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in advertising; so now, patients are instead being told to take medications with lots of side effects.”

The most common convention- ally prescribed drugs for fibromyalgia target symptoms of insomnia, depres- sion, nerve pain and inflammation. According to Teitelbaum, the vast majority of people treating with these medications continue to experience the same symptoms over a five-year period; only 25 to 35 percent report some improvement.

It’s difficult to determine how many Americans suffer from fibromy- algia because many go undiagnosed (the average time from onset of symp- toms to diagnosis is five years). Cure- estimates that 5 million Americans, or approximately 2 percent of the population, suffer from this disease.

Functional Medicine Alternative

“Functional medicine practitioners recognize that fibromyalgia represents an energy crisis in the body and use

simple, appropriate and effective treat- ments with no harmful side effects,” says Teitelbaum. “Most often I use a SHINE protocol that I developed, based on 30 years of treating patients with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, with a 90 percent success rate.” His is just one example of the way functional medicine would treat a difficult-to-diagnose and to treat disease. Cass uses functional medicine very effectively against depression, ad- diction and a host of women’s health issues. Hyman specializes in managing diabetes and obesity with the tools of functional medicine.

“If other medicines worked as well as treatments used in functional medicine, I’d use them, but they don’t,” concludes Hyman. “My Hippocratic Oath says I must help relieve suffering. I can do that with the tools that func- tional medicine gives me.”

Kathleen Barnes is a natural health advocate, author and publisher. Eight Weeks to Vibrant Health: A Take Charge Plan for Women is among her many books. Visit

SHINE Protocol Optimizes Energy

Sleep eight to nine hours a night. Hormone balance is critical in remedying hormonal deficiencies

that can contribute to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Infection control boosts immune function and helps eliminate un-

derlying viral, bacterial and fungal infections that sap energy.

Nutritional supplements should include B-12, magnesium, acetyl

l-carnitine, d-ribose and glutathione, as well as vitamins A, B, C and D.

Exercise in a gradually escalat- ing program as former symptoms

improve. Source:


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