Taking ADD meds & nicotine gum- Confused- I now have energy- Discuss

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by Queenofsleep, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Queenofsleep

    Queenofsleep New Member

    Hi. I've been part of this board for many years now- even before the new name. LOL

    I'M SORRY THAT THIS IS SO LONG... IF YOU HAVE TO SKIP TO THE END... TRUST ME... I UNDERSTAND. I just hope that the medical researchers are considering maybe not this solution obviously, but something to do with the dopamine, etc... I discuss it below.

    I have had so many struggles and thanks to the wonderful people on this board- I am still hanging in there even though this DD is horrific! Well, we all know...

    I was so desperate about 2 1/2 years ago when all I could do is lay in bed most of the day. As most of you- Pre- 2004- I was very active. I was a long distance runner and racquetball player for most of my life.

    You all know the feeling... I don't like to talk about it because we all try to stay positive.

    I have been researching for so many years- along with the rest of you and I don't know why but I decided to try nicotine gum in hopes that it would give me energy. This was "my last resort". Although, I keep trying anyway.

    It was so strange because within about a week or more I started to have more energy.

    DON'T GET ME WRONG- I'M NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS THE ANSWER OR THAT ANYONE SHOULD DO THIS, I just wanted to share and discuss this with people who would understand- maybe others have found this too.

    Anyway, I researched nicotine (without the tobacco and smoke of course) and I have found a lot of studies that show that there are no big risks like I previously thought... you know cancer. It does say that it may raise your blood pressure, but I have always had low blood pressure and it never went about 120/80 in the 2 1/2 yrs that I used the gum.

    This is the only thing that I have found that allows me to be able to have a life.

    Don't get me wrong- I still can't even work part time, but at least I can do housework, etc... I have been able to go for walks with my husband and I even tried racquetball once, but I got so overheated. I tried that last week.

    The things is that I was so concerned about 3 mths ago I stopped chewing the gum and believe me, it is just like quiting smoking (I smoked for 5 yrs about 25 years ago). Trust me, I could never smoke- I am very allergic.

    Anyway- I stopped and went right back to the way I was previously- which was- not able to do anything!!!!

    I had a long talk with my husband and doctor and decided to use the gum and treat it like medicine. In other words... don't chew too many pieces. I feel really weird doing this, but it is actually like night and day!!!

    Before the gum and Adderall (small dose- over 10mg with the gum- I have trouble going to sleep at night)- I felt like I wanted to give up.

    We decided that I would rather have a life and continue to live (trust me, I have wanted throw in the towel because after living like I did for 6 years- sometimes I would rather just give up... I go to a psychologist every wk and have been for years since I've been sick due to this chronic disease...

    Anyway... it sounds so strange, but it works for me. I lost weight too, since I am not as hungry which is a side affect. Don't get me wrong- I eat very healthy, but it haS BEEN a God send.

    Well, I can't say God send because it is still a toxin, but we decided that so is the medicne that I take.

    Anyway- caution to anyone reading this because I am not promoting this especially since it can cause high blood pressure and obviously nicotine can be very addictive, but once I feel that I am chewing more than I should, then I stop and start after a couple of weeks. (I am in bed for these weeks- argh!)

    I'm just thinking that ... I am no doctor and I'm not sure if a stimulant will cause long term adrenal problems, but I as much as I could research, I haven't found anything. I have lots of data, but.... I'm just hoping that medical researchers are looking into the dopamine, serotine, endorphine connection to chronic fatigue.

    Ironically, I read some information on-line after I have been doing this for 2 years that the alzheimer researchers are testing the use of nicotine patches to help with the pre-alzheimer symptoms and dimentia...

    ........very interesting!!!

    similiar to our situation!!!!

    I tried supplements, but I seem to be allergic to so many of those because I am allergic to so many different plants and trees. Also, they haven't worked for me!!

    P.S. I also have an appt set up with my gyno to get my hormones tested again ... I get so frustrated because they say that my hormones are fine, but I
    can't help to think that hormones are not part of it.

    Although, HRT is not good at all since there are concerns about cancer in relation to HRT and my sister has breast cancer and I had endometriosis and had a hysterectomy.

    Also, I'm sorry so long again.... I do have breast exams and mri every year.

    Any thoughts?
  2. mbofov

    mbofov Member

    I used nicotine gum to quit smoking - it really helped a lot - I had smoked for 27 years. Actually, I grew to like the gum a lot and ended up chewing one piece a day for several years after I quit. It was a treat for me, but I limited myself to one piece a day.

    And then I read about the possibility of mouth cancer with the gum, just like with chewing tobacco. That's the only danger I see with what you're doing. After I read about this, I stopped my one piece a day. And I missed it! Amazingly, quite a bit but nothing like quitting smoking.

    I just read that nicotine increases the flow of adrenaline - this may have something to do wtih your increase in energy. Have you had your adrenals tested? A good test is the adrenal stress index test, a saliva test which measures cortisol levels throughout the day/evening. It's possible that weak adrenals were keeping you bedridden. Your average doctor will not order this test, but you can ask him/her about it, or go see a naturopath. I had the test done through Clymer Healing Center (you can find them on-line) -we did everything by phone, e-mail and regular mail.

    My chiro who does muscle testing found that my adrenals were quite weak several years ago - I felt weak as a kitten. He gave me an adrenal glandular product from Standard Process which helped a lot. I highly recommend muscle testing - it has helped me with so many things that regular doctors were helpless with. If you call Standard Process customer service (find them on-line), they'll give you the names of practitioners in your area who use their products.

    Anyways, I think it would be good to get your adrenals checked out. I would be afraid to use the gum long-term (google "nicotine gum cancer" - sorry!)

    Mary
  3. words

    words New Member

    Sitting, chewing, saw your post: Me, too, guilty as charged. Ex-smoker since 1989. Recently restarted the gum. Later learned it actually helps ADHDers...

    Often wondered about the adrenal effect. Probably isn't pretty. Nor is, ahem, mouth cancer, etc. The cost per pkg, depending which brand, just, wow. The ADHD stimulants? Probably taxing my barely functional adrenals as well.

    Am I quitting any time soon? Not a chance. I was the recipient of nicotine in the womb. I couldn't limit intake there, but now, lol, attempt to chew as little as possible. It's an embarrassing, obvious addiction for me, & my sole one. I feel better when I buy the 2mg vs. 4.

    Re hormone test results, fa. history... same here. If it's helpful, my experience has been to take what any medical professional tells me with a big chunk of salt, cart those numbers home, & hit the top research sites. Stuck in Iowa, stuck with 1 too many incompetent docs at UIHC, I've resorted to self-treating. You can order your own saliva test, etc.

    Pls. remember that many test in the "normal" range; this, however, can mean nothing. Tests are flawed, readings are flawed, the list goes on. Due to a mother with breast cancer & my own blood disorder, I went thru meno sans HRT. Just Prometrium, which a naturopath said was the worst med they could have prescribed. Now trying Femerone which is giving me hot flashes so oh well. I eat tons of soy. All I can do is trust in myself, my body's wisdom over an endo sitting in a chair telling me my cortisol is "fine" when actually, sir, it peaks at midnight. Takes much time & energy to go inward, listen, then outward for the Dr. Google research, but it's sites like this I believe save lives more than anyone can conceive.

    Good luck. =)
  4. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    wow, very very interesting. i would be so tempted to use the gum, but i do have hbp. dam.

    kudos to you , for discovering this. just try not overdoing it. overdoing anything is never good.

    love, joanierav
  5. neoplus1

    neoplus1 Member

    is a stimulant but it also is an immunosuppressant. I don't know how strong its immunosupression is, but there is some research into it. Given that some variations of ME/CFS involve certain immune parameters being upregulated, immunosupression could be helpful.

    This is part of the reason why smokers are more likely to suffer from infections vs. nonsmokers I believe.
  6. Queenofsleep

    Queenofsleep New Member

    Very interesting- word- that you also found the same answer. I do have a problem with the amount of gum that I chew. I start off low and then move up quickly. I try to keep the gum chewing- 2mg (like you, I can't stand the 4mg)- to 10 - 2mg pieces per day, but sometimes when I am playing my video game at night- especially on weekends, I chew more.

    I do drink wine- mostly 1-2 glasses per day- some days none- I usually dilute it with water though.

    I think that what I will do is talk to my rheumy to have him check my cholesterol to make sure that the numbers are good and then talk to him about the artery constriction concern.

    As far as mouth cancer- I believe that this occurs more with tobacco. However, I have read that some people carry a specific gene for mouth cancer that can be activated. I guess one could be tested to see if they have that gene.

    Word, do you mind going on chat with me so that we can talk about it? You are the sole person - besides me- that has tried this... that I know of.

    Thanks for responding!
  7. Queenofsleep

    Queenofsleep New Member

    Neoplus1- I didn't know that. Hmmm... I wish that the doctors could come up with something..... I don't like that I have resorted to chewing the gum because I am not totally sure about the effects.

    I am going to discuss all of this with my rheumatologist to see what he thinks.

    Thank you for commenting everyone- there are SO MANY smart people on this board, as I am continually amazed at what is revealed through personal experiences!
  8. Queenofsleep

    Queenofsleep New Member

    Does anyone else have any information or experience with this?
  9. campbeck97

    campbeck97 New Member

    Ive been chewing it for well over 10 years,have it in my mouth most of the day,I started out on the 4mg but later switched to the 2mg. My dr knows I take it and says its much better than smoking. I do have high blood pressure and pretty sure part of this is the gum and insomnia. Its very addictive just like smoking but it does allow me to function pretty good during the day energy wise. I know I should probabely stop but I know it will be hard.I quit smoking back in early 80's. I cant do the 4mg anymore, tried some recently and it makes my heart race so dont want that anymore.Take care and GBU
  10. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    reading this thread it seems as tho the gum acts like a stimulant, or is a stimulant.

    have either of you tried provigil, or nuvigil? it is a script used by many cfs doctors. many on this board take it. it is a stimulant.

    good luck, joanierav
  11. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    hi again, i just reread your posts. i had endometrious and had complete hysterectomy also, yrs ago. were you on any hormone therapy, especially in the beginning?

    they gave me hormones right from the get go. and i didnt like the way i felt on them. that is until the patch was made. i loved it and it gave me some energy which was a side benefit. also it came in very low doses, if one choose to need low dose. i took this low dose for yrs. it was called climara.
    i would look into it, if i were you. and good luck

    hugs, joanierav
  12. Queenofsleep

    Queenofsleep New Member

    I saw my general practitioner (she is new- she is very GOOD and caring too.. thank goodness). She ordered hormone tests- finally someone understands!! She also told me that she will look into other options, but told me that if the gum is working for me, and since it is only nicotine and not tobacco- there have not been many problems noted except for raising blood pressure, teeth problems and TMJ. Since I started chewing the gum about 2 yrs ago, my blood pressure never went up. It stays anywhere from 110/70 to 120/80. The last appt- a few days ago it was at 118/72- which is good. I am not overweight either, which helps... well, not according to me. I wear a size 8 clothing, which seems to be ok for a 49 year old woman.

    I go to the dentist every 6 mths and yes, i have had to have bonding on the front teeth, but all is well. I had my teeth fixed (old fillings, etc back in the 90s; therefore, I have only had to get cleanings and checkups 2x per year).

    There have also been studies that showed hair loss, but I have not had that. Thankfully, my hair is very thick to begin with. I had my cholesterol checked during the visit as well as my hormones- so I should get the results soon.

    My cholesterol usually stays around 177- however, years ago, my HDL and LDL were both outside of the norm.... as most of you know, the total number doesn't tell the story. I am hoping that when I get the results, the HDL and LDL are in the normal range. I only worry about blood vessels becoming restricted which could occur chewing nicotine gum long term. If my cholesterol IS off, I will change my diet and check it again-- if that doesn't work then I may need to look for a different solution.

    Obviously, if my hormones are a problem, I will look into that and maybe I can replace the gum; however.... I am more concerned about HRT since my sister had breast cancer and my other sister had endometrial cancer.

    I had a full work up with the Cardiologist in 2008 ( I think) and all was fine, but obviously plague build up is nothing to ignore.

    As for now, I will continue to chew the gum so that I have a "life" so to speak. Also, I tried the lozenges to avoid any teeth problem, but I could not stand the lozenges because it caused me to have a sore throat and tongue.

    I'll stay in touch and please I would love to hear from you all again as things come up.

    Thank you all for sharing. .... oh, about the hysterectomy for endometriosis... Because endometriosis feeds on estrogen, I did not take estrogen of any kind- because the chance of endometriosis coming back with estrogen is almost a guarantee and can happen within 2 wks. The only way to prevent endo from coming back (according to my specialist) is to abstain from any form of estrogen for at least 6 mths to ensure that the endometriosis will not return.

    I had a complete hysterectomy including both ovaries since the ovaries produce estrogen. I have taken one a day for menopause one month prior to the surgery and continue to take it now since it gives me soy which acts the same as estrogen, but does not cause problems associated with estrogen.

    One interesting fact that my specialist told me about taking multi-vitiman with soy (for menopause) is that it doesn't have the same effect on everyone- for example, it helped me, but didn't help a friend of mine, and he explained that the only way that soy can be helpful in this situation is if you have a specific enzyme that reacts with it... I don't know the medical details, but it turned out that I had the enzyme and that is why it works. When I miss my dose of one a day for menopause, my husband, without knowing that I missed it... mentioned that I seemed to be more moody... whoops! I also noticed the hot flashes....which, incidentally, started when I was 41- I had my hysterectomy at 47 (2 yrs ago).

    I have thought about provigil and I forgot to ask my GP about this. I did talk to my rheumy about this before I started chewing the gum, but he did not think it was a good idea. We'll see.... it may be better than chewing the gum, but on the other hand, how much safer are prescription meds.... not sure.

    I still am not convinced that the gum is the best choice, however, I was pleased to see the many reports that are coming out about long term use of the gum rather than smoking- there are many more reports that are stating that the gum is not as bad as they previously thought.

    *** Just a caveat to the last statement.... it IS hard to know about these reports unless we know where the writers/researchers funding is coming from. You know?

    Take care everyone! I am so glad that there are such WONDERFUL, loving people on this site who are willing to give so much of themselves to help others. God Bless You All!

    -Ruthann
  13. Queenofsleep

    Queenofsleep New Member