1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
ME/CFS: A disease at war with itself
We can all agree that ME/CFS is a nasty disease, particularly in its severe form, but there are abundant nasty diseases in the world. What is unique and particularly confounding about our disease is that so much controversy surrounds it, and not only surrounds it, but invades it too.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Trying 5-HTP

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by anna_o, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

    Messages:
    671
    Likes:
    770
    Canada
    I tried it for a while to help me sleep better. Made me sleepy at night, though not any more rested in the mornings. It also made me really extra moody, though (weepy, etc.). I'm an odd case, though (aren't we all? :rolleyes:). I responded terribly or strangely to regular antidepressants too, so I figure there's got to be something up with my serotonin processing or something. Like everything, I think it's all a bit of trial and error to see what works with your chemistry. My husband's using 5-htp for his sleep, and it's been FANTASTIC for him. He doesn't have ME, though. Low serotonin seems to have been his sleep issue in the first place.
     
  2. anna_o

    anna_o

    Messages:
    18
    Likes:
    0
    That's why I'm only taking it under a doctor's order. I wouldn't advise self-medicating - not even with supplements. My doctor has seen patients on both SSRI or SNRI and 5-HTP. The issue is that SSRIs/SNRIs prevent the reuptake of serotonin - that is, the reabsorption of serotonin, so that there is more for use in the brain. That assumes that there is normal or adequate amounts of serotonin to start with so that levels can be increase by preventing reuptake.

    But if the body is not making enough serotonin to start with, then there isn't much to prevent from reuptake and SSRIs and SNRIs aren't going to be very effective. 5-HTP (and tryptophan) are known to increase the levels of serotonin produced.

    I'm under my doctor's care on this, so am very gradually increasing my 5-HTP dose and am watching for any negative reactions. Also, she is only allowing me to use up to 200mg per day when I get to the highest dose.

    I would love to go off of the SNRI (effexor) as I don't think it is doing anything for me, but it has very nasty withdrawal effects, and right now, I couldn't handle that.

    Best wishes,
    Anna
     
  3. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

    Messages:
    671
    Likes:
    770
    Canada
    I know this is sort of off topic, but I wanted to say that's a crappy situation to be stuck in. Speaking as someone who had a really bad reaction to Effexor and has been through the withdrawal you're describing, I feel for you. Best of luck when you do decide to come off it. I suggest planning a gradual decrease in dose that seems as slow as humanly possible, and then go 100 times slower than that. It was my experience that the withdrawal effects only got worse with time rather than better when I tried to stick it out, so it's worth it to go slow enough that you don't set off anything too bad. You may also want to consider switching to an SSRI that's easier to get off of (people use Prozac for this a lot), and then weaning off of that instead. In the end that's what I had to do (although it still took me forever to get clear of it, but I'm a weird and extra-sensitive case with that stuff). Anyway, I feel for you, and good luck!
     
  4. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

    Messages:
    4,085
    Likes:
    909
    Concord, NH
    I guess I am lucky, I don't have much reactions to drugs either way. Although, I did taper off of this, just to be on the safe side, and my Dr had me on 5HTP for low serotonin. Will see him in a couple of days, wondering if I need to keep up the 5 HTP?

    GG
     
  5. Gavman

    Gavman Senior Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes:
    89
    Sydney
    Sally, what kind of test do you do to check for seratonin? Is this a normal kind of test that doctors do? I'm very interested in doing it as Effexor has helped me with energy, though it could just be i'm so repressed i cant help but have energy.
     
  6. anna_o

    anna_o

    Messages:
    18
    Likes:
    0
    My MD had me do a urine test for all neurotransmitter levels (sent to NeuroScience in WI for processing). This is not a typical medical diagnostic. I have read that urine testing of neurotransmitters is controversial - especially the opinion of traditional MDs - but my doctor says she has had success matching the test results with symptoms and then treating with amino acids that are precursors to the neurotransmitters. My results were that I am low in serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine, glycine, histamine. She started me on the 5-HTP, and next week, I'll start on L-DOPA to increase dopamine, and then probably add other amino acids later.

    Best wishes,
    Anna
     
  7. chloe

    chloe

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    0
    California
    Unfortunately there is no test for serotonin levels in the brain --- what you want to be concerned about is "serotonin syndrome," which can be life threatening. Do a Google search on "serotonin syndrome" and you will find more information than you want. It is caused by an excess of serotonin at central synapses, and certain antidepressants (SSRIs, SSNIs,) lithium, L-tryptophan, and even erythromycin (because of its effect on certain liver isoenzymes) can all add up to cause serotonin syndrome. It spooks me, but there's no test for it -- even once you have it. There are probably cases of serotonin syndrome that go unnoticed.

    Regarding L-tryptophan, it can be a terrific supplement for inducing sleep. I have horrendous sleep problems, and now take 3 grams of Source Naturals L-trytophan. Source Naturals typically produce a superior product, and this is true for their L-tryptophan. It's expensive, but you can cut the cost by half by ordering it through their mailorder house. I also take it with melatonin 30 mg -- again, an excessive dosage. But nothing bad has happened to me, and I need virtually an elephant gun to take me down at night. Again, I use the Source Naturals 5 mg product, which I believe is superior to other forms of this supplement I have tried.

    Even at these high doses I will wake up about 6 hours later. I then taken an additional 2 grams of L-tryptophan, and 4 grams of melatonin. I forgot to say that when I initially go to bed, I also take 600 mg tegretol (for migraines) and 45 mg mirtazepine - an antidepressant prescribed for me by a sleep medicine doc for sleep.

    Since my sleep is so disturbed, I have found it so helpful to consult a sleep medicine specialist. I have had multiple sleep studies, which fit the pattern of distrubance described for CFS patients. I am also prescribed by an anesthesiologist Fentanyl pathches 125 migroams every 48 hours, which has been enormously helpful in dealing with the 24/7 migraines -- however, you can't take LDN if you decide to take Fentanyl, and it does have an effect of suppressing your immune system. However, I have been in such severe pain, it is difficult to imagine living without it. I did try Lyrica recently, but it made me quite ill.

    One interesting take on suppressing endogenous herpes viruses is LITHIUM. There are publications about the use of lithium, most in the older literature - but you would have to have your kidnes function monitored at least once a month. It also is in the pile of drugs that would help induce a serotonin syndrome. Again, there's no line in the sand - just something to keep in mind. I don't believe anyone has tried lithium for suppressing these endogenous viruses, but theoretically, I find it interesting.
     
  8. chloe

    chloe

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    0
    California
    Has anyone tried medical marijuana for sleep? There are now 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana. I have not tried it, and have some professional issues hanging over my head as to why I can't try it -- but in California, it is very easy to get a medical marijuna card. One of the kickers is that the meds are not covered by insurance and can be expensive. I have heard that some of the "edibles" of medical marijuana, particularly of the type grown for sleep are very powerful. But I can't get any of my "straight" MDs to make any comments --- good or bad --- about these medications. Keep in mind the brain has THC receptors, which implies that these compounds are natural and part of our biological syste. There is a growing medical literature, which is fascinating. Reportedly, THC does not react with other drugs, so taking it is very simple --- as opposed to checking for all the drug indirections caused by the laundry list of sleep meds that many of us take. Just thought I'd make this point since I did not see any discussion of medical marijuana here, or perhaps I missed it.
     
  9. chloe

    chloe

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    0
    California
    Sorry for the typeos --- I meant to write -"durg interactions" caused by the laundry list of sleep meds . . .

    I like to type on my computer without my glasses.
     
  10. chloe

    chloe

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    0
    California
    oh well, I guess I should give up and try to go to sleep.
     
  11. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    331
    Southern USA
    I have blood tests for seratonin twice a year and had a saliva test for transmitters also. I will redo that soon.

    Some say you cannot test it all perfectly but like Anna's doc, my docs sure have had great results! I am very happy with how I am doing for sure. I take Norlox and Adrecor in the Neuro Science line.
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

    Messages:
    671
    Likes:
    770
    Canada
    I actually had some really big insights reading through some descriptions of what each neurotransmitter is supposed to feel like. The site I used is here: http://www.enotalone.com/article/4115.html, and the guy goes through dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and GABA. Maybe I should actually post this as a thread of its own. I'm not sure how much good it will do anybody else, but I found it really useful.
     
    dannybex and madietodd like this.
  13. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

    Messages:
    196
    Likes:
    14
    I have terribly low serotonin. Especially during winter. I use 5 htp and also melatonin. Somehow P5p also helps with sleep.
     
  14. Adster

    Adster Senior Member

    Messages:
    563
    Likes:
    222
    Australia
    I think p5p(b6) is required to turn 5-HTP into serotonin.
     
  15. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,243
    Likes:
    562
    Seattle
    Thanks very much for this Sparrow...very interesting. I think it might be a good idea to post it as it's own thread.
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page