High doses of thiamine (vitamin B-1) restores energy and reduces pain for some people with Fibromyalgia or ME/CFS. These studies are so small they can only be counted as “anecdotal”, but warrant further research. Considering this is not a therapy that pharmaceutical companies can make money from, it may be difficult to get sufficient funding.
…gave their patients (with normal thiamine blood levels) from 600 to 1,500 mgs of thiamine per day (depending on their body weight). The doctors observed an ‘all or nothing’ response, with no response being shown until the correct dose was found.
results suggested to them that ‘mild’ thiamine deficiencies could be contributing to the pain and fatigue of a number of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, and they moved on to fibromyalgia.
The three patient FM cohort found dramatic reductions in fatigue and pain occurred quickly (within a couple of days) after the correct dosage was found.
in the early 1990s by J. B. Eisinger, a French researcher, concluded that thiamine metabolism was impaired in fibromyalgia.
Thiamine deficiency is also found in Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and it can affect memory function.
Some evidence also suggests thiamine may be an effective analgesic. High-dose thiamine and benfotiamine (S-benzoylthiamine O-monophosphate, BT) administration reduces pain in animal models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
Interestingly, thiamine is also involved in the synthesis of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Thiamine deficiency can also cause peripheral neuropathy (tingling, numbness, etc., or sensory loss) which is common in both ME/CFS and FM.
The reports are preliminary and mostly anecdotal, but the Italian report and Karen Lee Richards’s experience suggest high-dose Thiamine (B-1) supplementation could reduce the fatigue and pain in some ME/CFS/FM patients. With few side effects reported, this low-cost approach to ME/CFS/FM appears to be well worth trying.
I had also written about thiamine previously: Nutritional Brain Bomb: Thiamine
Considering there is such a quick and dramatic “all or nothing” response to thiamine mega-doses, and relatively little harm from such high doses for a week or so, this might be worth a short trial at home.