Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum's Column
...expert advice on CFS, Fibromyalgia and other Health Topics.
You can benefit from Dr. Teitelbaum's wisdom and experience by visiting us at The Environmental Illness Resource regularly to read articles from his latest newsletter!
Monday, May 25th, 2009:
CFS & FMS as Adrenaline Exhaustion
by Jacob Teitelbaum MD
New research continues to expand our understanding of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this week's research briefs, we will explore five seemingly unrelated studies on CFS & fibromyalgia that point us to a similar conclusion — that these illnesses are associated with our adrenaline system being on overdrive and then exhausting.
Let's begin with an important piece of biochemistry. Your body uses the amino acid (protein) called "tyrosine" to make the brain chemical dopamine (one of the "happiness molecules"). Dopamine is then turned into adrenaline (epinephrine and norepinephrine). Excessive production of adrenaline depletes tyrosine, followed by deficiencies of both dopamine and adrenaline. Tyrosine is also the amino acid used to make thyroid hormones. So it becomes clear that treating the tyrosine deficiency is important. Fortunately, tyrosine is one of the 50 key nutrients in the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder.
Whether you're an adrenaline junky because of your personality (like me), or simply the illness put your adrenaline system into overdrive, adrenal and adrenaline exhaustion appears to be a major part of CFS and fibromyalgia. Fortunately, this responds well to the SHINE Protocol, and especially well to adrenal support and the amino acids and other nutrients found in the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder.
The final study in this week's research briefs shows what we have known for years — that magnesium supplementation significantly improves heart function. This is no surprise, as magnesium increases energy production throughout the whole body — especially when combined with B vitamins and ribose (Corvalen).
Autonomic Dysfunction in Fibromyalgia
Autonomic dysfunction (low blood pressure, sweating and bowel dysfunction) is routinely seen in fibromyalgia, and appears to be mostly "sympathetic over activity" (i.e., being on adrenaline overdrive) — followed by adrenaline exhaustion. Read more »
Amino Acids Low in Fibromyalgia
Selected amino acids (proteins) are low in fibromyalgia. The pattern suggests overdrive of the sympathetic nervous system (adrenaline overdrive). Read more »
Low Blood Pressure is Common in CFS
This confirms what we have noted for decades, and again suggests an exhausted sympathetic nervous system. Our experience suggests that treating the low blood pressure can be very helpful. We do this with adrenal support, increasing salt and water intake, and in severe cases even adding the medication Dexedrine. Midodrine (a blood pressure raising medication) is also helpful in a fairly small group of CFS patients who, despite these treatments, still have severe dizziness on standing. Read more »
Stress Associated with Increased Risk of Getting CFS
Having had a high level of physical or psychological stress in your life is associated with a significantly increased risk of getting CFS. Basically, this large CDC study shows that excess stress can cause you to "blow a fuse" and develop chronic fatigue syndrome. Read more »
Adrenaline-Blocking Meds May Decrease Fibromyalgia Pain
This interesting study suggests that fibromyalgia, and the sometimes associated painful jaw joint dysfunction (TMD), are both associated with adrenaline/sympathetic nervous system malfunction. Medications that block adrenaline (e.g., Inderal or atenolol) have been tried for CFS patients with NMH (low blood pressure) in the past, but in this population tends to worsen fatigue. This new study had the fascinating finding that these adrenaline blocking medications, in very low dose, may decrease fibromyalgia pain. This makes them a possible option in fibro pain treatment for those with high blood pressure (these medications lower blood pressure). Read more »
Magnesium Effective for Treating Congestive Heart Failure
This is also significant for CFS and fibromyalgia, as magnesium increases energy and muscle function in general — including the heart muscle. Magnesium is one of the five key nutrients for markedly improving heart function in those with congestive heart failure (see Treating Heart Problems Naturally). Read more »
Used with permission from Dr Jacob Teitelbaum's free newsletters-available at www.Vitality101.com
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