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?