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I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (sometimes called ME) about three years ago and this is just one of the books on the subject that have since entered my collection. Some of the advice is genuinely good and medically sound, but some of the diets and drug treatments suggested are potentially dangerous in my opinion. The book I will review here is the revised edition (it has a yellow and purple cover). ========================================= The Format of From Fatigued to Fantastic ========================================= The book is divided into twelve chapters with a very comprehensive index for quick reference. Within each chapter (let's use "A Good Night's Sleep" as an example) there are large headings in capital letters ("Natural Sleep Remedies") and under these there are a number of bullet-points of information (like one on Valerian - a traditional aid for sleep) as well as the odd smaller heading. Here is a chapter summary so you can get a better idea of the content: Chapter 1 - "What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?" _____________________________________ This chapter simply defines the illness in terms of fatigue and poor concentration. Very useful information on "brain fog", thirst, decreased libido and most of all how it feels to have CFS- the kind of things that other books simply don't deal with. This chapter had me going "yeah, that's right" and "actually, I have developed alcohol intolerance" all the way through. It's a good one to show your friends and family to give them a better understanding. Chapter 2- "Going After The Easy Things First" _______________________________________ Cut out the caffeine; get on a vitamin and mineral supplement; replace white bread with wholemeal. This chapter is packed with little tips that'll make you feel just that little bit
better. I personally had been drinking four cups of coffee a day too stay awake and had become very shaky as a result. If you need a reason to buy this book, let this chapter be it. Chapter 3 - "Hormones - The Body's Master Control System" ___________________________________________ Excellent summary page on treating kids with CFS. Useful drug information too, but I have spoken to a number of doctors who do not endorse Dr Teitelbaum's treatments in this chapter. As I say, some might be dangerous, so do discuss them with your doctor first. Chapter 4 - "When Your Defenses Are Down - Those Persistent Infections" __________________________________________ Everyone with CFS catches loads of infections, but did you ever think of dusting off your garlic press as a solution? This chapter includes useful information on infections you might not know you have as well as non-prescription remedies that can boost your immune system. But the sugar-free diet suggested in this chapter is another area where I would advise caution - any restricted diet can be especially hazardous for CFS sufferers. Certainly a reduction in sugar intake can be useful, though. Chapter 5 - "Fibromyalgia - The Aching-All-Over Disease" ___________________________________________ I don't personally have fibromyalgia as part of my chronic fatigue, but I'm sure that some of the less drastic treatments are worth a try if you suffer from it. There's a wealth of information here. Chapter 6 - "A Good Night's Sleep - The Foundation of Getting Well" __________________________________________ How Prozac helps sleep and helpful list of natural sleep remedies. I have tried some of these, though, and their use in treating poor sleep is questionable. The advice on getting ear plugs and improving your "sleep hygiene" (your routine b
efore going to bed) works a treat. Chapter 7 - "Pain, Pain Go Away - Natural and Prescription Pain Relief" ___________________________________________ More useful information on fibromyalgia. Chapter 8 -"Jump-Starting Your Body's Energy Furnaces" ____________________________________________ These treatments do work. The advice about taking Co-enzyme Q10 is invaluable and has improved my condition substantially. Chapter 9 - "More Natural Remedies" ____________________________________________ I didn't realize that ginger tea was so good for CFS headaches! Also advocates dusting off your garlic press. Safe, simple advice. Chapter 10 - "Other Areas To Explore" __________________________________________ If you don't fit the "CFS sufferer" bracket perfectly, you might have one of these lesser known diseases. Chapter 11 - "Am I Crazy?" _________________________________________ To most CFS sufferers, one of the most important aspects of the illness is the psychological one. Is it all in your head? This chapter tells you the answer (and it's no, in case you're wondering!). Chapter 12 - "Finding a Physician" __________________________________________ Practical tips on finding the right physician. I was fortunate enough to get a great one right from the start, but this'll help if you haven't found "Dr. Right" as yet. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ As well as these sections, there there are some excellent appendixes. The first of these contains information for your physician and the second is the complete report from Dr. Teitelbaum's study into CFS and the effects of various treatments. There is also an appendix with useful names and addresses of drug companies for those living in
the US and Canada (all the addresses are in these countries) and a list of all the scientific evidence used to compile the book. But be warned - if you want to check out the scientific basis of the doctor's claims, it will be difficult; I've tried to get hold of many of these documents and it is near impossible. ============================================= Why This Book Is Useful To Chronic Fatigue Sufferers ============================================= I have found a great deal of hope in From Fatigued to Fantastic, and also a lot of things that I can do to make my day-to-day life easier. It is written in a more sympathetic tone than many other books on the subject - the author really believes you are trying your best to get better - and it contains a lot more self-help strategies. There are tips like improving your "sleep hygiene" (not watching TV or reading a book before bedtime, stopping all activities one and a half hours before going to bed etc.) and natural ways to get rid of the migraines (eating ginger or taking ginger tablets). The advice on improving your diet by taking out much of the sugar and eating only wholemeal bread and pasta has helped me a great deal too; I've felt much better since. But, as I say, some of the diets are just too risky, especially if you are already seriously ill with your condition. If you are lucky enough to have a good laboratory near you, the author gives useful suggestions for tests to rule out other chronic diseases and suggests you get tested for candida (overgrowth of "bad" bacteria in the bowel). And if your doctor doesn't believe in these tests, this book gives you the confidence to get rid of him or her and find a better one who'll make you better. ======================================= The Verdict on Fatigued to Fantastic ======================================= This is not a book for people interested in
finding out more about CFS - it is a purely practical guide for sufferers and their families (see Other Useful Books on CFS). The people who will benefit from it are the sufferers of CFS, fibromyalgia and related illnesses, whatever age they are (there is help for children in here, too). It's also useful for convincing your physician that there are good treatments out there and that you are not a lost cause. The book gets five stars because Dr. Teitelbaum does well to put forward all cutting edge treatments that other books just don't mention. I've read a lot of books on the subject that just skirt around treatments (especially the subject of yeast in the bowel) and just re-tell us everything we already know about the illness. If there is a slight problem, it's that some of these are so new that they're really not ready for public experimentation as yet. ================================== Other Useful Books On CFS ================================== *Stricken : Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - by Peggy Munson. Overdramatic, perhaps, but a useful source of information. At £14.37 ($18) on Amazon, though, it is pretty costly. *Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Insights from Practitioners and Patients - by Mari Skelly, Andrea Helm and Paul B. Brown. It's all about breathing exercises you can do and alternative medicines you can take to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. A caring and understanding read for your £9 ($12) on Amazon. *Beat Fatigue Handbook - by Erica White. I've personally found this very useful, especially in dealing with candida ("bad" bacteria) overgrowth in the bowel. Available in bookshops. Thank you very much for reading - I hope this helped! Freelancer1.
I have suffered from CFS for about 2½ years now and therefore have an appreciation of the impact of this illness. I occasionally correspond (by e-mail) with other sufferers through Surgery Door on the Internet and it was this that led me to the publication, “From Fatigued to Fantastic” written by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. This is an American book and it is true to say that the Americans take ME and CFS more seriously than our medical profession, but most of the advice Jacob Tietelbaum gives in his book can easily be followed by anybody in any country. The book is described as ‘A guide to overcoming severe chronic fatigue, poor sleep, achiness, increased thirst, bowel disorders, recurrent infections and exhaustion’. In my opinion, it certainly lives up to its reputation in more ways than one and I would seriously recommend anyone who suffers from or cares for individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME to read the book. I bought it from Amazon in the UK at a cost of £9.99 and feel a benefit already.