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Old 04-20-2005, 01:14 PM
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5-HTP


At the beginning of March, when I went for my annual physical, as usual, my doctor made the pitch to put me on an antidepressant. She's been determined to talk me into this since 1998 and I've always said no. It's not that I haven't felt down but I believe that when there are logical reasons for being depressed, there is no point in covering up things that need to be worked through.

However, this time, she gave me a lecture about serotonin - said that when a person is stressed or anxious or depressed, the body doesn't produce enough serotonin and, without enough serotonin, the brain can't function properly. That made sense to me since stress is my biggest seizure trigger and, when I got home, I did some research into alternatives to an antidepressant to raise serotonin levels.

Came up with 5-HTP and I took it for the first time on March 5. It has now been six weeks and I can't praise this natural substance enough. I sleep better - dream more vividly - wake up with tons of energy (that's a new one for me!) - and feel just wonderful about everything. This supplement has given me a renewed confidence in myself and my ability to do anything that I put my mind to.

I've been riding my horse alot and, since it's spring, he's spooking at everything. Last year, if he spooked, I would get nervous and that was the end of the ride. This year, if he spooks, I tell him to stop being such a jerk and we continue on until I'm ready to go home.

Since I started to take 5-HTP, everything wonderful in the world seems possible! I can't help but think that this has to be something that would be a great help in seizure control. It's been 14 months since my last seizure so it's hard to tell but one thing that I do know is that I haven't needed a valium for panic/anxiety attacks since I started the supplement. I haven't gone this long without a valium in over a year. If you haven't tried this supplement, it really is something that you should look into. It really has done wonders for me!
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Old 04-20-2005, 02:52 PM
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That's great Lindy! Stacy is also taking 5-HTP (on the advice of her doctor) and has also noticed more vivid dreams. I think the quality of her sleep has improved since she has been taking the 5-HTP.

Here's some interesting info on 5-HTP:
Quote :
Some studies have shown that doses of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a building block of serotonin, leads to improvement in patients with some types of action myoclonus and PME. However, other studies indicate that 5-HTP therapy is not effective in all people with myoclonus, and, in fact, may worsen the condition in some patients. These differences in the effect of 5-HTP on patients with myoclonus have not yet been explained, but they may offer important clues to underlying abnormalities in serotonin receptors.
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/m..._myoclonus.htm
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:13 AM
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That's one thing that I wonder about with 5-HTP - does it really make me feel better and more able to deal with things or am I just getting such a good quality sleep that being better rested is the cause. I don't care which as long as it continues!
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:31 AM
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5-HTP, Serotonin, Melatonin


The Wikipedia has some good info on 5 HTP, serotonin and melatonin. Basically, the body uses 5-HTP to create serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is used to produce melatonin. The advantage of taking 5-HTP versus the end products directly (via the digestive tract) is that the end products cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier, so they are less effective:
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Serotonin taken orally does not pass into the serotonergic pathways of the central nervous system (CNS). This is due to the blood-brain barrier preventing serotonin in the blood stream from affecting serotonin levels in the brain. However, the amino acid tryptophan and its metabolite 5-hydroxytryptophan, from which serotonin is synthesized, are capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. These agents are available as dietary supplements and may be effective serotonergic agents, though their efficacy is questionable.
Here's another page that lays it all out:
Quote :
Tryptophan is an amino acid (L-Tryptophan), one of the building blocks of protein, but unlike some amino acids, Tryptophan is considered essential because the body cannot manufacture its own. Tryptophan plays many roles in animals and humans alike, but perhaps most importantly, it is an essential precursor to a number of neurotrans- mittters (Serotonin being one of the most important) in the brain. As such, Tryptophan is the only substance that can be converted into Serotonin. Since Serotonin, in turn is converted into Melatonin, which has been shown in several good studies to assist in sleep, Tryptophan clearly plays an instrumental role in balancing mood and sleep patterns. Tryptophan may also be of some benefit in the treatment of some psychiatric disorders.

...

The conversion of Tryptophan to Serotonin is a two-step process. First, Tryptophan is converted into 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan, or 5-HTP, and then 5-HTP is, in turn, converted into Serotonin. This is the process by which Serotonin is produced from food. Foods highest in Tryptophan are Tofu, Most Soy products, Black-eyed Peas, Black and English Walnuts, Almonds, Sesame Seeds, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Gluten flour. In studies of sleep deprivation, poor eating habits appear to have a direct effect on not only the duration, but the timing of sleeping patterns.
From Tryptophan to Serotonin to Melatonin
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:45 AM
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One thing that my internist told me about serotonin was that stress, anxiety and depression lessens the body's ability to produce serotonin. That's why prescription antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. I would think, if gluten flour is a major source for l-tryptophan, that those with gluten intolerance would be automatically told to either increase their soy and nut intake or to take 5-HTP. At this point, I don't care why or how the stuff works. All I know is that IT WORKS!!
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:08 PM
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I'm sorry to say that this was not my magic answer like so many of you found it to be. I so wish that it was. I started having more seizures as soon as I started taking 5-htp and beta. Although I can say that my headaches let up for the short time that I was taking it.
I'm at a loss
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:20 PM
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Sorry to hear that Elisa. What is 'beta'?

I don't think there are any 'magic answers' to a complex condition like epilepsy. How much 5-HTP did you take and at what time of the day?
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:50 PM
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I was taking 50mg a night.
Beta is for healthly skin and hair, I ment to say Gaba sorry.
E
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:57 PM
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Just something to keep in mind,
The 5HTP is a natural form of Prozac, and Prozac can induce seizures
My first neurologist told me to stay away from it but I took prozac for 6 years with excellent results. It's a loooooong story.
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Old 05-14-2005, 05:06 AM
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Some people who had had no success with 5-HTP have found that SAM-e works for them. I tried SAM-e and it did nothing for me, while 5-HTP was an answer to a prayer. The reasons that each of us has seizures are as individual as we are. That's why no one drug/supplement/method works for all. Wish that it were different but it isn't.
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Old 05-14-2005, 07:40 AM
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Dear Lindy,

You can almost ditto your statement word for word for those that suffer TRD (Treatment Resistant Depression) too. I too “Wish that it were different but it isn't.”

Thanks for your valued points. [moderator edited]

Your observations are right on the money and that is the reason each of us in our own way search for the optimal efficacious treatment regimen(s) with the least tolerable side-effects to control, stabilize and obtain long-term remission of the respective illnesses.

Warmly,
Herb

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Old 05-14-2005, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Birdbomb :
Just something to keep in mind,
The 5HTP is a natural form of Prozac,
oh, that would make total sense now why I had more seizures! Can't take prozac or any of them for that matter, without having more seizures.( and i have tried a few of them)

I have to be very careful with what I can put in my body, doctors have yet to figure me out. There really isn't any stong tied to all the things that I know make me have seizures.

I'm self medicating myself again this days, ( yes, even my doctor knows that I do it) And I have made it 3 days without a seizures this week, so i'm getting there.

Thanks for the help guys
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Elisa :
... I have made it 3 days without a seizures this week, so i'm getting there.
That's good to hear Elisa. I hope you figure yourself out.
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:31 PM
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Ok. this is a huge brake through, I got my period today, and no seizure yesterday!!!!!!! That never, never happens. That is the one seizure that I can count on each month without fail.
:P
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Old 10-09-2005, 06:12 AM
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Treatment Update


Well, I wanted to keep you all updated on my use of the suppliments approved by my doctor. I was going to start a new thread, but saw this one and decided to just add on here.

I've been using the 5-HTP, snce the end of August, so it has been nearly 6 weeks. The first few weeks I could tell something was going on as my sleep pattern was improving and I was finally able to begin recalling my dreams again. I wasn't up getting up 3-4 times at night and seemed to generally be sleeping much better.

Now, at the six week mark here are my own noticable changes: my attitude is much better, sleeping through most of the night, my ability to handle stress has improved(trigger), and people who know me comment that I am looking much better and want to know what I've been doing, the feelings of complete exhaustion are finally disappearing too, and the severe cramps during my monthly visitor seem to have essentially stopped. That is a surprising side effect as I normally get pretty debilating cramps, perhaps having the right balance of brain chemicals is helping the ole brain send out the right hormone instructions for the first time in years. I do find if I miss any of the other suppliments the effectiveness of the HTP seems diminished slightly.

The ability to reach the REM state is critical in being able to relieve depression. Dreaming is the bodies way of dealing with stress. If one isn't able to dream if affects your feeling of well being. The HTP seems to have given me back my ability to reach REM and dream. And for me and my type of seizure it seems to be a good thing.
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Old 10-09-2005, 07:00 AM
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Isn't 5-HTP wonderful? I've been taking it for six months now and the results are astounding. Did you know that serotonin is taken up into the brain during REM? So I guess that all of the years that we weren't really dreaming well, we were serotonin deprived. Not only am I sleeping like I haven't slept for years and dreaming the most unbelievably vivid dreams but I have energy that I had forgotten could exist. I went through the change almost 20 years ago because of Dilantin so I don't know about any cramp relief but it has boosted my sex drive!
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:57 AM
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Supplement information?


Dear Lindy,

I would appreciate if you’d care to share some information with me. In quickly reviewing some of your postings and that of others, I read of your use of supplements but I do not see the dosing (quantities and time of day).

I would be interested in your current treatment regimen.

Do you or anyone else reading these forums incorporate Chromium picolinate into their treatment regimen and if so would you care to also share you’re dosing (quantities and time of day)?

Lastly, from your experiences would you care to recommend brands and places to purchase that have met your satisfaction?

Thanks.
Herb

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Old 10-11-2005, 11:05 AM
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I buy all of my vitamins and supplements from Puritans Pride (http://puritanspride.com/). Good prices and very highly rated by Comsumer Reports. In the morning, I take a multivitamin, 500 mg magnesium, 500 mg taurine, 30 mg CoQ10, 1000 mg flaxseed oil and 50 mg 5-HTP. In the evening, I take 100 mg B complex, 500 mg magnesium, 500 mg taurine, 1000 mg flaxseed oil and 50 mg 5-HTP. It certainly has worked wonders for me! Do you have Prescription for Nutritional Healing?
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:08 PM
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Dear Lindy,

Thanks for your offering. In the 42 years my spouse has been challenged by her illness (Major Depression) we ventured through many treatment options both Holistic and Medically advised and for the most part unsuccessfully. Currently we’re reconsidering some older approaches as adjunctive therapy to her primary therapy with the addition of some supplements to try to also alleviate a recurrent headache challenge.

As you may already know I do advocate for all treatment options. What is important to me as the support person is the end result. Her illness, being as dynamic as it is, requires constant vigilance and tinkering when necessary to maintain the control, stability and long-term remission we constantly strive for.

Once again, thanks for your sharing it is much appreciated and I do follow with interest your wellness and that of others with much interest especially paid to the treatment approaches one takes. There are many commonalities to be drawn from Epilepsy and Major Depression.

Warmly,
Herb

Joyce’s Treatment Regimen

Medication Quantity Dosage
Aspirin 81 mg tablet 9 AM
Vitamin E 400 I U capsule 9 AM
B-50 Formula (Folic Acid) tablet 9 AM
Fish Oil 1000 mg capsule 9 AM
(Omega 3 Fatty Acid)
Magnesium 250 mg tablets 9 AM
Chromium picolinate 200 mcg tablets Bedtime
5-HTP 100 mg capsules Bedtime
Prempro 0.45 mg/1.5 mg tablet 9 AM
Zetia (Ezetimibe) 10 mg tablet 9 AM (Cholesterol)
Lisinopril (Zestril) 20 mg tablet (1/4) 5 mg 9 AM (Blood pressure)
Alendronate (Fosamax) 70 mg tablet Every Sunday morning
Effexor XR (Venlafaxine HCl) 75 mg capsule 75 mg Afternoon
Trazodone (Desyrel) 100 mg tablet Bedtime (Sleep)
Clonazepam (Klonopin) 1 mg tablet 1 mg Bedtime (Sleep)

VNS Settings
Output Current (milliamperes) 2.25
Signal Frequency (Hertz) 25
Pulse Width (microseconds) 130
Signal On Time (seconds) 60
Signal Off Time (minutes) 3
Magnet Current (milliamperes) 0
Magnet On Time (seconds) 7
Magnet Pulse Width (microseconds) 500
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:23 PM
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Dear Lindy,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the head’s up on the Puritans Pride information. We obtained a considerable savings on the 5-HTP over our purchases from GNC retail store.

Once again, thanks and thanks for your sharing.

Warmly,
Herb

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