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BRAIN FOG: What has helped?

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by dannybex, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    Hi Heapsreal,
    I don't know what you'll make of this, or if it helps with your question, but despite my high carb diet, I have to take 1.5 grams of L-tryptophan at bedtime and another 1.5 grams at about 3 am to prevent panic attacks in my sleep that turn into a heart rhythm problem called PSVT. I take a drug for PSVT prevention, but it doesn't work too well without the L-tryptophan to boost it, and, as you can see, I take a LOT of L-tryptophan. I have had my serotonin level tested, and it was at the very bottom of the normal range.

    I took GABA for quite awhile, but it didn't do much, since it has trouble crossing the BBB. 5 HTP almost killed me. Nobody with any heart problems should ever take it.....it's vasoconstrictive action is too strong. I have 3 leaking valves and high blood pressure, and as a result I ended up on a heart monitor for a month after trying 5 HTP. I have no trouble with my large dose of L- tryptophan, however.

    Speaking of almost killing me, that's what the usually recommended high protein, low carb diet did. I became so weak, I could not even walk across a room. I had to go around the edges of rooms and lean into the wall to stay upright. The mailbox might as well have been in Timbuktu. I would hold onto the fence to get down the driveway, but then I had to walk about 10 feet in the open to get to the mailbox and couldn't do it. I was nauseated, had zero energy, and after only a couple of months of trying it, my gallbladder went nuts and had to be removed, even though I'd had no previous problems with it.

    That caused a cascade whereby I developed a precancerous condition called bile reflux gastritis . L-glutamine helps that, but I must take 2 drugs for it also and they don't work very well. Then my pancreas just quit making enzymes, and I am at the mercy of a sales rep who is sneaking me free enzymes, because they cost $1,100 a month, but we are not quite poor enough to get help with the cost. OTC enzymes are not nearly strong enough. The enzymes still require you to eat very low fat and they put tons of weight on you, causing more health problems. This pancreas problem takes 20% off life span.

    All of that was because I let doctors talk me into going against what my body has told me to eat all of my life, ie. a high carb, low protein, low fat lacto-vegetarian diet. I trust my body now, not doctors. I know many of you feel better on high protein, low carb and that's great. My point is that doctors are not always right and the body is not dumb....it's a brilliant miracle. Also, the gallbladder is not a "useless organ" as docs try to tell you. 40% of people who have it removed will have problems ever after, and everyone who has it removed has a 10% higher chance of bowel cancer. Sorry for getting off the subject, but I don't want anyone else to end up like me.

    klutzo
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    hi klutzo,

    the theory is that tryptophan when taken at the same time as other protein foods/amino's it has to compete to get to the brain and manufacture serotonin etc so eating carbs one still has to take trypto but doesnt have to worry as much about having to compete with other amino's, the way around this if on low carb diet is to take trypto away from other protein sources.

    Many people can feel sick and low in energy the first week of low carb diet mainly because of its diuretic affect, that is u pee alot as your stored carbs decrease as carbs are stored with water, this can cause electrolyte imbalances but mainly low potassium. a way around this is to make sure u eat plenty of green veges and or potassium supp or use salt. Once through the first week or 2 then this doesnt become a problem. if one gets a sweat tooth on a low carb diet then glutamine is good for this as its used quickly by the brain for energy just like carbs would be.

    If gaba supps dont work try taurine, it apparently cross the BBB more easily and is converted into gaba there. I have found it has a slightly calming affect. I never got much from gaba either. taurine also helps keep potassium in the cells so could also help alot if one was starting a low carb diet, if not on low carbs but one has a problem with fluid retention then taurine can help with that as well, but i dont have any personal experience with that but worth a try??

    I suppose some people just cant tolerate low carb diets and need more carbs to function on. But i think in general if people cut back on processed foods and eat more natural foods, its always a good thing??
  3. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    Hi heapsreal,
    I tried two different low carb diets for two whole months. I just can't do it. I also must fight my gag reflex to eat animal flesh, and I've been that way all of my life. My parents didn't know what to do with me, since they were definitely carnivores.

    However, I eat mostly whole carbs, and tons of raw veggies and fruits. I always consume my protein food first at meals, so my pancreas gets fooled into thinking it's not getting a lot of carbs and does not overdo the insulin release. I also make sure I get a teaspoon of cinnamon daily, which is equal to a dose of Metformin for blood sugar conrol.

    Dark green salads with beans or Greek yogurt added for protein and plenty of extra veggies and antioxidant spices with no dressing are the mainstay of my lunches and dinners. For breakfast, I alternate undenatured whey protein with a green drink powder added to make shakes with whole grain cooked cereal with added raw nuts and berries sweetened with stevia and added cinnamon on alternate days.

    I am not eating junk except for one daily treat, and then it's likely to be dark chocolate, so it's not all bad. Since I am considered to be terminal at this point, I refuse to give up having a treat . I am going to die anyway and have known that since 2007, so I am cool with it. I am ready to go home.

    I am glad the low carb diet has worked for you. I do think it's better for most people, esp. the 75% of us who have some tendency to be insulin resistant, and most esp. the 25% who have major tendencies that way. One way to tell is if you become a vegetarian like me and gain weight right away. That is a strong indication of a predisposition to insulin resistance, a major concern with high carb diets.

    My only concern with high protein diets for those who do well on them is that it wears out the liver and kidneys earlier, just like it does in animals, from the difficulty of digesting all that protein. But, every diet has it's drawbacks. I am well aware that my diet increases my risk of heart attack and diabetes. However, I vastly prefer a quick heart attack or cardiac arrest to slow and torturous pancreatic failure!

    May you live long and prosper! :)
    klutzo
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    low carb diets are really about controlling insulin, but like yourself if u function alot better on carbs then thats good and it sounds like your eating very healthy and low GI. foor me i cant really tolerate much of carbs at all even low gi stuff. I have pretty crappy insulin sensitivity.
    Most people on low carb diets, although they say its high in protein arent really that high that it would cause liver and kidney problems. I think i eat between 100-150grams of protein a day, my liver function has always tested good and i have eaten this way for along time. Some bodybuilders though eat 400-500grams of protein a day which is alot but i would think most of them that get liver/kidney problems are probably due to high intake of oral steriods?
  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I tested deficient on the trace mineral lithium (nearly nil) so have been taking lithium orotate pills for a year now. Unfortunately Ive noticed no benefit at all in any of my symptoms with it but I know quite a few at this site have found it useful for their mood issues. (Unfortunately it dont work for my severe PMS moods nor my insulin caused moods either).
  6. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I didn't notice any difference until I skipped it a couple of different days. Then I felt worse. I think the benefits can sort of creep up on us.
  7. Wifi123

    Wifi123 Senior Member

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    I've been taking a Multi-vitamin, B Complex (organic), CoQ10, Krill Oil, Spiriluna, Sea minerals, and Melatonin daily. I do notice it also if I should miss taking my tablets for a few days, as I completely forget to take them.

    Since taking Melatonin, I have noticed that when I awake during the early hours of the morning, I am able to get back to sleep, where before I would lay there counting sheep. And some nights I may have a good four hours sleep before i disturb.

    At the moment I am having a weekly shot of B12, to see if it will help my burning and tingling feet and ankles.

    I have been suffering my illness since 1969.
  8. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    AAAUUGH. Yes, of course I meant gaga. oy...

    I'm not sure about your second question...but I believe serotonin has a lot of influence in the gut as well. I've tried 5htp and tryptophan and they just made me worse (and 10 years ago was put on several SSRI's with disastrous results) -- but everyone's different, has different imbalances, etc..

    I gotta go fix that typo. :)
  9. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    Electrolyte balancing is the single most important factor in controlling my brain fog. Other than that, keeping inflammation down is very helpful also.
  10. Wifi123

    Wifi123 Senior Member

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    So what is the electrolyte balancing? From my research I discovered that the pineal gland is one thing that affects the brain, and the end result being brain fog. My illness is debilitating, but not from inflammation. What do you do to keep your inflammation down?
  11. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    I try to balance my electrolyte intake. I also take some anti-inflammatory compounds, including enzymes, antioxidants aso.
  12. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I read recently that Theanine and 5-HTP can reduce excitatory responses which can be caused by cortisol or glutamate. I assume Tryptophan would work also since it's a precursor to 5-HTP.

    I'm not sure what helped for me. Until 3-4 months ago I was making a recovery in a lot of my symptoms, but I was taking many supplements and also limiting activity and getting plenty of sleep (10+ hours a night). I think Ginkgo was helpful, but I find it stimulating now and I'm concerned that since it increases blood flow to the brain it could move mercury there (I haven't really found much evidence supporting this theory however so I might try taking it again at a lower dose). If ginkgo is too stimulating, you can try vinpocetine which functions the same way by increasing blood flow to the brain. I have heard of some people having bad experiences with vinpocetine, but I don't remember the specifics. Coenzyme Q10 administration increases brain mitochondrial concentrations and exerts neuroprotective effects. Resveratrol, grapeseed extract, and Pterostilbene also increase blood flow to the brain so they might be helpful. I was also taking certain adaptogens such as ashwaghanda, reishi mushrooms, and gotu kola which can be good for brain function. Also various things for inflammation such as gamma tocopherol, fish oil, resveratrol, and holy basil. Holy basil is another adaptogen and it also lowers cortisol. Phosphotidylserine also lowers cortisol and is supposed to improve brain function. Acetyl l carnitine is also good, but I find that too stimulating also. If you have low cortisol you could either try lecithin or lecithin derivatives such as phosphatidyl choline, citicoline, or alpha gpc. I'm not sure, but some of these might work synergistically. Rich actually recommends lecithin in his Revised Simplified Methylation Protocol (August 25, 2012 Revision):

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...ation-protocol-august-25-2012-revision.19050/
  13. Wifi123

    Wifi123 Senior Member

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    Hi Lotus97,

    You said: "but I find it stimulating now and I'm concerned that since it increases blood flow to the brain it could move mercury there (I haven't really found much evidence supporting this theory however so I might try taking it again at a lower dose)", which I found interesting, because since I began my supplement taking my brain fog appears to have become worse, and I don't know if it's a cleansing process of the Spiriluna, or as you said the movement of mercury. I had all my amalgam dental fillings removed because of mercury leeching into the system from those fillings.
  14. Wifi123

    Wifi123 Senior Member

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    I'm taking EKO crystals at the moment, because I believed that my body fluid state was acidic. I have no idea if they helping,
  15. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I try to be careful in assigning cause and effect and as I said I don't really have much evidence to back up my theory. Ginkgo does increase blood circulation however which can be a double-edged sword for detoxification. Increasing circulation releases toxins (not just heavy metals, but also things such as toxic chemicals stored in tissues and possibly spirochetes from Lyme) which then can be eliminated from your system. That might be good for a healthy person. Chiropractors actually advertise that their adjustments release toxins and some people use skin brushes to increase circulation in an attempt to remove toxins. However, people with chronic illness tend to be extra sensitive and attempts to detoxify can be counterproductive in general. When I've gone to a chiropractor I've gotten worse and same with periods where I've tried detox baths or was exercising a lot.

    Sometimes people have the opposite effects with different supplements and prescription medication and it's unclear why although sometimes it depends on the dose. One example is Magnesium Threonate which is supposed to be good for brain fog, but some people have reported that it actually increases their brain fog.

    You could try Vinpocetine which works the same way as Ginkgo. However, some people using that have reported increased brain fog, but that might be for different reasons. Here's a link to a thread discussing it:
    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/23457-vinpocetine-ditch-it/
  16. Wifi123

    Wifi123 Senior Member

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    Hi Lotus,

    There are so many antagonisers in my area that I live, so it's really hard to establish a treatment. I do believe that the antioxidants I have injesting are probably helping to eliminate, but in the process there are side affects, or that is, I hope that is what it is.
  17. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    In one of my previous posts I mentioned some lecithin derived acetylcholine precursors. I found some new information that might be useful about acetylcholine precursors and also something else that increases acetylcholine in a different way called Huperzine A . This person is just sharing their own personal experience so this might not be true for everyone, but it's something to keep in mind.

    Little Bluestem likes this.
  18. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I haven't tried this myself as I prefer to buy ingredients individually, but this looks like a good supplement. Wouldn't be good for someone with low cortisol however. Would probably also be good to start out with one tablet at a time since Acetyl-L-Carnitine can be too stimulating for some people.
    http://www.iherb.com/Pure-Essence-BrainEssence-60-Tablets/41930
  19. overtrain

    overtrain Medical Mafia needs to die via this virus.

    ZINC. 1st thing in the a.m. Helps chase my fog. Potassium in Coconut water. Himalayan salt. Gingko. Yogi Tea, various kinds. =)
  20. physicsstudent13

    physicsstudent13 Senior Member

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    I've had terrible brain fog for years and finally I'm cured it seems with lecithin/phosphitadylcholine and NAC. what is citicoline?
    I also take acetyl carnitine and alpha GPC sometimes, the plain choline didn't cure me at lower doses. the fog seems to be related to sleep apnea and I need to sleep on an asv machine. I feel like my clarity is better at night as though my body takes time to generate neurotransmitters. I also take sam-E. did I have a choline or acetylcholine deficiency along with my fatty liver disease and low testosterone? some people may benefit from neuromind, ginko+phosphitadylserine but this didn't cure me
    I feel really tired some days and I take high dose vitamin D 15k/day, clomid (but I only take it 3 days at a time) you have to be careful since it can destroy your vision. and vitamin B, coq10. coq10 seems help energy and palpitations?

    the great thing about supplements seems to be that they don't have some of the dangerous side effects of prescription drugs. like I was put on acarbose by this bad endocrinologist when I had liver damage recently and acarbose causes hepatitis so berberine is probably better.

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