Update - My usual store didn't have 5HTP 50mg in stock so I decided to try 5HTP100mg instead. What a mistake! After taking one 100mg tablet I became very anxious. I then put the balance of the tablets through a pill splitter so that they were just 50mg and the anxiety disappeared.
Now I am very careful to make sure I am buying only the 50mg strength. I even admonished the store a few times that the recommended dose was 50mg and that 100mg can actually increase anxiety and they have finally caught on.
5HTP doesn't mimic serotonin. it acts as a precursor for serotonin and melatonin which means it helps your body to naturally produce more of each. The end result is you feel better (serotonin) and sleep better (melatonin). The recommended dosage is 50mg. per day. Exceeding 50mg may cause anxiety so best to stick to 50mg.
Regarding 5HTP, you can't blame the store for taking 100mg instead of 50mg. Common sense is if your taking 50mg and they are out, then buy 100mg and cut in half, sorry but that was your fault! One must learn to Google things they take and or change MG (milligrams) what foods don't mix with medications, usually Grapefruit and licorice.
At the time, I had no idea that taking twice my regular dose would have such an adverse effect as 5HTP was described to me as a vita-nutrient. So to me, it was the same as taking a double dose of vitamin C.
I was searching for something natural that would help with Anxiety when tapering off benzodiazepines. As I read comments from all so far, I came across the above one by Joseph, I said I agree with everything this guy says, then I looked at name and realized it was my own comment. Lol, lol .
That's hilarious! I suppose as you were reading your own comment you were thinking, "This person sounds pretty intelligent, too." ha, ha.
Lol, I've done that and also when reading product reviews. We know a good thing when we see it. =)
I was having terrible IBS symptoms along with extreme anxiety. I started taking 5-htp on the advice of my naturopathic doctor. Within 1-2 weeks, my IBS reduced substantially and my anxiety lessened dramatically. I felt great everyday with a more stable, consistent mood than I have ever felt in my life.
According to my doctor, a large proportion of serotonin either resides or is made in your gut (I forget which) so it makes sense that it helped my IBS. When I started, I was taking 200 mg each morning. It didn't help me sleep though, in fact it kept me wide awake. After taking for about a year or so, I started feeling very ill every morning. It took me a long time to figure out it was the 5-htp. However, my general health has improved much over the past year and I have now cut the dose back to 50 mg per day and can handle it fine. My doctor told me my system probably did not need as much now and this is perhaps why larger doses were making me so ill.
I've read a few posts on the use of 5HTP and unusual symptoms (headaches, pains, etc) after using for awhile. Just wanted to recommend The Mood Cure book which helps to explain that these symptoms could possibly be caused by too much serotonin (serotonin syndrome). The gist of the 5HTP part is just using it long enough, and in proper doses, to where you feel better. Once you start getting abnormal symptoms, it can indicate that you are getting too much of a good thing, at which point you would stop or cut back.
(Barrie, Ontario, Canada)
Thank you so much for posting it. I researched "serotonin syndrome" and now I know why I ended up with the cardiac arrest after taking one single minimum dose of Paxil and why I feel so sick if I take anything that deals with the serotonin. Can you please tell me who is the author of the Mood Cure Book. I want to get it. Thank you.
Author of Mood Cure Book is Julie Ross I believe. She also wrote another book after that .... The Diet Cure Book.
Serotonin is a vital neurotransmitter for all types of things... From mental to physical health. I had severe anxiety and tried different things from Velirium Root to different aroma therapies... The one thing that works amazingly was 5-HTP. It helps one get serotonin and serotonin helps with anxiety, depression, sleep problems (converts to melatonin), and muscle health (let's you get delta sleep so that your body can release growth hormone and repair muscle tissue). In the book "Pain Cure" there's a great recap of all the benefits of serotonin.
I HIGHLY recommend it for anxiety/depression. It helped change my life... Along with Yoga, MSM (joint pain), etc.
5-HTP for anxiety/depression
After reading some posts on this website, I decided to try 5-HTP for my general depression and social anxiety. After taking it the first time, I really noticed it made me feel kind of happy and giddy, so I was excited, and I also felt less anxious and more able to be what I consider myself. However, about a week taking just 50 mgs twice a day, I noticed I would get headaches. Then after about a week and a half I got a horrible headache, which I think might have been a migraine. It came on suddenly and lasted for about an hour of excruciating pain and nausea, and more mild pain and tension the rest of the day. Afterwards, for about a week, I started getting strange pains all on the left side of my body, in my leg and hip and shoulder. The migraine was on the right side of my head. I was pretty sure the 5 HTP was causing my everyday headaches, and was starting to feel like it lead to the migraine and subsequent left-side-of-the-body pains. I stopped taking 5-HTP and and my head-aches and body-aches have subsided completely. I am glad this supplement has worked for some people, but I just wanted to share my experience.
(Allentown, Pa, Usa)
Does anyone know of a way to introduce something natural like 5-htp, and cut back on the prescription antidepressants? I wasn't sure if they interacted safely at all.
(Jersey City, Nj, Usa)
I am thinking of doing the same thing. 5htp should not be taken with Rx anti-depressants. I take lexapro... I am planning on weaning down on my Rx by cutting the pills (go from 1 pill to 3/4, to half, etc), and introducing 5htp along the way as I wean.
I successfully transitioned from an anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medication(Paxil) to 5HTP-50mg by gradually reducing Paxil by 50% each day while increasing 5HTP TO 50mg. The whole weaning process took about four days. Note: experts say an anti-anxiety ant-depressant should never be stopped suddenly and I agree. I tried that once and found myself doing some irrational things.
CAUTION: I did find when I increased the 5HTP to 100mg, it actually increased my anxiety. This happened when my health food store brought in 100mg strength instead of the usual 50mg strength. Fortunately I realised what was happening and split the remainder in half and everything was fine from there on.
I had the same side effects as you experience...migraine headaches. I no longer use the product.
(Vancouver, British Columbia)
I switched from Citalopram 20mg., a common SSRI to 5HTP 50mg. by cutting the Citalopram in half for a few days while simultaneously starting the 5HTP and experienced no transition problems.
I found this remedy when I was looking for herbal remedies for my daily headaches. I found 5-HTP. According to the article,some of the things it helped with are insomnia, headaches, anxiety & depression. I thought could it be? I immediately went to my husband to show him what I had found because he had problems sleeping at night as well. We went a few days later to our local drug store and picked up a bottle of 50mg. 5-HTP. We had decided on the lowest dosage available in our area, upping the dosage as we went along if it was necessary. We have only been on it for a few days now but there is a very noticeable difference. We both have been sleeping through the night and feeling more refreshed when we wake. My anxiety attacks are gone as well as my headaches. We both are much less snappish than what we were before. We haven't noticed any side effects so far. We are taking them with a meal or a small snack and so far we have stayed at 50mg. Thanks for the very useful information that lead to this discovery!
One time I purchased a bottle of 5-htp, and after taking one capsule morning & evening, just twice, I threw the bottle away. My reaction to 5-htp was horrific; upon further research I learned that high levels of serotonin are associated with SEVERE ANXIETY. I also read that the spice ginger is a serotonin antagonist, so I have a bottle on hand, just in case I ever feel so anxious ever again.
Then I read somewhere online that there is a set of people whose depression responds to Acetyl L-Carnitine, they said the depression lifted in these people when using 3-4 grams a day, and to take two grams of acetylcarnitine on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
This amino acid is the most amazing substance; I've never been able to take more than 2 grams per day - there is such great mental clarity, there is utter inability to be depressed, but there simultaneously is no euphoria - just calm lucid clarity. I've read that it assists the brain in making many different neurotransmitters - so it is not anything, not anything at all like 5-htp which floods the brain with serotonin - which, if you don't need it, might create severe anxiety.
(Barrie, Ontario, Canada)
My reaction to 5-HTP was terrible. Felt like I ingested a poison. Very sick, felt like fainting, headache...
Hi Molly, is Acetyl L-Carnitine same as L-carnitine or different?
(Fountain Inn, Sc)
I didn't see if "Molly" had responded to you. You ask if Acetyl Carnitine is the same as L Carnitine. They are not. Carnitine is used for fat removal and to help those exercising to use fat for energy... the chemistry of the mitochrondria is involved.
Acetyl l Carnitine, is a derivative of Carnitine and is primarily used as brain protection, being able to penetrate the blood brain barrier.
I began taking 5-HTP for depression and anxiety and sleeplessness during a very emotionally stressful breakup. I have Not had an anxity attack since 3-07 which I had suffered from off and on for several years. I sleep so much better. I am able to think clearer and stay focused and concentrate so much better as well as improved my memory. I am thankful for this. My dr. wanted to put me on Wellbutrine. NO Thank U!
(Palo Alto, California, Usa)
Why does anybody think that 5-HTP is any better than other pharmaceutical SSRIs? It's the same thing. Don't be fooled by it being so-called "natural". First of all, there is no proof that raising serotonin levels is the issue. Second of all, in clinical trials SSRIs did no better than placebos.
Why are natural alternatives like 5htp better? Anti-depressants work by shutting down the receptors that rid your brain of serotonin, in a sense forcing old serotonin to be recirculated constantly. Your serotonin receptors then shrivel up.
5htp gives your brain the raw materials to build serotonin. When it needs it, its there. But only what it needs, when it needs it.
There is a good amount of research now showing that Serotonin does not cross the Blood brain barrier. So taking 5HTP will only boost the serotonin in the brain IF your Blood Brain Barrier is compromised. Not a good situation overall.
As mentioned above, too much serotonin can cause depression and anxiety. Again, not a good thing.
The best solution for anxiety and depression known to man right now has been around for ever. Exercise! This is not controversial. Doctors of all orientations agree.
wellbutrine is known to change personalities. I say it opens a path to demons, hence the personality change. The same goes for similar drug counterparts, they can enable a path to the spirit world. But many don't get that, but I do. Just a word to the wise.
(Vancouver, British Columbia)
I was on Citalopram 20mg., a common SSRI for ten years and found that it didn't always work. I found it very easy to switch to 5HTP 50mg. by just cutting the Citalopram in half for a few days while starting the 5HTP simultaneously. I find I get a much better sleep while taking 5HTP and wake up feeling rested even on less than 8 hr. sleep.
I was able to get off of a combination of Wellbutrin (Anxiety) and Vyvanse (ADHD) almost two years ago. I take a daily 750mg GABA, 100mg 5-HTP and about 200mg of chelated magnesium. Both were "adult onset". In the end I think I was just really, really deficient in magnesium and was going through hormonal changes at the same time. It took me about 6 months to get back to normal.
Do you know if it is safe to take Serpina along with prescription blood pressure medication until it starts to take effect?
Thanks to the info on here, I just tried acetyl L carnitine for my anxiety. I am pleased to say I think it's helping. My husband took it years ago for neuropathy and it was great. My son is trying it for his neuropathy as well. My anxiety has been so bad because my husband died six months ago after fighting lung cancer for 14 months. My checkup showed elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure causes anxiety which raises blood pressure which causes more anxiety and round and round. So I am so happy to find something besides Xanax that actually makes me feel somewhat better. Now hopefully I can get my blood pressure down. 🤪🤪
I am sorry for your sad loss. Regarding high blood pressure, magnesium is effective, and most people are deficient. Magnesium chloride is very absorbable, I just have a pinch per day, but Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) could also be used. Red beetroots also help lower blood pressure.
I am very sorry for your painful loss, I know it can take its toll, however life goes on and I want to explain a few things to you. First of all there is a book out called “Medication Madness” by Dr Peter Breggin, you will learn a lot. Now Serpina I used for my ill son with Schizophrenia, mental illness, insomnia, psychosis, etc., it is an herb developed in 1934 in India as the worlds first Anti-hypertensive medication, it restores normal blood pressure in hypertensives. This pill also fights Anxiety (best), reduces fevers, calm the nerves, used as a sedative in some psychotic disorders. Almost no side effects except when taking Antipsychotics or cold flu medicines. Sold at Amazon for $7.00 for 100 pills 4mg. I took my son off of antipsychotics and replaced with Serpina for 8 successful years, he did well until OCD entered his life, then medication was given Antipsychotic poison again, needless to say I learned the hard way with interaction so I stop Serpina. You can stop cold turkey, no food is needed prior to taking. I will reply to questions. Joseph
I take Acetyl L-Carnitine for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and it is fantastic. I take one or two 40mg capsules a day.
Having been suffering from bipolar, bulimia, anxiety disorder and depression for 5 years. Tried ACETYL L-CARNITINE. Have one thing to say, it's freaking amazing! I'm surprised you don't hear about it much. It helps my anxiety better than cold showers, antidepressants, and even Xanax! I'm so happy that that i found out about it. It's like the hell I've been living in for years is over. This supplement has the strength of a prescription drug. I advise everyone who has anxiety problem to give a try. Though I need like 50 mg a day instead of 5000 the way they recommend. 5000 is too much for me to tolerate. Find your dosage. And never give up. Try every supplement for depression and anxiety out there, one by one. Some will do nothing, some will make you feel worse, but there'll be one, two, or even more that will help you and make your life a beautiful and joyful thing to have. Good luck everyone.
How long did you take L-Carnitine before noticing results? I purchased gelatin capsules 500 mg and don't know how I am going to divide them or take smaller doses. I would rather start smaller and raise it, if needed. Your post really inspired me, so I hope to hear more about this. Anyone out there know if this amino acid helps with anxiety or depression?
Please note that L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine are different! L-Carnitine can help you lose weight and improve heart function, but for anxiety and depression, ALC is the one you want. ALC may benefit those with glucose issues and has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function. There are studies that an increase in oxidative stress while taking ALC is possible. If so, 100-600mg of alpha lipoic acid (ALA) will not only combat this side effect, it will increase the anti-aging effects!
Caricater mentions that taking Acetyl L-Carnitine can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, put simply, is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants that counter free radicals. We don't want free radicals, they can lead to cancer. Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant.
I agree with your assessment about acetyl l-carnitine. I experienced relief almost immediately today [about 20 minutes] after taking 500 mg. I had ordered a formulation for Memory & Brain but had no idea it would have the calmative properties it had. I experience fairly intentense restless anxiety from time to time. It produces such a helpless & hopeless feeling. I was not expecting this to provide relief for anxiety at all but there was no mistaking the calm which came over me.
Zander: I think your testimony about the two mentioned nutrients makes a fine illustration of how the modern western life w/ all the stressors and toxins can deplete our nutritional & antioxidant status.
I would recommend broad spectrum nutritional supplementation w/ extra antioxidants. Also, many herbs w/ many benefits for your health. I have been using nutrition (supplements for many yrs and am still learning new stuff and have literally spared my life from severe environmental illness.
Hi, I know this is a very old reply, however in your comment, you stated you took 50mg Acetylcarnitine, actually, I think you meant 500mg, they don't make 50mg, plus all the problems you had couldn't have been eliminated with 50mg, sure it's possible but improbable. My son has Severe Anxiety and he takes 500mg twice daily for 1.000mg. I will look into him taking more Safely. Thank you, Joseph
Acupressure on the Stomach
Dear Earth Clinic, I may have some good advice on how to drastically cut or eliminate depression/anxiety. An exercise. I lay over the edge of the couch face down with my lower stomach on the arm. Keeping my legs straight on the couch I lean down with my torso and back up straight. This works the back muscles and takes pressure off the spine and nerves. Also, a simple visit to the chiropractor helped tremendously.Thanks, Gary.
EC: We emailed Gary for more details...
You would lie on the arm of sofa with your stomach. Legs on couch and head off. Use your arms like a pushup to help straighten your body. Your legs may want to raise up but you`ll have to secure them somehow.
In the exercise, I use my arms to help me straighten myself almost like a push up. Most people will not be able to do it without using their arms. I guess what's important is to use back muscles without straining them of course. Also, I just want to tell people with depression to go to a chiropractor,therapist or qualified trainer. This gets dismissed because they don't have back pain. Spend $30. It could be the answer. It's well worth it. Hope this helps.
There is a much much much easier way to do this "couch exercise! " Just use a small blanket or towel and bunch it up into a tight ball. It should be about the size of a medium watermelon when it is all bunched up. Put the bunched up towel/blanket on the floor and lay tummy down with your stomach on top of it. It will be uncomfortable at first but shouldn't hurt. Then, wiggle your hips from side to side slowly for 2-5 minutes. You can experiment with having the towel/blanket higher on your stomach or lower. The way it was explained to me this process releases serotonin from your gut while also giving your insides a massage. Some find it helps with digestive issues or even menstrual difficulties in addition to mood/depression/anxiety issues.
I have never suffered any depression, panic or anxiety my entire life. I had the normal ups and downs everyone typically has, but nothing ever so severe where it felt life threatening and debilitating. I had a pretty severe panic attack which lead to obsessive worrying and anxiety for the last 5 months. It was directly connected to a liver detox a chiropractor / AK recommended. Whatever the liver detox did to me, unleashed and ravaged my life for the last 5 months. Ongoing anxiety attacks and obsessive worrying. I went to a dr and all they wanted to do is prescrive meds and kept assuring me its normal and most of the population takes them. Umm... No thanks.. I was not like this before this event so something must have happened.
To make a long story short. As for treatments...
- I tried valerium, holy basil, lemon balm, anxiety supplements, vitamin b complex, and all of the sorts.
- I tried hypnosis, chiropractic and other forms of therapy which did not work.
To narrow down what did work.
- The chiropractic helped releive minor anxiety for less than a day.
- Acupuncture was the holy grail to a true feeling of calmness and relieve. Other times after intense work outs I felt like I did not have anxiety, I didn't.. But subconciously I was worried and obsessivly thinking about dying and all sorts of horrible feelings. The difference was after my 3rd visit, I felt a true "release" of all the worries. What did the accupuncture do? I don't know exactly but from my research of the points they put on my body, I am guessing even though my thyroid levels were normal, I could have been out of balance. My other feeling on this, I have noticed a drastic increase in many pepole I know having these exact same issues, not a coincdene considering the radiation fallout from japan has already circled several times. Radiation is bad for the thyroid, thyroid issues will cause panic, anxiety and depression.
So the game plan:
- Read positive books such as Think and Grow Rich, Tony Robbins products.
- Get Acupuncture and Chiropractic treatments
- Take hot epsom salt baths with essential oils for scents to stimulate your brain
- High Intenseity exercise and daily walks
- Socialize even if you are not in the mood, be around positive people that will push you outside of your comfort zone.
- Take at least 2000-3000mg of fish oil/day ACV every third day
- Get your thyroid checked!
- Cry it out if you have to, there are stored emotions you should not hold back. At some point you wont be able to cry anymore, crying is a way for the body to release. Why do you think people cry?
Anxiety/Panic Attacks/ph balancing
My dh and I moved 1000 miles away to the middle of nowhere (seriously) with 2 small kids, for him to take a job working 80+hrs a week...in JANUARY! The dog died, the car died, my daughter burnt her arm on the woodstove, we were isolated etc. and of course for 3 months I tried every natural remedy to save our dog to no avail. So when I suddenly went to emerg one night with a racing heart that I couldn't slow down, the sweats, shakes and dizziness, I thought for sure I was having a heart attack...heck I am 40 after all! They gave me an adavan that I didn't take and told me to go home and relax with all the stress in my life. Although everyone kept telling me I was in emotional turmoil...for me there had to be another concrete reason, I had handled way worse in my life and heck it wasn't like I lived in a war torn country or anything...nutritionally I mean, or lack thereof.
I had been drinking black tea again to cope with the dog, the move etc. so it was the first to go with the result being less frequent attacks. So with the help of a guy in Nova Scotia I learned about PH balancing and the work of Dr. Carey Reams. I started balancing my ph each day and if it was 7ish I felt awesome, if it was acid I felt awful. Any sweetener- even honey affected me greatly on the acid side. Then I added in a green supplement from a doctor in Barrie Ontario. On his advice I also started taking a concentrated mineral supplement (the most popular one on the market he recommended) and I started with 1 drop 2x a day, then 2 drops 2x a day and so on. He said I would have loose stools when I reached enough. He said rarely some of his clients could handle 40-60 drops a day. THIS was ME! I was taking 30 drops 2x a day with no loose stools- AND I felt like a million bucks....and NO more panic attacks- ever. woohoo. Then I moved on to zeolite which got back my 5 yr flagging libido and life was incredibly awesome... of course I ended up pregnant with my 3rd, but it's all good and i'm still feeling awesome with no return of the horrifying panic attacks. Incidentlly I tried homeopathics, herbal tinctures, herbal teas, acv, baking soda etc. nothing worked but the constant paying attention of the day to day ph morning and night of my saliva and urine and taking the concentrated minerals. Believe me, for anyone going thru these you'll do just about anything to make them stop!!!
(Fayetteville, North Carolina)
I'm wondering if the post from 2008 was referring to ConcenTrace Trace Minerals. They are the most popular, widely available and have been around for a long time. Perhaps the ND she is referring to is Dr. Kim from Barrie (I could be wrong).
On the ConcenTrace Web site, they refer to pH balancing: Maintain pH Balance in the Body–The most important nutrients in our bodies for maintaining acid-base balance are minerals like those found in ConcenTrace®.
Anyone else have suggestions? Hope it helps!
I had some serious anxiety, stomach problems and raised blood pressure going on last week…I didn't know what it was so went into the Dr. who said it was anxiety and gave me a Rx for Lexapro and Zantac… I knew there was an underlying cause and hit the computer for hrs….I found articles on pH balancing and after testing my pH w/ pH strips I saw that it was so Acidic! I began an alkaline diet… It took a few days, but as of right now I feel back to my old self and very little anxiety. Such a relief. It may not help everyone, but it's worth a try and if it does, it's a cheap fix! Good luck!