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724 Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia (archive)

The full podcast of this program will be available on Monday, January 25.

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are both elusive and debilitating conditions. They are difficult to diagnose and even trickier to treat. Many physicians chalk them up to psychosomatic problems and don’t have much to offer patients.

The CDC counts these as real disorders: fibromyalgia affects up to 5 million Americans, and chronic fatigue syndrome affects between 1 and 4 million at any given time. Although these problems seem mysterious, they are treatable.

Guest: Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., is Medical Director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers nationally. His Web site is www.vitality101.com. He is also the co-creator of the iPhone application, Natural Cures.

First broadcast 5/24/2009

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Pick up Dr. Teitlebaum’s book, “From Fatigued to Fantastic”. You may very well find some good help for your fibro. The biggest thing that has worked for me is taking D-Ribose (pure powdered form) twice a day. I was experiencing severe pain in my arms, as if a rubberband was tightening on my upper arms. Taking the D-Ribose has ELIMINATED this problem. I have been doing this for over a year and a half with great success. I tried some of the supplements but my stomach simply couldn’t handle it. Try his suggestions to find what might work for you. Good Luck.

Can you give me some helpful hints on how to treat arthritis?

I have been unemployed for over 3 years and currently live off of early distributions from my IRA, which soon will not be an option. My primary care doctor sent me to a psychiatrist when I told her of my chronic fatigue.
My next step is to have a sleep study. I am currently being successfully treated for hypothyroidism and depression. I find it difficult to have the medical community take me seriously.
I have been researching on my own and would like to share my findings. In Charlotte, NC there is an organization “The CFIDS Association of America.”
They are active with providing information to those who suffer with this, fund-raising, grant proposals for research and offer Webinar’s on the research process. I requested a list of providers in my area. Though they were unable to list providers, they did attach a list of support groups in my area. They will also facilitate in working with individuals to begin support groups.

I must admit that some of the research findings in the webinars were past my ability to comprehend. Though I definitely was able to pick up on the results, showing those with and without the condition. Hope this helps.

Oh thank goodness I’m not the only person that has experienced this. I put my comment up a while ago about my experience about the center and was beginning to think I was the only one that thought this charge was excessive. What a great doctor you are to even call and find out the facts for your patient. That is wonderful. I don’t think the People’s Pharmacy knew at least I hope not.

I called one of the centers for one of my patients. I am a family physician. I was told they did not need a referral, as they were ‘out of network’ with insurance companies. When I asked for clarification, she said they operated as a concierge service where fees for 6 months ranged from $2400 to $6000, depending on the plan. My patient, unfortunately, cannot afford this. Did the hosts of Peoples Pharmacy know the costs involved before broadcasting ? I doubt most people can afford this type of service.

Quoting from above:
“The CDC counts these as real disorders: fibromyalgia affects up to 5 million Americans, and chronic fatigue syndrome affects between 1 and 4 million at any given time. Although these problems seem mysterious, they are treatable.”
The fact that you have to say the CDC legitimizes these maladies is very telling. It’s like saying the CDC has relented after years of blowing off the symptoms as ‘stress’ and is finally legitimizing these diagnoses.
The question is not whether they are real. The real question is, “What are the underlying causes?” As was suggested in the show, there are plenty of ‘band-aid’ remedies like ‘Cymbalta’ that ameliorate some symptoms. But there are no actual cures. We don’t actually know what CFS and FM are, other than pigeon hole diagnoses for maladies that seem to be similar across some strata of our population.
Pharmaceutical companies make a lot of money off of amelioratives and palliatives. They have no incentive to actually find the root causes of many of our ‘pigeon hole’ diagnoses when they can make considerably more over a longer, stabler period of time just treating symptoms. Finding a cure would take future trillions out of their pockets. Without an incentive, we’re stuck with government agencies like the CDC acquiescing with Big Pharma by allow pigeon hole diagnoses and amelioration to stand as ‘progress’ instead of finding real cures.
The only real progress is likely to come out of Europe where drug companies don’t legislate.

I did not hear the show Saturday, but heard from a friend. I went to the Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia clinic and had very mixed emotions about this treatment program. It seems like a very thorough program and I’m sure that it helps some people, but I will never be able to experience the program because I can’t afford it.
My friend (who is a registered nurse) and I went to the consultation in January. We met with the doctor and she seemed somewhat knowledgeable about the program and fibromyalgia. My husband and I were very excited at the prospect of living without pain and having a better quality of life for me. Until we got to the financial part of the consultation. The program, depending on your illness (the doctor told my friend that she thought she might have Lyme disease, but her treatment price was the same) is $6,000 upfront and that is not including if they need to do superviral or other types of testing.
They do have a financing company (credit card type company) that you can apply with. It will most likely not be covered by your insurance and the Fibro and Fatigue center does not file with your insurance. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around paying that amount upfront with no guarantee that I would see improvement. My husband is out of work and we just couldn’t do it, which really made me sad.
I am not by any means bashing this program. I know that nothing is free and if you do a consultation and feel strongly that this is for you, that is your choice. Just please be careful. A friend heard the program on Saturday and encouraged me to at least let people know my experience.
I know that I am constantly looking for some way to improve the quality of my life. FM can be very debilitating not only physically but mentally. I feel like I am running out of options and becoming discouraged. I know how desperate some of you must feel because I am there myself. Just please research everything before pursuing it.
Mr. Teitelbaum I think is an extremely knowledgeable man. I have great respect for him, but I am not so sure about his link to the program. I think out of all the research I’ve done he definitely is the most knowledgeable. I like that the fact that he endorses herbs and other natural ways to manage Fibro.I have purchased both of his books and plan to read them both and use what I can.
Some of the suggestions in his book had already been suggested to me by one of my doctors so I feel strongly that he is on the right track. Good luck and God Bless each and everyone of you, please know that I am praying for you all.

What radio stations do you come on? What is the title of your program?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE:
We are heard on over 120 public radio stations. If you go to our home page and look at the top ribbon you can find the stations and times we are broadcast. You can also sign up for a free podcast of the show straight to your computer! You’ll never miss another show again.

Wow. I’ve been diagnosed and struggling with all of these symptoms for the past 15 years. I’ve tried everything, and been lead up some blind alleys. This is the most important and comprehensive program on FYBro/Chronic Fatig./Sinusitus /IBS/ Hormonal imbalance, etc. that I’ve heard! My husband got me Dr. T.’s book while we were listening to the program.
QUESTION:
I also have vertigo, with all of the above symptoms? I am wondering if that is symptomatic of someone with this diagnosis. Have you heard of this along with the other issues of this out of balance symptoms?
I’ve been working both with allopathic and alternative traditions. However, I’ve never had success in trying to pull it all together. This problem has offered a synthesis that I believe will impact the quality of my life. I’m so grateful to hear this important collection of research.
I will need to listen again, take notes, and reflect. I will go to the Dr.s Website. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I cannot use the website http://www.vitality101.com. I can access it, but can’t work within it no matter what I try. Any suggestions for how to get Dr. T’s nutrition recommendations for nutritional solutions for CFS/FM?

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