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Lessons from ME/CFS: Finding Meaning in the Suffering
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Poor gut function, excessive brain firing and severe OI

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by Zuriel, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Zuriel

    Zuriel

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    Wonder if these 3 symptoms are inter-related? I'm taking klonopin and lamotrigine (anti epileptic), yet there seems no end to the brain firing, OI and poor digestion.
    Any idea why these occur?
  2. Francelle

    Francelle Senior Member

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    Can you clarify what you mean by 'brain firing'? I'm not sure how that expresses itself!
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    The poor digestion probably isn't related to the other two symptoms, beyond all three of them likely being ultimately caused by glutathione depletion.

    Klonopin acts by enhancing GABA's ability to inhibit neuron firing, and probably helps to counteract excess glutamate that is likely to accrue in people with ME/CFS. However, it doesn't look like it does anything to reduce the high glutamate level itself (some drugs and supplements will actually convert glutamate into GABA).

    Lamotrigine inhibits the release of glutamate (so it stays in cells where it can't cause neurons to fire?), but may also inhibit GABA somewhat.

    I have no idea how klonopin and lamotrigine are interacting with each other in their overall effect on glutamate ... are they prescribed by the same doctor?

    If klonopin and lamotrigine aren't helping with overstimulation, you could try asking your doctor about trying Lyrica instead, which helps get rid of the glutamate by turning it into GABA. That might be more effective than inhibiting or blocking glutamate.
  4. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Hi ..

    I have celiac disease with seizures so the gut problems and seizures are from gluten.

    I was on klonopin for 16 years but was able to give it up after being off gluten, and othertoxins, for 7 months. I had no idea this was going to happen. I just noticed that I felt like a zombie during the day and once I started weaning myself off klonopin, I was ok again.

    There is info on the web about other foods that contain a high amount of glutamate causing seizures too. Personally, I'm only familiar with gluten connection but you'll probably find others on the web who have found a dairy, msg, soy, etc connection.

    Sun Theanine works as well as klonopin did for me. If I get exposed to gluten, I need it to control my myoclonus.

    Fwiw. I'd try eliminating all possible triggers, foods and chemicals, esp caffeine, asap to see if it helps. My gp had me do this and I stoppeed feeling jittery or like I was buzzing non stop within 24hours. I was doing great but I think I screwed up when I added caffeine, including chocolate, back into my diet .. I really was an xchocoholic when I chose my username. :eek:

    Tc .. X
  5. Zuriel

    Zuriel

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    Valentijn- Yes, both Rivotril (Klonopin) and Lamictal ( Lamotrigine) are prescribed by the same doctor, together with melatonin (contains GABA) and 1500mg of L-Glutamine.
    Do you or anyone know if L-Glutamine is a form of glutamate?

    Francelle- 'brain firing'. The brain cells get very excited or what they call excitatory neurotoxicity? I can't rest and feel like throwing things or punching someone. It's very scary.
    I feel my face burning hot, yet body feels cold.
  6. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Glutamate combined with an enzyme (glutamine synthetase) can form glutamine. Glutamine is essential in a lot of useful processes, and looks like it doesn't have the neurological impact that glutamate does. But it's a little weird to supplement it, since your doc seems to have figured out that you have too much glutamate, rather than too little.

    Maybe he's assuming the glutamate build up is due to a lack of the enzyme that converts glutamate to glutamine, and deducing a glutamine deficiency from that. Glutamine is also used a lot in the GI tract, so maybe he thinks your GI problems are caused by a glutamine deficiency. That would explain why he's trying to suppress glutamate in various ways instead of reducing it by turning it into GABA, to avoid a further presumed glutamine deficiency.

    If you have both ME/CFS and too much glutamate, the origin of the problem is much more likely to be a problem converting homocysteine into cysteine. I haven't heard of any glutamine synthetase deficiency problem in us, which doesn't mean it doesn't exist :p It sorta sounds like glycine can inhibit glutamine synthetase somewhat, and since we're also likely to have an excess of glycine maybe we do have trouble producing glutamine.

    Bah, neurotransmitters make my head ache! In so many ways :p

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