When Joanne Atkinson was diagnosed with ME at the age of 17, it only confirmed the concerns that both she and her family had had since she was very young,
Regular blackouts, no energy, poor immune system, headaches and dizziness had blighted Joanne for as long as she can remember, but it was only whilst studying for her A-Levels in the year 2000 that the illness really took its toll.
“I’d done research into ME and we’d put it forward to the doctors many times as a possible diagnosis” said Joanne. “But ME is one of those illnesses that doesn’t really have a set list of symptoms, and as my blackouts and periods of lethargy were so erratic it was hard to diagnose. My mother had a history of ME and she suggested to the GP that it might be a possibility.“
The doctors finally diagnosed Joanne as having ME and set about treating it with pills, dietary changes, exercise plans and counselling, but it never really went away.
“I’d read that having a baby seemed to eradicate the ME symptoms, so when I fell pregnant with my son Elliott in late 2004 it was a blessing in more ways than one. The symptoms did fade, but when he was born the energy I needed to be a mum just wasn’t there and the illness came back in abundance.”
Joanne was regularly seeing an Occupational Health specialist at work. “My employers have been great throughout, allowing me to have time off to manage the illness. I reduced my hours from full time to part time and worked split days off so I was getting more rest.”
Joanne has since added Imogen to the family, and is back working part time hours around being a mum. In 2011 Joanne decided she wanted to shed the pounds and embarked on a fitness and healthy eating plan, hoping it would have a two pronged effect, of losing weight and improving her health.
“I loved running and swimming and the weight fell off, as I was very strict with my diet too, and I went from a size 16 to a size 10. For a while I felt great, and the symptoms vanished, but after about 6 months I had another relapse, and had to stop with the exercise because I was passing out and had zero energy.”
In late 2013 Joanne was introduced by a friend to D-Ribose, a nutritional supplement which fellow ME sufferers were raving about on forums and social media sites. Joanne contacted Deluxe Nutrition and asked whether she could sample it for them.
“I’d literally tried everything at this point, and was still suffering with the blackouts and the lack of energy, so when I saw the reviews I knew it was worth a shot” she said.
Matt Hickman from Deluxe Nutrition was delighted to help out, as he too had seen reviews on his own product from sufferers of ME.
“We sent Joanne a tub of D-Ribose and asked that she kept in touch to let us know how she was getting on. After just one week we heard from her that she had a new lease of life. The supplement was giving her more energy, just in time for the half term holiday.”
Joanne reported that by taking D-Ribose twice per day she had more energy, she hasn’t suffered any dizziness or blackouts, and she found it easier to be active with the kids.
“I couldn’t believe the difference it was making to my life, just by taking it twice per day mixed with my usual juice. I found myself being able to keep up with the kids and I noticed a big difference in my overall disposition, I was much chirpier and certainly wasn’t feeling tired all the time. “
“I would definitely say that it made a considerable difference to my life and would recommend it to anyone who suffers from ME symptoms. It’s easy to add to your daily routine and you’ll definitely reap the benefits. I will continue using it, without a doubt!”
Matt added: “We’ve noticed quite a few comments from D-Ribose users on our site who are reporting the same effects, so Joanne is not a one-off case it seems. “