The Big Drain: Energy Supplements

Can supplements help?

My background has always made me more inclined to advocate and advise people to eat a balanced diet with plenty of veggies and fruits to get what you need. However, I understand that for some it is difficult and so supplements can help to fill the gaps of what you are not getting. You should still try to eat what you can as opposed to just popping pills, but if need be, taking a supplement can be beneficial.

But here, we’re talking about supplements to help ease the drain and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia, or any number of other chronic illness which make fatigue a constant battle. Are supplements effective? My personal opinion is maybe a little, but I have not personally read enough that supports supplements making a huge change in life, unless you are specifically deficient in a certain vitamin. That being said, I also understand it’s a personal choice and I would advise speaking to your physician about it and getting the necessary blood work done to confirm any deficiencies. It is not advisable to take supplements without disclosing the information to your doctor as they can have contraindications, and may interact adversely with your medication.

The following are some supplements which I have seen advertised as being helpful to those with fibromyalgia and other chronic illness which leave people feeling tired all the time:

D-Ribose: is a sugar produced in the body and taken to alleviate fatigue and pain. A little about D-ribose comes from research done by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, whose field is in chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. He uses d-ribose component to treat both conditions. His theory is that they are caused by “an energy crisis in the body, leading to a cascade of different symptoms like fatigue, pain, and sleep disturbance, among other things.” [ ] He continues with the idea that the energy issue stems from the ability of the mitochondria in your cells to generate energy is suppressed. Mitochondria produce ATP, you know this as energy, which is used by your cells to carry out their functions. It makes sense that taking additional D-ribose “should help mitochondrial function and improve energy in fatigued patients.” .” [ ]

However, according to both WebMD and Mayo Clinic, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that this helps chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. Its actual effectiveness is more linked to coronary artery disease and Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency or ( MAD) Another strong word of caution: moderate interaction with: Insulin and ant diabetic drugs. Ribose might decrease your blood sugar placing you in danger of your blood sugar being too low. It has minor interaction with: Alcohol and Aspirin. Also with, Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate, Propanolol and Salsalate (disalcia), it may decrease your blood sugar further placing you at risk for dangerously low blood sugar. As for Dr. Teitelbaum, if you are considering d-ribose, you may want to take a look at this: I remain neutral in regards to the studies, my only desire here is to present you with as much information as I can.

Magnesium: is known to calm the nerves and relieves muscle spasm and aches.

Since the hallmark of fibromyalgia is “hyperactive stress response, anything that can be done to activate the opposite reaction in our bodies by generating a relaxation response can reduce symptoms.” [Dr. Ginerva Lipton] Magnesium is also known as a relaxation mineral. It has a calming effect on nerves, brain and muscles. It is also known that nearly all fibromyalgia patients are also deficient in magnesium. The challenge in taking it orally, in high doses, is because of its laxative properties. This is where we get milk of magnesia. It is not absorbed efficiently through the intestines and to get a high enough dose to trigger a relaxation response you need to let it be absorbed through your skin. Another way is through magnesium rich water. If you have access to FLOAT therapy, this can be an option.[]

B12 injections: If your fatigue is related to a B12 deficiency, taking B12 shots may help with fatigue. It can help treat anemia by restoring B12 to healthy levels.

As someone who endeavors a holistic route, is possible, I wanted to include these options:

Whole Foods: you can’t go wrong here. Whole foods, as a general rule, are best for your body. At the very minimum you are going to improve your health and lifestyle by including whole foods into your diet. Whole foods can:
• boost energy levels
• maintain healthy blood pressure
• offer natural sources of sugar
• eliminate processed food which are known to affect the body negatively

Seaweeds: all kinds of seaweed help to restore energy by nourishing our immune system and our hormones as well as our nervous system. You can try kelp, hijiki (replace croutons in your salad to give crunch) or even dulse (in powder of liquid form)

Korean Ginseng: This can strengthen the immune system and help fatigue by helping with insomnia. It can also alleviate depression. You can take it as a drink, such as tea, or in tincture form.

Dandelion root: So dandelion also strengthens the immune system. If you can make a tincture of dandelion root, 10-20 drops can make a difference in your day to day life.

Thyme: It can regulate blood pressure, treat a cough and bronchitis as well as treat chronic fatigue, dizziness and aching joints associated with fibromyalgia. Take it as a tincture or tea with regularity.

In closing, there are many ways you can alleviate the big drain we experience with chronic illness. Any which way you decided to go, please check with your physician to make sure it is safe for you to give them a try. I am certainly not a doctor, nor do I claim any expertise in chronic illness or fibromyalgia and my opinions here are simply from my personal experience.
Thank you for reading! Please leave me any comments or questions you might have.

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