supplements for brain fog, depression, I can think and read again

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Catseye, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    After finding myself copying my neurotransmitter post over and over, I thought I'd put it out there for everybody. I think almost all of us have some annoying brain dysfunction, to say the least.

    I have had severe brain fog and cognitive problems for 4 years until recently. I couldn't even watch the news on tv because the writing going by on the bottom would catch my eye, I would read a few words, and get really, physically ill. I had no memory. I couldn't think or make simple decisions. My husband would ask me what I wanted to drink and I was speechless. It was scary as hell.

    It took alot of searching for this "cognitively impaired" person to figure out what to do. So I narrowed down all the brain problems to neurotransmitters and decided they were deficient. That's pretty much also what the doctor assumes when you are depressed. Your brain uses neurotransmitters to function: to think, to read, they are responsible for how you feel, and they even have a hand in some bodily functions. You need a certain amount and when they get depleted from alot of thinking or reading, you will feel weak and just all-around really strange, even depressed.

    I started supplementing with the nutrients your body needs to manufacture neurotransmitters and started getting excellent results within a few hours. So if you're depressed, I think you will know within a day or two if they are going to help or not. The antidepressants can take 2 weeks or more to work.

    I can now read as much as I want and perform more complicated "thinking tasks" than before.

    There are many other neurotransmitters that are important besides serotonin. Most antidepressants are serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They prevent the brain from absorbing serotonin so more of it will remain hanging around.

    The amino acids are the first things to try. These are what I take and the dosages:

    threonine (this is spelled differently by EVERYBODY) 250 mg 2-3x day
    tyrosine 250 mg 2-3x day
    phenylalanine 500 mg 2-3x day
    5 htp or l tryptophan 50 mg 2-3x day (any more and I get sleepy)
    Make sure you are getting B vitamins.

    I say 2 - 3 times per day because sometimes I'm feeling too good and forget, so I guess I didn't need them all that bad that day.

    I also take these which you can add if you are only getting partial benefit from those above:

    phosphatidyl choline - precursor to acetylcholine 200-300 mg 2-3x day
    phosphatidyl serine - amino acid 100 mg 3x day
    TMG (trimethylglycine) - amino acid (300 mg 2x day, also lowers cysteine in blood)
    DMAE (is molecularly similar to choline) 100 mg per day

    Here's some interesting stuff about "neuros":

    5-HTP---converts to--->Serotonin---converts to--->Melatonin

    Phenylalanine---converts to--->Tyrosine---converts to--->DOPA---converts to--->Dopamine
    ---converts to--->Norepinephrine---converts to--->Epinephrine (aka adrenaline)

    Note that norepinephrine is a key neurotransmitter AND an adrenal hormone.

    Here's some neuros, what they're for, sign of deficiencies, and the nutrients your body needs to make it:

    Serotonin: for Emotional Stability
    deficiency causes: Lack of rational emotion, feelings of irritability, sudden unexplained tears, sleep problems
    body needs: 5HTP or L-tryptophan, Calcium and Magnesium

    Dopamine: for Pleasure, reward, good feelings toward others, maternal/
    paternal love
    deficiency causes: Anhedonia - No pleasure, world looks colorless, inability to "love", no remorse about personal behavior
    body needs: L-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6

    Norepinephrine: for Arousal, energy, drive
    deficiency causes: Lack of ambition, lack of drive, depression
    body needs: L-phenylalanine
    Vitamin B6

    GABA: for Staying calm
    deficiency causes: Free floating anxiety, feelings that things are closing in around you, unexplained panic
    body needs: L-glutamine, Vitamin B6

    Enkephalins: for Psychological pain relief
    deficiency causes: Feelings of incompleteness, lack of fulfillment, feelings of inferiority, feelings of inadequacy, never feels "equal," fearful, insecure feelings
    body needs: D-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid (a B vitamin)

    Tryptophan is the least common amino acid in food. It is also the most difficult to absorb into the brain. These make serotonin synthesis more difficult. Although tryptophan is mainly found in fish, meat, dairy products, eggs, nuts and wheat germ, eating these does not substantially increase serotonin. This is because these foods contain other amino acids that compete with tryptophan for absorption. Tryptophan “loses out” to the other amino acids.

    Eating carbohydrates raises serotonin levels but eating protein decreases serotonin levels. Carbohydrates cause an insulin response that favors tryptophan absorption over other amino acids. This explains why many people who need more serotonin (like being overly-stressed or depressed) start to “self-medicate” by eating more sweets or starchy carbohydrates. As tryptophan absorption rises, so will serotonin production.

    EFAs (essentail fatty acids) are also critical for brain function.

    The levels and function of several neurotransmitters can be increased by the supply of their dietary precursors. The neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, histamine, acetylcholine and glycine, which are formed from tryptophan, tyrosine, histidine, choline and threonine (amino acids).

    This is why alot of us are loading up on free form amino acids. Our broken bodies cannot product them in sufficient quantities.

    Don't forget about the other neuros! They are all important, and not just for feelings. I just learned the other day the acetylcholine is important to bladder function!

    Your body breaks down protein into amino acids. I was eating all kinds of protein but was not getting the same results as when I supplement with free form amino acids. You will probably benefit from a free form amino acid blend in addition to the individual ones. ProHealth makes a good one, gluten and dairy free, too. I also take it everyday plus everything I've mentioned here.

    I still have some brain fog but now it's just fog, it isn't the blizzard it was before. Plus I don't have to quit reading every few seconds or minutes to rest, now it's quit every few hours. What blessed relief!

  2. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    Hi Karen! Kudos to you for putting all of this together.
    Not an easy task when brain fog is running rampant. It takes so much energy and focus sometimes to put together a coherant thought let alone post it. Thank you!

    This info is very timely for me since I mailed my test kits to NeuroScience about 10 days ago. This is a lab that can determine levels of Neurotransmitters (NTs) in the urine.

    I'm waiting for my results. I'll probably get those when I return to Dr. David Edelberg's office. He's on the good doctor list on this board. My insurance company has already paid for the tests!

    My doctor ordered a test called Adrenal Health which is a saliva test kit for DHEA (2X per day) and Cortisol (4X per day). The other is a urine test kit for epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and creatinine.

    In addition to the typical hormone imbalances which we all have, I believe I have problems with neurotransmitters too. It only makes sense that my brain is not functioning the way it should be and that the chemical messengers are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.

    I learned a big lesson with hormones the hard way. I am a firm believer on not tested so we are not guessing what my body is doing. I was seeing a holistic doctor who was prescribing B-HRT (bi-est, progesterone, DHEA, cortisol, pregnenolone and testosterone).

    He relied on symptoms rather than blood or saliva tests. With essentially no feed back from my body he kept upping the dose on the testosterone. I was at 20 mg. per day of transdermal creme. This is the maximum dose for women.

    My hematocrit was 52.8! I developed polycythemia which is an elevation of all blood cell lines (red, white, platelets, neutrophils, etc.) I could have had a blood clot or a stroke or any number of serious complications.

    I had 4 phlebotomies (removal of a unit of blood) to get my blood counts down to normal. In addition to CF/FM, I now had iron deficiency anemia. The 4 phlebotomies really stirred the pot with the underlying infections. I believe it reactivated my EBV.

    This info was copied from the Neurorelief website. There is a very nice section on fatigue too. "A growing number of healthcare providers and patients are looking for more effective ways to address today’s most common health issues. In our ever-expanding understanding of human health, we have come to the realization that our health is never as simple as it may seem.

    There is an interconnectedness between the different biological systems in the body, just as there is in our external environment. Our understanding of these relationships requires a new approach to health- a systems approach- whereby the impact of each human biological system is evaluated in relationship to each other, not in isolation.

    Our nervous system influences how we think, feel, and act, as well as how the rest of our body functions. At NeuroScience, we believe the function of the central nervous system, including a balance of neurotransmitters, plays an essential and central role in the health of all body systems.

    We advocate an assess-address approach to nervous system function. This process entails laboratory assessment of the body’s chemical messengers, via urinary neurotransmitter and salivary hormone testing. Based on the laboratory results, NeuroScience works with healthcare providers to develop Targeted Amino Acid Therapy (TAAT™) programs designed to address the spectrum of neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances.

    Addressing neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances through TAAT™ can lead to significantly improved patient outcomes for a number of today’s most challenging conditions."