For Annie, and anyone who might be interested in this, below is the original blog post I did as a summary of the ‘nutritional regime’ I sorted out for myself last year.
To give a bit of background – I had been taking Cymbalta for about 18mths at a low dose for my Fibromyalgia, then when stress hit after a car accident, this was increased to 90mgs per day. It DIDNT HELP. In fact, I suffered increasingly frequent and worsening migraines, and despite meds for this (topirimate) I had approx 3 months of hemiplegic migraine symptoms.
I decided very suddenly to stop taking Cymbalta (duloxetine) after I was taken to A&E feeling suicidal and realised that I wasn’t going to get any proper help from the NHS – I was too rational, basically. Not crazy enough.
DO NOT suddenly stop taking your regular meds like I did. PLEASE. I went through an absolute nightmare of withdrawal symptoms including hallucinations. I found I was ok again on a 30mg dose, but from there, it took weeks to finally reduce the Cymbalta enough so that I could safely introduce the amino acid 5-htp and that enabled me to finally stop the last bit of Cymbalta.
The ‘considered medical opinion’ seems to be that you can stop Cymbalta over a very short period at worst. But a very quick search online using the key words “Cymbalta withdrawal” revealed one website with over 14 MILLION hits, and there are forums chock full of people who are evidence that withdrawal from Cymbalta should be SLOW, because it is not easy.
People who had to open their prescribed capsules and remove ONE GRAIN at a time so they didn’t suffer withdrawal and could still function. I ended up halving my capsules. Then halving them again. The final 5mgs was an absolute bugger to come off.
I even found an archived FDA paper about the withdrawal problems, giving details of their own web searches on it’s withdrawal. I wish I still had the link, but it is out there if you want to hunt it down.
Amino acids are naturally occuring proteins found in food. There are a lot of them, and the names can get confusing, but basically, amino acids are precursors – or building blocks – our body needs to produce other vital substances.
As far as mood disorders are concerned, medication treats neurotransmitter imbalances within the brain. BUT – most anti depressant/anti anxiety drugs only treat a tiny number of neurotransmitters. Yet there are many neurotransmitters involved with mood.
Different amino acids are needed to create different neurotransmitters. So, it makes perfect sense to me, that if you have an imbalance with dopamine (a neurotransmitter) then you can improve that by providing your body with sufficient amounts of the correct amino acid (L-Tyrosine for example) that your body uses to create that neurotransmitter.
Your body also needs Vitamin B6 to do this.
Please also note that my regime changed over time. Actually, by the end of November I had pretty much stopped taking ALL the amino acids because I felt I no longer needed them.
I stopped taking the 5-htp (precursor for seratonin) that I was taking for sleep, because I found it started to make my heart race. However, I will use it again if I need to. Levels within your body will naturally ebb and flow.
You have to listen to your body, be aware of your moods and how you are feeling. And believe me, it was astonishing to realise just how much more aware I was once I stopped taking the meds. Drugs are not always good medicine.
If you are considering self treating, go and visit the website I detail further down fefore you do anything else. Do the assessments on there. I spent HOURS online finding this stuff out, and it wasn’t even for myself, originally. If I had known the right search terms, and found that website sooner, I would have saved myself a lot of time LOL
One of my friends is successfully using amino acids alongside anti-depressants, because it is for a different neurotransmitter than the meds treat. She also found that buying a cheaper brand resulted in less benefits. Hence why I use the brand I do.
I also recently found out (like 3 days ago) that the medication I have been using for my terrible insomnia (Zopiclone) which is in the same group of drugs as Ambien, works on GABA, the amino acid I was taking last year. As you can see from my recent posts in the last week I have been having terrible trouble sleeping again. I was getting maybe 5 hrs total sleep in each 24 hr period. Last night, I took a GABA pill – and got 5 and a half hours solid sleep. And yes, I do feel better for it this morning 😀
I am not affiliated in anyway to the brand or to the website I offer for info. This is purely personal experience I am passing along.
Here’s my post from last year………………………Annie, I hope this all makes sense 🙂
Originally posted October 2014.
I have been asked about the amino acids I use for my depression, so I thought I would do a summary post about what I take, because it involves more than just amino acids.
Before I go into the details, please remember I researched this long and hard. Just because it works for me, does not mean it is suitable for you. Even nutritional medicine has contra-indications. Also, if you are already taking anti-depressants, find out exactly which neurotransmitters that drug works on and how. Because you absolutely do not want to be taking a supplement that increases that neurotransmitter at the same time as your drugs.
Once I had all my research done, I discovered there is a book with masses of information on this subject and I advise you to read it.
The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
There is also a website Mood Cure Website with questionnaires you can do to help narrow down which neurotransmitters you need to boost.
Also do your research if you have PKU, high blood pressure, thyroid disease.
Ok, here is my list:
In the morning, on an empty stomach:
· DLPA 500mg capsules by Solgar
This is a combination of amino acids the L and D form of Phenylalanine.
This (L form) acts as a pre-cursor to dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. It (D form) also acts as a natural pain reliever and so is very useful for fibromyalgia or other types of chronic pain.
· L- Tyrosine 500mg capsules by Solgar.
This amino acid is the pre-cursor for dopamine and also contributes to the making of thyroxine, the thyroid hormone.
· Flaxseed oil by Solgar
I take 3 of these a day, one with each meal. It provides omega oils 3,6,9. I use the flaxseed oil because I am allergic to fish. But a fish oil will provide omega oils probably more cheaply.
Basically, your brain needs omega oils to function properly, for effective utilisation of neurotransmitters.
If you are coming off anti-depressant drugs and experience “brain zaps”, omega oils will drastically reduce that nasty side effect of withdrawal.
· Vitabiotics for Hair, Skin and Nails.
This is an extremely high strength vitamin and mineral supplement. I chose this one because it has 600 and 800% of rda for B vitamins, which the amino acids need in order to be used by the body.
So it’s an essential supplement if you want the amino acids to work.
I also selected this one because it doesnt contain vitamin k, which helps blood thicken and clot.
At about 6pm:
· GABA 500mgs by Now Foods
This has a naturally calming effect on your nervous system and I found it also helps my over – tight FM muscles to relax a bit.
About 3 hrs before sleep (this varies from person to person apparently so you will need to experiment)
· 5 htp – 300mg
This is the pre- cursor for the neurotransmitter seratonin and is available from lots of companies online. I use Live Well Health Management on ebay, a UK company because their 5htp ONLY contains 5htp. Other brands often contain herbs such as valerian to help you sleep. I didn’t want that, hence me buying from this company.
And that’s the lot!
I know, it does look like a lot of stuff to take, but it is spread out over the day, and prescription drugs had done nothing but cause me more problems.
Expense wise, it would be a lot if I bought them all at once, but I didn’t. And the bottle of GABA for instance contains 100 capsules, so that works out to about £1 a week/£4 a month.
The Solgar amino’s have 50 capsules in a bottle so its almost 2 mths supply. It balances out nicely.
I hope this proves useful for you. But please, take my cautions at the start of the post seriously and do your research and take into consideration any medical problems you already have and any medicines you already take.