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People's Pharmacy: Low-Dose Lithium Conquered Chronic Fatigue

Tuesday 24 April 2018


From US newspaper the Athens Banner-Herald:


Joe and Teresa Graedon
Joe and Teresa Graedon

People’s Pharmacy: Low-dose lithium conquered chronic fatigue

By Joe and Teresa Graedon
Monday April 23, 2018
© Copyright 2006-2018 GateHouse Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

I read about low-dose lithium a few months ago. The article said that it might help prevent dementia and improve memory.

So, being old, with the usual forgetting where I put things and all that, I started taking 5 mg a day, a very low dose. To my amazement, after just a few days I found myself free of the chronic fatigue that had plagued me for more than a year after I had shingles. I haven’t seen this kind of result mentioned in any of the articles I found. I thought I was going to have to live the rest of my life at 25 percent energy, so it feels like lithium saved my life — or 75 percent of it, anyway.

Your story is intriguing. There is a new theory about chronic fatigue syndrome (Clinical & Experimental Immunology, February 2017). Immune cells may become impaired after infection, childbirth or trauma. Calcium channels that normally increase in number drop instead.

While it is not clear how lithium might affect fatigue, basic research shows that it does change how some brain cells handle calcium (Bipolar Disorders, November 2016). Researchers believe this may help explain how lithium works for people with bipolar disorder, but it also might tie in to your experience.

The article you read about dementia might have been a study showing that in Denmark, people are less likely to develop dementia if their drinking water contains more lithium (JAMA Psychiatry, Oct. 1, 2017). We hope that further research will clarify this connection.

Make sure your doctor knows you are taking low-dose lithium. You should ask to have your kidney and thyroid function monitored periodically, since at high doses lithium can harm these organs.


Full article…



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