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I was scrolling through my Facebook feed a few days ago, and I noticed a post from a woman on one of the fibromyalgia/ME/CFS support groups, asking fellow members if they’d ever used prescription stimulants to relieve fatigue. Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen this same question asked a number of times, and every time, it makes me feel worried and sad for the person who is posting it.
I’ve never used prescription stimulants myself, and I do not judge people who do, but my gut tells me that adding stimulants to a person who is already experiencing sleep disturbances may not be a good mix. My prediction is that she’ll end up on a rollercoaster of taking stimulants to get through the day and then tranquilizers at night in order to bring herself down so she can sleep.
That can’t be a good combo.
When I saw her comment, I made sure to share with her a new supplement that I added to my regime about six weeks ago, and now I’m also sharing it with you. Without a doubt, D-Ribose, a form of sugar produced naturally by the body, has been the best supplement I’ve taken since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia (and I’ve tried lots of them).
I learned about using D-Ribose for fibromyalgia after reading Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum’s book, “The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution.”
D-Ribose helps the body to create more cellular energy by producing adenosine triphosphate (also known as ATP). Research has shown that fibromyalgia and ME/CFS patients are often low in ATP.
Using D-Ribose for fibromyalgia and ME/CFS …
In 2006, Teitelbaum conducted a small study with 41 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome. They were given 5 grams of D-Ribose, three times a day, over a period of three weeks to see if there would be improvements in energy, sleep, mental clarity, pain intensity and overall well-being.
At the end of the study, approximately 66 percent of patients reported significant improvement while taking D-Ribose, with an average improvement in overall well-being of 30 percent and an average increase in energy of 45 percent.
What could you do with 45 percent more energy? I know that would make a big difference in my life!
Teitelbaum followed up this pilot study with a larger multicenter study in 2012, involving 257 people who were given D-Ribose for fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS. Like the pilot study, patients took 5 grams of D-Ribose, three times a day, over three weeks. The result was an average energy boost of 61 percent among patients. Patients reported improvements in sleep (29 percent), pain (15 percent), mental clarity (30 percent) and overall well-being (37 percent), as well.
In addition to fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, D-Ribose has been found to be helpful in the treatment of coronary artery disease and is frequently used by athletes to increase performance.
My experience with D-Ribose …
Teitelbaum has shared his D-Ribose protocol in online articles, and I have been following that for about six weeks now. I am now on two doses a day, which I take with breakfast and lunch. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my energy levels during the day. I don’t feel revved up or jittery; I just feel like I have a little more gas in my tank, and I’m able to get a few more things crossed off of my to-do list before I run out of energy each day. Before taking D-Ribose, I would usually crash in the mid to late afternoon and take a nap to get through the rest of the day. My napping has been cut by at least 75 percent.
The most exciting thing about D-Ribose is how quickly it seemed to work. I started to feel the effects after about two weeks of following the initial three times a day dosage. I have experienced no side effects from taking it.
The downsides …
So now for the negatives: I take the chewable tablets of D-Ribose sold on Amazon. As supplements go, it’s not super expensive, but having to take so many tablets per day definitely adds up. D-Ribose also comes in a powder form, which is less expensive.
Another downside is the taste. It’s super sweet, which probably won’t bother most people, but it took a few days for my taste buds to adjust.
Caution: Diabetics or anyone with blood sugar issues will want to research D-Ribose carefully since it is a form of sugar and may affect your levels. I’m hypoglycemic myself, and I always take D-Ribose with a meal.
So, have you used D-Ribose for fibromyalgia or ME/CFS? How did it work for you? Do you have an inexpensive source for D-Ribose? Let me know in the comments below!