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How Effective is Ribose for Fibromyalgia?

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  • Written By: Theresa Waldron
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Ribose, also called D-ribose, is a type of sugar that is found in human tissue. The human body makes ribose from food and utilizes it as a source of energy. As a nutritional supplement, it has been shown to be effective at improving some symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as muscle fatigue. It also has proven effective in increasing overall energy levels — it often is used by healthy athletes to improve performance and endurance. Initial studies on the effectiveness of ribose for fibromyalgia indicate many patients also experience improved sleep patterns and reduced pain.

Many symptoms of fibromyalgia are caused by the body's cells not being able to metabolize energy. Studies show that the muscles in fibromyalgia patients hit the anaerobic threshold faster than healthy muscles and thus are less able to make use of the body's phosphate metabolites; this can result in muscle fatigue and overall lower energy levels. Ribose has proven to be effective at increasing the ability of the body's cells to synthesize energy and is showing promising results in relieving many symptoms of fibromyalgia as well as the debilitating symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Patients who use ribose for fibromyalgia have reported an increase in energy levels, which is no surprise given that ribose is an energy supplier. Patients, however, have reported a reduction in the painful symptoms of the disease as well. An overall improvement in sleep patterns also may be a benefit of taking ribose for fibromyalgia.

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Studies are showing that ribose is effective at reducing the achy muscles and stiffness often associated with fibromyalgia. By supplying more energy and helping the body's muscular cells to better metabolize that energy, ribose is helping fibromyalgia patients experience better overall muscle performance; with less pain, cramping and stiffness, the body is better able achieve a full night's sleep.

Ribose typically is sold as a nutritional supplement in powder or capsule form. Laboratory testing has shown the supplement to be safe at levels up to about 60 grams, or 600 mg, per day. Test patients in the preliminary study showed positive results while taking just 5 grams, or 50 mg, per day.

Though side effects of taking ribose for fibromyalgia are typically rare and mild, some have been reported. Patients taking recommended dosages have reported such side effects as nausea, diarrhea, low blood sugars levels and headache. There are no studies on the long-term effects of using ribose for fibroymyalgia, and patients wishing to try ribose should consult their physician before beginning any treatment regimen.

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