The Frugal Recovery Plan

UPDATED: July 2017. See CFS Diets also.

In the US, the degree of social safety net for people with CFS/ME/FM/IBS is horrible. In a few countries it is “livable” without excessive stress (which would hinder recovery).

This post is for a very long term friend, DanB, and many others who have suffered for years with no or little cash after essentials.

I am going to build up a list of supplements and their average monthly cost for suggested dose — the items are order by monthly cost. Some, like piracetam may be hard to obtain in some countries. I included most items from this “Basics” post and the best  herbs from my earlier post (usually as tea bags), and old post from 2012 is worth reviewing too. Others like chocolate may have risks for some individuals. Prices are usually from Amazon.com

Most medical resources tend to be oblivious to cost and IMHO often misdirects patients money towards high cost / low return items.

Remember:

  • There are no studies comparing their effectiveness against each other — so I assume “equally effective” on a restricted budget
  • I have picked tea bags for many herbs — the cost goes down a lot if you buy bulk and use a tea-ball or strainer. If you can stomach (not too bad a herx) after one box of a tea, go the bulk organic route.
  • Many items should be rotated. These items could also cause a herx in some.
  • Specialize probiotics are a lot more expensive. My wife told her MD that she spends more on probiotics a month than food (and she shops organic!) — it’s true!
  • A smaller dose if fine. Better a little than none. If something seem to work well, consider increasing the dose

Supplement

Daily

Source

Monthly Cost

Cumulative

Cost 

 ROTATE

Vitamin B12

1000 mcg/day

Nature’s Bounty

$3.33

$3.33

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid

300 mg/day

Swanson

$2.50

$5.83

 

Folinic Acid (Active version of Folic Acid – B9)

800 mg/day

Source Naturals MegaFolinic

$1.75

$7.63

 

Vitamin D3

15,000 IU

Doctor’s Best

$2.60

$10.20

 

Zinc Carnosine

30mg/day of zinc

Doctor’s Best

$2.00 to $8.00

$12.20

 

Olive Leaf

1000 mg/day

Nature’s Way

$3.42

$15.46

Magnesium Malate

2000 mg/day

$3.49

$18.95

 

FemFlora probiotic

1/day

Swanson

$3.75

$22.70

 X

Liquorice

1 g/day

“Spezzatina”

$4.35

$27.05

 X

Boswellia

800 mg/day

Swanson

$3.82

$30.87

 X

D-Ribose

1000 mg/day

Source Natural

$4.40

$35.27

 

Miyarisan probiotic

7 / day

Miyarisan

$5.00

$40.27

 X

85% Chocolate

40 g /day

PASCHA Organic Dark Chocolate Baking Chips

$6.49

$46.76

 

Coenzyme Q10

300 mg/day

Doctor’s Best

$6.65

$57.50

 

L. Gasseri probiotic

1/day

Swanson

$7.00

$64.00

 X

Oral Probiotic

1 tablets/day

Swanson 

$7.50

$71.50

 X

Tulsi Tea

1 bag/day

Organic India

$8.33

$73.72

 X

Pau D’Arco Teea

1 bag/day

Alvita

$8.75

$82.47

 X

Neem Tea

1 bag/day

 

$9.00

$91.47

X

Mastic Gum

1 gm/day

Greek Chios

$9.42

$100.89

 X

L. Plantarum probiotic

1/day

Swanson

$9.99

$110.88

X

Thyme Tea

1 bag/day

 

$13.50

$124.38

 X

Culturelle probiotic

1/day

 

$13.88

$138.25

 X

Oregano Tea

1 bag/day

 

$14.40

$152.65

 X

Align Probiotic

1/day

 

$22.39

$175.04

 X

Prescript Assist

1/day

 

$23.00

$198.04

 X

Mutaflor

1/day

 

$42.50

$240.54

Yakult

3/day

 

$54.00

$294.54

 X

Alternatives to consider

  • Benfotiamine 300mg/day – Doctor’s Best – $5.74
  • Methylocbalamin (B12) – 1000mcg/day  – Pure encapsulations = $7.25
    • See link, many have additives that may hurt the gut bacteria

As always, the list should be discussed with your medical professional. On this site, I have attempted to provide links to PubMed studies supporting each of the  items above.

A good medical professional should be able to provide PubMed links to any items that they feel are contraindicated. We want to move to evidence based science for treating CFS and not speculative theories.