Dr. Weil

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by cherylsue, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. cherylsue

    cherylsue Member

    I just read a transcript of Dr. Andrew Weil with Larry King from last fall. Dr. Weil says the rheumatologists at his Arizona clinic are no longer accepting Fibro patients because they are too frustrating to work with. Ain't that special?

    I just got my daily email bulletin from Dr. Weil about beating CfS. Get exercise, take vitamins, and supplements. If it were only that easy.

    He did mention that March is CFS Awareness Month. That was the best piece of info I got.


  2. BHopeful

    BHopeful New Member


    You see Dr. Papernick at Rush, right? I just started seeing him. What do you think of him/ I haven't decided wether I like him or not.

    What has he offered you in terms of treatment. Please let me know wehn you have a chance. Thanks :)
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    He said in one interview with Deborah Norville that people with autoimmune illnesses were such "fun" to work with. He said the best remedy was to "fall in love." In my estimation, the man is an idiot.

    Love, Mikie
  4. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    with his ?practice or whatever he does here in Tucson. I read his old website a long time ago, don't know if he even has one now. He advocated the use of Marijuana and Ecstacy or at least didn't discourage them. I don't think it was in conjunction with any particular ailment, what I got out of it was a recreational thing and he just seemed to feel it was mind expanding..that sort of thing. He's been scourned by a lot of the medical world..not in itself a bad thing maybe..but I did think most of his advice was from and for the birds. I'm not against Marijuana for anyone that it helps, as I know some
    FMers and CFSers use and swear by it.
    I just don't advocate any thing illegal and until we get a whole different bunch in Wash. making it legal just isn't going to happen.

    I just got a newsletter from the APF
    saying there's bad news for moderate
    to severe pain patients with current
    legislation on pain control and opiods. Not every one agrees with their use and I don't think any one
    that ANYthing else works for would be. But when there's nothing else that does, they should not be unavailable or scourned. (off subject I realize).

    I wouldn't pay much attention or give much worry over what Weil says or does about anything. He's been considered a bit "off" since his college days.
  5. bettydroop

    bettydroop New Member

    he really is! Cant stand this man. Never could! even before his comments about Fibro patients etc.
    Hes just another creepy doctor making money off of desperate people- just on a bigger scale.
  6. cjrnyc

    cjrnyc New Member

    Very well said Bettydroop. My sentiments exactly. Weil is a putz.

    BUT, I think Dr. Cheney is pretty amazing...since someone recently referenced a good breathing exercise Dr. Cheney uses & he mentions the exercise is from a Weil tape... just wanted to say, despite the "connection" there, I'm sure Dr. Cheney supports the exercise for it's scientific merits as to how it affects body function. I'm also inclined to believe that Weil modified it from elsewhere (since I've seen it in other varied forms being used for years now) & called it his own. Once it's in print, anyone else who wants to use it has to acknowlege it the putz.
    I'm only saying this as I don't want anyone to miss out on Cheney's advice, especially because of the likes of a circus clown like Weil.
    (I know that was not your intention, just thought this was a good place to make the point).

    Anyway, you rule Bettydroop!

  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I should have said, "Doctor Idiot!"

    Y'all know what they call the one who finishes last in medical school? Doctor. (This is not to be taken in any way to suggest where this person finished in med school; it's just a joke)

    Love, Mikie
  8. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I just read elsewhere that he said in his book 'Health and Healing' that:

    "Sickness is the manifestation of evil in the body, just as health is the manifestation of holiness."

    I don't have the book, nor the page number of the quote ... if this is true, it speaks volumes!

    anybody know?


  9. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    ... He said the best remedy was to "fall in love."

    I have been told that only in less classy ways ;-)
  10. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I actually looked at his Web site about a month ago. It says exactly what he was writing in books 10 years ago---lots and lots and lots of patients get over CFS with basically exercise and good attitudes. Plus be sure to stay away from talking to other CFS sufferers, since they can put ideas in your head and cause you to get new symptoms.

    The last is pretty amazing. As badly as CFS patients have been treated over the years, I've never heard anyone else say _that_!!!

    Best, Lisa

  11. JolieLuLu

    JolieLuLu New Member

    All of my adult life, I practiced a very VERY healthy lifestyle with diet and fitness. about 11 years ago, I was introduced to Dr Weil and found him extremely intelligent, articulate and an inspiring guru for integrative medicine!

    I followed his nutrition protocol religiously---adding soy products to my diet and eating his top five foods almost daily. I belonged to his exclusive health provider society.

    Honestly, I believe he made intergrative medicine slowly acceptable to our medical profession which is a good thing.

    2 years ago when I became sick the first thing I did was look up a practitioner on his website that was trained by him and lived close to me to have a consult. When I went for my exam, I was told that CFS and autoimmune disorders are wastebasket diagnoses!!!

    Needless to say, I left that office with my wastebasket diagnosis and was in complete shock that I couldnt get any kind of help from a healthcare system I was convinced was the future of medicine.

    I occassionally think to myself... maybe, if I would not have consumed a large amount of soy products that Dr Weil convinced the american population to consume.... that just maybe i would have a HEALTHY thyroid?!

  12. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    My husband and I have both been to Dr. Papernik, and my husband (who does not have CFS) is using him as pretty much his only doctor now.

    I think that Dr. Papernik is extremely smart and extremely knowledgeable about CFS. I appreciate the fact that he pretty much always has a medical student working with him, and that those medical students get really good training in CFS too.

    However, he pretty much only uses pharmaceuticals in his practice in general. Since pharmaceuticals are not much help to CFS patients (and in many cases are not tolerated at all by them), it limits his ability to help.

    He also tends to be cautious, and seems not to have used the antivirals much.

    However, when I got my ImmunoSciences blood draw done, I couldn't find a lab to do it. (My CFS doctor is in Indianapolis.) I had an appointment with him at the time and brought the box, hoping he could arrange for his lab to do it. He ended up drawing the blood himself (which was very nice) and asked if he could see the results after it was done.

    The ImmunoSciences test (for Natural Killer Cell activity, Rnase-L activity, interferon alpha and apoptosis) is quite new, and my scores for viral activity and immune dysfunction were really horrible. I'm going to an appointment with my husband in early April and will discuss the results with him then.

    I believe that in a year or so (after the Montoya study is done), he will start using Valcyte and other antivirals on a regular basis and in an effective way. He is a good doctor, and so I would feel safe having him administer it.

    When that happens, his knowledge about CFS will serve him (and his patients) in good stead. I also like the fact that he is willing to spend time with his patients and is interested in new tests and new treatments.

    One really positive thing about him now is that insofar as there are drugs available that are widely accepted (among experts) to be valuable in treating CFS, he is willing to prescribe them. A lot of patients have problems getting Klonopin from unknowledgeable doctors, for instance. He would be a good doctor to see about that. I'm prretty sure he'd be very comfortable prescribing things like Nystatin, ampotericin-b, Florinef and probably bioidentical hormones (including adrenal testing) and a variety of sleep medications as well. I could see him conceivably being willing to do food allergy testing too.

    So actually, there are a lot of things that he could be helpful for, especially if you know what you're looking for. (I have no idea what his position is on pain medications since that's not my problem.)

    As internists in general go, I think he's extremely competent. (He's also very busy though.) I think he's a very good doctor for my husband. And because he understands CFS, he's less likely to do destructive things when treating them for ordinary complaints (e.g. those also suffered by people without CFS) than many doctors would be.

    He's also relatively open-minded about prescribing "safe and effective" drugs for somewhat innovative uses. For example, my husband had a head injury when he was a child and since then has suffered from periodic periods of intense anxiety followed by total exhaustion. After some reflection, the pattern sounded rather like rapid-cycling manic-depression to me. (Hyperactive anxiety is pretty close to the "high but unhappy" state that some manic-depressives experience.) I suggested that a trial of Lamictal (which I and many acquaintances have used successfully) might be in order, and Dr. P prescribed it. It worked quite well---my husband's anxiety is not wholly cured, but it is substantially less. (He experienced very little reduction in anxiety on the many drugs he had tried previously.) My husband and I (both of us academics) liked the fact that he considered the theory on his own and--after deciding it made sense--was willing to give it a go.

    Of course, a big selling point for me is that his Skokie office is only two minutes from my house, whereas my "regular" CFS doctor is four hours away. Having a relationship with him for that reason alone is a bit comforting for me, especially now that I am planning to start on Valcyte.

    This is undoubtedly more information than you were looking for, but I hope it's at least a little helpful.

    Best, Lisa

    [This Message was Edited on 03/14/2007]
  13. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I never consumed a bit of soy (except occasional small amounts at Japanese or Chinese restaurants) until about a year after I got CFS. My thyroid had been diagnosed as quite messed up long before that.

    I don't necessarily blame Dr. Weil for destroying your thyroid. But his insistence that CFS is not a real disease (even though it has been recognized by the CDC) and his insistence that people can get better without any special effort is a travesty.

    As far as I can tell, he doesn't even prescribe appropriate natural treatments that are pretty widely recognized as helping some CFS sufferers' "second-tier" problems (e.g. yeast, endocrine, food allergies, sleep, parasites, mild pain). Just eat "right" (??), exercise, be happy, and avoid CFS support groups.


    [This Message was Edited on 03/14/2007]
  14. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I took about 10 or 12 antidepressants at one point during my illness. This was about nine years ago, before Lamictal started being used much for manic-depression and I was on Depakote. (Depakote depresses the mood as well as stabilizes it, and so antidepressant are very often added to bring the mood back up to normal level.)

    I absolutely agree that all the SSRI's (Prozac etc.) "fried" my brain while I was on them. I do not think the effect was permanent, but the effect while I was on them was quite unendurable.

    From what I could tell, the SSNRI's (at the time consisting just of Effexor) were substantially worse on this and other dimensions (including addictive qualities), and so I avoided them like the plague.

    A couple of others from other categories that I tried also had the "fry the brain" effect.

    The only antidepressants I tried that did not "fry my brain" were:

    * Moclobomide (an MAO-I without the "cheese effect" made by Roche and to my knowledge available in every country in the world except the U.S.)

    * Wellbutrin

    I was happy to be able to stop taking prescription anti-depressants when I started the Lamictal. That drug (like Klonopin) actually has "cooled down" my brain and (I think) might well be appropriate for many people who just suffer from CFS (rather than CFS and a mood disorder).

    Dr. Cheney certainly is a maverick and tends to be slightly hyperbolic in claiming to have core answers to CFS, but I've yet to see him do anything that is any way irresponsible.

    Others may disagree, of course.

    Best, Lisa

    [This Message was Edited on 03/14/2007]
  15. desertlass

    desertlass New Member

    A friend of mine with severe asthma went to see him back in the early nineties, when he had quite a following, but wasn't quite the media sensation he became later. I'll have to ask her what he was like.

    It seems like he started out with such good intentions-- Harvard doctor travels globe, then integrating complementary and Western medicine, getting the mind/body connection more into the mainstream dialogue about health. His books are pretty good when it comes to balancing the information overload that exploded in the nineties with all the different recommendations that could get overwhelming for basically healthy people. I think that has always been his target audience.

    For instance, when it comes to something like cancer, he mostly said, don't try to treat this on your own with herbals, so he seemed balanced in that respect. Also, when it comes to food, he is big into not stressing over it. He gives examples of people who are so uptight about food versus people who can let their guard down once in a while, because the social benefit outweighs any potential harm the "bad" food might do. So, again I think he's talking mainly to people who don't have serious problems, but fret and worry and become anti-social about food, when they don't really need to.

    Another example is a couple who brought their kid in for allergies. He gave his recommendations, but he said that what would be worse than allergies is if the dining table became a battle ground when it was supposed to be a time for families to come together, and the best thing they could do for him was to give him a happy childhood, because all of the dietary restrictions might not help that much anyway.

    Now, I'm of two minds about this approach. It seems like common sense, and YET, if the boy was so miserable with allergies, how was he going to have a shot at a happy-go-lucky childhood, unless he gradually learned to give up what was most likely causing them?

    I feel like Dr. Weil must never have really suffered with anything, and so doesn't quite realize what it is like to feel plagued by something, so these "guru" like statements don't work for people who are actually sick! He's like a doctor who likes to practice on the healthy with their sometimes interesting, but easily solvable problems. "Buy yourself flowers every week" "Don't watch the news" "Breathe"

    When I really lost respect for him was when a different good friend of mine, went to see him at the U of A for her FM/CFS, and his recommendation for her was to GET OUT IN NATURE MORE!! Mostly, she just saw his assistant, which didn't seem to avail much, and then he comes in, takes a look at my friend, and then makes his pronouncement. He then turns to his assistant and says, "Don't you think that she needs to re-connect with nature?" I'm just sure the assistant said, "Oh, no, Dr. Weil. What a silly thing to say to someone who was a hiker/cyclist their whole life. That is exactly what she is missing so badly, and is why she is here!" But, of course, the assistant just bobbled her head like he was a mighty shaman (according to my friend.) I was so disgusted by her account of this visit that she had to wait MONTHS to get in to see him. He probably gave her little tidbits of advice that anyone who can read a magazine would know and that was it. What was so difficult about that visit for him, that lasted all of fifteen minutes?

    I hope PBS and talk show hosts don't give him any more air time. grrrr
    However, I must give him credit for sounding the alarm on hydrogenated oils decades ago, as well as how harmful toxic food and environments can be, especially on developing children.

    If he advises CFS/FM patients not to talk to each other, then maybe we should advise him not to talk ABOUT us, either!
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm cracking up at your remark.

    Love, Mikie
  17. Lichu3

    Lichu3 New Member

    I have his book "Health and Healing" in which he talks about CFS. I agree with the other poster about how the rest of his ideas are generally sensible for the healthy and what we call "the worried well" in medicine.

    However the section of CFS doesn't seem accurate. He states that many of his patients get well after being sick 1-5 years. This is what current studies show - 30% of people recover within 5 years - although this has to be tempered by what population was being studied and what "recover" means. But my conclusion form this is that if people got better, it wasn't necessairily from his treatment.
  18. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The book that Dr. Weil _should_ have written (for CFS sufferers as well as those with less severe health problems that aren't well treated by conventional medicine) is:

    "Optimal Wellness" by Ralph Golan, M.D.

    I think this book is highly overlooked and really terrific, and thus recommend it whenever I can. It's 10 years old but still much better on the topic of how to use "alternative medicine" to treat the problems that I have than anything else I've ever found.

    I'm also proud that the authors of the following not-too-bad book on the topic practiced in my hometown of Greenfield, Indiana (population 15,000) when I was growing up:

    "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" by Phyllis Balch CNC and James Balch M.D.

    It's just too bad that Dr. Weil didn't use his prominence to write something along these lines. He could have helped a lot of people if he did.

    Crimes of omission are just as bad as crimes of commission, I think.

    Best, Lisa
  19. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Considering that CFS has traditionally been considered a "wastebasket diagnosis," I am very suspicious of that number.

    Maybe many of those who get well have a totally different illness with many of the same symptoms of the sort of CFS that many of us have.

    I also wonder what percentage of the people who get "well" relapse later on. The CDC mentions the recovery/relapse patient type in its description of the disease (although I don't think it estimates what percentage fall into this group vs. the "steady state" one).

    If either or both of these hypotheses is true, suggesting that sufferers have a 30% chance of getting well just through "healthy living" is irresponsible, in that it may cause them not to be proactive in finding more specific treatments of whatever type to help them.

    Hopefully in the future, as more is learned about the disease, at least 30% of those with the sort of CFS that I have will recover. It's my strong belief that that's not going to happen unless they're treated properly though.

    Best, Lisa

  20. cherylsue

    cherylsue Member

    is a very rich man. He knows how to make health issues seem simple and that makes people feel secure with his platitudes.

    However, Doctors Cheney and DeMeirleir are research doctors. They are looking for the root cause of our illnesses. I personally am betting on them, and trying to follow their protocols as much as I know or am able.

    This illness has been an experiment for me. I've tried sooo many supplements. Dr. Weil is selling snake oil.

    That's just my opinion.


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