Friday, 5 November 2010

Shake Me & I Rattle

As promised, I'm finally getting around to setting out the pills and potions I currently take.

Unfortunately, the nature of the illness is such that there is no cure and all we are really doing with medications is symptom management. Furthermore, what works for one person seems not to for the next person. It's a very inexact science! With that in mind, I need to state for anyone reading who also has M.E. that trial and error is usually necessary. Also, because I have become ill fairly recently, I am still experimenting to see what works.

So, let's do a quick run-through:

Ascorbic Acid (soluble Vitamin C) -1000mg - This is how I try to start every day. With a glass of effervescent orange-flavoured Vit C. This is no hardship as I enjoy the taste and the fizzing sensation. The benefits of this are too long to list but most important for my particular needs are that Vitamin C is great at scavenging free-radicals and providing immune support. Bear in mind that we never absorb all of the Vitamin C we take in supplemented form. I think it's up to around 20% we absorb and the rest is urinated. All the more reason to also get Vitamin C from food sources.

BioCare Multivitamin - A word of warning on multivitamins. They aren't all the same. Some are really poorly balanced with too much of a certain element or not enough of another. I like the BioCare range as it seems to have the right balance.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) 500mg - Multi-faceted benefits attached to this including blood sugar control, mitochondrial support and a calming effect.

Vitamin D 500ui - Best source is sunshine but being housebound puts paid to that option. Deficiency is very common in the UK and has been shown to be present in various diseases.

Flaxseed Oil 2000mg - We've all heard plenty of the benefits of Omega 3 oils. Whether it be brain food or joint care, Omega 3 can help. Personally, I avoid the fish oils as they are more prone to being loaded with metals (unless you spend a lot on ultra-pure capsules) and I don't like fishy burps much! Flaxseed oil suits me better.

Chromium 200ug - I had a scare with my blood sugar levels and started taking this to assist. My last test showed a decrease so I think it's having an impact.

Co-Enzyme Q10 100mg - Assists in mitochondria (and thus energy supply) and is a powerful anti-oxidant (those pesky free-radicals again). Also seems to provide some support for the gut and has anti-ageing properties - a wonderful drug! It's not a cheap option and be wary of the more budget brands as absorbtion might not be very good. I use Doctor's Best brand.

Milk Thistle 5600mg - When we take a lot of pills our livers have to work extra hard to detox. Milk thistle is supposedly a good help to your liver in this respect. It's also been heralded for helping digestion and reducing Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

L-Carnitine 1000mg - I must admit, I don't always remember to take these as I have run out of room in my pill dispenser! It's an amino acid most commonly found in red meat but few of us eat enough red meat to correct a deficiency. Like many of the other supplements I take, it has been shown to support mitochondrial function.

GABA 1000mg - Another that I don't always remember to take. It has been shown to raise levels of a neurotransmitter that brings about a more relaxed state and can help sleep. I have to say that I haven't seen any benefit from this so far and I probably wont buy more when my stock is depleted. Mind you, me and sleep are hardly friends and I'll be seeking out some dedicated sleep meds from my doctor in due course.

Magnesium Oil - My new favourite. As I've mentioned before, the benefits of magnesium are many. For me, I'm finding it is helping slightly with my muscle spasms and even seems to reduce the severity of my headaches a little. A good way to tell if you are deficient is to spray some onto your skin and see if you get a strange tingling sensation. Epsom Salts are good for bathtime too!

Finally, I try to use a plant sterol spread (Benecol in my case) to keep my cholestorol under control.

So that's my basic list of supplements at present. I am sure the list will change in due course as I will discontinue certain elements or introduce new ones. If anyone has any comments on what's included or suggestions for trying something new please get in touch!

Take care,



  1. hmmm .... I havent tried the milk thistle and i seem to have a problem with magnesium, it makes me just feel dreadful even in small amounts .... not sure why this is ...
    I dont know that the CoQ10 has helped me but L-Carnitine did improve my cognative ability.
    I am currently just using valerian for sleep, it seems to be working. I tried melatonin for a while but it gave me nightmares. I was using endep first up which was brilliant but then i foundout it was lowering my blod pressure and making my POTS worse so I had to stop it.
    have you tried D-Ribose? Didnt do anything for me but lots of people reckon it helps them.

  2. I've avoided trying D-Ribose because it's so damned expensive! Problem is of course, when I'm taking such a cocktail of pills it's hard to know which of them are doing any good without doing a trial of each individually.

    Interesting that valerian works for you. I had assumed it'd be too wimpy to get me to sleep. I found this chart by Dr Lapp that gives me some useful info I can take to my doc:

    It's from 2001 but not much has changed since then!

  3. I was recommended to try D-Ribose by nutritionist and just couldn't do it. Made me feel bad food poisoning but no idea why. She wanted me too take massive doses of Vit C too and that made me bad too. Milk Thistle has been great...used to have this awful symptom I called 'Mazola guts'...queasiness that felt like I'd drunk 2 pints of neat cooking oil. CoQ10 is great and I take ginseng and Ginkgo too. Also taken Pantothenic Acid for years. My daughter was recommended to take L Glutamine ( to do with healing of gut)...suited her but I can't do that either. Aloe Vera juice is great for me and sore guts/tract.

  4. It's interesting how varied the range of what works for individuals is. It truly does seem to be a case of trial and error.