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 30th, 2011:
Exciting New Discovery in Treating CFS & FibromyalgiaExciting New Discovery in Treating CFS & Fibromyalgia
by Jacob Teitelbaum MD
Once again I'm convinced that God has a great sense of humor!
For decades I've talked about how cholesterol medications (called statins) are overused in general, and especially so in fibromyalgia where they can cause more pain (by causing hormone and coenzyme Q10 deficiency). I suspect that except for those with known heart disease, where they can be lifesaving, statins have caused more harm than good. But there may be a silver lining to the statin medications' dark cloud.
New research suggests that statins might have a very helpful antiviral effect at high dose, and they may even hold promise as an effective new treatment for CFS & fibromyalgia if special (and simple) precautions are added in. The new theory I will present today also offers new possibilities for helpful and easy testing and treatment, while offering an understanding of a large new piece of the CFS/FMS puzzle.
Although time will tell how big a role this new concept will play in CFS, it offers simple testing and treatment that can be helpful NOW!
Blocking CFS Viral Infections with Statin Cholesterol Meds
(The following is a summary of my analysis. Read my complete analysis here.)
1. New research sheds light on what may be a very important part of the CFS and fibromyalgia process, and offers new testing and treatment:
2. Viral infections stimulate production of an immune chemical called interferon. This can starve a virus in the short term by blocking cholesterol production.
3. Unfortunately, in long-term viral infections the interferon can result in starving the body as well. This occurs by inhibiting production of pregnenolone — the key building block for cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone — contributing to hormone deficiencies. It also inhibits production of a key energy molecule called coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
4. If the pregnenolone OR cholesterol blood tests are low or low normal (the pregnenolone is a better indicator, but check both — available at most labs and often covered by insurance), this could be suggestive of a chronic viral infection. This is also a previously unexplained phenomenon often seen in CFS.
5. Simply supplementing with coenzyme Q10 (200-400 mg a day) and pregnenolone (100-200 mg a day) may overcome a significant part of the symptoms caused by chronic viral infections.
6. Cholesterol-lowering statin medications (e.g., Zocor 40 to 80 mg daily) may have strong antiviral effects against many, possibly most, viruses. Their toxicity may often be blocked by simply taking the coenzyme Q10 and pregnenolone with it.
Used with permission from Dr Jacob Teitelbaum's free newsletters-available at www.Vitality101.com
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