Please tell me about 5htp - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-09-2010, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I get how it works and am considering it. I am having trouble pinpointing dosages and ways to use it, and I'm a little concerned about medication interactions. I'd love to have you share your 5htp stories and knowledge. I took a long round of prednisone after an awful H1N1 bout, and I swear it wrecked my chemistry. I also have a whole long constellation of hypothyroid symptoms, but thyroid tests always come back within normal limits. But I'm an irritable, fatigued mess, and there's some hugely stressful stuff coming down the pike. I need to get myself in better shape.
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#2 of 4 Old 01-09-2010, 12:34 PM
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Hi Rachel,

Due to nutritional deficiencies caused by allergen removal and a few other reasons, my and my son's serotonin had deeply plummeted last year. Our anxiety was sky high and depression was significant. I learned about a group of nutrients that help build serotonin in your body, one of them being molybdenum which we were woefully low on. He and I worked on taking those supplements and we saw great improvement in our moods. It was hard to keep steady in taking them. Sometimes we would forget, sometimes we would run out and we would need to wait for a mail order. That was causing our serotonin to dip and spike, which also didn't feel good.

I learned about 5-htp. 5-htp is the precursor to serotonin. So your body takes it and changes it into serotonin. What we ended up doing for a while is taking it and stabilizing ourselves. Right before I got it I was spiraling down. It was getting bad. I remember the bad ride to whole foods, on my way to buy it. I took it and within an hour I felt a difference.

There were a few things I learned about it that felt important to me.

Some brands are not great. I use Jarrow and feel comfortable with it.
It is best to use it sublingually. If you ingest it, some of the conversion will happen in your gut rather than brain, and that is not optimal.
Too much serotonin can negatively impact your libido. I try not to overdue it with my myself for that reason.

We did not need to stay on it regularly for very long. I stabilized us and then just used the supplements to keep us going. If I notice a mood dip, or we are eating foods that are burning up those nutrients, thus taking away from serotonin creation, we will take some more.

I have found it to be really effective for us. I know it hasn't been useful for everyone though.

I am going to go back into my notes today and post the group of nutrients that are useful for serotonin raising. I get a few of the Bs mixed up (trying to keep straight all of the detox pathways and serotonin development can be taxing for me.) If 5-htp works for you, then you will know that they particular nutrients will be good for you.

Good luck and I hope life for you goes smoothly.

(Amy - a mama from the south shore )

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#3 of 4 Old 01-11-2010, 11:44 PM
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as a side note, have you read the adrenal fatigue threads given your symptoms?

i tried 5htp last spring after going off celexa, and am not sure whether it really made a difference for me. a certain proportion of people experience nausea from 5htp, and i would have to lie down for at least 30 min - 1 hour because of nausea a little while after taking it, and after that had general stomach discomfort. after about 2 weeks of this i had to discontinue because this side effect didn't abate. i didn't notice any difference in my mood, but it's also possible that the positive benefits of the drug were overshadowed by the sick feelings . . .

good luck!

and amy i am also interested in seeing your follow up notes thanks!
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#4 of 4 Old 01-19-2010, 08:41 AM
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Are you primarily trying to treat depression or anxiety?

When I was at the height of my anxiety a few years ago, I tried all the "natural" remedies I could think of. 5htp actually made me more anxious. It did something weird to me physically, which really set of my anxiety. Obviously it must work for some people, but that was the eye opener for me that I really did need to stop putzing around and see a doctor.

Buuuuut that was just my experience.

Weirdo Mama to amazing Aurelia, age 9 & Ember Roslyn, age 3!
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