circuit-breakers you have in your home. If you plug in too many heaters, for example, or blow-dryers–boom!–off go the lights because you’ve blown a circuit or a fuse. The fuse that you blow in chronic fatigue syndrome is called the hypothalamus, and that’s a key control center in the brain. It controls temperature regulation, sleep, hormonal function, and the autonomic nervous system, which regulates blood flow, blood pressure, and pulse. Because the hypothalamus is blown, those four systems are off-line in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Now the way that that acts as a circuit breaker is like this. You can view chronic fatigue syndrome, and its painful cousin fibromyalgia, as a energy crisis, where you’re calling on your body to supply more energy than it’s able to supply–and you can only overdraw your bank account for so long before things start bouncing, so to speak. So, since the hypothalamus is so energy-dependent, because it’s doing so many things in a small area, when you you are outstripping your energy supplies, that’s the place that goes first, and that’s why it acts as a circuit-breaker.
David: How does chronic fatigue syndrome lead to immune system dysfunction?
Jacob: It does this in several ways. Chronic fatigue syndrome is integrally tied in with the hormonal functions of the hypothalamus, which control the immune system, and poor sleep also causes immune dysfunction. There’s also the problem of not making enough energy in your muscles, so the muscles get stuck in a shortened position, just like with rigor mortis when somebody dies. The muscles don’t have enough energy, so they don’t go loose. The muscles become rigid as a board, and when they go rigid they hurt. So there are a number of ways that it causes direct immune dysfunction, as well as ways that are not quite as direct; they’re basically one step removed from that. Then, because the immune system is not able to have the energy it needs to fight infections, you get these infections, which puts more demand on the immune system, when it’s already on its knees. Then it basically just starts firing off wildly, trying to fight all these infections, and then it exhausts itself. That’s why the change is biphasic. We have an overactive immune system followed by an exhausted immune system.
David: Can you talk a little bit more about the relationship that you see between chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia?
Jacob: They’re the same thing in most people. The body doesn’t care what name we call things. What’s going on is what’s going on. You can call it fibromyalgia, fibrositis, chronic fatigue syndrome. If the person, in addition to fatigue, insomnia, and brain fog, also has widespread muscle pain, which most of them do, then they have fibromyalgia.
David: What role do you think vitamin deficiencies and diet play in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, and how might taking nutritional supplements and improving one’s diet help improve symptoms?
Jacob: Oh it’s a major role. Remember we talked about blowing a fuse because you can’t make enough energy? So the question then is how do you make enough energy so that you can turn that fuse back on? I use the acronym T.H.I.N.S. to help people understand how to do this. The initial T is for toxins, which you want to eliminate. H is for hormonal support. I is for infections, which need to be treated. N is for nutritional support. And S is for sleep support. Those are the things that make energy, keep energy, and eliminate the energy drain. So people who have this disease need proper nutritional support. Actually, the American public in general is horribly nutritionally deficient–and it’s not that they’re deficient in one nutrient. They’re deficient across the board, and the reasons are multiple.
One reason is that we get an average of a hundred fifty pounds of sugar per person added to our diet every year. Soda has almost one teaspoon of sugar per ounce. So if somebody goes to the 7-11 and gets one of these 64 oz Big Burps, that’s 64 spoons of sugar and sugar supplies 18% of our calories. Another 18% of our calories come from white flour. So 36% of our diet is nutritionally wiped out before you ever get out of the starting box. Then you have food processing, and you have all the different bowel infections that people get that decrease absorption and increased nutritional needs. So most Americans are nutritionally-deficient, and it’s not just with a single nutrient. In chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia it gets even much worse because you have both increased needs and decreased absorption. So the question is what do you do?
We used to give people dozens of vitamin tablets and different supplements to take, because there’s about forty or fifty different nutrients that they’re low in. But after awhile that started to get insane. It was just too much for people. So there’s a vitamin powder that’s out now which makes it easy. People take one drink and one capsule, and it replaces thirty-five tablets of supplements. You have to make it easier for people, or they’re not going to be able to do it. Because of my teaching role, I have a policy that 100% of the royalties for any products that I make go to charity.
For example, we just gave a hundred thousand dollar grant to do a study on autism using NAET, which we have found to very effective. NAET is an acupressure-applied kinesiology technique, and we’ve seen it make autism go away a lot of times. It’s just amazing. So the money gets used for charity or research, and I just don’t get any of it. I think this allows for more objectivity, and it’s also more fun for me to have the money go that way. So I don’t take money from any company for any products that I recommend, because when people start selling me stuff I tune out, and I didn’t want that to happen. The teaching is too important, and I didn’t want that to get in the way of it.
David: You said that the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia is the hypothalamus being blown out. Would you recommend any type of hormonal treatment then to help correct the situation?
Jacob: Absolutely. Remember the acronym T.H.I.N.S. H is for hormonal support.
Nutritional support is easy. Avoid sugar and increase water because the hormone that holds on to water is low. Take the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder, which simply maintains good solid nutritional support in general. Most people find a high-protein diet feels better than a high-carb diet, but everybody is different with that. Except for sugar, it’s most important that people eat what makes them feel good, because there’s no one diet that’s right for everybody.
Then with hormonal support it’s important to be clear that blood tests are hopelessly unreliable, and they miss the majority of people who benefit from and need hormonal support. So thyroid is usually low if people are tired and achy, cold-intolerant, and suffer from weight gain. If they have two or three of those, they deserve a trial of thyroid hormone, period, regardless of what the blood tests show. Tens of thousands of adults are dying a year, in addition to tens of thousands more neonatal deaths and miscarriages, because people are not being treated for their low thyroid. Generally, it’s better to use the natural hormones than the synthetic ones, because they’re the same thing that the body makes. So Armour thyroid is excellent and very helpful.
Then there’s adrenal support. The adrenal is our stress handler, whereas the thyroid is like our gas pedal–it’s like the thermostat that says how much energy you’re making. The adrenal gland is what helps you handle stress, and in our modern society we put so much stress on our bodies, because of the environment, because the fast pace of things, things like that. We exhaust the adrenal glands, and you can tell that that’s going on because you get these hypoglycemic symptoms. This is basically when you get very irritable, when you’re hungry, when your blood sugar drops, people around you recognize that if they don’t feed you NOW, you get so irritable that they feel like your going to kill them. Fortunately, natural adrenal hormones and glandulars (e.g. Adrenal Stress End) can be given in low dose very safely and can be dramatically beneficial.
You can use natural hormones safely. Testosterone deficiency needs to be treated in women as well as men. Treating a low testosterone in men using natural hormones decreases the risk of angina, improves diabetic control, and decreases cholesterol. Now you don’t want to go to super-high levels like the body builders, that’s dangerous. But you don’t need to do that with hormones generally. So the hormonal support is critical and the blood tests are horribly unreliable.
David: You spoke about the role do that sleep deprivation plays in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. What suggestions would you make to help improve someone’s sleep patterns?
Jacob: The hypothalamus is the sleep center, so it’s not a matter of poor sleep hygiene. It’s a matter of the sleep center is not working. So, first of all, I like to start with natural remedies, and there’s herbals. I think the best herbals for sleep are wild lettuce, Jamaican Dogwood, ptheanine, and hops. Passion flower and valerian are also okay. All six of those are in a product called Revitalizing Sleep Formula by Enzymatic Therapy, so they can get them all in one capsule.
5-HTP is good, but is expensive and takes six weeks to work. It also causes weight loss, and because the average weight gain in this disease is 32 pounds, that’s helpful for people. It also decreases pain. Taking calcium and magnesium at