5HTP : Does this work

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by wishingtree, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. wishingtree

    wishingtree New Member

    I have just read a GREAT BOOK by Michael Murray on 5HTP and first time have gained some excitement about an FMS remedy for years....... but is it another con?

    It is a natural seratonin producing substance that speaks of research giving it thumbs up for reductions in depression, insomnia & FMS.

    ANy sucessful users with good/bad results?


  2. CAAnnieB

    CAAnnieB New Member

    Hi Rick,

    While I wouldn't say that 5 HTP is a total remedy for FM; it DOES help boost our low Serotonin levels and help with some Fibro symptoms. I've been using 300 mg 5HTP before bed for the past few years. It seems to help me relax & fall asleep. I also take Valerian before bed & I believe the combo of these 2 are very effective in aiding my sleep.

    The only warning I would give about 5 HTP is that you can not take it if you are already taking an SSRI antidepressant medication. Taking both could raise your Serotonin level TOO high causing nasty symptoms. (Extreme anxiety, insomnia) But if you aren't on an AD med., it's a good, natural sleep & depression remedy!

    I remember when I first started taking it; my Holistic Dr. instructed me to start at a low dose & gradually work my way up on the doseage.

    I hope that you have success with trying this supplement!

  3. elsa

    elsa New Member

    I have gotten alot of useful information from one of his books ... "The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicine". It is laid out in such a way as to prevent opinions being used as gospel vs science.

    5-HTP is an amino acid ... precurser to the neurotransmitter serotonin, that has been studied extensively .... It is a safe and very effective supplement ... Although I classify it as a med.. ....

    DO NOT USE with any SSRIs, TRI ADs or other supplements that influence serotonin without a doctor's (probably integrated or ND)supervision. Too much of a good thing can lead to serotonin syndrome ...

    It was very helpful to me early on with the "fibro headaches" .... In fact it is listed as an aid against headaches in general. It is also effective for weight loss if you take it on an empty stomach.

    Some reference books have it listed with a low safety rating but that was due to a manufacturer contamination problem several years ago and not to 5-HTP itself. The isolated problem has long since been corrected ... I guess for legitimacy reasons they still mention it.

    It is listed as an effective part of a fibro treatment plan for several reasons : It's serotonin induced sleep benefits, It's serotonin replacing benefits, and those fibro headaches I mentioned earlier. Just for fun ... It also is a good thing to take for weight loss depending on how you take it.

    In regards to sleep disorders, serotonin will impair or reduce the REM sleep stage. This is a good thing if you also have depression as many depressed patients have too much REM sleep. It's a bad thing, if like me, your sleep study shows zero REM sleep.

    That's why I stopped taking 5-HTP or any other substances related to serotonin or REM sleep. I mention this as the majority of studies will show 5-HTP as a remedy for fibro induced sleep disorders, but it will make some of us worse ... just do you own due diligence I guess.

    As for 5-HTP being THE remedy for fibro, I have to say not exactly. As a good part of an overall plan for fibro remission I say absolutely .... For most people that is.

    I have read a few things by Dr.Murray .... I think he has some good ideas. He is also pretty strong on bio-identical hormones and balancing the HPA axis.

    For me though, I prefer an Integrated MD ... one who uses all the tools available ... that includes the big, bad pharmaceuticals (LOL) out there too. What can I say ... I want it all!

    I hope this helps .... I am thrilled you are feeling positive again about treatment options. Remission is a very real thing and possible .... I think you are on the right track.

    Take care,

  4. tandy

    tandy New Member

    and I may have asked a few months ago~ ???( fog,..can't remember) :)
    I've had 5htp jotted down as one of my possibles to add.
    I guess it even helps with IBS. ?? so I've heard.
    I think you start out at 50mgs-100mgs.?

    I gotta pick some up next time FM allows me outside.
    good luck~
  5. urge2soar

    urge2soar New Member

    If you decide to take this supplement, which is commonly taken with grape juice prior to bed, please be aware of any changes in your emotional state.

    5HTP seems harmless enough, and really helped me with sleep. Over a period of time I became very depressed...VERY...unlke anything I've ever experienced. The only thing I was doing differently was using 5HTP nightly.

    I stopped the 5HTP and my mood lifted. A visit to my doctor confirmed that it had caused an overload of serotonin in my body (per my symptoms), and in his words..."you were lucky to have figured it out". Yes, I was...

    It is not a cure, but does help many people. Just know that it can cause serious reactions in SOME people.

  6. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    Personally, I prefer Tryptophan for one main reason. When you take 5-htp the body has no "braking" mechanism in the conversion from 5-htp to seratonin and so it's easy to get too much seratonin by taking 5-htp. However, if you take Tryptophan the body can regulate the conversion of tryptophan to 5-htp and consequently to seratonin depending on how much your body actually needs. We'll that's the theory, in reality I'm sure some do better on 5-htp than Tryptophan and visa versa but it's something to keep in mind while you experiment.
  7. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    I Second everything said by Spiritsky, and was going to say:

    Something I think is BETTER, is L-Tryptophan, an amino acid. This is my longterm sleep aid. MUST take with B-6 so Seratonin will be converted in the BRAIN and not in the INTESTINES. This is for both 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan.

    Another great product is REST & RESTORE (from FFC). It contains GABA (acts as neurotransmitter to CALM brain), melatonin, L-Threonine, scullcap, 5-HTP, passion flower, valerian, chamomile. GREAT STUFF. Could get these items separately.

    I do take Doxepin 10 mg. at night with the above, and has been approved by 2 doctors.
  8. kbak

    kbak Member

    I heard one doc on the radio that said, if your going to take only one thing, 5htp is it. I take it and love it. it has really helped me tremedously even out my moods. I'm not having mood swings, and it helps with my sleep. I use to take SAMe, but this works way better.


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