Increasing GABA naturally

Messages
14,601
Likes
33,456
Location
Second star to the right ...
I’ve taken your advice on board and I’m increasing my magnesium until my bowel says ‘enough’. Once I’ve done that I shall see where I’m at. Cheers.
@SmokinJoeFraz93
Please, please do remember what, for me, was the critical detail: except for bedtime, when I took 100 mgs of mag gly along with a small dose of melatonin to help me get to sleep, I USED 50 mgs EVERY HOUR TO PUSH BACK AT THE ANXIETY / PANIC ATTACKS, AND THAT'S WHAT WORKED FOR ME. NOT A FEW LARGE DOSES THRU-OUT THE DAY.
 

Asklipia

Senior Member
Messages
999
Likes
1,397
@Asklipia
Have been trying to screw up my courage and try Bacopa for its both anti-anxiety and memory benefits.
This I wrote a few years ago :
- Brahmi, the herb used, as its name suggests, in India for chess-players and intellectuals who want to stay on top, and to prevent Alzheimers. I take 350 mg a day of the dried leaf.This is Bacopa monnieri. In the first few days it gives all kinds of detox symptoms in the lymphatic ducts of the head :)rofl::rofl:), and soon produces juice from the ears, pimples on jaws. I understand from this that this is targeting something that lives in the head. And that you are more clever without whatever it is.
I feel well and have stopped taking it after a few months. I cannot recommend a brand because I just bought it in India from a local herbalist.
Be well! :angel::thumbsup::angel:
 
Messages
194
Likes
300
Location
United Kingdom
NOT A FEW LARGE DOSES THRU-OUT THE DAY.
Yes, I take 100mg every hour to try and get up to 1200mg daily. I’ve heard you can take 5 times your body weight. I also read that Dr Mercola takes 2000mg daily or he advises to take between 1-2g’s daily. So far my bowel has tolerated taking 100mg hourly very well.

What’s fascinating to me is that hard exercise can cause magnesium depletion within just 12 weeks, and I believe the hard exercise I took part in (training twice a day five days a week) was the trigger to my CFS.

I also have a few symptoms listed for magnesium deficiency. I don’t think my doctor has ever tested for magnesium. Do you know what the safe upper limit of magnesium is? And is there a way you can test accurately for magnesium levels? As I’m aware that 90% is in bone?
 
Messages
14,601
Likes
33,456
Location
Second star to the right ...
The method I use to get more magnesium across the skin is spraying the skin with a completely saturated Epsom salt solution. When I make up my Epsom salts solution, I use two mugfuls of Epsom salts in 750 ml of water (that is about the maximum amount of Epsom salts you can dissolve in that volume of water).
That sounds intriguing, and when I have less fatigue I’ll try mixing up a batch ….. right now, it’s like building the Great Wall ….. by myself.

So all these herbs may help reduce anxiety, assuming the anxiety is caused by chronic brain inflammation and the glutamate such neuroinflammation produces.
It was being discussed specifically for use against excitotoxicity without distinguishing between glutamate excitotoxicity and neuro-inflammatory reactions from chronic brain inflammation, which makes it harder for me to figure out which source / cause was creating my reaction

I appreciate that a small subset of people may react badly to MSG (getting headaches, etc), and some may get panic attacks. Perhaps that's what you experienced?
No, I don’t think so. I’ve used multiple MSG-type products in cooking for the last 25-plus years, from naturally fermented soy sauce to mushrooms to tempeh to miso with absolutely no ill effects til the ME started, and I think that’s the primary connecting factor. It’s not uncommon for those with ME/CFS to have this kind of glutamate reaction, and I’m definitely not alone in this. There’s a connection somewhere.

On the other hand, I hope you weren't unduly fearful because of all these Internet articles that try to portray MSG as the devil incarnate? Sometimes you get this hearsay fear mongering online, and then these sort of hysterical articles can cause anxiety just by themselves.
Please. I ain’t that simple. I believe little that I read from internet sources until I can back it up with deeper research or personal experience, particularly input from bloggers and anyone selling something, including a personal ideology.

The main difference is that PD occurs in short intense bouts of anxiety and panic, whereas GAD tends to involve continuous levels of anxiety.
I’ve already outlined the intensity and duration of the attacks I was dealing with in my previous osts to ya’ll, so won’t flog that tedious horse again I really don’t know which it is, but my money is pretty much on GAD, due to the extreme duration both of each attack and the time span over which they occurred. And I tend to focus more on getting them to stop, which I’ve had excellent success with, so far.

Agoraphobia sounds more like panic disorder, as you often get this in PD. I never experienced any agoraphobia with my GAD.
We’re all different, and your expression of this crippling symptom will, per force, be different in varying ways, including the absence of it, from mine or John Doe’s or Jane doe’s, etc etc. And the things that “fix” it or heal it will also vary, though some things may be standard for all. Agoraphobia in both PD and GAD isn’t entirely uncommon, so you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t experience this particular, rather nasty effect.

Note that 500 mg of inositol is a tiny dose for serotonin purposes; the doses used to boost serotonin are up to 15,000 mg (15 grams) daily, which is around 2 heaped teaspoons. It's only at these high doses that you might notice anti-anxiety effects.
I agree that it’s almost micro-dosing, but at one time, in conjunction with melatonin and a tart cherry cap, along with a healthy dose of mag gly, it helped me sleep. That benefit disappeared with the onset of the ME

SSRIs can often lead to adverse effects though like emotional flattening and sexual dysfunction. So high-dose inositol is a safer option.
Totally agree …. high dose inositol is infinitely preferable to anything in the SSRI family. I wouldn’t touch an SSRI again if it came attached to a large annual annuity, several vacation homes in locations of my choice, a Bentley with a chauffeur, and my own private jet.

How are you dealing with some of the other aspects of ME/CFS?

I’m finding the repeated episodes of fatigue, not quite bad enough to qualify for full-blown PEMS (those leave me flat on my @ss for anywhere from 1 to 4 days, useless to man or beast) or necessarily always connected to overexertion, but debilitating nonetheless, are unpredictable and hard to handle.

They leave me exhausted and brain-dead, zombified and pretty much supine for great chunks of a day, sometimes the whole day, but they have a different resonance from full-blown PEMS.

The headaches and head pressure, also intermittent, seem to be less frequent and debilitating., but they still appear suddenly and with no warning, sometimes from one moment to the next.

The POTS episodes are easier to handle, because I can generally feel them coming on and I just stay still for however long it takes for them to pass, unless I have to literally crawl to the bathroom.

The insomnia and badly intermittent, interrupted sleep are also difficult, and without the inositol and tart cherry (that also turned on me, and I learned that they act on the GABAa receptors and clear thru the same P450 enzyme process that benzos and many prescription sleep aids do) to give a gentle boost to the melatonin and mag, the sleep effect is limited both in strength and scope.

The severe muscle pains and spasticity seem to be getting better, probably the disciplined mag gly dosing, and the bone and joint issues also seem t be receding somewhat.

All in all, it’s a pretty full plate.

I’m crashing badly right now, so I’m going to totter off now, and thank you again for your previous input re all this shite.
 
Messages
14,601
Likes
33,456
Location
Second star to the right ...
So don’t take calcium, is that right?
I skipped it for almost a year. Started taking small amount of calcium a few weeks ago and so far, no bad repercussions.

You might try cutting calcium for a little while to get the mag leels up and then re-intro it in small amounts and check your reactions ....
 
Messages
4,306
Likes
4,916
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
For GABA, you might look into the herb kava kava, which increases the sensitivity of the GABA receptors.

However, another approach is to focus on reducing glutamate levels, as glutamate has the opposite effect to GABA (GABA relaxes neurons, whereas glutamate stimulates them). So you can get an equally good calming effect by lowering glutamate as you can by raising GABA.

Since glutamate is produced in high amounts by brain inflammation, anti-inflammatories that target the brain may help. See here.


None of the above may be the source of the sound sensitivity though. For sound sensitivity, I found the French dopamine stabilizer drug amisulpride reasonably effective. See here. This drug works on dopamine D2 and D3 receptors, suggesting that these are involved in sound sensitivity.
do you think that kava kava can actually upregulate gaba or increase its transport? in a significant way in vivo? anyone have experience with kava kava undoing tolerance? Ive been using ativan about twice a week, sometimes only once a week, at low doses usually, and think i'm starting to get tolerant to it
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
16,931
Likes
37,760
do you think that kava kava can actually upregulate gaba or increase its transport? in a significant way in vivo? anyone have experience with kava kava undoing tolerance?
This study suggests kava does increase GABA-A binding site density over time.

I think this is why some people report only noticing the benefits of kava after about two weeks daily usage, when the GABA receptor binding sites have built up. Though I find rapid calming and relaxing effects from kava with an hour or two of taking it.

I also seem to get benefits at much lower doses that the recommended doses, so it makes it economical.

There a whole connoisseur business in the kava world. With most herbs, a herb is a herb; but with kava, the precise psychoactive effect depends on the kava chemotype, with different chemotypes (which come from different countries) producing slightly different results. A chemotype is a number such as 462531, where these numbers 1 to 6 represent the 6 major kavalactones of kava.

Here is the kava kavalactones number code:

1 = Desmethoxyyangonin
MAO-B inhibitor, 1 increases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens 1
Gives mild euphoric sensation

2 = Dihydrokavain
MAO-B inhibitor 1
May be the anti-anxiety component of kava 1
Very sedating. 1
Relaxing/sedating, great for chilling and sleeping 1

3 = Yangonin
MAO-B inhibitor 1
Works the same brain channel as THC, contributes to the good feelings 1
Agonist for cannabinoid receptor CB1, like THC 1
Heady/creative, boosts creative juices 1

4 = Kavain
MAO-B inhibitor 1
Physically relaxes the muscles without affecting the brain (like a muscle relaxant)
Kavain reduces activity of voltage gated calcium and voltage gated sodium channels 1
Known for euphoria 1
Happy/energizing, makes you feel more sociable 1

5 = Dihydromethysticin
MAO-B inhibitor 1
Very sedating. 1
Good for nighttime.
Increases the number of GABA-A binding sites

6 = Methysticin
MAO-B inhibitor 1
Increases the number of GABA-A binding sites (but not as potently)

The closer the number to the beginning of chemotype, the more of that kavalactone is found in the kava. So a chemotype of 462531 has high amounts of kavain (4) and methysticin (6), but less desmethoxyyangonin (1).

If you want to increase GABA-A binding sites, I guess kavas that are higher in dihydromethysticin (5) and methysticin (6) will be the ones to go for.

The chemotypes of commercially available kavas are given here: Short Kava List

Here are some high quality reliable US suppliers that are happy to ship to the UK (kava is banned in Europe, and not all US suppliers will ship to Europe):

Kalm With Kava
Borongoru 241356
Borogu 423615
Loa Waka 463251
Pouni Ono 426531
Samoa
Special Variety Kava Damu 426531
Vula Waka Fiji Kava 462351

Cactus Kava
'Eva 423615
Loa Lawena 426351
Malolo 423165
Ono 423156

Bula Kava House
11 Year Waka Micronized 246531
Borogu 243615
Instant 423561
Leka Hina Private Reserve 423651
Nambawan Kava Powder 423165
Nangol Noble Kava Powder 423561


Here is a review of some of the major kava sellers. Here is a list of certified kava vendors.


Two kavas I have in stock at home:
Borongoru kava 241356
Pouni Ono kava 426531

I buy micronized kava, as that you can just take orally as a powder, swallowing with some water. Regular kava powder you have to brew before consuming, which takes time and effort. So micronized is more convenient.
 
Last edited:

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
16,931
Likes
37,760
What dosage do you find works for you (in mg/g)?
I notice effects at doses around 500 mg of micronized kava. Whereas on the jar of micronized kava powder I bought, it recommends a dose of 2 to 4 teaspoons, with a heaped teaspoon weighing around 4 grams. I've tried doses up to 2 grams.
 
Messages
10,099
Likes
24,445
I used to suffer from a mild level of GAD which was completely manageable. Then some time last year, I started suffering from PD
Here: Panic set in when I was peri-menopausal around 48. That seems to be when much really unraveled for me (the lifetime of fatigue became: this thing that took over and ate my life). I started not being able to sleep and was involved in a very very stressful legal situation at work. So once I was not sleeping the unraveling occured quickly thereafter. So it took me a number of YEARS to figure out this horrible feeling that would take over was a Panic Attack. I even did the thing where you think your having a heart attack. Its so strange how long it took me to recognize what was going on.

so what happened next is: will not agree to participate in the events which trigger the Panic Attack. So then the body refused to go along with any plan to do any thing that would expose it to this risk, I was now are unable to function out there. Agorophobic set in. So thats been going on for a long long time for me. So feeling GAD is pretty easy once all this is happening.

One's insides feel unreliable. Cannot be relied upon. Will the bad thing happen? Yes, mostly it does, contrary to CBT, contrary to Byron Katie, etc etc.

For what its worth: I notice that a tiny bit of Xanax in the daytime will correct the repetitive thoughts moment. The OCD type thing. (A song has been repeating in my head for three weeks now).

I use 0.5mg Xanax to help me sleep. I gave in. Cannot deal with the not sleeping. Very occassionally I might take a 1/4 during the daytime, but not often. So for the last year I have done this. Now i have cut back to 0.25 before bed and I seem to be ok. Not sure if I cut them off if I'd have withdrawals, i hope: not.
 
Messages
194
Likes
300
Location
United Kingdom
3 = Yangonin
Works the same brain channel as THC, contributes to the good feelings 1
Agonist for cannabinoid receptor CB1, like THC 1
Heady/creative, boosts creative juices.
If Kava would sensitise the CB1 receptor, that would be awesome for me as I’m using cannabis daily, but can’t use as much as I like due to cost, so the same ‘dose’ I use daily is having less effects due to tolerance.
 
Messages
4,306
Likes
4,916
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
@Hip I remember enjoying kava before I got sick, and I often use gabapentin or more infrequently ativan to help w me/cfs symptoms, but even though I have good kava (borogu and a couple of the others from kwk) i seem to get weirdly stimulated by it without heavy relaxation. the thing is I mainly want to use it to keep my gabaergic tolerance somewhat low. I wonder if there are other things that actually reduce gabaergic tolerance. could the overstimulation be from alkaloid 1/mao-b?
 
Messages
14,601
Likes
33,456
Location
Second star to the right ...
@Rufous McKinney
Not sure if I cut them off if I'd have withdrawals, i hope: not.
You most definitely will, unless you're either very lucky or have a tough constitution. 1 mg. of Ativan is the equivalent of 10 mgs of Valium/Diazepam.


Benzos are vicious little time bombs, and getting off any of them is a real bitch.

Ideally, you should slowly transfer to the equivalent dose of Diazepam or Valium (insurance usually won;t cover Valium but may cover Diazepam, the generic form), based on the highest dose of Ativan that your system became tolerant to, then taper down AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE from that dose, which would at minimum be 10 mgs. If at some point you were taking 2 Ativan, then calculate your taper on 20 mgs of Valium.

Most all doctors are NOT open to this, it's hard to do and takes a lot of patience and time. THey like to take you off fast., often using a couple of weeks of antiquated tranquilizers. Don't listen to them. Find a taper specialist and ask if he's/she's familiar with the Ashton Protocol.

A cold turkey withdrawal could leave you with waaaaay more problems than you have now, so tread cautiously. :jaw-drop: :woot::woot: :)