GABA wtf

Blog entry posted by lafarfelue, Mar 6, 2017.

(For the TL;DR, scroll to the end)

I haven't been keeping terribly good track of my daily supplementation, diet or activity levels, but this is something I really need to record.

I started taking Thorne PharmaGABA at the end of last week. I noticed a bit of strange vertigo-y sensation in the evenings, when I was settling down to sleep. 'No big deal, I'm also taking a combination of x & y medication to help with sleep, this is bound to happen!', right? 'Maybe my body just needs some time to adjust to the GABA!', yeh?

Uuuhhhh, not so much. I upped the GABA to 1 cap twice a day, and on Monday after taking the 1st capsule, I was a complete and utter space cadet. I felt disassociated from my body, discombobulated, unable to focus on any one thing, and at some times, like I was floating.

It lasted pretty much the entire working day. 'Perhaps my health is declining?! What's happening.. what's the main change I've made recently??'...

I read more about the effects of GABA and came across brain-blood barrier permeability information, and bam... yerp, it's gotta be the GABA doing this. I took one last capsule before bed last night, in case it might help me sleep better (or something). And wow. Just.. wow. My brain felt like it was ... well, I don't know what it felt like, but it was deeply unpleasant and unsettling. My extremities felt a bit tingly, but that's not uncommon... the sensations happening in my skull, however. WTF.

I've had to call in sick to work today. I think I had about 4hrs of restless sleep, and most of the rest of the 10hrs lying down with my brain doing... whatever it was doing, and me being unable to do anything (because 'resting!'). My brain still feels like it's ... whatever it was doing, but after a bit of food, flaxseed capsules, magnesium, zinc, Vit B and CoQ10 supps, I'm feeling a bit more balanced.

TL;DR I tried taking GABA and whoa it made my brain feel really not-good!

I'm now hugely conscious of my weakened brain-blood barrier (BBB) permeability. I'm also even more certain I have leaky gut (when I get around to 'testing' for that). No more GABA til I figure out more about my general systemic issues with my BBB! I'm looking forward to my appointment with Discovery CFS next week too... work takes a lot of my mental energy, so I need direction and help with a treatment plan, at least to start with.
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  1. lafarfelue
    Thanks for all the responses. I don't know if you are all notified if I post in the comments, but I'm commenting anyway :)

    The GABA didn't help me sleep and it didn't really make me feel simply 'spacey' or what I'd call high. ? I felt so wired and physically uncomfortable/ agitated, and yet my brain function felt a combination of muffled and inflammed(?) that at one stage I was counting down minutes to help me focus on reaching a point where it wasn't so bad anymore :\ Any sleep I did get was snatched fitfully towards the morning as the GABA wore off.

    I'm interested in strengthening my BBB once I've got a couple of other things underway, so thank you for the magnesium info. And I've never ONCE had any kind of cheese dream... :'( and I'm a fiend for all kinds of cheeses! I've always wanted to experience them, but haven't. Curses ;)

    Will check The Mood Cure information shortly, thanks for the link.
  2. Chelby
    Since GABA slows your nerve firing, I wonder if it slows down your executive functioning when you take it?

    I took a large dose of topiramate once, with increases GABA and I got hyperrealistic, super tasty, lucid dreams. Topiramate also makes you dopey and dumb, it'c called the barbie drug because models use it to lose weight and it makes you dumb.
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  3. GreenBlanket
    Blue Cheese is actually high in GABA. There is actually something called 'Blue cheese dreams" which I have experienced when I've eaten alot of Blue Cheese. Maybe lay off the GABA supplement and try a little Roquefort Cheese.
    Additionally, you should know that current research demonstrates that Magnesium ions are helpful in maintaining and possibly improving the Blood-Brain-Barrier.
    lafarfelue likes this.
  4. Still alive and kicking
    Yeah GABA is the brain's way of saying... chill out, slow down... nothing to see here... slow down the firing of those nerves... yeah all of them... You probably induced about 1% of what it feels like to have a stroke (there's a great TED talk about that in the top 100). Some websites call it a "GABA high"

    Baclofen, a drug, is used to intensify this effect (presumably to help your endogenous GABA-A/B in opposing too much nervous energy) so if you also take that for some reason or other, it would've added to the space out.

    Personally, I need small amounts of GABA intensification because my nervous system is way too overactive. I used to think I had adult ADHD or something. But then I was like, "How did I get it?"
    lafarfelue likes this.
  5. Chocolove
    The brain neurotransmitters may have been thrown off balance by too much GABA. Check out amino acids in "The Mood Cure" and this article: http://www.holistichelp.net/neurotransmitters.html
    Lots to learn. Be wary of too much of anything.
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  6. adelheid55
    Well, GABA helps me sleep together with other meds. But I only take it in the evening one hour or so before bed, 1500 mg. But I don't know about my BBB...
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