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Dr. Teitelbaum's Chat Transcript from the Seattle AACFS Conference

  [ 985 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • February 13, 2001

Please Welcome Dr. Teitelbaum as our Host. Dr. Teitelbaum is a well-known advocate for innovative CFS/FM treatments. Specializing in holistic medicine as well as being a Board Certified Internist, Dr. Teitelbaum is author of the popular book From Fatigued to Fantastic! and newsletter of the same name.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
feather: What is most recommended to achieve a healthy night's sleep?

DrTeitelbaum: Getting 8 hours of sleep a night without a hangover is critical to getting well. Improving treatments to get peak sleep is important, however the best medication is Ambien, which can be used long term. I would then add Klonopin, Desyrel, and Soma as needed. Elavol can be helpful, but has a lot of side affects. Many herbal remedies are also helpful. These include Valerian, Lemon Balm, Kava, 5HTP, Passion Flower, and Melatonin, among others. For detailed information I am treating sleep; you can get my “Pain Pain Go Away” Newsletter at

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
hitch: I care for a lady severely affected with ME, she has a lot of left-sided symptoms, neuralgia, stress, sore throat, all on one side. Have you come across this before? Someone suggested that her immune system is weaker on the left. Is that possible?

DrTeitelbaum: It is unlikely to be happening because the immune system is weaker on one side. It is more likely to be occurring because of a structural problem (e.g., uneven leg length or an old scar). Interestingly, when things are all on one side like this, homeopathy can also be helpful.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
JennG: Do you teach doctors to test their patients extensively so they know what to treat? I have many of the common symptoms, active EBV, HHV-6, Cortisol in near adrenal failure, etc.

DrTeitelbaum: My book, From Fatigued to Fantastic is a cookbook for both you and your doctor to interpret the tests. In addition, we have just added an educational program to our web site. You can place detailed medical history and lab tests into the program, and it will create a complete medical record for you and your doctor. It will also analyze your case to determine what things need to be treated. It will let you know what natural and prescription remedies you can use for your condition and print out 60 to 80 pages of information for your specific condition. The web site is CFS is very treatable.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
joe: Dr. Teitelbaum, would you be so kind and explain the major differences (if any) between your protocol and that of Dr. Jay Goldstein?

DrTeitelbaum: Jay's protocol tries to change the brain chemistry to help your body adapt to the underlying problem. My program tries to eliminate the underlying problems. Although very different, the programs are complementary. Dr. Jay Goldstein is a brilliant physician and I have great respect for him and his work. My newsletter on his work is like the "cliff notes" to his book.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
ltd: Do you think having CFIDS and heart palpitations are connected?

DrTeitelbaum: Yes, it is normal to see palpitations in CFIDS. They are usually not dangerous. King magnesium (e.g., Pro Energy) can be very helpful. If you have mitral valve prolapse, I would add Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Vitamin B1 can also help.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
sammisj: What retrovirus is connected to HHV-6?

DrTeitelbaum: There are many viruses associated with CFS. HHV-6, CMV, and Epstein Barr are the major ones. My last newsletter has a detailed discussion on how to evaluate and treat for these.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
amk: Do you feel that treatment for NMH will also relieve CFS symptoms?

DrTeitelbaum: In younger patients it can be helpful—but not in most patients. Florinef is the least effective treatment (helped 14% vs. 10 % of placebo patients.) Prozac, Dexedrine and ephedrine are more effective for NMH. I know these are odd recommendations from a holistic MD, but they can be safe and very effective if used properly! Salt and water are, of course, very important. If your mouth or lips are dry, you're thirsty and need to drink more—even if you already are drinking 5 times what everyone else is!

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
mermie: Do you think that HHV-6 is a major force in disease, more specifically in FM/CFS? There seems to be evidence that there is an active virus in a lot of people with these syndromes. And when do you think that therapies targeting FM patients with active HHV-6 and other viruses will show promise soon?

DrTeitelbaum: Over 65% of FM patients test positive for many different infections. This makes it less likely that any one infection is the cause. Nonetheless, treating these infections is already a critical part of treatment. My last 2 newsletters discuss how to look for and treat the NUMEROUS infections in CFS. My web site program will also help guide you as to how important any specific infection is in YOUR case.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
jimbo: Can CFS cause a lipid myopathy? Would carnitine help? (I'm low in it.)

DrTeitelbaum: I don't believe so. Acetyl-L-carnitine is low in most CFS patients and can be very helpful. I would add co Q10. CFS\FM Energy formula from is excellent!

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
JennG: Regarding Dr. Cheney's work on growth hormone, do you think PWC's have to watch out about overloading their livers to detoxify too many supplements and medications?

DrTeitelbaum: Certainly, you want to use the supplements wisely. My book and Web site program can help you with this. The supplements we recommend help your liver and body to detoxify properly. CFS/FM-multi is a good single tablet vitamin.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
hitch: The lady I care for suffers terribly from PMS, it sets her back every month. Her hormones test normal, but taking progesterone day 12-26 helps keep the periods regular but doesn’t help with PMS. Her sleep is also severely disrupted, even with sleeping pills. What would you recommend?

DrTeitelbaum: The very first issue of my newsletter talks about how critical estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are. Tests are not reliable. If symptoms are worse the week before the period, I would treat with NATURAL (not horse) hormones. Our web site program analyzes for this need as well.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
mermie: The Carrigan /Knox lab in Wisconsin is working hard on HHV-6—why is it, do you think, that the virology institute Gallo directs has only a small unit devoted to HHV-6? In your estimation, is HHV-6 relevant concerning FM diagnosis and treatment? Or is it all scare tactics, money grubbing and green monkey rumors?

DrTeitelbaum: Politics is a wonderful and mysterious world. Dr Konnie Knox is a wonderful and ethical researcher. Yet, it is normal to see conflicting data in science. I believe HHV-6 plays a roll in a subset of CFS. As there is no normally available treatment that costs less than $20,000 for HHV-6, I prefer to use natural remedies that help your body fight many infections. I appreciate your skepticism—it helps to remember though, that all these people think they are doing the right thing!

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
feather: How can I get back issues of your newsletters? What do you recommend for pain in legs, arms and hands?

DrTeitelbaum: Back copies of the newsletter can be ordered on my web site at You can also leave questions on my Q&A section on the web site. My newsletters on pain control can teach you how to make your pain go away. In brief you need 8 hours of deep sleep a night (yes, this is possible!). Celebrex, Baclofen, Skelaxin and ginger can also help, as can Neurontin and Guaifenecin. The newsletters will go over about 30+ more treatments that help in CFS/FM. For those who can't afford the newsletter or web site program, we put 25% of what people pay into a scholarship fund. Our goal is to make effective treatment available to everyone!

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
Rosebud200: Do you have experience with the anti-viral supplement Monolaurin?

DrTeitelbaum: It can be helpful and is discussed in our newsletter. Other things can be more effective (eg., cats claw, olive leaf, thymic hormone, etc.)

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
jimbo: A PWC feels worse every other day, but sleeps the same each night—any ideas on what it might be?

DrTeitelbaum: Most likely, you overdo on the days you feel better. Take the "day off" on your next good day and only do what FEELS GOOD!

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
ltd: Do you think CFIDS breaks down the teeth? I have lost several since being diagnosed.

DrTeitelbaum: Nutritional deficiencies can play a big role. Also, stomach acid reflux (day or night), which is common in CFS, plays a big roll. If this is a problem, raise the head of your bed on blocks a few inches at night. Licorice and mastic gum, tagamet, etc. can also help.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
Mermie: How important a role does Candidiasis play in terms of accelerated pain in FM? And, do you endorse the theory that eating sugar in any form promotes fatigue, increases pain and disturbs sleep? Thank you.

DrTeitelbaum: A critical role! Sugar is a major problem. Caprylic acid, acidophilus, and oregano oil are some natural antifungals. I also add Nystatin and Diflucan. My web site program will assess you for yeast overgrowth.

Question directed to Dr. Teitelbaum:
tevek: Are they finding any similarities in the spinal fluid of CFS and MS patients? What studies show that any drugs get us into deep stage 3 and 4 sleep?

DrTeitelbaum: HHV-6 is implicated in both illnesses, but 2 different types. Studies have shown what stages of sleep are preserved and lost with many of the prescription and natural remedies. With that, and seeing what has and has not worked in thousands of CFS/FM people has determined which ones we recommend.

DrTeitelbaum: Thank you for joining me today. You can keep the questions coming on my web site at We are very excited about our web-based program which will tailor a treatment protocol to YOUR case!! Best wishes on your getting well!!!

Unfortunately, we have run out of time. We thank Dr. Teitelbaum for hosting this chat and hope that you have all benefited from the answers given. I apologize if we were not able to answer all your questions. Please stay tuned at 3pm Pacific time to chat with Dharam Ablashi V., DVM and hopefully your questions can be answered at that time.

Click here for past chat transcripts

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