GABA Calm..........confusion.........

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by caroleye, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. caroleye

    caroleye New Member

    I've had a bottle of this sitting unopened for a month. Reason being is that if it's helpful for "sleep", why do they have "tyrosine" in it? That's to boost/stimulate. One person posted they used it in the morning for "mood".

    I'm presently using Klonopin to boost my GABA, along w/neurofeedback Gaba brain sites. But I know I still need more.

    Can anyone explain the above?

    Thanks & LIGHT**********carole
  2. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    Here is part of an article that I found on neurotransmitters. It is the part about GABA. You might find it useful.

    GABA: Mania and Seizures to Relaxation and Impulse Control


    Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that is inhibitory, that is, it decreases the ability of other neurotransmitters to work. GABA is involved in our level of excitability. Rather than encouraging communication between cells such as Dopamine, Serotonin or Norepinephrine - GABA reduces, discourages, and blocks communication. This neurotransmitter is important in brain areas involving emotion and anxiety.


    When GABA is in the normal range in the brain, we are not overly aroused or anxious. At the same time, we have appropriate reactions to situations in our environment. GABA is the communication speed controller, making sure all brain communications are operating at the right speed and with the correct intensity. Too little GABA in the brain, the communication becomes out of control, overstimulated, and chemically unstable. Too much GABA and we are overly relaxed and sedated, often to the point that normal reactions are impaired.


    Low levels of GABA are associated with Bipolar Disorder, Mania. With GABA levels below average, the brain is too stimulated. We begin talking rapidly, staying up for days at a time, and develop wild and grandiose ideas. In a Manic state, we are so “high” and out of control that social problems are quick to develop, often due to hypersexuality, excessive spending, reckless decisions, risk-taking behavior, and grandiose ideas. We may feel so good that we think we are a heavenly spirit, an intellectual genius, or possessing extraordinary powers. I personally had one patient who locked himself in his mobile home and spent one week rewriting the New Testament in “hillbilly”. Another, with limited education, began purchasing books on the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein, sensing he may be able to use the information to invent “warp drive”.


    Low levels of GABA are also associated with problems of poor impulse control, including clinical conditions such as gambling, temper tantrums, and stealing. When GABA is low in the brain, impulsive behaviors are not inhibited (stopped) by logical or reasonable thinking.


    Low levels of GABA are also associated with epilepsy or seizure disorders. If we imagine a seizure as a type of electrical storm, the seizure begins at one location in the brain then rushes across and through the brain like a sudden storm. Low levels of GABA make it easy for the brain to develop seizures which is why seizures are part of the withdrawal syndrome for many substances that work with GABA such as alcohol and tranquilizers (benzodiazepines – Xanax, Ativan, Librium, Valium, etc.). Substances that artificially maintain a high level of GABA, when stopped, create a dramatic drop in GABA levels, thus creating the risk for withdrawal seizures due to the chemical instability that is created.


    High levels of GABA produce more control, relaxation, and even sedation. Alcohol works by increasing GABA levels, which is why all body systems are relaxed at first – then sedated to the point of slurred speech, unsteady gait, and foggy thinking. Alcohol withdrawal, or the sudden severe drop of high GABA levels, produce a low GABA level and the possibility of seizures. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines is known to follow the same pattern. Taking forty milligrams of Valium for two years, suddenly stopping all medication, will likely produce a seizure.


    Medications for anxiety create relaxation and a decrease in anxiety by increasing GABA levels in the brain. Alcoholic beverages work in the same manner; the alcohol increasing GABA levels to produce mild euphoria, loss of social anxiety, and other symptoms of intoxication. Excessive intake of benzodiazepines and/or alcohol is extremely dangerous as the high GABA level actually smothers the communication between brain neurons – sometimes to the point of a total lack of communication between neurons – also known as death.


    Medications for seizures, impulse control problems, and Bipolar Disorder, Mania all work by increasing the GABA levels without accompanying euphoria. Lithium and anti-seizure medications all increase GABA into the normal range, thus lowering the possibility of seizures and producing brain chemical stability. As GABA is the neurotransmitter policeman, changes in GABA can influence all neurotransmitters but especially norepinephrine.

    Not sure about the tyrosine. Maybe it is in there to help balance out the sedating effect that GABA can have on the body? Maybe others can help you out with that.

    Take care, Sally

  3. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    What you've got is not for sleep. I take GABA for sleep but, not with Tyrosine. I take Tyrosine separately in the monrning.

    As for Klonapin, it's really not a good idea to take it if you can avoid it. If you are only taking it to increase your GABA then just take GABA. Klonapin is very addictive and you'll have a tough time getting off it.
  4. skierchik

    skierchik New Member


    That's great information!

    Spiritsky - I am alittle confused. Why would you think that's the wrong kind?? I take Gaba Calm losenges before bed and they work great!!. They also contain a little Tyrosine which is an amino acid.

    Thanks,

    skierchik
  5. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    If they work great for you then by all means use them, but Tyrosine can be very stimulating for some people. If I took tyrosine at night I would never get to bed, it really gets my thyroid going and heart pumping.

    I find it better to take the tyrosine in the morning and GABA at night separately. You might want to try it that way - maybe your sleep will get even better.
  6. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    Oh, ok, i looked up what they have in their recipe. There's actually very little tyrosine, just 25mg. So it probably wouldn't effect your sleep.

    I take 250 to 500mg tyrosine in the morning. At that dose, I doubt you would sleep well.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    In and of itself. People often confuse physical tolerance with psychological addiction. Of course, one can become addicted to gambling, chocolate, food, sex, etc., so it is not impossible to become addicted to anything, including Klonopin, but it does a disservice to those taking Klonopin to refer to it as addictive.

    Becoming physically dependent on Klonopin and having withdrawal symptoms when quitting it do not equate to psychological addictionh. Psychologically addicted people will lie, cheat, and steal to get high; they display drug-seeking behavior.

    Those of us taking the Klonopin to help protect the brain's neurons from early death, due to overfiring and misfiring from a lack of GABA, are not getting high on the Klonopin. We may become physically tolerant and have to eventually increase the dose or wean down every now and then. We may have to very slowly wean off if we decide it is time to quit taking it. I am in the process of trying to wean off of it. If I cannot do this without returning to a seizure state, I will know that my brain still needs the Klonopin to function. Living with a constant low-level state of seizure is not only dangerout for our neurons but it can be a living hell of insomnia, racing brain, anxiety/panic attacks, and sensory overload so strong that we literally cannot stand to be out in the light or anywhere with harsh noise and confusion.

    Yes, if one doesn't need Klonopin, it is better not to take it, but some of us need it. It has been a God send for me. If one has problems with addictions, it is not a wise choice of meds. Dr. Cheney has said he has never personally had a patient have problems getting off of the Klonopin when they no longer need it if they wean off slowly.

    We are all different and react to drugs differently. We need to perform due diligence with every drug we take, weighing the potential benefits versus the potential risks. We need good information in order to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, there are many, even docs, who confuse physical dependence with psychological addiction. This can confuse the issue and make it more difficult for us to make informed decisions.

    Love, Mikie
    [This Message was Edited on 04/11/2006]
  8. skierchik

    skierchik New Member


    Thanks for clearing that up for me. Maybe, I should take more Gaba than I am currently. It was suggested by my doc to take tyrosine. I should probably do what you're doing and split them up.

    Skierchik
  9. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    Klonopin is addictive. Yes, some people need it and thankfully it's available for those who really do. I'm only concerned about doctors who prescribe medications and painkillers at the drop of a hat before investigating other more natural approaches to the detriment of the patient.

    Klonopin®, or Clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic attacks and convulsive disorders such as epilepsy. Use of Klonopin® can result in addiction and physical dependence; withdrawal symptoms may occur if the drug is discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms can range from sleeplessness and anxiety to seizures and even death. Tolerance develops when the drug is taken over time, meaning that higher doses must be used to achieve the same effect.

    DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

    Controlled Substance Class: Clonazepam is a Schedule IV controlled substance.

    Physical and Psychological Dependance: Withdrawal symptoms, similar in character to those noted with barbiturates and alcohol (e.g., convulsions, psychosis, hallucinations, behavioral disorder, tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps) have occurred following abrupt discontinuance of clonazepam. The more severe withdrawal symptoms have usually been limited to those patients who received excessive doses over an extended period of time. Generally milder withdrawal symptoms (e.g., dysphoria and insomnia) have been reported following abrupt discontinuance of benzodiazepines taken continuously at therapeutic levels for several months. Consequently, after extended therapy, abrupt discontinuation should generally be avoided and a gradual dosage tapering schedule followed (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Addiction-prone individuals (such as drug addicts or alcoholics) should be under careful surveillance when receiving clonazepam or other psychotropic agents because of the predisposition of such patients to habituation and dependence.

  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms do not equate to psychological addiction. Klonopin is a heavy hitter medication and not one to be taken lightly. Most docs do not prescribe benzos at the drop of a hat because most of them mistakenly believe that Klonopin is, in itself, addictive. No benzo should be taken without performing due diligence and no one with addiction problems should consider it.

    As I have stated, people can become addicted to any numbher of activities and substances. Yes, it is possible to become addicted to Klonopin but the overwhelming majority of people taking it are not taking it to get high and are not displaying drug-seeking behavior. Because one must wean slowly off of it and because one can become physically dependent on it does not make it addictive.

    We will likely have to agree to disagree on this issue. I don't want to argue but I also don't want our members to be misinformed when it comes to the distinction between physical dependence and psychological addiction. If you know people who will steal Rx pads and forge them, take money that is not theirs, and seek multiple prescriptions from different docs, there is a good chance these people are addicts or abusers. This does not describe most of us who take Klonopin to address our symptoms due to seizure activity. We may be physically dependent but we are not addicted and we are not addicts.

    Respectfully, Mikie
  11. caroleye

    caroleye New Member

    Okeedokee........found my answer, and would like to add a little story. First, I used to take tyrosine in the morning to boost my "energy". So I now "know" I could not tolerate the GabaCalm, regardless of the dose as I have "severe" insomnia.

    Then, a quick story about my Klonopin. I was given it years back for pain, sleep, & anxiety. Had no idea about the "Gaba" used for seizures, racing brain, etc.

    A month ago my neurofeedback provider hit a "Gaba" site in my brain and I slept like a baby for 5 days. That first night I "unconsciously" did not reach for my Klonopin, and didn't take it for those days. No withdrawal.

    Then, obviously needing more neuro to up my GABA, I went back on Klonopin at night. Today I'm going back for another hit on my GABA brain site, and will continue until my GABA is where it needs to be.

    Bottom line: I am not "addicted" to Klonopin; my body requires it if my brain chemistry is off. The book "The Edge Effect" taught me all about this & the questionnaire in it showed I was deficient in GABA.

    Self taught.

    Great post Mikie. All our brain chemical are different, as all our treatment protocols.

    LIGHT**********carole

    P.S. Many so-called "addicts" e.g. alcoholics have a brain chemistry imbalance (alcohol feeds GABA)!!
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    This brain biofeedback sounds really interesting as does the book. I really need to get out and get it.

    Love, Mikie