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 Q and A on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia with Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. - #11 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled From Fatigued to Fantastic by . View all columns in series
Q: So how can I get well now?

A: Many people come to our clinic in Annapolis Maryland from all over the world. For those who can afford the trip and the visit, this is an excellent way to get well quickly. We then use the money we charge for seeing patients to support the rest of the work that we do. Because coming to Annapolis is not an option for many people, we created our web site ( educational program which can tailor a treatment protocol to your case. It is quite sophisticated, taking over two years and $500,000 in time and money to create. Determining which treatments are needed by any given individual and then teaching them how to use them can be very difficult and time consuming (even for doctors that are very skilled in treating these syndromes -- a new patient visit in my office usually takes at least four hours of my " one on one" time). The good thing about it being a computer program is that it has both the time and ability to guide almost everyone with these syndromes back to health! It can:

A -- elicit a very detailed medical history
B-- supply a prescription for you to be able to get the lab testing you need
C-- create a complete and thorough medical record of your case for your doctor or other health professionals
D -- analyze your symptoms and lab results to determine what the likely factors are (in order of probability) that contribute to your case. It also screens for many other medical problems and symptoms unrelated to CFS/fibromyalgia. This is critical. Because it is common to have so many symptoms associated with these illnesses, it is easy to ignore symptoms that may come from other, possibly dangerous, problems.
E -- Determine which treatments are most likely to be helpful in your case. These are listed in order of priority. Although some treatments are prescription, most of them are natural remedies. Because of this, a large part of your treatment can be started on your own!
F-- supply detailed information on the underlying conditions contributing to your illness and how to use the treatments.

Q: How much does it cost to do the program?

A: Usually, computer programs of this nature cost about $450 to use. Our usual cost will be $320 to do the computer program. In our attempts to make this available to everybody, for the next few months we will be charging only $160. (For patients who are on Medicaid, we recognize that you cannot afford even the $160 and we will supply you with a free code upon receipt of a copy of your Medicaid card). Please note that the cost to use the program does not include the cost of lab tests or medications that you'll need for your treatment.

Support groups may choose to buy blocks of five codes at $130 each, or blocks of 10 or more codes at $95 each (until we raise our price to what will be the normal $320 price). These codes will be good for one and 1/2 years. The group can then choose to use the codes as a fundraiser, supply them to their members at a discount, or both.

Q: How can I afford my treatments if I don't have much money?

A: Although some of the treatments for these syndromes can be very expensive , it is often possible to do the treatment protocol in a very affordable manner. The key tests that are needed include the blood count (CBC), ESR, general chemistry, free T4 level (thyroid test), vitamin B12, iron, and DHEA-S level. Although many other tests can be very helpful, one can often rely on symptoms alone to make the other treatment decisions. The following medications and supplements can be found fairly inexpensively, and will often be helpful. The foundation vitamin powder can be adequate for basic nutritional support. Flexeril and Elavil, although more likely than some other medications to cause side effects, are inexpensive. Desyrel and Klonopin, in generic form, are also reasonably priced. These four can be very helpful for sleep, and your doctor is likely to be comfortable prescribing the first three of these. Thyroid, cortef, DHEA, and estrogen, can also be found for a fairly low price. For infections, nystatin and tetracycline are also inexpensive. Most drug companies offer medications for free to those who cannot afford them. I am currently working on an article that will help guide people on how to get medications they cannot afford. Although many of the other treatments can often be very helpful, these inexpensive ones may be enough to help you get well. It's time for everyone to be able to get well now!

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 About The Author
Jacob Teitelbaum MD is author of the popular free iPhone application "Cures A-Z" and author of the best-selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! (3rd revised edition, Avery/Penguin Group) and Pain Free 1-2-3-A......moreJacob Teitelbaum MD
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