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Special Report: Small Heart Size Common in CFS





Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum's Column advice on CFS, Fibromyalgia and other Health Topics.









Jacob Teitelbaum MD is Medical Director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers
( Senior author of the landmark studies "Effective Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia -- a Placebo-controlled Study" & "Effective Treatment of CFS & Fibromyalgia with D-Ribose". Author of the best-selling book "From Fatigued to Fantastic!"(3rd ed-Penguin/Avery Oct 4, 2007) , "Three Steps to Happiness! Healing through Joy", and "Pain Free 1-2-3- A Proven Program to Get YOU Pain Free!" (McGraw Hill, 2006). He does numerous media appearances, including CNN and FOX National News and is a frequent guest on Oprah and Friends with Dr. Oz.. He lives in Kona, Hawaii. Visit his web site at


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, January 30th, 2012:


Special Report: Small Heart Size Common in CFSSpecial Report: Small Heart Size Common in CFS


by Jacob Teitelbaum MD



Dear Readers,


A few weeks ago we discussed a condition called POTS/NMH (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome/Neurally Mediated Hypotension), pointing out that most people with POTS/NMH also have CFS.
The main symptom of POTS/NMH is that when you stand up, you have a speeding heartbeat and low blood pressure, causing symptoms like dizziness, shakiness, nausea, weakness and fatigue. And even a slight increase in your activity levels — eating, showering, walking — can worsen the symptoms.
Well, a new study by Japanese researchers, published in the medical journal Clinical Cardiology, has found that CFS patients with POTS/NMH have smaller-sized hearts than CFS patients who don't have POTS/NMH. In fact, the researchers found that just about anyone with POTS has a smaller heart than a person without it.
The researchers also found that the smaller heart might be the cause of the symptoms of POTS/NMH — because a smaller heart has to beat faster to pump a normal amount of blood throughout the body.
Surprisingly, this finding is good news for those with CFS and POTS. Here’s why:
  1. You weren’t born with a smaller heart. If you were born with a smaller heart, your POTS/NMH symptoms would have started around age 18, when your body was full-grown. You wouldn’t have had the sudden onset of POTS/NMH symptoms that are common in CFS.
  2. The smaller heart is a symptom of CFS. The study suggests that CFS causes a smaller heart. How does that happen? CFS causes a decrease in the number and size of energy-generating mitochondria within muscle cells, shrinking muscles — including the heart muscle. When the heart and other muscles shrink, exercise becomes a strain and a drain. You exercise less and your muscles become deconditioned. Once the heart muscle is both smaller and deconditioned, blood pressure is compromised — and you develop CFS/POTS.
  3. Natural cures can improve and even reverse the condition. We've seen many CFS/POTS patients strengthen and condition their hearts and improve their symptoms, often without drugs.

Light-intensity exercise (exercising at a level that is comfortable, and never beyond) helps the problem. And many nutrients can improve heart function in about six weeks, as discussed in my article "Heart Disease." With this combination of exercise and nutrition, symptoms can improve within six to 12 weeks. And I suspect that heart size and function often return to normal within a year or so.
See, I said this was good news!
An interesting advance on this study would be to look at chest x-rays from people before they developed CFS/POTS and see how they compare to x-rays after the illness developed. I suspect they would confirm that CFS/POTS causes smaller hearts.
"Small Heart With Low Cardiac Output for Orthostatic Intolerance in Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome," Kunihisa Miwa MD, Masatoshi Fujita MD, Clinical Cardiology






Used with permission from Dr Jacob Teitelbaum's free newsletters-available at



Learn more from Dr. Teitelbaum's books:



From Fatigued To Fantastic


From Fatigued to Fantastic!: A Proven Program to Regain Vibrant Health, Based on a New Scientific Study Showing Effective Treatment for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

Buy from

Buy From Report: Small Heart Size Common in CFS

Pain Free 1-2-3


Pain Free 1-2-3: A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now!

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Buy From Report: Small Heart Size Common in CFS




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