Book Review – Bursting With Energy by Frank Shallenberger

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

Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP – Women’s International Pharmacy


Bursting with Energy Book CoverDo you have an energy crisis? Dr. Frank Shallenberger poses this question on the back of his book, Bursting with Energy.[i] 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.[ii]

Dr. Shallenberger argues that diminished energy production is the primary cause of many diseases, including allergies, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, infections, and even aging. “Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)” and other fatigue-related illnesses exist, yet are difficult to diagnose and understand.[iii]

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.

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.

Bursting with Energy presents eight secrets to achieve optimal mitochondrial activity. 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. Cortisol, growth hormone, insulin, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid all contribute to this process. Hormones are intimately intertwined in the energy production in every part of the body.

For example, the adrenal glands function to control the blood sugar, glucose, which feeds energy production in the mitochondria. Stress depletes the adrenal glands. Adrenal hormones, such as cortisol and DHEA, assist in managing stress.  Patients may not seek professional help for fatigue until the functioning of the adrenal glands is 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 can 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.

Book Review – Bursting With Energy by Frank Shallenberger2018-04-07T11:11:17-05:00

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Gets a Name Makeover

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Gets a Name Makeover

Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy

In February of 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) put forth a proposal to change the name and the diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). People who suffer from this condition are often made to feel that their symptoms are psychological or a figment of their imagination. Patients may see multiple practitioners in an attempt to find symptom relief for their CFS.

The name “chronic fatigue syndrome” was coined by the Centers for Disease Control in 1988. The Europeans prefer to call this condition myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) which focuses on central nervous system (CNS) inflammation with muscle pain. Many experts now call this condition ME/CFS.

Since CNS inflammation and muscle pain are not universal components of ME/CFS, an IOM panel undertook the task of defining the major symptoms suffered by people with CFS. They concluded that the most prominent and universal symptom of CFS is a lingering depletion of energy after minimal physical and/or cognitive exertion. The panel recommended that CFS be renamed systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or post-exertional malaise (PEM) for short.

The panel proposed the following diagnostic criteria:

  • Extreme fatigue lasting more than six months
  • Post-exertional malaise
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Either cognitive impairment or orthostatic intolerance (symptoms made worse by standing and relieved when reclining)

Wisconsin researchers recently published an interesting study in this area. Thirteen CFS patients and 11 healthy controls exercised to their maximal capacity. Researchers obtained blood samples and administered symptom questionnaires before and up to 72 hours after exercise. They measured gene expression for metabolite, cortisol, adrenaline and immune system receptors. Individuals with CFS had a significant increase in the number of cortisol and adrenaline receptors up to 72 hours after exercising compared to control subjects.

Could low cortisol levels be a factor in CFS? A review of multiple scientific studies found significantly low cortisol levels in people with CFS. Hydrocortisone supplementation may be an important piece of the recovery puzzle for people with chronic fatigue.

  • Tuller D. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Gets a New Name. The New York Times. February 10, 2015.
  • “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Key Facts” by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
  • Meyer JD, et al. Post-exertion malaise in chronic fatigue syndrome: symptoms and gene expression. Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior. 2013; 1(4): 190-209.
  • Lineke M, et al. Meta-analysis and meta-regression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in functional somatic disorders. Biol Psychol. 2011; 87: 183-194.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Gets a Name Makeover2018-04-02T16:18:01-05:00