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GABA and 5-HTP (Tryptophan), and Anxiety

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#1 Taylor



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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

Hi all,

I still suffer with anxiety that hit me about a month and a half after dx.  It hit me pretty hard for about 8 months before just being an annoying part of my life that comes and goes.  I notice that, aside from having moments of anxiety, whether mild or heavy, even normal stress stresses me out more than it ever did. For example, I got pretty stressed at the end of the day Monday (I had to step in to help finish a sales proposal that I did not work on), and it was like my whole body was shot the whole evening and yesterday.  I never had such a low tolerance to anxiety and stress before dx or, more importantly, TKIs.  I have learned to control anxiety taking me over, but it still comes.

I mentioned to my onc a couple of weeks ago that I felt like the medicine made me less tolerant to stress and anxiety and he didn't seem like that was far fetched.  In fact, he completed my sentence before I did and used the word "ancy".

I'm wondering if it is actually possible that the TKIs can affect certain of us in this way apart from standard anxiety after dx.  We do know that TKIs affect the way that certain nutrients and minerals are absorbed, such as magnesium.  I have noticed a difference when I supplement or eat magnesium-rich foods that I am calmer--as that is what magnesium helps do in the body.  Potassium and magnesium also help with the TKI cramps, etc.

That said, I wonder about amino acids and if TKIs can affect absorption.  Amino acids are important for health obviously and some of them especially for neurological health, recovering from stress, anxiety, etc.

I have been considering trying to supplement with tryptophan (a natural amino acid) and GABA, which is made in the brain from an amino acid that occurs naturally.  For some reason though, I seem to recall that these two were a no-no with TKIs.  But then again, I was on Ativan for a brief stint, and maybe that is the interaction that I'm worried about, as they would increase each others' effects.  Basically I don't think there would be an interaction with the TKIs, but I'm not sure.

Any thoughts or advice?  Thanks!

#2 Guest_billronm_*

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:57 PM

Hi Taylor,

  We all go through periods of high anxiety and depression, some worse than others. I've been fighting both for many years even before dx. I always saw a psychiatrist to prescribe my meds. You have to be very careful when you take over the counter meds, you can have a severe reaction to some things. I've seen it more than once and it's pretty scary. You should really see a specialist or even your pcp and see if they think an anti-depressant and or an anti-anxiety med can help you cope better usually they both work hand in hand. When the anti-depressant kicks in (usually about 6 weeks for full effect) you'll find that you don't need anti-anxiety meds as often or probably not at all. I have just gone through the exact same thing with my husband. When he was dx last summer with a blood disorder and the fact that he had been feeling so terrible for 2 months the shock to his system threw him into a bad depression. If you knew him you would think that he is the last possible person to be hit with depression. But he'll still come home with some crazy vitamin or sleep aid I can't get it through his thick head that he just can't pick up something off the shelf and take it because the saleswomen tells him to. I think I better check out that saleswoman! He's addicted to the health food store. Please be careful.            Sincerely Billie

#3 Trey


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:57 PM

L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP are different supplements.  I would prefer  the L-Tryptophan.  It might be helpful.  Chemical imbalances are possible, and they may not be the same for everyone.  But it seems worth trying.  Maybe add the GABA later if needed.



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