Oddly enough, for those with severe lack of stomach/bowel function (Gastroparesis) where food just sits without moving forward, Ritalin and Dexedrine can help. In severe cases (some have their colon surgically removed), this can actually be a reasonable and helpful option.
For those of you who have read From Fatigued to Fantastic! you know that I very much prefer to use natural remedies over prescription, and that I think that Ritalin is very overused in children with ADD. Nonetheless, Ritalin and Dexedrine can be very helpful in CFS/FMS and related problems, in part because it helps restore autonomic function—which is the part of your brain that keeps food moving from your mouth to its final destination.
As noted below, Dexedrine and Ritalin can also have a beneficial effect on chronic pelvic pain of both bladder and non bladder origin, refractory weight gain, esophageal pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, headaches and vasomotor symptoms. I often lecture to hundreds of holistic physicians at a time, and often tease that "Here I am at a holistic conference teaching you to have your patients avoid natural sugar and caffeine, and sometimes take 'speed' instead." Odd and ironic as it is, this is why it's often best to keep all of our options open;-)
The following is the study summary.
Sympathomimetic Amine Therapy May Improve Refractory Gastroparesis Similar to Its Effect on Chronic Pelvic Pain—Case Report
P Boimel, JH Check, and D Katsoff
Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol, January 1, 2007; 34(3): 185-7.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY, USA
PURPOSE: To determine if treatment with sympathomimetic amines can effectively treat gastroparesis that was refractory to other medical therapy.
METHODS: After failing a water load test, a 29 year-old female was treated with 20 mg/day of dextroamphetamine sulfate.
RESULTS: After several weeks of therapy she noted that most of her symptoms of gastroparesis subsided and she has remained symptom free for eight months.
CONCLUSIONS: Similar to its beneficial effect on chronic pelvic pain of both bladder and non bladder origin, refractory weight gain, esophageal pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, headaches and vasomotor symptoms, sympathomimetic amine therapy can also effectively treat gastroparesis refractory to other medical therapies at least in some cases.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome From Fatigued to Fantastic! and his newer The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.