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Vitamin C for sleep (seriously!) - ameliorates excitotoxicity

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Mary, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    For me, 1/2 MG of a sustained-release melatonin is just the right amount. I also have the blue blocker glasses, which are helpful, although I have to agree with you, @Kierkegaard, they are not stylish. My husband tells me they make me look like Bono.
     
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  2. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard

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    Well...at least we know Bono's circadian rhythm is pretty great! ;)
     
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  3. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    But how could I go to bed without my makeup impeccably done?! :sleep:
     
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  4. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    Throughout the 80s, 90s and early 2000 I used to have the most frightening panic attacks that appeared to come out of nowhere. As time went on they would wake me up and one of the most common times it would happen towards the end was when out walking with my dog. I remember staggering like a drunk with my heart pounding, pouring with sweat and legs that wouldn't work. I wouldn't wish it on anybody.

    However since taking a cortisol replacement from late 2002 to date and also thyroid replacement I am delighted and more than relieved to say that I have never had a panic attack and never felt like I would. I have zero anxiety these days (I used to be extremely anxious but never knew why) so the issue of low cortisol and possibly a knock on with low thyroid is an often overlooked cause of anxiety and panic attacks. It's all a distant memory for me but one I will never forget and I feel for anybody who is going through this now.

    Pam
     
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  5. bjl218

    bjl218

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    Slightly off topic, but since melatonin has been mentioned a few times in this thread I thought I'd let folks know that I found a fantastic brand that is noticeably better than any other I've tried. This is Melatonin-ND by Pure Research Labs (http://prlabs.com/products/melatonin-nd-trade.html). I learned about it from a post by the herbalist Stephen Buhner. I put just 2-3 drops on the back of my hand and lick it off (yes, really) and I fall asleep very quickly. I've tried quite a few types of melatonin: extended release, sublingual, etc. at various dosages and nothing has worked as well as this very small amount of Melatonin-ND.

    -b
     
  6. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    @bertiedog , would you mind sharing your cortisol replacement. I think I'm going to have to get one. Don't know what to try. Or is it a prescription?
     
  7. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    @Paralee Yes unfortunately nothing worked for me apart from an actual steroid. Originally for 6 months it was hydrocortisone and then my doctor switched me to 5 mg Prednisolone. I now take 6 mg Prednisolone with a tiny bit of h/c if I need to stress dose so I have managed to keep my dose low and have never taken more than 7.5 mg in a day. I think that partly I needed the steroid in order to take the thyroid support that I also needed but both my adrenals and thyroid were hit.

    Pam
     
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  8. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    @bertiedog , thanks for the info, I'm really looking for something besides a steroid, it's hard to take anything after that Cipro reaction, but maybe a steroid can work.

    I don't know the difference between prednisone and prednisolone, will have to look that up.
    Thanks again,


    Paralee
     
  9. Thinktank

    Thinktank Senior Member

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    I too sleep better on vitamin C, that coupled with magnesium malate can really knock me out.
    I take 1gr. liposomal vitamin C some nights, i can't take it daily because i have a feeling it increases norepinephrine.
    Approx. 8 hours after a dose anxiety increases and i feel restless, my eyes turn crazy, my right eye feels like it's going to pop out of the socket. Vitamin C would be great for me if it didn't increase norepinephrine. I'm wondering if there's a way to prevent that.
     
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  10. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    It's about 5 times stronger that Hydrocortison (HC). Tweaking dosis throughout the day is more fussy.

    I cannot think of anything else besides a steroid. I'm on HC myself, 20-40 mg per day.

    The only alternative imho is to support the adrenals: vit C, liver/eggs and a serious reducement of the strain on the body. Talking a measurable Relaxation Response here. Without taking away the physical stressors this could be Gupta Amygdala Retraining. Or Mindfulness. Reverse Therapy. Meditation.
    But then there's still the physical stressor(s) to solve.

    A chronic and structural destressing of the body is absolutely necessery to get by with the amount of cortisol your adrenals can provide you at the moment. I and others have chosen to supplement what our adrenals can no longer provide.
     
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  11. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    Thanks @WoolPippi , I finally got my stress test done last Friday and hopefully will know something more early this week. I know I don't have any thyroid to speak of, atrophied, but I can't seem to keep it adjusted and I'm thinking it's probably the adrenals.
     
  12. Jigsaw

    Jigsaw Senior Member

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    That's interesting, @Mary.

    I'm a big fan of niacin flushing - aside from anything else, the flush indicates you've reached the correct dose for you. I enjoy the prickling, tingling sensation. It does make me go bright red sometimes (more likely on an empty stomach), and the other day I took it before I dragged myself to a physio appointment. My reaction was somewhat delayed, and I ended up flushing right at the end of my session, which must have looked very odd to my physio!

    In relation to your sleep, and what you found out about low blood sugar raising cortisol, niacin will raise your blood sugar. Niacinamide does not raise blood sugar, but neither does it lower cholesterol, which as you've found out, niacin does. I baffle my GP by continuously lowering my cholesterol. They keep lowering the ref ranges, so they can get more people on statins (which I will never agree to, thanks very much).

    Niacinamide has been shown in studies to be as effective as diazepam. Niacin doesn't have the same effect.

    I agree with you absolutely about avoiding timed-release forms of B3. It has indeed been proven to be hepatotoxic. I don't understand how it is still for sale anywhere.

    Also in relation to sleep, the starch in the potato may be helping you to allow tryptophan, another sleep helper, to cros the BBB. All starches will facilitate this.

    Does melatonin work for you? What dose do you find mist effective? I read recently that taking melatonin can cause you to wake up not that long after it has sent you to sleep due to some kind of rebound effect, I think it was a case of the natural production switching off in the presence of exogenous melatonin, and I have to say that that fits with my experience of it. It sends me to sleep, but then I wake up an hour or so later, and stay awake. Because of this, whatever it was I was reading was saying that lower doses are more effective at facilitating an unbroken night's sleep, which would seem to make sense.

    Be aware that if you take chromium, it will eat up niacin and you will need a larger dose to schieve flushing. If you take chromium GTF, which is already pre-bound to niacin, it doesn't eat it up quite as much, though I still have to increase my dose a bit when I use chromium GTF.

    I know there are other mechanisms at work that affect how much niacin you need at any given time, because pre-cancer and pre-increased hydrocortisone, 100mg was enough to make me flush. I used to take it after breakfast, so not even on an empty stomach, and then I'd flush in the car within the first 20 minutes of my 55 minute drive to uni, arriving looking a normal colour..

    Since chemo et al, it takes at least 2-300mg, and more often 500mg. Possibly that could be due to my CFS and FM being exacerbated by cancer treatments. Maybe we have a greater need for it, use more of it up, burn through it faster, I'm not yet certain.

    On 1mg chromium pic, it was taking 1g, which, because of the steroids causing a propensity tiwards iatragenic type ll diabetes (hence the chromium), I had to reduce. Again, the ref ranges for "pre-diabetes" keep being lowered. In 2013, my HbA1C was deemed normal at 55. In 2015, the cut-off point was lowered to something like 45, and my GP scared me silly with the threat of diabetes, and wanted me on metformin - also not something I would ever take.

    Ashwaghanda also lowers cortisol, so that can be useful if you have high cortisol at night. If you're stressed about anything, that will obviously increase night-time cortisol, too, but then things like niacinamide and valerian can be very calming.

    I'm also a huge proponent of Vit C, and have been dosing according to my BIP since the 1990's. Everyone's BIP (Bowel Intolerance Point) changes depending on how many physical, mental and emotional stressors you're dealing with at any particular time, and the greater the stressors, the greater your requirement becomes. Everyone's requirement is different,

    The idea is that you work out your current BIP, then reduce that dose by a gram or two so and use that as your ongoing maintenance dose. That way, you get close to your BIP without actually reaching it. So if, e.g., 9g proves to be your BIP, you'd use 7-8g as your maintenance dose from then on, taken in divided doses each day.

    You can only work out your BIP with straight unadulterated ascorbic acid Vit C. Timed-release would defeat the object of the exercise, and ascorbyl palmitate (fat-soluble) will just store. It has to be the water-soluble ascorbic acid. Fizzy, chewable and tablet formats are things I also avoid. Plain Vit C powder in capsules is what I always use. Powder in water is too sharp for me, but other people get on fine with that.

    You know pretty fast when you've taken enough, usually within about 30 minutes of having just exceeded your tolerance point. It's best to do this on a day where you can avoid eating large meals, because ascorbic acid in these quantities will neutralise your stomach acid and if you eat a normal-sized meal, you won't be able to digest it. Being at home is also a good idea ;-)

    Ideally, you need to avoid taking large doses of Vit C - by which I mean 2-3g at once - an hour or more each side of food when you're maintenance-dosing, but it's best to keep food to a bare minimum or even avoid it altogether when you're establishing your intolerance point. I once rather stupidly took 9g immediately before eating out in a restaurant with a group of people I was on a residential course with, because I was tired and struggling, and mega-doses of C always perked me up. My poor stomach practically exploded with gas. It was painful (and explosively noisy!) to say the least. Embarrassing? Not much!

    When I wasn't doing too badly, pre-2007, 6g would often be my BIP, but when I was struggling with uni work on top of CFS, it would take more like 15-20g. Back in the mid 90's, before my thyroid and adrenal issues were addressed, I once took 45g and still didn't reach BIP. By then it was 2am, so I had to give up for the day.

    According to the BMA, in one of their prescription drugs identifier books, it says that 99% of Vit C goes directly to your adrenals, so that would explain why greater stress means you need more Vit C, and also probably why you've found it so helpful in lowering your night-time cortisol levels, thus aiding sleep. That hadn't occurred to me until I saw your post title about sleep and Vit C (it should have!)

    I'm off to read it now, so thanks for that post, too :)
     
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  13. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Jigsaw - lots of information! ;)

    re melatonin - I take 3 mg sublingual before bed and everything else I wrote about above, and it seems to work okay. But that is interesting what you wrote about exogenous melatonin - I just don't know. Right now I'm having a rough time with sleep, worse than when I did the above post, and am not sure why. I'm trying to sort it out and a few nights ago switched from niacin to niacinamide. It may help a little more, although the niacin at one time was very effective for sleep. Yes, I have read that niacinamide is supposed to act like diazepam. It's a work in progress --

    I'm really sorry you are having to deal with cancer and chemo along with ME/CFS and FM. I did a lot of research several months ago, someone close to me was (and still is) dealing with cancer. I came across some very interesting info re Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and pancreatic enzyme therapy. I'm sure it sounds crazy but it made a lot of sense. Anyways, here's one link if you're interested: http://alternative-therapies.com/at/web_pdfs/S202Gonzalez.pdf

    Cheers!
     
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  14. Jigsaw

    Jigsaw Senior Member

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    @Mary

    Bless you, Mary. I put this in my intro post, but maybe I haven't been clear about it in my other posts.

    My breast cancer struck in 2007. I finished chemo in March 2008, radiotherapy in May 2008. I'm just not very good at clearing toxins, and continued to develop further side effects from chemo until really very recently. I'm not convinced I'm completely chemo-toxin free even now, but I know it's not as bad as it was, because different chemo-related symptoms have abated. Following the methylation protocol at the moment seems to have stirred it all up again.

    Juicing organic carrots daily, plus apples, kept my WBCs up during chemo. I also went dairy free for 18 months after dx, having read Jane Plant's "Your Life In Their Hands". She had breast cancer 5 times, and worked out that it was caused by the oestrogens in dairy products, including lactose in some meds. She removed all sources of anything even minutely containing dairy or lactose, and hasn't had it again since. It's a compelling book. I hated soya cheese with a passion.

    Thanks so much for the link, I'll go and look at it tomorrow, when my brain has decided to join in again.

    Will write again tomorrow, fading fast here......
    Jigs. :)
     
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  15. Jigsaw

    Jigsaw Senior Member

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    @Mary

    Still looking for the info I read about the rebound effect, haven't found the specific paper/article, but this is very interesting, with references, especially if you drink wine:

    https://www.tuck.com/melatonin/
     
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  16. Jigsaw

    Jigsaw Senior Member

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    @Mary

    ...still hunting for that paper, isn't in my files, but I keep seeing 0.3mg as being a better dose than 1,3 or more mg., as here -

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/melatonin-dosage-and-risks_us_56deff8ce4b03a40567a1e1e

    I seem to remember the piece I keep referring to as saying timed-release was the way to overcome the waking-up-in-the-night effect that I consistently experienced when I tried it about ten years (or more) ago. I'm deeply mistrustful of ANY timed-release products, so I didn't progress to testing that theory out.

    Am finding lots of interesting links within the articles I'm finding, the one before this had a bunch that I intend to check out later......just ridiculously tired again today. I haven't been sleeping at all well for a few days, even worse than usual.

    Don't want to sleep during the day, because I feel so groggy when I wake up (my sleep debt is so great that sleeping in the day (which often just happens, I just fall asleep sitting up doing computer stuff or reading, researching, whatever), doesn't even make a dent in my sleep pattern so doesn't keep me awake at night any longer than it usually takes me to want to tuck down.

    My hydrocortisone shouldn't be an issue, because I take my last dose of the day before 4pm.

    C'est la vie.

    I'll get there in the end. Maybe!
     
  17. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    @Mary I've been on a similar sleep cocktail, which seems to need occasional tweaking. It's similar to yours, so maybe you'll find a little tweak that works:

    3-6 mg melatonin
    200 mg Prometrium
    200 mg Suntheanine
    1.5 g glycine
    1.5 g taurine
    100 mg P5P
    100-200 mg phosphatidyl serine
    250 mg GABA
    50-200 mg 5-HTP

    A couple of comments based on comments in the rest of this thread.

    I've been on up to 30mg melatonin for anticancer properties during cancer treatment, and over a certain dose, it didn't make a difference in going to sleep.

    I also did high dose IV vitamin C and learned you can take 100mg that way, while bowel tolerance is lower, so bowel tolerance is just that, but not really a good measure of what one's body actually needs.

    And the reformulated "original" Seriphos is now available. Though I agree that if one has crashed adrenals, it can be counterproductive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  18. Jigsaw

    Jigsaw Senior Member

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    @WoolPippi

    Pred is 4 times stronger than hydro, and it has a much, much longer half-life, too.

    There are charts online that give the equivalent values of all the different steroids that will be informative. If I can find a link or two, I'll post them here. I haven't looked at them for years.

    I know the equivalency of pred and hydro because I've been on hydro since 2000, and at various times have tried pred either instead of, or as a supplement to, hydro. I wake up every morning totally flat, because my last hydro dose is 4pm, and am good for nothing until about an hour and a half after I've taken my morning dose.

    Adding 1mg of pred into my daytime dose of hydro meant I woke up with at least a tiny level of adrenal steroids, so mornings were a little bit easier, but after researching and monitoring my own responses and changes in blood tests, I stopped taking pred completely about 2 years ago.

    Pred has many benefits that hydro doesn't always share, particularly its anti-inflammatory properties, but it also carries more dis-benefits in terms of pushing you towards type ll diabetes due to its greater destruction of chromium (essential for insulin production) and the much greater production of blood sugar via more powerful gluconeogenesis than hydro. So it increases your blood sugar, but takes away the body's ability to manage that.

    5mg pred = 20mg hydro.
     
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  19. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Prednisone and hydrocortisone can both impact immune function, in many cases, suppress it.

    Physiologic doses of HC (up to 25mg daily) can be valuable with crashed adrenals and to support immune function. The need for larger doses might indicate a need to find and treat the root cause.
     
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  20. Jigsaw

    Jigsaw Senior Member

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    @WoolPippi

    Re: adrenal support.

    All of our adrenal steroids are made by cholesterol combining with B5. That becomes Pregnenolone, whuch then splits iff into two distinct pathways, one resulting in cortisol, the other creating oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and some other androgens.

    Glycyrrhic liquorice (licorice) provides effective adrenal support, though it should be avoided if you have high blood pressure as it is well-documented as increasing blood pressure. This is useful if you have low blood pressure, as is common with low adrenal function/ adrenal insufficiency/ hypoadrenalism, but not so good if you already have high BP, whether from meds, supplements, or just naturally.

    B5 in the region of 500mg a day, taken only in the morning (because it increases steroid production, it will keep you awake if you take it at night, or even in the afternoon), will help your adrenals to produce pregnenolone, and thence the other hormones that are made from that.

    Not eating zero fat foods will help cholesterol levels - we make c.600mg a day of this maligned substance, because 1. it is absolutely critical for the structure and function of the walls of every single cell in our bodies, 2. our brains are an estimated 75% cholesterol, and 3. it is the source of all of our adrenal hormones.

    IMHO, the low/ no salt and low/ no fat diets recommended so sidely are quite possibly the very worst thing anyone can do to their adrenal glands. You need both for normal adrenal function.

    As a side note to that, deficient adrenals also kick out more sodium than is healthy, which creates a significant imbalance with its counterpart mineral, potassium. According to a paramedic friend of mine in Cornwall, over 90% of cardiac events are caused by hyperkalaemia, or an excess of potassium IN RELATION TO SODIUM LEVELS.

    The human body is very clever, but it can't measure actual quantities of nutrients, hormones, etc, only the RELATIVE levels of substances that need to counter-balance each other to sustain health and normal function.

    So if you aren't getting much/ any dietary salt, and your adrenals are kicking out whatever you do manage to put in, your potassium will look very high by comparison. (Same goes for oestrogen dominance in women. You can have all the signs and symptoms of oestrogen dominance with even really very low levels of oestrogen, as long as you have even lower progesterone to counter-balance it.) In the case of zero/ low sodium vs low/ normal potassium, the body will see it as an excess of potassium, and think it has hyperkalaemia. Palpitations are a common early warning sign if this is happening to you.

    I believe that at least one of the American low-salt products (Nu Salt? No-Salt?) has zero sodium but a whopping c.600mg per serving of potassium, so if you're in America and using low or no salt replacement products, please, please check your labels!

    If you crave salt, and know you have low adrenal function, it is evidently better for your adrenals to listen to that craving, and to satisfy it by eating salt.

    Salt is one of the best things you can give weak adrenals - again, a caveat if you have high blood pressure.

    Loss of sodium is one of the main reasons why people with poor adrenal function have low blood pressure in the first place. Steroids like prednisone and hydrocortisone will increase blood pressure in everyone who takes them, and if you have high BP from taking hydro or pred (or any of the others) I would be very cautious about eating salt.

    But the bottom line is that if you're craving salt, especially if you're having palpitations typical of hyperkalaemia, you need to increase your sodium intake.

    Vit C - according to a BMA publication about identifying prescription drugs, amongst other things (sorry, I can't remember the title of it, but I certainly remember reading it back in the mid-1990's), 99% of vit C goes directly to your adrenals (vit C also contributes to immune function, probably via supporting the adrenals, and to collagen production). Another very good way of supporting weak adrenal function.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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