- How are CFS patients wronged by the medical profession?
- Why is the disease so hard to define and why are there so many disconnected symptoms?
- Most Americans are tired and don’t sleep well. So how do you know if you really have CFS?
- Why is your approach to treating CFS unique?
- Why do sick people have "normal" blood tests?
- If you believe in natural approaches, why do you prescribe antibiotics?
- How long does it take to get results?
- What changes does our medical system need to effectively treat disease in the 21st century?
- How do I find a doctor who can treat me?
- Are you paid by the vitamin supplement companies you promote?
Although most doctors try to be wonderful, caring people, a few of us have a bad habit. We think that if we don't know what's wrong with the patient, the patient must be crazy. To give these severely ill patients, their families and their employers this false impression based on our arrogance is both intellectually dishonest and cruel. That patients on the active treatment got much better and the placebo group did not, proves that these are real syndromes.
Although the illness significantly suppresses a central control area that regulates many key bodily functions (the Hypothalamus), this suppression may not decrease blood tests to the level of the lowest 2% of the population (two standard deviations), the level required to be considered "medically abnormal". Nonetheless, the suppression of many different systems is enough to leave people non-functional. By the same token, the large number of body areas affected by the disease creates a myriad of symptoms, which, to a doctor not trained in these syndromes, seem unrelated.
Although many people are tired and have poor sleep, the fatigue usually goes away with rest and is not associated with the other symptoms noted above. It is the mix of a common group of symptoms that define a syndrome. People who are tired, achy, "brain foggy", can't sleep, have increased thirst and poor libido — even if these are not disabling — often have a milder form of CFS/FMS.
In medicine, we're trained to look for a single treatment — the so called "magic bullet" that can eliminate the problem. Because CFS/FMS affects so many systems, and because the affected systems vary considerable from patient to patient, most patients need to have a combination of treatments tailored specifically to treat all their problems simultaneously. Our placebo controlled study dramatically shows that when you do this, people get much better.
As noted above, normal does not equal healthy. As an example, a recent study showed that most of the people who get better with thyroid hormone have normal thyroid blood tests!
I believe in using what is safe and effective. Although I prefer natural treatments, prescription medications are a wonderful and powerful part of our tool kit.
People start to get better in an average of 7 to 10 weeks, though the time can vary considerably from patient to patient.
Although our financially-driven system produces many wonderful new treatments, it results in largely ignoring anything that is not patentable (i.e., anything natural). It's time to apply the best of both worlds when treating people. Why use only a hammer when you have the whole tool kit available.
My website has a list of health care practitioners who are specially trained in treating CFS/FMS. See Find a Practioner.
I have a policy of not taking money from any company whose products I recommend. I've asked the company to donate my share of the profits for these products to charity.