The SHINE Protocol was developed by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia.
Dr. Teitelbaum himself suffered from ME/CFS and he says that in his 30 years of treating patients with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia he has found that the approaches that constitute the SHINE Protocol have been sucessful in the vast majority of patients. Dr. Teitelbaum even conducted a study using the SHINE Protocol called "Effective Treatment Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia - A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study," which was published in the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2001. For the study 72 fibromyalgia patients (of whom 69 also met the criteria for CFS) were split into active and placebo groups. Using symptom scores and questionnaires such as the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) along with lab testing Dr. Teitelbaum found that those receiving the active SHINE protocol treatments improved significantly compared to the placebo group and that this improvement continued over time according to follow up consultations with patients after a period of around 2 years.
SHINE is an acronym for the areas of dysfunction that are addressed in ME/CFS and fibromyalgia patients on the protocol. These are:
S = SLEEP: Get adequate sleep, preferably eight to nine hours a night. Sleep replenishes the body's energy and heals its muscles. Inadequate sleep will leave you exhausted and in pain.
H = HORMONES: Get tested for hormone deficiency and treated if needed. Hormone deficiencies can contribute to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
I = INFECTIONS: Get treatment when symptoms of infections occur. The lack of restorative sleep in CFS/FM leads to dysfunctional immune systems. Underlying viral, bacterial, bowel, sinus and yeast infections are common and can be a contributing cause or result of CFS/FM.
N = NUTRITONAL SUPPLEMENTS: Optimal nutritional supplementation is essential. Many nutrients can be depleted as a result of CFS/FM. B-12, magnesium, Acetyl L Carnitine and glutathione, as well as your basic A, B, C and D vitamins need to be supplemented at a level that your average over the counter multivitamin cannot provide.
E = EXERCISE: Exercise as able. After 10 weeks on the 4 steps above, you will be able to slowly increase your exercise-without being wiped out the next day!
The SHINE Protocol therefore address all of the major areas that research has identified as being dysfunctional in ME/CFS and fibromyalgia to bring about substantial improvements in a patient's symptoms and ability to function.
Dr. Teitelbaum states that it can take a number of months for the full benefits to be felt and that continuous testing and adjustments to treatments are needed to optimize treatment for each individual. It is therefore highly advisable to work with a physician who is familiar with the approach.
Learn more in Dr. Teitelbaum's Book:
From Fatigued to Fantastic