Book Review – Bursting with Energy by Frank Shallenberger, MD, HMD

bursting with energyDo you have an energy crisis? Dr. Frank Shallenberger poses this question on the back of his book, Bursting with Energy. How many people tell their practitioners that they feel fatigued or lack energy? How many illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, involve debilitating fatigue? How many teenagers are unable to keep up with their peers because of fatigue? How many individuals notice a lack of energy as they age? Studies show that 15% percent of women and 10% of men often feel very tired or exhausted.

Dr. Shallenberger argues that diminished energy production is the primary cause of many diseases, including:

  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Infections
  • Aging

Other diseases exist, such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) but are difficult to diagnose and understand.

How the Body Produces Energy

Energy production occurs in specialized structures called mitochondria in all cells in the body. It is inside the mitochondria that the molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), is produced to store the energy created. Energy levels are affected by how well the mitochondria function, as well as how many and how efficiently ATP molecules are produced.

The sun is required to begin producing energy in the body. The plant world picks up the sun’s energy and uses it to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Once oxygen is inhaled, the lungs help deliver it to the blood stream. The heart and circulatory system distribute the oxygen to the cells, where the mitochondria busily produce energy and the ATP needed to store the energy for the body. Energy production also depends upon our nutrient intake of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

The Culprits behind Fatigue

What exactly is interfering with this cycle of energy production? Conventional practitioners may have a difficult time evaluating a patient’s symptoms when they complain of fatigue and low energy. They will likely test to determine the level of fatigue, the causes, and what may help alleviate the lack of energy.

Dr. Shallenberger has pioneered a testing procedure called “Bio-Energy Testing,” which can measure how much oxygen the body uses and how much carbon dioxide the body produces. From these values, mitochondrial function is determined. His book thoroughly outlines how this new method allows for the assessment of energy production and identification of issues that can affect fatigue. The success (or lack of success) with treatments can be measured with repetitive testing.

Hormone Balance and Energy Production

Bursting with Energy presents eight secrets to achieve optimal mitochondrial activity:

  1. Water
  2. Rest
  3. Sunlight
  4. Supplements
  5. Food
  6. Exercise
  7. Breathing Right
  8. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

Of particular interest is Secret #8, which is restoring depleted hormones with bioidentical hormone therapies. Throughout the book Dr. Shallenberger explains how the energy production process is directed by hormones, including:

  • Cortisol
  • Human growth hormone (HGH)
  • Insulin
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Thyroid

For example, the adrenal glands function to control the blood sugar, glucose, which feeds energy production in the mitochondria. Stress depletes the adrenal glands because adrenal hormones, such as cortisol and DHEA, assist in managing stress.  Patients may not seek professional help for fatigue until their adrenal glands are exhausted. Dr. Shallenberger writes that a clue to early adrenal exhaustion is the presence of normal energy at rest but a decline in energy when challenged with exercise. Restoring depleted hormones may be an essential part of recovery.


Dr. Shallenberger has condensed decades of his clinical work and research into Bursting with Energy. A primer for the successful operation of your body, this book contains many secrets that anyone can start to apply. The best secret of all is that you can turn back the decline in energy and bring back life’s exuberance.

Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP – Women’s International Pharmacy
Edited by Michelle Violi, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy
© Women’s International Pharmacy
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