant insult to injury.

    After removal of any restorations of mercury/amalgam you will experience relief that will provide welcome evidence it was indeed not “all in your head”— although it might have been “all in your mouth.” Your overall body burden now reduced, those fibro-knots will loosen and allow stored toxins to disperse—assuming you continue to reduce your overall body burden that begins with facilitating daily, complete bowel eliminations.

    If you’re a victim of invisible illnesses, of which fibromyalgia is one, or multiple allergic responses, and you’ve been told, as I was, that you’re within “normal” range, become a health sleuth to uncover hidden causes. After all, it’s about your quality of life, Naturally.

    Available at www.gloriagilbere.com
    1. ColonSweep—all natural vegetable fiber and herbal tablets that can be taken daily to assist in complete evacuation of colon debris.
    2. EliminAid—an all herbal product to assist in full colonic evacuation and softening of stools —does not contain any ingredients known to be habit-forming; it is assertive, not aggressive.
    Resources:
    1. Oregon Health and Science University: “Study on Intramuscular Dysfunction Syndromes.”
    2. Gilbère, Gloria, N.D., PhD.: I was Poisoned by my body, Lucky Press.
    3. Gershon, Michael, M.D.; The Second Brain, HarperCollins, 1998.
    4. Gilbère, Gloria, N.D., PhD.; Pain/Inflammation Matters, Lucky Press.
  • Fibromyalgia—Orthostatic Intolerance Made Easy

    Fibromyalgia Orthostatic Inolerance Made Easy Jacob Teitelbaum

    Think about it this a moment. We are a big bag of water. Ever wonder why it doesn't just all flow down to our legs when we stand up?

    The answer is, that it does. Because of this, our autonomic nervous system has to direct the blood vessels in our legs to contract and send the blood back up to our brain and muscles where it is needed. Otherwise, the effect can be similar to rapidly losing several units of blood.

    When this system is not working properly, people's blood pressure can drop significantly when they are upright for an extended period. This can result in low blood pressure (Neurally Mediated Hypertension-NMH) or a compensatory rise in heart rate called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Whatever name you choose to call it, it falls under the umbrella of orthostatic intolerance. When people stay upright, they can get dizzy, exhausted, and brain fogged.

    Orthostatic intolerance is a major and very treatable part of what causes disability in CFS and fibromyalgia. And research has shown that many people diagnosed with NMH and POTS actually have CFS or fibromyalgia.

    Some Background
    Just a quick refresher. Fibromyalgia essentially represents an energy crisis in the body. When this happens, the area that uses the most energy for its size, called the hypothalamus, malfunctions. Basically, it is like tripping a circuit breaker when one has an energy crisis. Just as there are hundreds of ways to blow a fuse; there are numerous triggers for the energy crisis that precipitates fibromyalgia.

    So what does the circuit breaker that goes off-line control? The hypothalamus controls:

    1. Sleep. Which is why insomnia despite exhaustion is a hallmark of this condition
    2. Hormonal function
    3. Temperature regulation
    4. Autonomic function

    We have addressed these other components in earlier articles. To summarize, our research showed that by treating with the SHINE Protocol, 91 percent of people with fibromyalgia improved with an average 90 percent increase in quality of life (p<.0001 vs. placebo). SHINE stands for:

    • Sleep
    • Hormonal support and Hypotension (Dysautonomia)
    • Infections
    • Nutritional support
    • Exercise as able

    To make this easier, there is a free Energy Analysis Program at www.EndFatigue.com that can analyze your symptoms and even lab tests. I had this illness in 1975 and it left me homeless. So my goal is simple. Helping to make effective treatment for people with this illness available—to everyone.

    Orthostatic Intolerance
    So basically, autonomic dysfunction is a routine part of fibromyalgia, and contributes markedly to its symptoms. People are upright for a few minutes, the blood rushes to their le.g.s, their tissues don't get adequate blood flow, and they feel wiped out and brain fogged.

    Simple so far. It gets simpler

    How to Diagnose It
    The standard approach to diagnosis is to use a Tilt Table Test. It is unreliable, will make the person miserable, and the insurance tends to not cover it leaving them with a $2000 bill. An easier approach? A wonderful study in the Mayo Clinic Journal showed that this simple quiz could be quite reliable. It is free and takes about two minutes.

    Self Report Orthostatlc Grading Scale Mayo Clin Proc. 2005;80(3):330-334 ("Orthostatic symptoms" include worsening dizziness, fatigue, Racing heart or brain fog when standing)

    Circle 0 –4 below as best applies to you

    A. Frequency of orthostatic symptoms
    0. I never or rarely experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up
    1. I sometimes experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up
    2. I often experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up
    3. I usually experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up
    4. I always experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up

    B. Severity of orthostatic symptoms
    0. I do not experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up
    1. I experience mild orthostatic symptoms when I stand up
    2. I experience moderate orthostatic symptoms when I stand up and sometimes have to sit back down for relief
    3. I experience severe orthostatic symptoms when I stand up and frequently have to sit back down for relief
    4. I experience severe orthostatic symptoms when I stand up and regularly faint if I do not sit back down

    C. Conditions under which orthostatic symptoms occur
    0. I never or rarely experience orthostatic symptoms under any circumstances
    1. I sometimes experience orthostatic symptoms under certain conditions, such as prolonged standing, a meal, exertion (e.g., walking), or when exposed to heat (e.g., hot day, hot bath, hot shower)
    2. I often experience orthostatic symptoms under certain conditions, such as prolonged standing, a meal, exertion (e.g., walking), or when exposed to heat (e.g., hot day, hot bath, hot shower)
    3. I usually experience orthostatic symptoms under certain conditions, such as prolonged standing, a meal, exertion (e.g., walking), or when exposed to heat (e.g., hot day, hot bath, hot shower)
    4. I always experience orthostatic symptoms when I stand up; the specific conditions do not matter

    D. Activities of daily living
    0. My orthostatic symptoms do not interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)
    1. My orthostatic symptoms mildly interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)
    2. My orthostatic symptoms moderately interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)
    3. My orthostatic symptoms severely interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing)
    4. My orthostatic symptoms severely interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., work, chores, dressing, bathing). I am bed or wheelchair bound because of my symptoms

    E. Standing time
    0. On most occasions, I can stand as long as necessary without experiencing orthostatic symptoms
    1. On most occasions, I can stand more than 15 minutes before experiencing orthostatic symptoms
    2. On most occasions, I can stand 5–14 minutes before experiencing orthostatic symptoms
    3. On most occasions, I can stand 1–4 minutes before experiencing orthostatic symptoms
    4. On most occasions, I can stand less than I minute before experiencing orthostatic symptoms

    _____Total Score

    Scores of 9 or higher suggest Orthostatic Intolerance In fibromyalgia, I consider a score of seven or higher to be suggestive.

    In addition, the instructions for how to do NASA 10-minute lean test checking blood pressures can be found at https://batemanhornecenter.org/assess-orthostatic-intolerance/ So whether you simply want to diagnose it by history, checking blood pressures, or both, the diagnosis can be fairly simple.

    Treatment

    Basically, these simple treatments can markedly improve function:

    1. Increase salt and water intake. I know. You are already "drinking like a fish." But you are also "peeing like a race horse!" This occurs because one of the hormone deficiencies is antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin—the anti-peeing hormone), which leaves you dehydrated. In addition, salt is the sponge that holds water in our body. You need to eat large amounts of salt, sometimes even licking sea salt. You can simply do this from the palms of your hands. If you notice, you will find that your body is craving salt. You will sometimes find that in an attempt to be healthy, many of you are salt restricting. That misguided advice is a good recipe to crash and burn.
    2. It is remarkable how much improvement many people will see by simply using medium pressure (20–30 mm) compression stockings. They should use ones that go at least to mid thigh, but if they can't wear those, then kneehigh ones will still be fairly helpful. You should wear them during the day when you are active (not when you are lying down for extended periods). Although low cost, these first two treatments are very helpful. Wearing something that constricts the abdomen, such as a corset or a girdle, may also be helpful.
    3. Improve adrenal function. This is a critical part of our holding onto salt and water. As discussed in earlier articles, some will benefit a prescription from low dose hydrocortisone (do not go over 20 mg daily). In addition, natural adrenal support with Adrenaplex or Adrenal Stress End is very helpful for optimizing adrenal function.
    4. Salt and water retaining hormones (prescription). Florinef .1 mg each morning can be helpful, but is most helpful in those under 20 years of age or those with more severe orthostatic intolerance. DDAVP .1 mg 1–2 tablets once or twice daily (basically vasopressin or antidiuretic hormone) can also be quite helpful. These replace the hormones that are low because of the hypothalamic dysfunction. It takes six weeks to see their effect. Rapid shifts in fluid levels can trigger headaches and migraines in some people. In these, it is best to slowly raise the dose, increasing by a quarter tablet every one to two weeks.

      For those with problematic frequent urination during sleep, giving a dose of the DDAVP at bedtime can help with this as well. This is the same medication that is given to children who bed wet.
    5. Increasing sympathetic/adrenaline tone. The medication midodrine (ProAmatine) 5–10 mg twice daily (morning and early afternoon) can be fairly helpful after six weeks of use. Do not use the medication after 5 PM, or when lying down, as it can drive blood pressure too high. Lower the dose or stop if it causes too high of a blood pressure or shakiness. I will occasionally increase the dose to a maximum of 10 mg three times daily, with the last dose at 4 PM.
    6. Medications that increase serotonin and dopamine. Prozac, Zoloft, and Dexedrine have all been shown to help autonomic dysfunction.
    7. Some people find that a gluten and milk free diet is also helpful.

    Although all of these treatments can be combined, I would begin them in the order listed as needed.

    Finding the Missing Link

    Although we have given a simplified version, you will find that it serves very well clinically. But there is much more to the story. Those of you interested in a bit more of the science can read on.

    Excellent research by Dr. Mark Sivieri in Maryland is showing that many people with fibromyalgia also are showing IgG1 and IgG 3 antibody deficiencies (deficiencies in our body's defense function) on blood testing. This expectedly contributes to the immune dysfunction, but research and clinical experience are additionally showing that these immune deficiencies are also associated with Small Fiber Neuropathy, which is common in fibromyalgia. This is one of many factors contributing to the pain, and also seems to cause a "shrinking" of the nerves involved in autonomic function.

    Studies are showing that treating with IV gamma globulin actually can result in a growing back and recovery of these nerves, helping both the small fiber neuropathy pain and autonomic dysfunction.

    So we are now finding a missing link between immune dysfunction, autonomic dysfunction, and small fiber neuropathic pain.

    We have found IV gamma globulin to be very helpful in a small subset of the most critically ill people retreat that has fibromyalgia and orthostatic intolerance. Essentially, these are people who are often housebound and bedbound. Getting insurance coverage for this expensive treatment can be difficult, and I will have my patients consult with Denise Haire to help guide them through the process of getting insurance authorization. She does an excellent job and is highly recommended. It is important to start with a low dose of gamma globulin and work up to the half-gram per kilogram IV each three weeks. Otherwise significant Herxheimer (infection die off) reactions can be seen. Treatment benefits, often dramatic, usually begin at about four months on the optimal dose.

    Addressing the autonomic dysfunction and orthostatic intolerance seen in fibromyalgia can be fairly simple using the above quiz for diagnosis, and the treatments listed above. In combination with the rest of the SHINE protocol, and even done on its own, the clinical benefits can be marked.

    Fibromyalgia can be effectively treated. And you now have one more easy and powerful tool in your toolkit!

    For a superb 27 page orthostatic intolerance information sheet written by my favorite orthostatic intolerance specialist, Dr. Peter Rowe at Johns Hopkins, see http://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/pdf/RoweOIsummary.pdf

    It's time for you to get well NOW!

  • Fight to Find Out What is Causing Your Fibromyalgia

    Dear Pharmacist,

    I've had fibromyalgia for the last 8 years, and I take Lyrica, Hydrocodone and citalopram for medicine. My local pharmacist said those are used to treat pain and depression but I want to make sure with you. And also, I'd like to know what natural alternatives I have.

    —S.D., Gainesville, Florida

    Answer: Fibromyalgia affects millions of people worldwide. In latin, the term describes pain in the muscles and fibrous tissue."

    The muscle pain and tender points can become rather painful, and sometimes disabling but I believe there is an underlying cause, perhaps infection, nutrient deficiencies, mitochondrial dysfunction, the drug mugging effect of medicines and more. I'll elaborate shortly, but you asked me to confirm the uses of your medicines. The Lyrica (pregabalin) is used to soothe nerve pain and can make you drowsy. So can the hydrocodone which is used to reduce a pain chemical called "Substance P" and the citalopram (Celexa) is classified as an antidepressant but that's not necessarily how it's being used. Sure, it lifts a brain neurotransmitter called serotonin, which improves mood and reduces pain. Antidepressants that improve levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine may be even more effective. My point is this class of drugs is often used to relieve pain, not necessarily for depression. All three require prescription.

    The cause of muscle pain varies greatly from person to person. Try not to concern yourself too much with the name of your disease or your "diagnosis" because the labels you take on as an identity make it harder for you to overcome. Just think in terms of having symptoms, rather than diseases, it's more pleasant.

    The following are some known causes for muscle pain and if you can find out the cause you can address it. With the help of a conscientious practitioner and state-of-the-art blood tests, find out if you have:

    Infections- Pathogens known as EBV, CMV and HSV are known to hide in the body and cause muscle pain. Some cause chicken pox and shingles. Lyme disease, Bartonella, Babesia, Hepatitis C, coxsackie and parvovirus may cause terrible muscle pain.

    Magnesium deficiency- This causes widespread muscle pain. This nutrient is depleted by coffee, and "The Pill," certain menopause medications, antacids, acid blockers, steroids and 200 other drugs! Taking high-quality magnesium supplements along with malice acid (derived from green apples) can support muscle health.

    Selenium deficiency- This can cause thyroid disease as well as muscle pain. Improving selenium can reduce thyroid antibodies and support immune system health.

    CoQ10 deficiency- Over 300 drugs are drug muggers, among them statin cholesterol reducing medications. When you are CoQ10 deficient, your muscles can spasm, become weak and hurt badly. There are more causes (and solutions) so if you'd like to receive a more comprehensive version of this week's column, please come to my website and sign up for my free newsletter, I'll email it to you next week. The take home message today is that fibromyalgia may be correctable if you find out what the underlying cause is, so don't resign yourself.

  • July 2017

    Total Health Magazine July 2017

    Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the July 2017 issue of TotalHealth Online.

    We begin with "The Pill Problem," by Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN. "Several years ago when I wrote a book titled The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, I was amazed to find that oral contraceptives deplete a wide range of nutrients from a woman's body. In fact, oral contraceptives deplete more nutrients than any other class of commonly prescribed drugs." Pelton discusses health problems that can develop from using oral contraceptives and suggests an new, natural, non-hormonal alternative with no spermicides. Pelton is the scientific director at Essential Formulas and a long time advertiser with TotalHealth magazine.

    Sherrill Sellman, ND, in "Finally—A Safe, Natural, Non-Hormonal Contraceptive With No Side Effects." Sellman introduces readers to Dr. Françoise Farron, a fiercely determined woman and biochemist, who is passionate about her mission to save the lives of women worldwide. After years of research, she has succeeded in bringing her vision of a truly safe and effective, non-hormonal contraceptive solution, called Smart Women's Choice, to market.

    Dallas Clouatre's, PhD, article, "Bone Broths are Good For What Ails You," provides us history on broths and observations, not from the scientific literature on the benefits of making your own bone broths. Clouatre includes a listing of the a few of the nutrients found in bone broths. And how it reacts with the bodies healing in response to illness.

    In "Organic Apple Cider The Versatile Superfood Staple" Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS gives us the health benefits of apple cider vinegar from her new book, The NEW Fat Flush Plan.

    Don't be insulted reading "Fibromyalgia—Orthostatic Intolerance (NMH & POTS) Made Easy by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, when he refers to us as "bags of water." He explains how the body's autonomic nervous system directs the blood vessels in our legs to contract and send the blood back up to our brain and muscles where it's needed. Orthostatic intolerance is a major and treatable part of what causes disability in CFS and fibromyalgia. And research has shown that many people diagnosed with NMH and POTS actually have CFS or fibromyalgia. Read on, Dr. Teitelbaum is our contributing expert on CFS and fibromyalgia.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), describes symptoms and conventional treatments and also dietary supplements: primary and secondary recommendations in "Angina Pectoris" (chest pain or discomfort due to coronary heart disease). Important information for all of us.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, presents "Crunchy Nutrition Chips," a healthy alternative to the usual chips available. You replace the potatoes with healthy veggies like, carrots or beets and lets you control the amount of salt on your chips.

    Elson Haas, MD, "Seasonal Health and Summertime Fun." Haas takes us on a journey through the seasons and specifically the summer season and its influence on us, eating, sleeping and exercise habits. Individually we are in charge of those habits. He gives us insight on keeping ourselves healthy through the summer season.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM includes our look at pet health with his article on "Distemper in Pets."

    Best in health,

    TWIP The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full July issue.

    Click here to read the full July issue.

  • New Year’s RESOLUTION: Getting StressLess Sleep™

    In addition to chronic pain, mostly due to underlying inflammation, most complaints I hear from client’s are about sleep issues—usually not enough of it. I can attest that most chronically ill individuals are sleep-deprived, which inhibits their body’s ability to rejuvenate in spite of other interventions.

    I have been personally challenged with sleep issues ever since an accident and subsequent toxicity syndrome (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and multiple allergic responses) several years ago. In consulting with thousands of clients worldwide with these disorders, the evidence is clear that sleep disorders plague its victim after a trauma—making it even more challenging to overcome their syndrome disorder. Although recovered from fibromyalgia and multiple allergic responses, getting to sleep and staying asleep, was still an issue for me.

    The old adage that sleep disorders are mainly in type “A” individuals (high-energy workaholics) I don’t buy into for one minute because there are so many variables. That said, those of us in THAT category—whose brain computer doesn’t remember how and when to shut down and keeps “rebooting”—need non-toxic solutions to allow us the much needed deep restorative sleep in order to achieve and maintain health.

    Effective Today, Not Tomorrow
    What I found, personally and professionally, is that most sleep aids (prescription and nutraceuticals) work for a while and then suddenly they’re ineffective. That said, at least most herbals don’t have the toxic side-effects of pharmaceuticals.

    My research, and clinical experience, demonstrates that in order to achieve long-term results, the herbal/nutraceutical must be rotated approximately every three weeks. Keep in mind we’re all unique, however, if you rotate you will insure you don’t experience interruption in the sleep your body so desperately needs in order to get and stay healthy and function at your maximum potential. Without exaggeration, I have tried over thirty complex herbal and homeopathic blends and, without exception, they work for up to four weeks and then that much needed restful sleep eludes me yet again.

    Being not only a “health detective,” doctor of natural health, and a formulator of nutraceutical products, I began experimenting with various formulas in cooperation with my compounding pharmacist. We finally, after many complex sample trials, found the synchronistic blend that gets me to sleep, helps me stay asleep and, furthermore, allows me to get up feeling rejuvenated and ready to face my demanding day. The clients I asked to participate in my non-medical trials don’t want to be without it. The great part of this complex is that it’s also effective for chronic stress by taking just one capsule twice a day rather than two capsules about 20 minutes before bedtime. We also formulated StressLess Sleep 2 as a similar complex in order to provide clients the benefit of non-toxic, non-habit-forming natural sleep and stress aids that you can rotate. The third formula is in production now and will soon be available. Again, I emphasize you should rotate approximately every three weeks for maximum benefit. And, if your sleep deprivation is chronic, allow yourself three to four nights of taking the supplement before rendering a verdict on its effectiveness—natural remedies sometimes require a couple of days to saturate enough in your system to be completely effective, especially if you’ve gone a long time without good restorative sleep and you’re in chronic pain.

    STRESSLESS SLEEP™ PROPRIETARY BLEND INCLUDES:

    GABA (GAMMA-AMINO BUTYRIC ACID)
    An important neurotransmitter and an amino acid—it acts to reduce communication between nerve cells in the brain to achieve a calming effect.

    Health Benefits:

    • Facilitates getting to sleep easier by lowering the brain neuron activity.
    • Reported to increase the amount of human growth hormone—responsible in improving sleep cycles while decreasing sleep disruptions.
    • GABA is being used and further studied for its ability in some people to reduce seizures, like those of epilepsy, by reducing the firing between neurons. If you suffer from seizures, do not replace your medication without guidance from your health professional.
    • Improves chronic pain by interfering with pain transmission impulses (messages). In some disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis, the brain’s natural GABA is ineffective—leading to constant and unfiltered pain signals. It is believed GABA lowers the number of pain impulses, thereby, lessening pain and reducing stress responses associated with chronic pain.
    • Improves mood in those with depression and/or anxiety syndromes believed to have low levels of GABA in their brain. Supplementing with GABA is believed to increase levels in the blood—always check with your health professional before combining medications and nutraceuticals.

    VALERIAN
    This herb belongs to more than 200 plant species of the genus Valeriana. It has been used since the second century AD and was recommended by scientists like Galen. After the sixteenth century, this herb became the foremost sedative in Europe, and later in the U.S. Its appeal and approval as a sleep aid was further validated in the 1970s after Germany’s Commission E in 1985 acknowledged the scientific evidence showing its effectiveness.

    Studies suggest that valerian affects GABA, a naturally-occurring amino acid known to help with anxiety. It appears that valerian binds to GABA receptors in the brain, similar to those properties found in the drug Valium.

    L-THEANINE
    A water-soluble amino acid. Aminos are the building blocks of proteins and have been studied extensively for health benefits ranging from cancer and stroke prevention to weight-loss. That said, most research has been conducted and validated for its stress-relieving benefits.

    PASSION FLOWER
    The botanical name for this flower is Passiflora incarnate and is an herbal with far-reaching calming effects. Scientifically it has shown to increase the GABA in the brain—decreasing overactive brain cells that often prevent us from getting and staying asleep.

    • A study in Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that passion flower is helpful in treating those withdrawing from opiates. The study revealed that when taken along with the medication clonidine it was effective in reducing the physical withdrawal symptoms and better control over mental symptoms related to anxiety.
    • A combination of passion flower and hawthorn has shown great potential for treating shortness of breath and difficulty exercising in those with congestive heart failure, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and research is ongoing.

    HOPS
    The hop plant is a bitter, aromatic ingredient in beer. However, its medicinal use for herbal healing properties has a very long history and its uses are supported by modern science.

    Chinese physicians have prescribed hops for literally centuries for conditions related to digestion, leprosy, tuberculosis, and dysentery, to name a few.

    Ancient Greek and Roman physicians also recommended it as a digestive aid and to treat intestinal disorders. Hops contain two chemicals (humulone and lupulone) that have shown to kill bacteria that cause spoiling.

    • The bacteria-fighting agents in hops are believed to also help avoid infection.
    • One study showed hops effective against tuberculosis—lending credence to one of its traditional Chinese uses.
    • In 1983 a sedative chemical (2-methyl-3butene-2ol) in the dry herb was discovered—validating decades-long scientific methodology of its effectiveness as a sedative.
    • Hop relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract, as reported by French researchers whose studies support its traditional use as an antispasmodic digestive herb.
    • Researchers in German woman’s health claim hop contains chemicals similar to female sex hormone estrogen—which may help explain some of the menstrual changes discovered in women hop-harvesters.

    CHAMOMILE
    A medicinal herb used for relaxation for centuries is a member of the sunflower family.

    • Best known as a sleep aid because of its relaxing and soothing properties, especially before bed to promote restful sleep.
    • Chamomile is helpful for a variety of digestive disorders because it soothes stomach aches, eases symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, promotes elimination, and assist in overall digestion.
    • Ancient Egyptians used it to soothe menstrual cramps and finally science is catching up with its historical values.
    • Studies found that drinking the tea raised urine levels of glycine—a compound known to calm muscle spasms therefore leading to its use for restless leg syndrome, menstrual cramps and overall muscle spasms.
    • One study found chamomile ointment very helpful in treating hemorrhoids.
    • Chamomile has immune-boosting properties that can help fight against colds due to its inherent antibacterial constituents.
    • Chamomile tea is being studied for its beneficial effects in managing diabetes. In one study, daily consumption of the tea was found to prevent the progression of diabetes complications and hyperglycemia.

    5-HTP (5-HYDROXYTRYPTOPHAN)
    The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reported promising results as a safe option in treatment for depression, fibromyalgia, migraine and other chronic conditions.

    Like several pharmaceutical drugs, 5-HTP increases the body’s production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Excessive amounts of serotonin can have serious complications. Be sure to check with your health professional regarding dosage and any contraindications with other medications.

    MELATONIN
    Melatonin is a hormone produced in our brain. It is released and stimulated in the brain by darkness, and suppressed by both natural and artificial light. Melatonin works by significantly reducing effects of stress and anxiety that inhibit restorative sleep when the brain cannot shut down.

    • Acts as a powerful antioxidant, as reported by various studies.
    • Helps protect lipids and proteins in the body against damage from free-radicals.
    • It is easily absorbed into the cells and, therefore, effectively shields the brain from harmful neurodegenerative diseases. For that reason, it is believed to be a powerful defense against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as stroke.
    • Studies show it is effective at reducing occurrence and severity of migraine headaches. Migraines are improved through melatonin supplementation because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that reduce pain and provide deep sleep.
    • Life Extension Foundation reports that melatonin may also battle various types of cancers. This hormone has shown promise in its effective protection against breast, liver and lung cancers, among others. Women undergoing chemotherapy respond better with less side-effects when combined with melatonin supplementation. In men it shows promise in fighting prostate cancer by slowing the reproduction of existing cancer cells.
    • StressLess Sleep™ formula is exclusively available from The Health Matters Store, exclusive distributor of all products and services approved by Dr. Gloria, at www.healthmatterstore.com.
  • Optimizing Energy Production with Ribose

    Feel Like You Could Use More Energy?
    One of the consequences of our stressful modern life is an increased need for energy. With less sleep and the depletion of nutrients in our food supply, however, it is getting harder and harder for our bodies to keep up.

    There is a lot out there about how competitive athletes can up their energy. Although the approach we’ll discuss below is also excellent for athletes, it was developed, and is outstanding, for the rest of us. Whether you are a mom trying to juggle a fast paced hectic life, a student on a fast food diet, or just trying to optimize your day to day energy, here’s how to get from being fatigued to feeling fantastic!

    Having spent the last 30 plus years specializing in treating chronic fatigue and chronic pain, we have learned about the keys to energy production. As an unexpected fringe benefit, these treatments have also offered enormous benefits to those suffering from heart disease.

    Optimize energy production with the “SHINE Protocol” Ribose (and our overall approach to treating fatigue) has been highlighted by Dr. Oz, “America’s Doctor” on Oprah, in his wonderful new book YOU: Being Beautiful—The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty.

    In addition, our research has shown that severely fatigued people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia can increase their energy by an average of 90 percent (see the published study at www.Vitality101.com) by treating with “SHINE”: Sleep, Hormonal support, Infections, Nutrition and Exercise. For mild fatigue, the physical keys to optimizing energy are Nutrition, Sleep and Exercise, while the emotional key is to start paying attention to what feels good—while letting go of things that don’t.

    How Do I Start?
    Given my hectic schedule as an educator and physician, people often ask me what I do to keep my energy turbo charged. I like to keep it simple, so here is what I do personally. All of the vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients are important to health, and the American diet is so highly processed that people have widespread deficiencies. Because of this, I like to use vitamins that make supplementation simple.

    Why Ribose—And What Is Ribose?
    Ribose, also called D-Ribose, is the key to your body’s energy production. Ribose is a special, five-carbon sugar (known as a pentose by biochemists) that is found naturally in our bodies. But ribose is not like any other sugar. Sugars we are all familiar with, such as table sugar (sucrose), corn sugar (glucose), milk sugar (lactose), honey (predominantly fructose), and others are used by the body as fuel. These sugars are consumed and, with the help of the oxygen we breathe, are “burned” by the body to recycle energy. Because they are used excessively, they become toxic— acting as energy loan sharks.

    Ribose, on the other hand, is special. When we consume ribose, the body recognizes it is different from other sugars and preserves it for the vital work of actually making the special “energy molecules” (called ATP, NADH, and FADH) that power our hearts, muscles, brains, and every other tissue in the body. These represent the energy currency in your body, and are like the paper that money is printed on. You can have all the fuel you want, but if it cannot be converted to these molecules, it is useless. For years, I talked about the importance of B vitamins, which are a key component of these molecules. These helped improve energy to a degree, but it was clear that a key component was missing. In looking at the biochemistry of these energy molecules, they are also made of two other key components-adenine and ribose. Adenine is plentiful in the body and supplementing with adenine did not help energy production. We then turned our attention to Ribose.

    Ribose is made in your body in a slow, laborious process and cannot be found in food. We knew that severe fatigue and stress causes your body to dump other key energy molecules like acetyl-L-carnitine. We then found that the body did the same with Ribose, making it hard to get your energy furnaces working again even after the other problems were treated.

    This was one of those “Eureka!” moments where things came together. Not having Ribose would be like trying to build a fire without kindling—nothing would happen. We wondered if giving Ribose to people with fatigue and even CFS would jumpstart their energy furnaces. The answer was a resounding yes! Our recently published study (see the study abstract at www. Vitality101.com) showed an average 44.7 percent increase in energy after only three weeks (improvement began at 12 days) and an average overall improvement in quality of life of 30 percent. Two-thirds of the study patients felt they had improved. Usually a 10 percent improvement for a single nutrient is considered excellent. A 44.7 percent increase left us amazed, and I am now recommending Ribose for all of my chronic fatigue, chronic pain and fibromyalgia patients, for athletes, and for any one with fatigue or heart problems. Ribose recently became available (over the counter) to physicians, and is one of the few natural products actually starting with physicians and then moving out into supplement companies and health food stores. It is critical to use the proper dose for the first three weeks, which is five grams (5000 mg) three times a day. It can then be dropped to twice a day (and often even once a day in the morning with the vitamin powder to maintain optimized energy for those that are otherwise healthy).

    Normal, healthy heart and muscle tissue has the capacity to make the ribose it needs. But when we are chronically stressed by life or illness, it helps to have extra ribose to help boost energy production.

    The Scientific Link Between Ribose, Energy, And Fatigue
    Clinical and scientific research has repeatedly shown giving ribose to energy deficient hearts and muscles stimulates energy recovery. Research in Ribose and fatigue began with a case study that was published in the prestigious journal Pharmacotherapy in 2004. This case study told the story of a veterinary surgeon diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For months, this dedicated doctor found herself becoming more and more fatigued, with pain becoming so profound she was finally unable to stand during surgery. As a result, she was forced to all but give up the practice she loved.Upon hearing that a clinical study on ribose in congestive heart failure was underway in the university where she worked, she asked if she could try the ribose to see if it might help her overcome the mind-numbing fatigue she experienced from her disease. After three weeks of ribose therapy she was back in the operating room, practicing normally with no muscle pain or stiffness, and without the fatigue that had kept her bedridden for many months. Being a doctor, she was skeptical, not believing that a simple sugar could have such a dramatic effect on her condition. Within two weeks of stopping the ribose therapy, however, she was out of the operating room and back in bed. So, to again test the theory, she began ribose therapy a second time. The result was similar to her first experience, and she was back doing surgery in days. After yet

    Several of the patients participating in the study have contacted me regarding the relief they found with ribose therapy. Most importantly, they speak to the profound joy they feel when they are able to begin living normal, active lives after sometimes years of fatigue, pain, and suffering. Here is a sample of what one patient, Julie (Minnesota), an elementary teacher, wrote: “I had so much pain and fatigue I thought I was going to have to quit teaching. When I take [ribose], I feel like a huge weight is being lifted from my chest, and I’m ready to take on those kids again!” The relief patients feel with ribose therapy is heartwarming, and goes directly to the dramatic impact ribose has on increasing energy, overcoming fatigue, enhancing exercise tolerance, and raising the patient’s quality of life.


    a third round of stopping (with the return of symptoms) and starting (with the reduction of symptoms) the ribose therapy, she was convinced, and has been on ribose therapy since that time. I found this report intriguing and decided to design a larger study in patients with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome which I began to discuss earlier. Our study included 41 patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome who were given ribose at a dose of five grams three times per day for three weeks. We found the ribose treatment led to significant improvement in energy levels, sleep patterns, mental clarity, pain intensity, and well being. Of the patients participating in the study, 65.7 percent experienced significant improvement while on ribose, with an average increase in energy of 44.7 percent and overall well being of 30 percent- remarkable results from a single nutrient! The only significant side effects were two people felt too energized and hyper/anxious on the ribose. This is simply dealt with by lowering the dose and/or taking it with food.

    The good news is that we now have a wonderful tool to increase energy naturally. Take five grams of ribose three times per day for three weeks, then twice a day (can be mixed with any liquid or food) for two to three weeks, and then one to two times per day to see what it will do for you. You’ll be amazed!

  • Pain’s Secret Message: Why Prince Didn’t Need To Die

    Pain’s Secret Message: Why Prince Didn’t Need To Die Jacob Teitelbaum MD TotalHealth magazine

    As he did so often in life, Prince is once again offering us the opportunity to heal a problem that desperately needs to be fixed. It is suspected that he is one of the 15,000 Americans who die each year from an overdose of prescribed narcotics. Having severe hip pain, which did not go away with hip replacement surgery, he required the narcotic Percocet for pain relief. Although it helped, it did not do so enough. He was simply one of the 33 percent of Americans who suffer needlessly with pain. Why do I say needlessly? Because despite modern medicine having many incredible strengths, it is horrible at treating pain. As physicians, we are taught how to treat the kind of emergencies that come to hospitals. This occurs, simply, because this is where we are trained. Heart attacks? Hot appendix? We're right on top of it.

    But except for using a few medications to mask the pain, or narcotics for cancer pain, as physicians our training in pain management is woefully inadequate. I discovered this first hand when I came down with fibromyalgia in medical school. It forced me to drop out of school and left me homeless for almost a year. It also forced me to learn the basics of pain management on my own, while experiencing what it was like to be on the other side of the white coat.

    Nowadays, people with pain, and the physicians who treat them, face a Sophie's choice: suffer with pain or use potentially addictive narcotics. Sadly, the new government "war" is pressuring pharmacists and doctors to treat people in pain as if they were drug addicts, while threatening doctors with being arrested if they even appropriately prescribe the needed pain medications. Fortunately, there is a "door number three" to choose from.

    Unlike infections, pain is not an outside enemy. Rather, like the oil light on our car's dashboard, it is part of our body's monitoring system that tells us when something needs attention. Different kinds of pain tell us different things. To extend the analogy, medicine treats the flashing oil light by either putting a Band-Aid over it, or by trying to disable the flashing red light. We never even think about simply putting oil in the car. Which is the safest and best way to make the annoying flashing light go out.

    Looking at Prince's case, it was likely that the hip replacement did not work because it did not address the real underlying problem. Studies and clinical experience have shown that what we see on the x-rays very often have little to do with what is actually causing the pain. For example, many marathon runners, with absolutely no pain at all, will have hip x-rays that likely looked worse than Prince's.

    Often, the actual cause of the hip pain comes from the muscles and ligaments surrounding the hip. By simply treating these, the pain could've gone away: without the need for surgery or narcotics. Sadly, most physicians are simply not trained in doing an exam for muscle (or myofascial) pain. Despite causing the majority of pain in this country, muscle pain does not even cross their mind in most cases.

    My experience with fibromyalgia, which begins as widespread muscle pain before morphing into other kinds of pain, helped me learn how to diagnose and treat tight muscles. Muscles are like a spring. They take more energy to relax than to contract. This is why after a hard workout you come home and say, "Honey, my muscles are so tight," instead of complaining how loose and limp they are.

    The brilliant work by the late Prof. Janet Travell, the godmother of pain management and the White House physician for presidents Kennedy and Johnson, taught us the importance of treating the underlying causes of our muscle's energy crisis. This included treating the structural issues by releasing the tight muscles, as is done in many forms of bodywork including chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation. In addition, it is necessary to treat the underlying biochemistry to restore adequate energy in the muscles. Our published research showed that by treating with what we call the "SHINE Protocol," optimizing Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition, and Exercise as able, 91 percent of people with fibromyalgia pain improve, usually dramatically. Dr. Travell found that treating these same issues often helped dramatically with muscle pain in general.

    Similarly, research has shown that treating the root causes can also be very effective for migraines, arthritis, and a host of other chronic pains.

    A problem? These treatments are generally very inexpensive, so that the research done on them does not get much attention. But they do offer the possibility of treating chronic pain very effectively and safely.

    Prince's death is a tragic loss. Yet, it also provides us with a powerful opportunity. A fitting tribute to Prince? It's time to apply the extensive but ignored research on treating the root causes of pain. This can prevent tens of thousands of needless deaths, and eliminate the unnecessary suffering of millions.

  • Silver Gel A Silver Lining for Women’s Health

    Silver Gel A Silver Lining for Women’s Health

    Being a woman isn’t easy. The world of feminine hygiene is fraught with a plethora of discomforts and health challenges.

    The health statistics say it all: 80 percent of women will be exposed to human papillomavirus (HPV); nearly 75 percent of all adult women will have at least one genital yeast infection; bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common vaginal infection in women, affects 700,000 women; 40 percent of women will have at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime; one million women have a flare up of pelvic inflammatory disease each year; approximately one out of four women are infected with genital herpes; and half of all women over the age 40 will suffer from vaginal dryness at some time.

    For most women receiving the necessary treatment for these problems often necessitates repeated visits to their gynecologist’s office where they are prescribed numerous antibiotic, antifungal, or antiviral medications. In many cases they are subjected to additional tests and invasive procedures.

    In addition, many of the treatments themselves contribute to recurring health problems or drug-resistance. For instance, the use of antibiotics to treat a urinary tract infection generally causes an overgrowth of Candida yeast, commonly known as vaginal thrush. Not only does the use of an antibiotic increase the risk of antibiotic-resistance but there is also the likelihood that there will be another outbreak of Candida. It is also known that the presence of Candida is associated with a higher incidence of UTIs. In order to tackle the Candida problem, antifungal drugs such as Nystatin, Diflucan® and Nizoral® may then be prescribed. These drugs have numerous side effects, not the least of which is liver damage.

    So, just what is a girl to do to escape from this vicious cycle of prescriptions drugs causing additional problems?

    SILVER TO THE RESCUE
    The ancient cultures had a healing secret. Dating back thousands of years, there was one healing approach that had been extensively used in Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Phoenician, Macedonian and Chinese civilizations. This powerful healing medicine was silver.

    Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, wrote in his medical texts that silver had beneficial healing and anti-disease properties. He praised silver for its tissue repair and wound healing abilities. Ancient peoples also learned that silver bestowed powerful anti-microbial effects, as well. For instance, the Phoenicians would store water, wine, and vinegar in silver bottles to prevent spoiling.

    The knowledge of silver’s profound healing attributes has continued into modern times. The use of silver in its colloidal form, a liquid suspension of microscopic particles of silver, was the principle antibiotic treatment prescribed by thousands of American medical doctors prior to 1938. However, with the advent of antibiotics, the popularity of silver declined.

    Many decades later, the emergence of life-threatening antibiotic resistant conditions, once again renewed interest in silver’s safe and effective antibiotic properties. Silver is considered to be nature’s own antibiotic, eliminating bacterial infections without initiating resistance. It is also able to safely kill virtually all forms of viruses, fungi and molds without any side effects.

    While there are presently many colloidal and ionic silver products on the market, there is one superior form of silver that out-performs all others.

    SILVERSOL—A UNIQUE, PATENTED 21ST CENTURY SILVER SOLUTION
    Thanks to an advanced 21st century technology, a new and more powerful form of silver is now available. For the past ten years, American Biotech Labs has been dedicated to creating a unique, patented nano-silver technology (U.S. Patent 7,135,195).

    American Biotech Labs currently holds more than 190 independent studies from more than 60 different private, U.S. government, military and also university labs. As evidence of their safety and efficacy, their innovative silver products have received both FDA clearance and EPA approvals.

    This new technology is called SilverSol Technology™. The term “sol” is a chemical designation of a pure mineral permanently suspended in water where the mineral’s charge is transferred to the entire body of water.

    Most silver products work by chemical action, requiring direct contact with microbes to have any positive effect. This new nano-silver technology works by catalytic action, not by chemical action. This catalytic conversion allows the SilverSol to first destroy pathogens and then to instantaneously recharge and “kill” again and again—like a rapid-fire machine gun.

    The result is that SilverSol is an incredibly powerful, yet totally safe and non-toxic form of silver, destroying thousands of times more pathogens than a simple colloid or ionic silver. This explains why other silver solutions and suspensions contain up to 300,000 ppm (parts per million) of silver, but SilverSol works just as effectively, if not more so, at only 5–30 ppm.

    SilverSol products, which are available both as a colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid and gel, are impressive. First of all, they effectively kill all pathogenic bacteria they come in contact, even the deadly Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA), while leaving beneficial bacteria unscathed.

    When it comes to viruses, SilverSol has the ability to inactivate them at the DNA/RNA level, thus preventing virus replication. It wields the same powerful anti-pathogenic ability with fungus and molds. The good news is it does not interact with pharmaceuticals; in fact, has been found to work synergistically with medications.

    Just how effective is SilverSol? Research shows it will kill millions of pathogens (including fungus and mold) within minutes.

    SilverSol has also demonstrated the ability to enhance immune system function as well as relieve pain and inflammation. The FDA has recently cleared a prescription version of the SilverSol gel “for use in the management of 1st and 2nd degree burns, stasis…pressure…(and) diabetic ulcers, lacerations, abrasions, skin tears, surgical incision sites, device insertion site wounds, graft sites and donor sites”. Its exceptional wound healing actions provides evidence that SilverSol products stimulate the production of stem cells.

    Unlike other forms of silver, SilverSol offers all these impressive healing benefits without any adverse effects. It does not interfere with the production of stomach hydrochloric acid; it is rapidly excreted by the kidneys; and it will not accumulate in the tissues or the skin (Argyria, i.e., blue man syndrome) because the nano-silver particles will not fall out of suspension. Another major plus is that its antibiotic effects will not compromise the beneficial gut flora. And, if SilverSol is taken in conjunction with antibiotics, they will actually work synergistically to increase the antibiotic effectiveness by tenfold.

    UTILIZING THE SILVERSOL SOLUTION FOR FEMININE HYGIENE
    With SilverSol’s extraordinary ability to eliminate bacteria, viruses, molds, and fungi as well as enhance the immune system and provide rapid wound healing, it becomes one of the safest and most effective solutions to resolve the myriad of women’s feminine health problems.

    These are the general suggestions for use of SilverSol technologies. I recommend that you always first consult with your primary health provider.

    Acne—Take two teaspoons of SilverSol liquid twice a day. SilverSol gel should also be applied topically twice a day. A reduction in the size and in the damage of the acne can occur within 24 hours. Total improvement of the skin should take about four weeks—the amount of time necessary for new skin to grow from the bottom to the top layer.

    Age Spots—These are related to a compromised liver. Taking two teaspoons twice daily of liquid SilverSol on a regular basis will help support the liver and also improve liver enzyme production. Apply SilverSol gel on age spots two to four times a day.

    Bladder Infection—Take two tablespoons (adult dosage) of SilverSol hourly for the first two days. Then continue to take 2 tablespoons twice a day for the next two weeks as a maintenance dose. The bladder infection should be eliminated in about 12 to 24 hours.

    Endometriosis—Take two teaspoons daily. Also use as a douche by diluting ounces of liquid silver (diluted 1:1 with distilled water) intervaginally, holding it for 12 minutes, and then releasing. This kills bacteria and viruses in and around the cervix. It will also reduces inflammation and pain. The use of the SilverSol gel as a personal lubricant will reduce pain with intercourse and promote vaginal health by eliminating yeast and bacteria.

    Fibromyalgia—Yeast seems to be a common factor. Yeast can leave the intestines and go into the brain. By cleansing yeast out of the system, patients can receive improvement. Yeast can be destroyed taking two tablespoons of SilverSol two or three times a day. Gel or spray can be applied to sore muscles once or twice a day as needed for pain or aches.

    Human papilloma virus (HPV) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) i.e. chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc.—To access the cervix, place SilverSol gel on a tampon and insert it for at least 90 minutes. Another way is to pump two ounces of liquid of SilverSol as a douche intervaginally (diluted 1:1 with distilled water). Hold it for 10 to 12 minutes before releasing. This will allow the liquid to have access to the cervix for a long enough time to affect the virus. Also, take two teaspoons twice daily.

    Thyroid—Often the thyroid is damaged by a viral or bacterial infection contributing to hypothyroidism. Taking two teaspoons twice a day and applying SilverSol gel to the throat area will support optimal thyroid functioning.

    Vaginal odor—Since this is usually caused by a yeast or bacterial vaginosis infection, douche (diluted 1:1 with distilled water) by pumping two ounces of SilverSol liquid intervaginally. Hold it for 10 to 12 minutes before releasing. Also, apply SilverSol gel to a tampon and insert into the vagina for 90 minutes.

    Vaginal dryness—SilverSol gel is an excellent, water-soluble lubricant. Free of all toxic ingredients, it safely and effectively nourishes and moisturizes vaginal epithelium cells.

    Yeast—Can grow in the skin, vagina, and digestive system. SilverSol is documented to kill yeast both inside and outside of the body. It will even kill stachybotrys, the black mold or yeast that grows in showers and on walls. Take two tablespoons orally in the morning and at night. Half that dosage can be taken for prevention. SilverSol gel can be applied to the vagina or on a tampon or panty liner for about 90 minutes to help fight a vaginal or yeast infection. Relief of symptoms can occur in the first two hours, however, systemic problems may take months to resolve. For further support, apply SilverSol gel to the outer areas of the vagina, using the gel or spraying the liquid directly on to a panty liner.

    BACK TO THE FUTURE
    Throughout time, silver has been revered for its many healing properties. Uniting the wisdom from the past with the knowledge of advanced 21st century nano-technology has created a world of possibilities that can safely, effectively and quickly resolve so many of the health problems challenging our modern world.

    According one of the world’s most respected scientists, Dr. Rustum Roy Ph.D, Evan Pugh Professor of the Solid State Emeritus, Professor of Geochemistry Emeritus at the Pennsylvania State University, “They (SilverSol Technology products) really are going to prove to be this generation’s penicillin.”

    The scientifically proven benefits of the SilverSol Technology have especially been a blessing to women. For more information on this unique SilverSol Technology® from American Biotech Labs® visit them online at www.americanbiotechlabs.com or call toll-free at 1-800-605-1541.

  • Sugar Addiction and Fibromyalgia

    Sugar Addiction and Fibromyalgia Dr Jacob Teitelbaum

    Are you a sugar addict? As with most addictions, by the time people ask this question, the answer is usually yes. A simple way to tell? Stay off sugar for two to four weeks, and see how you feel.

    In the United States, with—18 percent of the average American diet coming from added sugar; sugar addiction is becoming the rule rather than the exception. Many people eat their weight in sugar every year. And it may be why you are tired, achy, "brain fogged," anxious, and unable to lose weight.

    Some chronic medical problems associated with excess sugar in our diet include metabolic syndrome with high cholesterol and obesity1 and heart disease.

    This is the short list. The actual list could go on for pages. In fact, research from the American Heart Association suggests that sugar contributes to over 180,000 deaths each year.2 Meanwhile, in what is a remarkable example of corporate cynicism, people who have sugar-induced irritability are being told to eat more sugar. Candy bar ads have even coined the term "Hangry."

    Eating a candy bar or drinking a sugar packed soda is the worst thing you can do to address "hanger." Although you feel better initially as blood sugar rises, the rebound drops in blood sugar in response to spikes in blood sugar makes the problem worse a half hour later, putting you on an emotional "sugar roller coaster."

    As most people have found though, simply trying to cut out sugar usually does not work very well.

    In addition, who wants to cut out things that give you pleasure? Put simply, if you live a long life because you’ve cut out everything you enjoy, why bother?

    The answer? As Mark Twain so beautifully put it, "Moderation in all things, including moderation!" It is okay to enjoy sugar, and chocolate actually is a health food.3 The trick is to do it in small amounts instead of doing it because you are craving sweets.

    Sugar cravings are driven by a number of factors, and we find that there are four main types of Sugar Addiction. What is critical is to address the source of the sugar cravings. When you do this, the sugar cravings go away. And you will feel much better. When three or four of these Sugar Addiction types are present in the same person, I usually find that they either have, or are on the verge of developing, fibromyalgia. Addressing these problems can result in marked improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms.

    The four Sugar Addiction types are:

    1. Fatigue causing you to reach for sweets. Sugar is an energy loan shark. It gives a quick energy fix, but then triggers adrenaline releases that burn energy while making you anxious. The free "Energy Analysis Program" at www.EndFatigue.com can show you how to optimize your healthy energy. For supplements ribose, and the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder are good ways to begin, with marked improvement in fibromyalgia often being seen after three to six weeks.4
    2. Severe irritability when hungry. This reflects inadequate adrenal function. The job of the adrenal hormone cortisol is to keep sugar from dropping too low during stress. When people have "adrenal fatigue" from the stress of modern life, cortisol stress hormone response is inadequate as blood sugar plummets, allowing the drops in blood sugar. Fortunately, this can be helped dramatically with nutritional support including vitamin B5, adrenal glandulars, vitamin C, and licorice. In my patients, I recommend the supplements Adrenaplex (by EuroPharma) or Adrenal Stress End (by Enzymatic Therapy), which contain all of these in a single capsule. This offers dramatic relief within a week.
    3. Sugar cravings without the "hanger." A group that I call the "Happy Twinkie hunters" tends to be associated with Candida/ yeast overgrowth in the gut. Other markers of this include nasal congestion and irritable bowel syndrome. These cravings and problems also go away when the Candida overgrowth is treated.
    4. Anxiety and depression associated with perimenopause. People learn to reach for sugar, because this increases tryptophan moving into the brain, which raises serotonin levels. Serotonin has been called the "happiness molecule." Unfortunately, over time excess sugar causes this to get blunted (because of insulin resistance), so that the sugar actually causes excessive anxiety and depression. Using bioidentical hormone replacement can help this.

    You can have your cake and eat it too!

    References

    1. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/120/11/1011 hypertension
    2. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/180-000-deaths-worlwide-may-be-associated-with-sugary-soft-drinks
    3. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/590371.
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17109576
  • Ten Tips to Simplify, Lower the Cost, and Optimize CFS and Fibromyalgia Treatment

    Ten Tips to Simplify, Lower the Cost, and Optimize CFS and Fibromyalgia Treatment Jacob Teitelbaum

    TREATING CFS AND FIBROMYALGIA (CFS/FM/ME) can be very satisfying, because with proper treatment even these severely ill people usually improve, and sometimes completely recover, given the proper treatment. They are also remarkably complex, however, and it is easy for you and your practitioners to burn out if you don’t use the proper tools to simplify care.

    We have discussed how to effectively treat these illnesses in previous articles, and more detail can be found in my books From Fatigued to Fantastic (for practitioners) and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (an easy read for people with the illness).

    To summarize, these illnesses represent an energy crisis where the person essentially blows a fuse (called the hypothalamus). This circuit breaker can be turned back on and function restored by optimizing energy production with the SHINE Protocol (Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition, Exercise as able). In our published randomized placebo-controlled study, 91 percent of people with CFS/FMS improved with an average 90 percent increase in quality of life (p<.0001 versus placebo). So we already know these are real and very treatable conditions.

    Here are 10 more tools to simplify patient care, and to add new powerful treatments for those who do not improve or recover with SHINE:

    TOOLS TO SIMPLIFY CARE:

    1. The free Energy Analysis Program at www.EndFatigue.com can analyze a person’s symptoms and (optional) even their key lab tests to determine what is causing their energy drain and tailor a protocol to their case to optimize energy. The person can do it themselves, or with a family member’s or friend’s help, in just 10 minutes. All of the work needed to determine what is causing YOUR energy drain, and how to fix it, is then done online for free with the click of a button.

    2. Treating the pain
    Although the pain most often begins with muscle shortening caused by inadequate energy, the chronic muscle pain then triggers “brain pain” or central sensitization. Think of pain as being like the oil light on your body’s dashboard telling you that something needs attention. If you put oil in the car, the oil light goes out. If you give the body what it needs, the pain goes away. What it needs varies by the type of pain. When the body’s need is not addressed, the brain amplifies the pain, and the pain can become self-sustaining. This occurs because of increased microglial cell activity in the brain.

    The pharmaceutical industry has focused on three modestly helpful medications that are very expensive and have significant toxicity. Three other medications, however, can also decrease microglial cell activity, which causes central sensitization and can result in significant improvement. These are:

    Treat the central sensitization (brain pain).
    A. Low dose naltrexone. This medication has been shown to help rebalance immunity and decrease central sensitization and microglial cell activity. Give 3–4.5 mg at bedtime, and give it at least two months to work. It may initially disrupt sleep, in which case starting with a lower dose and giving it in the morning instead can help the body to adapt. It is available from compounding pharmacies at about a dollar a day. If it was still patentable, I’m certain the drug companies would be charging $20,000–$120,000 per year and every physician would know about it. Have the patient read the book The LDN Solution by Linda Elsgood. I would use this treatment for most autoimmune and severe chronic pain conditions. Unfortunately, it cannot be used in patients also taking narcotics, in which case the two treatments below may help.

    B. Minocycline 100 mg 2 x day. This antibiotic medication also helps to rebalance microglial activity, even in the absence of infections. Be sure to also treat to prevent Candida overgrowth.

    C. ACE inhibitors (e.g.,—Enlapril or vasotec) 10–20 mg a day.

    3. Other tips for treating pain
    A. For those of you requiring narcotics, be aware these will routinely cause both B vitamin and testosterone deficiency, amplifying the pain. Be sure you take a high potency B complex (e.g.,—the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder by Enzymatic Therapy) and have your doctor optimize your testosterone to keep it at least midrange normal.

    B. hCG, research by the pain specialist Dr. Forest Tennant in patients requiring very high-dose narcotics showed that giving 25 to 500 units of hCG sublingually daily decreased the narcotic dose needed by 30 to 40 percent after several months.

    C. Natural remedies can be more effective than medications for pain, and can be added to pain medications as well. The most effective? Curamin (by EuroPharma) has been a pain relief miracle. I also will add topical comfrey (Traumaplant). Although this works very quickly, give it six weeks to see the full effect. In head-on studies with Celebrex for arthritis, Curamin was shown to be more effective. Except for the LDN (which cannot be used with narcotics or Ultram), all of the above can be taken with any pain medications.

    4. The free iPhone and android app “Cures A-Z” will give a brief overview of the best way to treat each kind of pain (as well as over 100 other conditions often seen in FMS, such as pelvic pain syndromes, sinusitis, dry eyes and mouth, and many more). It is kind of like having my brain in your pocket, but much less messy.

    5. Treat mold neurotoxins
    This can be an important part of the process in a selected subset of people. This is work developed by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, who is brilliant, but is so smart that he can be unintelligible. I once tried to get him to “dumb down” the information by getting him drunk, but this was only slightly effective. Dr. Neil Nathan succeeded where I failed in this, and has just come out with a brilliant and very simple ‘how to’ book for treating neurotoxins, called Mold & Mycotoxins: Current Evaluation and Treatment 2016. This is available on Amazon (Kindle), can be read in under an hour, and will give you all the information you need to immediately begin effectively treating these conditions. Dr. Nathan has jokingly nicknamed it Shoemaker/neurotoxins for Dummies. I highly recommend it for both you and your physician if you suspect that mold neurotoxins may be playing a role.

    6. IV Gamma Globulin (and help with insurance and disability paperwork)
    In about 10 percent of my sickest patients who have severe refractory CFS/FMS, often leaving them bedridden, I will check antibody levels of IgG 1–4 (available from Quest or LabCorp— order “Immunoglobulin G, subclasses 1–4, serum” and “Immunoglobulin, quantitative, IgA, IgE, IgG, IgM, serum”). Work by Dr. Mark Sivieri has shown that people with CFS/FMS often have IgG 3 or IgG1 subset deficiency, and this has been my experience as well. In these cases, IV gamma globulin (– 1/2 gm/kg each 3 weeks) often results in dramatic improvement after four months of use. It is very expensive, however, so they will have to get insurance coverage— which can be difficult. I use the services of Denise Haire (office"at"endfatigue.com), who can work with people to help them get insurance coverage. She also is excellent at helping people with CFS/FMS in applying for their disability insurance, and can review the medical records to help people put together the letters needed for their insurance company or Medicare, so that people that are disabled can get disability. This can be very helpful for you, while also making your doctor’s life much simpler.

    7. Avoid getting raped by prescription prices
    If people don’t have insurance to cover the medications, they often get charged 10 to 40 times what the insurance company is paying. A simple tool? Download the free app “GoodRx” or you can go to www.goodRx.com. Put in the name and dose of the medication, and print out a coupon that will often lower the price by 90+ percent (I’m not exaggerating—this is more the rule than the exception). Patients will be pleasantly shocked. For example, Ambien is eight cents a pill instead of $4.

    Another helpful tip, as even men can get raped by pharmaceutical pricing. For erectile dysfunction, the medications can cost $70 a pill. Viagra (Sildenafil) should be available in generic, but pulled a legal ploy to avoid this. But there was a loophole that you will love. Order Sildenafil 20 mg tablets (available in generic for pulmonary hypertension). Using the GoodRx app, these are available for 50 cents a pill (one percent of the cost of Viagra). Some women also find it helpful for libido, and a small percent find it also helps their CFS!

    For other medications such as fluconazole, compounding pharmacies can often make the medication at a small fraction of the regular pharmacy cost.

    8. Treat the orthostatic intolerance (NMH, POTS)
    Basically, when we stand up, gravity makes our blood rush down to our legs. If not for our autonomic nervous system telling our legs to send the blood back up to our brain and muscles, we would pass out. In most people, the autonomic system works well. This is not the case in CFS/FMS. A new medication just came out at a cost of $120,000 per year. An absurdity, and I will not even mention the medication’s name. My impression is that it is far more effective to simply have the person increase their salt intake dramatically (I like to use a tasty good quality sea salt like Celtic Sea Salts) and increase water intake. In addition, be sure to get medium pressure (20– 30 mm) thigh high compression stockings and wear them when you are walking around. People with CFS/FMS find these dramatically improve stamina. And for only $60/pair versus $120,000! Feel free to email me at EndFatigue@aol. com to ask for an excellent information sheet on treating orthostatic intolerance as well as a simple quiz that will tell you in one minute whether orthostatic intolerance is present (validated in the Mayo Clinic Journal—I find it much better than spending $1000 for a tilt table test).

    9. For anxiety
    A. Two new herbals called Anxiocalm and Maximum Stress Relief (both in the Terry Naturally line by EuroPharma) are excellent.

    B. Severe anxiety is a clue that mycotoxins may be an issue (see #5 above).

    C. check out the Buteyko Breathing Method.

    10. Going gluten free
    When people don’t respond to other treatments, I have them do a gluten and dairy free diet for three weeks to see if it helps (stay on it if it does). This is difficult to sustain long-term, so I do not begin treatment with it, as most people get well without having to avoid milk and gluten. It is not enough to simply avoid gluten and dairy, or you will become malnourished. Instead, do a consultation with a nutritionist. My favorite? The wife of Brad West ND, Chef Lauren Hoover-West has appeared and cooked on ABC Live in Chicago and Sacramento. She has cooked for four United States Presidents and is the author of No Wheat No Dairy No Problem cookbook and the blog site www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com. She can guide people via phone consultation.

    Here is one bonus tip. People don’t like being part of the “handful club,” taking handfuls of pills each day. They also won’t stick with it.

    I make this easy for everyone, and people are very happy because they see a quick response, I simply have them take a morning energy drink called the Energy Revitalization System (by Enzymatic Therapy) which replaces over 35 supplement pills with one low-cost easy drink (replacing their multivitamin and sometimes dozens of other pills). I have them add one 5 gm scoop of ribose (SHINE), which in two studies we published increased energy an average of 61 percent after three weeks. I add one Vectomega tablet, which replaces eight fish oil capsules. This is what I take each morning, and you will find that it turbocharges you and most people with healthy energy as well.

    It’s a lot of fun helping people with this illness get well, and we do three hour in person or phone consultations with people worldwide. For info on making an appointment, contact Sarah at Appointments"at"endfatigue.com.

  • Tired of Your Every Night 2 A.M. Wake-Up Call?

    Fibromyalgia Sleeples nights Jacob Teitelbaum MD

    DOES IT SEEM LIKE EVERY NIGHT AT 2–4 A.M. YOUR INTERNAL ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF? THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS PEOPLE WITH FIBROMYALGIA HAVE, AND IS INCREASINGLY COMMON IN THE GENERAL POPULATION AS WELL.

    But what if it was optional?
    Here are some of the major causes:

    1. Drops in blood sugar. This is a major problem in people with adrenal fatigue. It can be especially common in people who are exhausted and "hangry" (hungry when angry) all day and whose minds suddenly go wide-awake at bedtime. The drop in blood sugar triggers an adrenaline rush and you're suddenly wide-awake.

    The solution? Have a 1–2 ounce high protein snack at bedtime such as a hard-boiled egg or some cheese, meat or fish. A sugary or high carbohydrate snack will actually make the problem worse. You will know if this is helping after one or two nights.

    2. Frequent urination. In addition to the other hormonal problems seen in fibromyalgia, people often have a drop in antidiuretic hormone (ADH or vasopressin). This makes it hard to hold onto water so you "drink like a fish and pee like a racehorse." This can keep you up at night as well.

    The solutions?

    • Because we are an upright species, gravity pools fluid in our legs. As much as a quart or two. When you lie down, it goes back into the rest of your body. Kind of like drinking a quart or two of water while you're sleeping. To prevent this, prop your feet up for a few hours before bedtime when you are sitting around. This way they can drain and you can pee the fluid out before you go to bed.
    • A simple prescription nose spray or tablet called DDAVP supplies the antidiuretic hormone. So you aren't up all night peeing. This is the same treatment they give kids who bed wet. Taken during the day, it also has been helpful for low blood pressure problems (orthostatic intolerance). The dose is 1/10 mg, one or two sprays or tablets at bedtime.
    • Avoid drinking a lot of fluids, especially with caffeine, for a few hours before bedtime.
    • If you are only urinating small volumes, hold off on going to the bathroom for five minutes. You will often have fallen back asleep by then, and this will retrain your bladder to sleep through the night.
    • If you have urinary urgency (including incontinence during the day), try the herb Angelica (SagaPro by EuroPharma) which helps promote healthy bladder function. This way you can more easily sleep all night. And during the day you won't find yourself laughing so hard that the tears run down your leg!

    3. Night sweats. This can come from a number of problems. In fibromyalgia, I find that the most common ones are hormonal deficiencies (estrogen and testosterone), and infections (especially Candida). We have discussed how to treat these in earlier articles.

    Another common cause is nighttime acid reflux. Although you may sometimes notice the heartburn when you wake up, other times you won't and you'll just wake up in a sweat after inhaling the stomach acid. This is especially likely to be a problem if you have daytime indigestion as well. After three weeks doing the below, you may find your daytime heartburn starts to settle down as well.

    A. Start by taking an acid blocker such as Prilosec or Nexium an hour before bedtime for three to four nights. If this helps, you've identified the problem. Stop the acid blocker, as it is quite addictive and toxic when used long-term. Instead follow the instructions below.

    Though it's a bad idea to keep your stomach acid "turned off" during the day (you need it to digest food), you don't need stomach acid at bedtime while sleeping. So here are a few tips:

    B. Bicarbonate of soda. Take ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda (e.g., Arm and Hammer) in 4 oz of water at bedtime to neutralize the acid in your stomach (not for children under 16 years old).

    C. Don't eat within two hours before bedtime and take two caps of a plant based digestive enzyme an hour before sleep. This will ensure your stomach is empty when you sleep.

    D. Sleep with your upper body elevated. Raise your upper body at least 6–8 inches when in bed (just raising your head with pillows won't work). One way to do this is to place a 6–8" brick or phone book under the legs of the bed (just the two legs by the end of the bed where your head is). Another wonderful solution is to use a sleep wedge pillow (you can find one online at www.Hammacher.com.

    E. Melatonin. Take 5–6 mg at bedtime. This decreases reflux.

    F. Immediate Heartburn Relief chewable antacids. Keep a few at bedside to take if needed.

    4. Pain. If pain is keeping you awake at night, it absolutely should be eliminated. Getting sleep will then actually help the pain to decrease over time. Some especially helpful treatments, which also can help support healthy sleep, include (these can all be used in combination in the low doses recommended):

    A- Medications:

    1. Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) 5 mg. One half—one tablet at bedtime.
    2. Ultram (tramadol) 50–100 mg. Although this is treated like an addictive medication, I've never seen anybody with a tramadol addiction, nor have the addiction specialists I've asked. Still, use the other medications instead if you are taking low dose naltrexone.
    3. Zanaflex (tizanidine) 4 mg. One half one at bedtime. Stop it in the rare event that it causes severe nightmares and it should not be combined with Cipro.
    4. Neurontin (gabapentin) 100–600 mg.
    5. Elavil (amitriptyline) 10–25 mg. This medication combined with Neurontin can be especially helpful for people with pelvic pain, such as interstitial cystitis or vulvodynia.

    B-Herbals:

    1. Curamin. This mix has been a pain relief miracle for many people, and can be taken one or two capsules, three times a day as well. It continues to increase in effectiveness over six weeks and can be taken with any pain medications.
    2. 5 HTP 300 mg. After six weeks, it helps sleep, decreases pain, and even improves mood.
    3. Terrific ZZZZ. It will also have a calming effect.

    For more sleep information, see my recent articles in which we discussed medications and natural remedies as well as treating sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

    You can get a solid eight to nine hours of sleep a night—even with fibromyalgia!

  • Total Health Management Requires Conscious Living

    An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study of chemicals found in human body fat through biopsy showed the wide array of toxic chemicals that each of us carries within. The “toxic load,” also known as “total body burden” or “bio-accumulation” occurs when the body exceeds the capacity of the organs of detoxification to reduce or neutralize toxins. Since the end of the Second World War, our planet has been experiencing a dramatic chemical revolution. Our existence, at the cost of our health and quality of life, now depends upon thousands of synthetic chemicals that are used to create virtually everything we associate with modern life—agriculture, health care, energy production, food supply, household and personal care products, and manufacturing all pumping tons of chemicals—most sold to consumers or dumped into the environment. A portion of these foreign chemicals, referred to as xenobiotics (foreign to the body), end up within the human body.

    “The contamination of our world is not alone a matter of mass chemical spraying. Indeed, for most of us this is of less importance than the innumerable small-scale exposures to which we are subjected day by day, year after year. Like the constant dripping of water that in turn wear away the hardest stone, this birth-to-death contact with dangerous chemicals may in the end prove disastrous. Each of these recurrent exposures, no matter how slight, contributes to the progressive buildup of chemicals in our bodies and so to cumulative poisoning…Lulled by the soft sell and the hidden persuader, the average citizen is seldom aware of the deadly materials with which he is surrounding himself; indeed, he may not realize he is using them at all.”
    Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

    INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY
    With over 75,000 chemicals currently registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, only very small fractions are assessed for their toxicity in humans. In fact, only about 25 percent of commonly used chemicals have undergone even the most basic toxicity testing— even fewer are tested for their effects on the developing fetus, brain or the immune system. Chemicals, like criminals, are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, because of our lax environmental laws, most of these toxic offenders never go on trial and are presumed safe until widespread harm occurs or the public demands accountability.

    The use of mercury in dental amalgam fillings is a perfect example of toxic chemical “grandfathers” that remain in widespread use without any adequate safety testing required of the manufacturers. I worked in dentistry for many years prior to embarking on my career in natural health. I am one of those victims of heavy metal poisoning as a result of not only handling mercury in the course of dentistry, but also as a result of a mouthful of mercury amalgam fillings from age seven to eighteen. The only way we can preserve or repair our health from these toxic saboteurs is through education and finding safe alternatives.

    Most of these untested chemicals make their way into natural ecosystems and end up in the human body. Because of this, we are unknowing victims in a giant, uncontrolled experiment with billions of humans functioning as the experimental animals. It’s making millions very sick. As a result of this toxic exposure and buildup, we’re developing “invisible illnesses” like fibromyalgia, arthritic disorders, chronic fatigue, lupus, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Gulf War syndrome, multiple skin disorders, a myriad of chemically-induced immune system disorders, and yes, even cancer.

    Future generations may look back upon this era with contempt for the indiscriminate way we’ve allowed toxic chemicals to pollute our world, erode our quality of life, and in general cause disease and death.

    A PHYSICIAN’S PERSPECTIVE
    Dr. Claudia Miller, Department of Family Practice, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, believes we are on the threshold of a new theory of disease— one that recognizes the impact of toxic chemicals. In a paper discussing chemical intolerance in Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, Miller wrote:

    “In the late 1800’s, physicians observed that certain illnesses spread from sick, feverish individuals to those contacting them, paving the way for the germ theory of disease. The germ theory served as a crude but elegant formulation that explained dozens of seemingly unrelated illnesses affecting literally every organ system.

    “Today, we are witnessing another medical anomaly—a unique pattern of illness involving chemically exposed people who subsequently report multi-system and new-onset chemical and food intolerances. These intolerances may be the hallmark for a new disease process, just as fever is a hallmark for infection.”

    Miller and other prominent scientists believe this new disease process is the key to the emergence of a totally new type of chemically related disorders and undiagnosed diseases. Disorders such as Gulf War syndrome, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, lupus, environmental illness, chemical sensitivities and multiple allergic response syndromes (MARS), are now believed to have a common denominator, toxic overload.

    POISONS WITHIN
    Toxic stress comes from more than the absorption of environmental chemicals. A wide range of potentially toxic substances are generated from processes at work within our body. When the natural mechanisms of detoxification malfunction, or when internally generated toxins are produced in excessive amounts faster than the ability of the organs to detoxify and neutralize, significant health disorders and disease result.

    For example, if a person does not have sufficient intake of vitamin B6, B12, or folic acid to meet their body’s specific demands, their cells are unable to properly metabolize and excrete the amino acid methionine—an important nutritional substance derived from protein digestion. When this occurs, a normally harmless amino acid is broken down into toxic homocysteine, a waste material that damages arteries and causes atherosclerosis.

    Even the processes within cells that generate energy from food molecules and oxygen result in the release of toxic free radicals — unstable molecules that have to be snuffed out by a complex system of dietary and internally generated antioxidants. If these complex antioxidant systems fail to perform properly, accelerated aging, disease and eventually death occurs.

    Toxins are also continuously generated from microbial activity in the digestive tract. Everything we eat is either absorbed into the body or it ends up in the colon where it is fermented by over 400 different species of bacteria and several kinds of yeast. Some of the fermentation by-products are harmless substances like lactic acid, but a wide variety of more toxic substances are also produced; ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane, butane, cadaverine, and putrescine—a few of the many microbial toxins generated in our own gut. Most of these toxic by-products remain in the gut and those that are absorbed are quickly neutralized by the liver. However, if unfriendly gut microbes overgrow, or if liver function is compromised, serious health problems occur.

    Many individuals living with chronic health problems suffer, in part, because of the condition commonly known as “leaky gut syndrome,” in other words, autointoxication, meaning they are being poisoned by the toxic substances within their body—the condition does not have to be acute for the person to manifest symptoms.

    This condition, technically known as increased intestinal permeability, occurs when the normally leak-proof lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed or damaged and tiny gaps open up between intestinal cells. In this condition, large molecules from partially digested food and microbes pass through the leaky gut and into the surrounding blood and lymph.

    When a person has leaky gut, every meal places an unhealthy load on their immune system, particularly their liver, resulting in an increase in overall body burden—often escalating into multiple allergic response syndromes (MARS™). Once this occurs, the allergic responses to food and the environment can escalate to multiple chemical sensitivities and even anaphylactic shock. As a recovered victim of leaky gut syndrome and MARS, I can attest to the life-threatening and life-altering challenges that a victim of these disorders endures. In order to achieve full recovery, complete life-style changes must be implemented. The best insurance against these disorders is knowledge. However, knowledge without action is just as deadly as no knowledge.

    BODY BURDEN—The Chemical Assault
    The human race is now contaminated with hundreds of synthetic chemicals, which were not found in our ancestors. Exposure in the womb to these contaminants can cause birth defects and affect our children’s future ability to reproduce and their susceptibility to diseases, including cancer. In some cases, developmental problems can result and affected children may never reach their full potential. Put simply, the integrity of the next generation is at stake. Protecting our children from the legacy of these chemicals is a major challenge and responsibility of modern society.

    CHEMICAL TRESPASS?— Pesticides in Our Bodies
    Many U.S. residents carry toxic pesticides in their bodies above government assessed “acceptable” levels. “Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability,” makes public for the first time an analysis of pesticide-related data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a study of levels of chemicals in 9,282 people nationwide (2,644 of whom were tested for pesticides).

    Many of the pesticides found in the test subjects are linked to serious short- and long-term health effects including infertility, birth defects, learning disorders, childhood and adult cancers. Chemical Trespass finds that children, women and Mexican Americans shoulder the heaviest “pesticide body burden.” For example, children—the population most vulnerable to pesticides—are exposed to the highest levels of nerve-damaging organophosphorous (OP) pesticides. CDC data shows the average six year-old sampled is exposed to the OP pesticide chlorpyrifos (commonly known by the product name Dursban) at four times the level the EPA considers “acceptable” for a long-term exposure.

    Future articles will discuss specific challenges and the modifications necessary to live healthy in a toxic world through nutrition-based medicine employing pluralistic health principles, naturally.

  • Treating Hair Loss in CFS and Fibromyalgia

    Hair loss or thinning is a common and important issue, especially in those who have chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. If you’re experiencing hair loss in a generally thinning way (diffuse), then treating: nutritional deficiencies and an underactive thyroid are especially important.

    Low iron is a key nutrient for hair growth, and standard testing misses most cases of iron deficiency. In fact, despite the fact that most physicians consider a ferritin blood test (the best measure of iron deficiency or excess) over 12 to show adequate iron, a recent study in patients with chronic illness and even mild anemia (a description fitting most people with CFS) showed that a ferritin under 100 was diagnostic of iron deficiency!

    In addition, for those with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and a ferritin under 60, iron can be more effective than the medication Requip, and can eliminate RLS as well as your iron levels optimize.

    In CFS and fibromyalgia patients, as in any chronic illness, a very common cause of unusual hair loss is a condition called “Telogen Effluvium.” This is when the normal cycles of natural growing and falling out of the hair follicles become jolted out of their usual random phase due to illness. In this condition, a severe physical stress — such as pneumonia or a CFS flare up — can produce unusual hair loss which doesn’t begin until 3–9 months later. This type of hair loss is reversible, although it can take 3– 9 months. It often grows in more quickly than this, but it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than to feel disappointment and abandon the needed RX too quickly.

    To treat hair thinning:

    1. Optimize overall nutritional support. The Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder is excellent for this, plus take a 29 mg iron tablet for 6–12 months (until the ferritin is over 100). Do not take iron if the ferritin is over 200 (and have your doctor check for iron excess called hemochromatosis, which is easy to treat but life threatening if missed). 2. Optimize thyroid function—even if your thyroid labs are “normal.”

    Treating with the S.H.I.N.E. Protocol overall will also help hair growth as well as dramatically improve the quality of life in CFS and fibromyalgia. Please note that the above applies only to stress-induced hair loss, which is evidenced by widespread thinning. Other patterns have a different cause. For example:

    1. Autoimmune issues. In this condition, hair loss appears as multiple coin-shaped bald spots called alopecia areata.

    2. Male pattern baldness. If present in a woman, this suggests elevated testosterone and DHEA. If these are present, and a fasting morning insulin blood test is over 10 (showing insulin resistance), this would suggest the presence of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). This improves by treating the insulin resistance with the medication metformin (very safe and helpful in PCOS) and eliminating excess sugar.