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L Tryptophan issues

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Old 03-19-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
Qman
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Default L Tryptophan issues

New member, and my first post. I came here because of a problem - I took
L Tryptophan for the last 3 years or so to combat depression and anxiety, and it worked better than any prescription drug I've ever tried. The problem is, I've developed an intolerance to it - if I take it, I can't sleep. I get extremely tired, but there's an undercurrent of nervousness that won't allow me to relax. It's a strange combination of feeling drowsy and wired that's extremely unpleasant...
the more I take, the worse it gets. Even if I take as little as 100mg, i can't sleep.
A couple of years ago I noticed that my heart rate would pick up right after I took my customary 1500mg each night, but I'd drop off to sleep shortly thereafter. It wasn't much of a problem until about a year ago, when I had a pretty severe cold. I made the mistake of taking an antihistamine followed by my usual 1500mg of L Tryptophan, and my brain just exploded... I couldn't sleep for about 4 days I was so overstimulated - I finally got some sleeping pills that knocked me out. Since then, I haven't been able to tolerate L Tryptophan. I've tried 3 times over the last year, with little success.
Does this kind of thing ring a bell with anyone? I've never heard of anyone having this sort of reaction.
Incidentally - my system does seem to be pretty sensitive to medication, and in a very unusual way. I self-medicated with GHB for a year or so, and while it makes most people sleep, it made me just wired - my pulse just exploded. I also tried GABA for a bit, and the same thing - wired, restless, couldn't sleep.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
Chemar
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Hi and welcome

my son had a similar problem tho he was taking 5HTP (5 hydroxy tryptophan) rather than L tryptophan

he had used the 5HTP for a number of years to help with his OCD related to Tourette Syndrome and it really helped him!

however, he found it eventually started making him feel edgy, restless and "wired" so stopped

he now uses Inositol instead and finds it much better with no side effects. he needs quite a high dose (12 gm) but is very pleased with the results. It is usually recommended to take vitB6 with it (as also recommended with tryptophan and 5HTP)
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemar View Post
Hi and welcome

my son had a similar problem tho he was taking 5HTP (5 hydroxy tryptophan) rather than L tryptophan

he had used the 5HTP for a number of years to help with his OCD related to Tourette Syndrome and it really helped him!

however, he found it eventually started making him feel edgy, restless and "wired" so stopped

he now uses Inositol instead and finds it much better with no side effects. he needs quite a high dose (12 gm) but is very pleased with the results. It is usually recommended to take vitB6 with it (as also recommended with tryptophan and 5HTP)
Thanks for the reply, and I'll try both of those. Is the inositol taken at bedtime to aid in sleep, or is it just to alleviate neurological issues?
I never took B6 with the tryptophan - could that have been part of the problem?
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:08 PM   #4
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Hi
my son takes his inositol 3x day. He is adult and "maintains" at around 12 gm per day, going up to the max dose of 16 grams a day when needed.

he takes it primarily for OCD/anxiety/depression

he also takes Natural Calm at night (an ionic form of magnesium citrate) that is very relaxing

Epsom Salts baths are another way to achieve relaxation and promote restful sleep

the P-5-P form of vitB6 is IMO the best kind
my son also has found that taking vitamin B12 in the METHYLcobalamin form is essential for him too

lack of B6 while taking the tryptophan may have caused your reaction but hopefully someone with more knowledge than me on this will be able to give a more qualified opinion on that
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:18 AM   #5
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Things to try:

1) If you are low in B12, then you are not making melatonin from serotonin. No melatonin = no or poor sleep
So you can get tested to see what your B12 levels are.
Or you can decide to take it anyway.
1mg (1000mcg) of methylcobalamin daily on an empty stomach may improve sleep

2) people vary in responses to amino acids taken separately.
You can try taking the tryptophan every other day, or every 3 rd day etc to mimic natural ingestion from foods.
Genetically there are amino acid disorders, but they are not common. Stimulating the synthesis of serotonin is helpful to a point, but there is always the chance of causing a surplus.

Unfortunately we do not have a window or dipstick to measure people to see exactly what each needs. When you are doing something like this and run into side effects, then you have to step back and see what changes you may need to make in what you are taking.

Is tryptophan the ONLY thing you supplement with? Do you take other drugs for other things?

Remember, the goal of using supplements wisely is to restore a balance that is skewed.
They are not like DRUGS, which create effects of their own.
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Last edited by mrsD; 03-20-2009 at 07:19 AM. Reason: fixing spelling
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:52 AM   #6
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I'll try some B12 as well - seems like B vitamins play an important role - I had no idea. I don't take any other drugs or supplements other than a few vitamins in teh morning - a multivitamin, fish oil, and I've started taking magnesium. I do take 2 ibuprofen tablets at night to help me drop off to sleep.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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Lightbulb

Ibuprofen may deplete melatonin levels (if used chronically)
It also depletes folic acid.

So taking a B-50 daily in the morning may help.
B12 will also help.

Tryptophan does not enter the blood brain barrier when other amino acids are plentiful. There is a competition for it at the membrane level. Most of the serotonin in your body--over 90% is not in the brain at all.

So taking it on an empty stomach may give more brain activity.

This is a link to the pathways that tryptophan can take.
http://www.genome.jp/kegg/pathway/map/map00380.html

It is rather humbling I think. Each rectangle with a number is an enzyme that performs a certain job.

Here is the wiki link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan
Notice:
Quote:
The disorders Fructose Malabsorption and Lactose intolerance causes improper absorption of tryptophan in the intestine, reduced levels of tryptophan in the blood[12] and depression.[13]
Both of these are common problems.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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That's interesting - I'm lactose intolerant... thank you much for the info.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:08 PM   #9
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i recall in a forum gaba being cited for causing excitedness instead of sedatedness, calmness, and i cant put my finger on where or what forum it was from. but for some reason, for one or two people it caused this. for me anyways, it did jack squat, it was like taking a placebo,of some sort. i took the chewable pharmagaba from dr murray.

and vit b6 has caused for me intense dreams and/or nightmares, in combination with melatonin. now im not sure if it was the b6 itself taken at night, or the melatonin, or combination of both, all i know is that my body didnt like it. i was taking a multivitamin at the same time, so i may have overshot the b6 a little bit. which exacerbated my problems.

so be careful with taking the vit b6 at night, if it causes trouble then at least take it in the late evening around 6:00pm, if u take it seperate from other things.

wow ghb, i looked it up and i got party drugs, and date rape drugs. never thought of xyrem, i do have insomnia, so i may hafta try that drug possibly.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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I don't think I could handle B6 at night. I've taken B6 and B12 and inositol today, and I can see some mood improvement already.
GHB is a 'drug' drug, definitely, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It was the first thing that ever helped my brain, though, and it wasn't illegal when I first tried it.
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