Tuesday, November 19, 2013

GABA and Cipro

I've figured it out.  Only took me what?  Four months?  I've finally been well enough to do a little bit of complicated reading.  The original post is here.

The short story is that the brain has glutamate and GABA.   It needs both to function well.  However, too much glutamate can be a very bad thing.  It causes brain fog and can lead to brain cell death. [1]  It is speculated that CFSers have too much glutamate in the brain. [2]  Hence the brain fog.  Turns out Cipro binds with the GABA receptors in the brain causing the brain to create more GABA. [3, 1]  GABA is what gets rid of extra glutamate. [1]  So when I had several IVs of Cipro, I'm guessing that my brain started making more GABA which got rid of the extra glutamate and my CFS got better.  Woot!!  The only bad part is that it made me go lame.  (However the lameness probably came from the Levofloxacin not the Cipro [3])  Now to figure out how I can get more GABA into my system by a safer means so that I won't risk going lame in the process....

Along comes Terri Wahls (I'm beginning to love this woman).  In her book Minding Your Mitochondria, she states that GABA can't cross the blood brain barrier so it can't be taken in through diet.  Instead you have to supplement with the building blocks needed for the brain to produce it on its own, cysteine, taurine and methionine.  Basically supplementing with NAC and taurine might fix this. [1]  I already had NAC in my pill stash and I purchased taurine today.  So the great supplement experiment commences...

I decided since the supplements I'm currently taking are best guesses by a random collection of practitioners, I'm just going to revamp my whole pill schedule based on Dr. Wahls' program.  She recommends getting most of the stuff from food but I'm still not eating enough of the right stuff to get all of my nutrients from my diet.   I'm missing vegetables, greens, fish, and offal.   Stuff I'm lacking is due to the problem of prep work in order to eat it.  It is also complicated by the fact that I get severe heartburn if I follow her 3 cups of cruciferous veg a day recommendation.  I just can't eat the sheer number of vegetables she wants and stay off heartburn meds.  So I'm supplementing until I can further refine my diet.

Here is the master list (I'm not listing dosages on purpose go to Dr. Wahls book for the details):
Methyl B12
D3 (for the winter months)
N acetylcysteine (NAC)
L Carnitine
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Ester C (not on Wahls' list but highly recommended by several of my docs)
Calcium (also not on Wahls' list but I find it helps to take it with Magnesium for muscle cramps)
S.  Boulardii (not on Wahls' list but I feel better when taking it)
Biffida (not on Wahls' list but I tested deficient earlier this year)

Stuff I take in food form:
fermented cod liver oil
vitamin butter
probiotics in yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and fermented beets
selenium as Brazil nuts (I just realized that my mysterious nail breakages have been from eating too many of them.  I have to cut back to one nut no more than three times a week.)

I was already taking a lot of these supplements.  The revamp has added many more pills though.  I should take five sets of pills since some have to be taken between meals.  Ugh.  I'm not sure how compliant I'm going to be.  I hate taking pills so much I can just see me skipping doses.

The one really weird thing I noticed during the revamp was that somehow I dropped the ALA from my regimen.  I don't know when or why or how this happened.  I've been on ALA from early on in this illness.  Maybe I simply ran out of pills and forgot to order more.  I'm really stumped on this one.  Anyway, it'll be good to have it back in rotation.  And hopefully I'll be generating more GABA soon.

For further reading:
[1] Dr. Terri Wahls, Minding Your Mitochondria 2nd edition
[2] http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2013/09/26/gene-expression-study-suggests-me-cfs-post-cancer-fatigue-share-common-pathway/
[3] http://aac.asm.org/content/33/10/1704.full.pdf+html

1 comment:

  1. Diet will also help you decrease the glutamine. While it occurs naturally in some foods, Msg is your prime source of it. Msg is in anything processed that you eat and shows up labeled all kinds of ways and the more ingredients the more likely it's not labeled at all (often it's in a food several times).