Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Treating Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia?

In January of 2004, you wrote that Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum had presented his views on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome to physicians in your program in integrative medicine and that several were willing to try his approach with select patients. What was the outcome? 

Answer (Published 1/13/2009)

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia are difficult conditions to deal with, combining, as they do, fatigue, pain and a number of other symptoms ranging from headaches to joint pain, anxiety and depression. No one knows for sure what causes these disorders.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Personal Care - Thousands of people have benefited from Dr. Weil's nutritional supplement recommendations, designed to complement your lifestyle and optimize your health. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor Recommendation today.

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., an internist who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, is the author of a book titled From Fatigued to Fantastic describing his treatment plan for CFS and fibromyalgia. He believes that stress, infections, or other triggers of CFS and fibromyalgia suppress the hypothalamus, the brain center that regulates sleep, the hormonal system, body temperature and blood flow. His treatment includes a long list of herbs, prescription drugs, hormones (even if tests show that your hormone levels are normal) plus a vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplement said to overcome "nutritional deficiencies" (which in my experience are rare in this country).

I asked Randy Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM), about the various approaches to treatment. He said that in his experience, some methods are effective for certain individuals, but none appears to be curative, nor ideally suited to all patients. In his own practice, he said there are almost as many variations on these disorders as there are patients. While there are some common themes, such as sleep issues, brain fog, waxing and waning pain, he noted "many more nuances." He has seen a few patients who have been treated by practitioners using the Teitelbaum system; some were helped, others were not.

Dr. Horwitz added that treatment for CFS and FMS at the AzCIM clinic focuses first upon disrupted sleep "as this seems to be very common. We then tailor further recommendations to suit the constellation of symptoms that the patient is experiencing. Testing for celiac disease is critical, as many of these symptoms may be due to gluten intolerance."

In addition, although it was not part of Dr. Teitelbaum's approach, D-ribose (which I wrote about in 2007: "Does Ribose Really Energize?"), is under further investigation to confirm its success in relieving common symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue in earlier clinical trials. I'm encouraged by the preliminary findings, and will update my recommendations as the results become available for peer review.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Read more articles on Chronic Fatigue Syndome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here