A "human energy crisis." That's how Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., describes the devastating symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and its close physiological cousin fibromyalgia—two commonly misdiagnosed conditions that can leave sufferers feeling exhausted, in pain, or worse.
Dr. Teitelbaum, author of a new book, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, notes that we all feel exhausted sometimes—from job stress and the day-to-day challenges of family life and making ends meet. But for many people, those feelings are symptoms of something more serious, he tells Newsmax TV's Meet the Doctors program.
"The research shows that 31 percent of adults suffer chronically with fatigue," he notes. "So this is a big, big problem. And we have the makings of a perfect storm ... for a [human] energy crisis with poor nutrition poor sleep and a host of other problems. And then it gets to the point where it gets so severe that it triggers chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, in about 2 to 4 percent of the population."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a million Americans have CFS and millions more suffer from fibromyalgia—making these conditions more common than multiple sclerosis, lupus, and many forms of cancer.
Hallmarks of both conditions are feeling exhausted, being unable to sleep, "brain fog," and pain, Dr. Teitelbaum explains. The pain comes from having too little energy, which causes muscles to lock in a shortened position, he says. For most sufferers, the conditions are the same illness, but some people have fatigue but not pain, while others have pain but not fatigue.
The illness is devastating," he notes. "It will often be very crippling to the point where people can't even function. Some people are bedridden with the disease. Other people are what I call the walking wounded—they can straggle to work, kind of make it through the day, but when they get home they have nothing else [in terms of energy]."
Health problems and deficiencies can trigger fibromyalgia and CFS by putting stress on the hypothalamus, the region of the brain that produces hormones and regulates bodily systems. Complicating the issue is the fact that many mainstream doctors do not take the two conditions seriously—skeptics once derided CFS as "yuppie flu." Consequently, many physicians don't know how to treat them.
The good news is that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are highly treatable conditions, he says. Following a protocol known as SHINE—sleep, hormones, immunity, nutrition, and exercise—helps people improve their quality of life and feel better, he says. The treatment calls for optimal sleep, addressing hormonal deficiencies, detecting and treating underlying infections, achieving proper nutritional balance, and exercising as much as you're able.
The good news is that some relatively simple strategies have been found to be effective in treating both CFS and fibromyalgia. Dr. Teitelbaum has developed a 5-point, drug-free protocol known as the SHINE program — short for sleep, hormones, immunity, nutrition, and exercise — that has been shown to help the majority of sufferers improve their quality of life and feel better.
SHINE stands for the five strategies that are central to the program.
Sleep: Making sure to get a solid 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
Hormones: Getting tested for deficiencies and seeking treatment, if necessary.
Immunity: Seeking treatment for any underlying inflections that can be contributors to CFS and fibromyalgia.
Nutrition: Eating a healthy diet including lots of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and low levels of processed, sugary foods that can increase inflammation in the body.
Exercise: Engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
"There absolutely is effective treatment available," Dr. Teitelbaum tells Newsmax TV. "Our published research ... showed that 91 percent of people improve with what we call the SHINE protocol ... The average improvement win quality of life using the shine protocol is 90 percent."
For the original article, visit newsmaxhealth.com.
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