I’ve been reading some things online lately about thiamin (also spelled thiamine, another name for vitamin B1) having the potential to help with pain and energy levels in patients with ME, CFS and fibromyalgia. The information I’ve found is a combination of theories, very small studies and individual anecdotal evidence, and reported results range from no effect at all to life-changing alterations, both from people with thiamin deficiency and people without.
Dosages referred to ranged from 100mg to 1,800mg per day and there were mentions of patients with thiamin deficiency and also normal levels of thiamin. I have no idea what my thiamin levels are. I’ve always kind of assumed that my everything-levels are pretty much normal since I’ve had so many blood tests and never been told that anything found in those tests wasn’t ok, and in all the years I’ve been ill and seeing doctors, none of them have ever mentioned thiamin deficiency, testing for thiamin deficiency or taking thiamin as a way to possibly reduce symptoms. But then the NHS aren’t exactly at the forefront of ME research or treatment.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that it’s really difficult to find reliable information about things that may help with ME. Unless someone is standing to make vast amounts of of money from a ‘miracle cure’ (yeah, feel the sarcasm) that they’ve concocted, there’s actually very little detailed information out there. There is, however, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of “this did/didn’t work for me” from individual people, which can at least be a useful starting point.
Since thiamin is cheap and available in health food stores and I’m all up for trying inexpensive and readily available options, I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve done some research and discovered that thiamin, even in larger doses, is harmless (the body absorbs what it needs and the reset is expelled in the urine) so I picked some up from Holland & Barrett (thiamin, not urine). The only tablets they had were 100mg so I’m taking two per day in the morning to see how things go. Even when something is apparently harmless, I’d still prefer to start small and work up than start with a higher dose.
I’ve only been taking it for two days, but I’ll stick with it and let you know how it goes!