The power and pitfalls of omics part 2: epigenomics, transcriptomics and ME/CFS
Simon McGrath concludes his blog about the remarkable Prof George Davey Smith's smart ideas for understanding diseases, which may soon be applied to ME/CFS.
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ALCAR and Anxiolytics?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Prefect, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    I'm currently looking for ways to reduce my severe anxiety and am using anxiolytics (valerian for now and deep breathing for now, etc, and may move on to bigger weapons such as Klonopin soon if I get in deeper trouble, any pharmaceutical suggestions would be appreciated, doctor wants to put me on Fetzima (any input on this med?)) to slow down my head. I'm in serious trouble with this and was pondering having myself admitted yesterday.

    But I've also decided to use ALCAR for its neuroprotective properties, as I feel the year of shear anxiety I've had is atrophying my brain. Today I took my first doze, we'll see how it goes.

    Is this a counterproductive daily combination? ALCAR is a stimulant and I'm wondering if it will counter the "silence my head" approach I want to take to get better. Or is it a good idea because it'll reduce neurotoxicity due to chronic anxiety.

    I've already tried HIP's approach (I tried NAG, curcumin, flax seed oil) and hasn't worked for me. Still taking NAG though and will be.

    I need to pull out the big guns on this, and really fast. I'm having difficulty organizing thoughts and carrying out daily tasks, and beginning to lose touch with reality.

    Should I mix daily ALCAR with anxiolytics or is it a bad idea?

    Thanks,
     
    ScottTriGuy likes this.
  2. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Prefect - if at all possible, I'd stay away from prescription meds. None of us are deficient in any drugs and almost all of them cause unwanted negative effects. You don't want to have to go through benzo withdrawal.

    Here are some things which can help with anxiety:

    omega 3 fatty acids (people low in omega 3s are prone to depression and anxiety) (http://www.livestrong.com/article/390161-how-does-omega-3-help-with-anxiety/)

    lithium orotate - I've been taking 5 mg. (quite a low dose) for several years (not nearly the dose used for bipolar) (http://www.life-enhancement.com/magazine/article/2785-lithium-promotes-longevity-mood-and-love)

    5-htp - helps the brain to produce serotonin - much safer than prescription ADs - I take 150 mg before bed, it also helps with sleep

    Avoid MSG, a neurotoxin. Also vitamin C can help get rid of excess glutamate.

    I don't think there should be a problem mixing ALCAR with anxiolytics.
     
  3. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Prefect - also, niacin can be very calming. It sensitizes or stimulates the GABA receptors, and taken with l-theanine and/or GABA, can help. Niacin makes me tired if I take it during the day (it is used to slow down methylation) but it has been very helpful for sleep at night - I take 500 mg before bed and most in the middle of the night. Because of your anxiety levels, you might do well with it during the day. Just start with a small dose, say 100 mg., and see what happens.

    I found that plain niacin, the kind that makes you flush, works best for me. I don't think non-flushing niacin has the same effect. Also, don't get extended-release niacin as that has been associated with liver damage.

    (as a side note, it's also lowered my cholesterol!)
     
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  4. Marigold7

    Marigold7 Senior Member

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    You don't want to have to go through benzo withdrawal.

    Amen to this. Too me a year to get off benzos and for 15 years afterwards I had crippling episodes of one sided facial neuralgia that no pain killers touched; three days each time of bed with hwbs etc. Also they were giving me suicidal thoughts. A UK group called Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction were a stalwart support. They take joy away too.
     
  5. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    I will not necessarily be using a Benzo. BTW I thought people here swore by Klonopin...? I'm not even sure my doctor will let me have a benzo, she's an SNRI merchant through and through and has been hellbent to put me on one. I'm not sure how an SNRI would help with anxiety but I'm desperate enough I might let her. Anyways I was on Fuvoxamine (SSRI) for 20 years until 3 months ago when it stopped working. If I can find one that'll work only another 20 years I don't mind.

    I'm using low octane sedatives like Valerian and 5 HTP. I have no problem falling asleep, I just wake up at 5 am and everything rushes back to me and I don't fall asleep.

    I just want to know if ALCAR is counterproductive to calming my head, or is it a good idea because it's neuroprotective?
     
  6. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    What do you take during the day? My anxiety is worse during the day.

    Also, I've read research that says L-theanine is only an anxiolytic if it's with caffeine, does your contain any?
     
  7. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I think all the things I mentioned above could help you with daytime anxiety. And, if I were you, I would try some niacin during the day. It doesn't make everyone tired. It might work for you, there's one way to find out.

    I've never heard that l-theanine only works for anxiety if it's combined with caffeine. Actually I've never heard of combining it with caffeine period. I bet the combo of niacin and l-theanine would be calming. l-theanine is supposed to cross the bloodbrain barrier, unlike GABA, although we do have GABA receptors in our gut and elsewhere where it can be helpful.

    I just thought of one more thing, your can take it during the day and at night if you like: Relora - it helps lower cortisol and can be calming as well.
     
    Learner1 likes this.
  8. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    You might want to look at my original first theory on the cause of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which focused on the role of ammonia in anxiety. Like glutamate, ammonia is a substance that can potently activate the NMDA receptor. My theory is that GAD is underpinned by NMDA activation, and I think any substance that can activate NMDA receptors in the brain might cause anxiety.

    Ammonia can be produced by a number of bacteria, so certain bacteria in your gut or stomach (or in your kidneys if you have a chronic UTI) may be making ammonia and causing your anxiety. Ammonia in the blood enters very readily into the brain.

    Supplements such as ornithine, arginine or citrulline, in doses of around 5 grams, detoxify ammonia, and thus if your find such supplements reduce your anxiety levels, then possibly your anxiety might be caused by high ammonia. I find myself that all three of these supplements are notcably anxiolytic.


    The other theory I had for the cause of generalized anxiety disorder was that brain inflammation and microglia activation, which pumps out a lot of glutamate, is constantly activating the NMDA receptors and thus causing anxiety symptoms. My hunch is that NAG, turmeric and flaxseed oil reduce brain inflammation, which reduced glutamate levels in the brain, which then reduced anxiety, and detailed that on my threads: Completely eliminated my severe anxiety symptoms with three supplements! and Non-Standard Anti-Anxiety Treatment.

    But high ammonia levels may be another cause of NMDA activation and anxiety. Or some might have both high glutamate (from brain inflammation) and high ammonia (from ammonia producing bacteria).
     
  9. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    Hip,

    Argininie, citrulline, and the other one...

    Do you take them all together?

    With or without food?
     
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    It depends on the severity of my anxiety on each particular day. Nowadays my anxiety levels are much better, and I don't take that many antianxiety supplements. But in the past, when my generalized anxiety disorder hovered between moderate and severe, I would often take up 10 different antianxiety supplements (from my list of 29) to try to quell the anxiety on severe days.

    I found arginine pyroglutamate to be a good form of arginine to take, as this crosses the bloodbrain barrier more easily than other forms. And I would often add to this some citrulline malate. Then I would apply transdermal magnesium cream applied to skin once or twice daily, to block the NMDA receptors.

    And I would take lots of other supplements like NAG, turmeric, flaxseed oil, vinpocetine, high dose vitamin A, etc.

    I also found that nasal and sinus congestion and inflammation would worsen the anxiety, and used to inhale warm steam from a boiling kettle into my nose to clear the congestion (not getting too close to the kettle, otherwise the steam is too hot). This I found would help reduce the anxiety.

    Severe generalized anxiety disorder is living hell, and your entire day is spent trying to combat the horrendous symptoms.



    What level of anxiety would have say you have, out of the mild, moderate, severe and panic levels, which are defined on page 243 of this document:
     
  11. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    These supplements you take for ammonia clearance did you notice in effect immediately after?
     
  12. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    What I mean is if ammonia is the problem you should notice a difference in a few hours if you take the supplements right?
     
  13. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    I just took 500 mg and arginine and 250 mg citrulline. My blood pressure is normally 100/70 and I carry the herpes virus as shown by anti-body titres but almost never get cold sores. How much should I worry about this stuff?
     
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Low doses like that are unlikely to have any noticeable effect. I buy these amino acids in bulk powder form (in 500 gram or 1 kg quantities), from places like purebulk.com, www.bulksupplements.com and www.nutraplanet.com, and then take doses in terms of heaped teaspoons (1 heaped teaspoon is around 5 grams).

    The effects of all the supplements on my list of 29 kick in within an hour or two, I find (except inositol, which takes around 12 hours to kick in). Amino acids are best absorbed on an empty stomach.

    The only exception to these heaped teaspoons doses is when you take arginine intranasally, in which case your snort around 100 mg of powder. I found intranasal arginine pyroglutamate to be just as effective as a taking a heaped teaspoon orally, probably because it gets into the brain faster. And in fact, in the case of intranasal arginine pyroglutamate, I noticed that the anti-anxiety effects kick in after around 20 minutes. Don't snort anything acidic into your nose though, as it will sting.

    There is a post about snorting arginine pyroglutamate here.



    Don't know, you'll have to consult Google. I sometimes get cold sore outbreaks when I take high doses of arginine for a few weeks (though I found you can prevent that by topically applying some herpes antivirals like resveratrol and zinc to the lips).

    Intranasal arginine shouldn't be an issue, because the dose is very low.
     
  15. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    So something interesting happened after I took arginine/citrulline.

    I was expecting low blood pressure due to vasodilation, which I know fully what it's like; heavy limbs, feet feel like an entire swimming pool is wanting to burst out of them, drowsiness. But that's not what happened.

    The following is what happened, which is something that happens to me around 7 pm every 3-4 nights or so. After a whole day of emotional dullness, heavy headedness with disorganized thoughts, dark depressive anxiety, pressure in my left temple, and droopiness in left eye, I get a sudden ringing in the ears, dizziness, veins sink in on my forehead and limbs, all my muscles tighten up, and I get really stupid and lightheaded for about half an hour. Shockingly near then end the muscle tension moves to the right side of my head and my right eye gets droopy. And my nostrils gets constricted with extremely swollen turbinates (no nasal discharge, so I think it's vascular rather than histamine).

    But here's the kicker: After this all settles, I actually feel my mood lifted and thoughts become more organized and I become more positive and higher functioning for the rest of the night.

    Any idea what the hell this could be? I'm wondering if it's an inappropriate serotonin surge (dizziness could be due to serotonin's vasoconstrictive property) that actually changes my cerebral blood flow pattern and makes me feel better once it settles? I need to understand this because it could hold an answer to all my problems.

    And any idea why arginine/citrulline could have caused one of these episodes? Unless it was a coincidence, but I'd still be curious as to what the hell this is, because as frightening as the onset is, I tend to have my overall condition (especially mentally) improve after it.
     
  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Hard to say, but it sounds like you might want to proceed cautiously in testing these supplements. Have you taken them before?
     
  17. Prefect

    Prefect Senior Member

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    Nope. Keep in mind I get that effect every couple of days anyway.
     
  18. tudiemoore

    tudiemoore Senior Member

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    Have you seen a doctor or any/other health professional more recently?

    Without beginning a medication, even if recommened, losing touch with reality
    might be worth a look.

    Hope you are better very soon--

    tudiemoore
     
  19. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    @Hip , would NAG be beneficial for people with a lot of dopamine? Thanks
     
  20. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I don't know what effects NAG would have in that area. When I used to experience some mild psychosis symptoms (which I think may have been related to my severe generalized anxiety disorder), I found NAG would help treat this mild psychosis. Schizophrenia is linked to high dopamine.

    Ornithine is contraindicated in cases of schizophrenia.

    If you want to reduce high dopamine, then a dopamine system stabilizer like amisulpride would work: see Amisulpride — A Multipurpose Drug for ME/CFS.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017

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