08.06.2015

Using d-ribose for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

D-ribose has been shown to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue in those with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, according to early research studies.

This post contains affiliate links. 

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!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like…

A few of my favorite things for relieving the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Comments

  1. Alejandra Hermosillo says:

    I tried D Ribose and the beginning of the disease and it did work perfectly increasing my energy and lower the legs pain. I have stopped taking for several months and now I fell so tired because all the stress at work. I will back to D Ribose because it works for me. I really recommended a try ..the product is not expensive but it will take about 5 days to work. I get it at the nutrition store and the one that I get is D ribose with malate and I take 2 times a day and works but 3 times is better but I forgot all the time.. I just remember when I fell so tired and I start thinking why I fell so tired again and is because I have stopped taking it.

  2. Angela says:

    I have just started D-ribose today for my CFS/ME. I am having a bad flare and have lost faith in the doctors who do not seem to be able to help. I am praying that this helps. As this is a sugar i am guessing that i am going to start piling on the pounds taking it 3 times daily?

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says:

      It’s not known for causing weight gain. It’s not sugar like we think of sugar. It’s a natural form that is made by the body. When you supplement w/ d-ribose, you are just replacing what your body isn’t able to make on its own. Your body will use it – not store it as fat. Are you using Jacob Teitelbaum’s d-ribose protocol? I had good results w/ his protocol and have found that people aren’t as successful if they don’t follow that protocol. We typically need those higher doses b/c we’re so deficient.

      • Angela says:

        Hi Donna thanks for the info. I will take a look at that protocol. I have only just started looking into things for myself and I saw d ribose come up a few times so thought it would be worth a try. I will let you know how I get on. Fingers crossed x

  3. WenfromATL says:

    Fed up doesn’t quite describe my frustration. So I am trying the magnesium maleate Nd d-ribose regimen to start. I have seen a little difference since I started the magnesium, but I just have no get up and go and no will to want to. I have read 5 Grams 3x per day to start (ribose) which in terms of what’s out there is a lot but maybe that’s exactly what I need given my severity. My question for you is what is the dosage that you are taking? Also have you noticed any tummy issues as a result (since at least the capsules are veggie caps)? I have a very intolerant tummy when it comes to veggies and gas and it quickly gets out of hand. Thank you in advance and for this blog in attempt to help others.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says:

      I followed Dr. Teitelbaum’s d-ribose protocol, which is linked in the post. From memory, I believe it’s 5 grams x 3 times a day for 2-3 weeks, then cut back to 5 grams x 2 times a day for however long you plan to use it. I always made sure to finish my dosing by mid-afternoon so that it didn’t affect my sleep. I also would make sure to take it w/ food b/c it may affect blood sugar levels in some people. I didn’t notice any GI issues but I used the chewables, not capsules. There’s a powder version, too, that’s cheaper and can be stirred into tea, coffee, etc. Yes, the dosing is high b/c apparently the bodies of those w/ fibro or chronic fatigue are not making enough d-ribose/ATP, so it requires high doses for those first couple of weeks in order to build our levels up initially, then we’re able to cut back to twice a day dosing for maintenance. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  4. Hi all I have had fibro for years,constant nerve pain,fibro fog and the tiredness where I just want to sleep,the slightest bit of exercise wears me out for days.I also struggle with gout even though I eat healthily and I am not overweight,with my fibro I never know where the pain is going to come from next.I also suffer from the herpes virus which can also cause nerve pain,anyway recently my doctor put me on gabapentin. I started on 100mg for 3 days then increased it to 200mgfor 3 days and now I take 300mg spread over a day. I have found since being in this drug my fibro pain as decreased to bearable to say 20 percent from 80. I find that bouts of stress bring my fibro in worse as I recently lost both parents,this gave me a massive flare up off fibro gout and herpes virus. With the gabapentin I sleep like a log and hardly wake in the night now,it’s like my brain switches off.I also seem to have more energy in the mornings up till say 3pm and I am thinking more clearly. I recommend gapapentin for fibro now and I believe some take up to 600mg a day. 300 is my ideal dose,it doesn’t seem to have any bad side effects with myself either, for the outbreaks if gout I Take 190mg of alpurinol daily to keep in check and aciclivior when required for the herpes virus.hope this helps someone out there. Philip.

    • Bartek says:

      Apparently d-ribose increases the level of uric acid in the blood which can bring on gout or make it worse if you already suffer with it. I also take it for fibro and could not function without it but it is continuously having to choose between bad and less bad options to get through each day. I managed to get on top of nerve pain, burning and terrible muscle spasms (sphincters and muscles everywhere) with strict low to none oxalate diet I have been on for 5 years. I also have oxygen (hbot) weekly which helps to keep on top of fibro fog. I also took l-carnitine with cq10 for couple of years after i was diagnosed which I think really helped with the worst of fibrofog. I still have flareups but the pain is manageable and i can just about keep on top of the fatigue/fog most days. The doc tried meon gabapentin and amitriptilin but i hated the side effects and felt like a zombie so came off and just stuck with the supplements and diet which i feel a lot better on. For particularly bad pain i now tend to use voltarol gel and capsaicin gel which i found particularly helpful for managing neuroma in my foot. I gather these are not uncommon with fibro.

  5. I have struggled with CFS for the last 3+ years. It seems to come and go. First episode lasted almost 6 months. The last episode only lasted about 4 months. Very debilitating, exhausted and weak all day long. I researched diets that help with CFS and made some significant changes there. I discovered the benefits of D-Ribose with continued investigation into CFS. I have been taking it for about 3 months now, and have noticed my energy level increase, and a better quality of life. I take a little under 5 grams daily with my yogurt and blueberries every morning. Give it a try!

  6. Atlanta Girl says:

    I have struggled with fatigue from MS/CFS for more than a decade. I have been taking Ritalin/Adderall, which I hated bc it caused anxiety and I take absolutely no other “drugs”. (I don’t even take Advil and eat a more rigid form,of Paleo)

    I do a fair amount of research and got the thumbs up from a holistic pharmacist I bounce things off. I definitely noticed an improvement in less than 2 wks – it was subtle at first, I just attributed it having a few days of good sleep, but it continued. I usually start “wilting” energy-wise about noon, and I’m toast by 3pm. It gave me a little more boost without interfering with sleep or causing anxiety. I log all my food/activity (for nutritional purposes) and didn’t gain weight or have any appetite changes or cravings. (I consume very little sugar, so I was concerned about this triggering sugar cravings- but nope.)

    For anyone having issues, worth a try, but make sure you are getting a quality organic product without fillers. I didn’t use the expensive brand mentioned in the studies, but have used 2 different organic powder brands that run less than $30/mo.

  7. ShyestOfFlies says:

    I tried it for a few days and ended up having an allergic reaction. I had added in about five new supplements to my diet, upped a dose of one med, added one new one, and switched to the generic of another from name brand. I don’t believe the d-ribose did it, if it was- it was a filler in my powder and not the d-ribose itself. The culprit(s) were actually the generic plaquenil I had switched to and possibly the new AD I had been put on on- Fetzima, a relative of Savella but not a true fibro drug. I’m still a little scared to take the d-ribose because of this, and also hearing it caused weight gain in some. I have gained over 50 pounds since my fibro diagnosis two years ago. The main culprit in the weight gain for me was antidepressants, specifically abilify.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says:

      I gained 40 pounds in the year after my diagnosis from Lyrica and Amitriptyline. Sometimes it makes you wonder if the drugs are worth it. I know they weren’t for me, but they do help some people, and I’m grateful for any relief people receive.

      I doubt it was the d-ribose causing your reaction. Your body naturally makes d-ribose, so you’re essentially supplementing what the body lacks. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it again.

  8. gems41 says:

    All D-Ribose did for me was make me gain 40 pounds over 6 months! I felt NO better at all.
    The ONE and ONLY supplement that’s done me any good at all is Nitric Oxide (an amino acid) …
    not to be confused with Nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

    It’s so hard to find things that work, and what works for one person might not work for another, but isn’t it that way with all FMS patients. I’m SO exhausted ALL the time, and in pain all the time – I’m not old, but I have less energy than my parents in their 80’s. I can’t make any plans in advance, and don’t have much of a life because I hurt all the time, and I never know when even the slightest things will completely wipe me out.

    I also have CFS/ME, Osteoarthritis of the spine and both knees, Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Interstitial Cystitis, Hypothyroidism, Pituitary Tumor, low HGH, low Vit. D, MTHFR gene mutation, Anemia, Sjogren’s, Ankylosing Spondylitis,

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says:

      Thanks for the tip about nitric oxide. I’ll have to check that out. It’s a new one that I haven’t heard of before for fibro.

    • May I ask what form of nitric oxide you are taking?

    • Leslie says:

      My wife has seen benefits from a WFPB diet (from 24 hour pain meds to about one a day), and it’s known to improve many of the conditions you list here. You might want to do some research on it.

  9. My son sent me the link to your website about a week ago. I was already knee deep in the book From Fatigued to Fantastic, you mentioned in this article. I am curious now, not having finished the book, what is controversial about it or the author? I do know that when I eat breads I experience the bloating and discomfort you mentioned in the gluten article. I had also read Grain Brain and am concurrently reading Foods That Fight Fibromyalgia. I have learned enough about my body to know that I need a solid night’s sleep to function and healthy foods to feel good. Stress sets me off, as well has other infections or viruses. Thank you for posting and for sending me current information on Fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed 2001. I have taken many of the Rx subscribed for FM and the roller coaster of weight gain. I prefer to not take anything labeled for FM; instead Aspercream helps with some of the pain, I am learning about essential oils, and I do take ibuprofen when I have to. I have a newer doctor and think to change again, because when I brought up the pain and weight gain he just looked at me with that glass eyed look of well, lose weight and sorry for your pain and closed my file and ended the exam. It is one of those things that you learn to live with. I think learning from other sufferers of FM in a setting like this is best. You try what you want, see if it works, if it does you keep doing it. If it doesn’t, you drop it. Thank you.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says:

      Hi Dawn, some people have made negative comments about Dr. Teitelbaum b/c they feel he’s just trying to sell them supplements and books. I don’t agree with that; people have the choice to buy supplements from wherever or from whomever they like, and they can always checkout books for free from their local library. Everyone has to make a living, so I don’t begrudge him for selling supplements or books.

      I agree with you … I have learned more from my fellow fibro warriors than from most of my doctors. We tend to be more educated about what works than most doctors. I’ve seen that glassy eyed look more than I care to. 🙂

    • I would rather be told to take supplements than be put on the hard stuff first

  10. Terri Brown says:

    Hi, I just found your blog through Pinterest. I haven’t tried any supplements yet, mostly because I hadn’t found a reliable resource to know what to try and how much. This really interests me as fatigue is usually my biggest problem (when I’m not having a flare). Do I need to talk to my rheumy before trying D-Ribose?
    Thanks!

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says:

      It’s a good idea to list all supplements for your doctor so he/she knows what you’re taking. But don’t be surprised if he/she has never heard of d-ribose. It’s not a very commonly known supplement.

      • Atlanta Girl says:

        I have a list on my phone along with the strength, dosage.

        I asked my MD about D-Ribose, but she is clueless about anything but pharmaceuticals. But, I found a pharmacist who is more holistically focused and he said it was worth a try. Works for me.

  11. This is interesting. I’ve heard of the positives of d-ribose and I guess the only reason I have yet to try it is due to cost (I already spend a lot on supplements as it is) but I think it might be worth a try. Thanks for sharing

    • admin says:

      Happy to share. I know what you mean about the cost of supplements. I spend a small fortune every month myself. I hope it helps, if you decide to give it a try.

  12. great post! I did try D-ribose around the same time I first changed my whole diet and I did not really find any improvement with it.

    I totally agree with you tho about taking prescription stimulants. When I was at my worst I ended up in the office of a Psychiatrist that prescribed one med for sleep and a prescription stimulant in the morning. WHOA! What a mess that made. The sleep med had me waking up unable to move a muscle, I felt like a mummy wrapped up. It was crazy. Then the stimulant had me jittery. I didn’t stick with those meds or that Psychiatrist for long.

    • admin says:

      Yeah, it’s hard for me to understand how drs think prescribing both will be helpful. It seems like it would be common sense that putting them together would wreck havoc on the body. I’m sorry D-ribose didn’t work for you. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on this post, and it seems like D-ribose is like everything else for fibromyalgia: It either works great for people, or it does nothing. There really isn’t an in-between.

  13. Jeanne Baker says:

    I have tried DRibose, along with many other supplements.
    Unfortunately, I have not found it to make a noticeable difference in how I feel or my functionality.
    Nor have any of the other many supplements and herbs that I have tried. I wish I
    Could say that they have made a difference.

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. Fibro and ME/CFS are such weird conditions – what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. Hopefully one day they will figure out how these conditions work and develop some better treatments for us.

  14. I use the powder form twice a day. I add it to a smoothie in the morning and to iced tea at lunch time. I think it makes a huge difference.

    • admin says:

      Hi Sue,
      I’m so glad it has worked for you! It’s worked great for me, too. By the way, I really like your blog! I read it regularly. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Trackbacks

  1. […] levels, so diabetics will want to research it carefully. (I share more info on d-ribose in a post here. Two of my fellow fibro bloggers, February Stars and Grace is Sufficient, have also found d-ribose […]

  2. […] This article was written for those with Lyme but most of these supplements have also been shown useful for fibro and chronic fatigue. I’ve had good results in the past with d-ribose for fatigue. You can read about my experience here!  […]

  3. […] fatiga de la fibromialgia y ME / CFS. (Se puede leer sobre mi propia experiencia con D-ribosa    aquí […]

  4. […] vermoeidheid van fibromyalgie en ME / CVS. (U kunt lezen over mijn eigen ervaring met d-ribose   hier […]

  5. […] fadiga de fibromialgia e ME / CFS. (Você pode ler sobre minha própria experiência com d-ribose  aqui […]

  6. […] 7. D-ribose – One of the first supplements that really helped my fatigue was d-ribose. Two studies by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum found d-ribose was effective at reducing the fatigue of fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. (You can read about my own experience with d-ribose here.) […]

  7. […] no red meat – this decreased the intensity of my pain fairly substantially – and adding d-ribose for more energy. I began feeling energy improvement after 2 1/2 […]

  8. […] a few of my subscribers found Fed Up with Fatigue through my post on d-ribose. A few months ago, my energy was so low that it was affecting my ability to work and get things […]

  9. […] didn’t change my fatigue level. For that, I turned to the supplement D-Ribose, and more recently, […]

  10. […] Using d-ribose for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome […]

  11. […] levels, so diabetics will want to research it carefully. (I share more info on d-ribose in a posthere. Two of my fellow fibro bloggers, February Stars and Grace is Sufficient, have also found d-ribose […]

  12. […] Using d-ribose for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome […]

  13. […] Need energy? Why D-Ribose may become your next favorite supplement […]

  14. […] Need energy? Why D-Ribose may become your next favorite supplement […]

  15. […] Need energy? Why D-Ribose may become your next favorite supplement […]

Speak Your Mind

*


Wordpress content guard plugin by JaspreetChahal.org