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Lieutenant2

Preliminary report - experiment with GABA

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Took Gaba for a few nights - and woke up with a nasty case of diarrhea. Partly I'm sure because I was already taking Magnesium citrate for better sleep. Magnesium, Gaba and Melatonin all have an effect on the digestive tract. I used to travel to India 4 times a year and would take Melatonin for sleep issues upon return and always would end up constipated when I'd discontinued the Melatonin. So I will stay off of both for a few days and try the Gaba again by itself. I should mention that it didn't totally get rid of my CH - but yesterday was quite bearable and today more so. A large improvement actually - considering I've been suicidal from the pain the last three weeks.

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Hey Lallangoti,

It goes without saying, but I hope your last paragraph was just a wisecrack. CH sucks, but the days of being "suicidal" over it should be in the past. Plenty of options that can help with the pain, man!

I am interested in your experiment, though. My original theory was really that the GABA needs to "fly solo" so to speak. I don't think it directly interacts with anything, but I do think there's the possibility of sending mixed signals to your melon (and maybe your digestive tract, eh?)

Since you are seeing some relief, I seriously suggest just a clean trial of the GABA. . .hell, the magnesium and melatonin weren't really doing you any favors, so what's wrong with taking a few days off of them?

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Just to be clear - I wasn't taking melatonin. The magnesium was being taken for more relaxed sleep. On a hunch I did a quick search for Gaba and diarrhea and there is a correlation. Regardless - I intend to try the Gaba solo as soon as my digestion normalizes, as there has been a definite decrease in intensity of my headaches over the last two days.

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Magnesium can also cause loose stools... So maybe the two together are a little too much?

Hey CHfather, no worries there. . .I didn't invent GABA, definitely no vested interest in it other than something I pulled out of my butt during some internet research. I think the pattern I'm seeing is pretty much what I expected. . .

Some of us (like me) have seriously screwed sleep cycles. There's some belief that it causes CH, but I think it's a parallel symptom. We never reach actual REM sleep because of all the extra impulses bouncing around in there, and because we don't reach REM sleep, those impulses don't have an outlet (other than to F with the HPA axis and cause a lot of pain). I think that's why the GABA has worked for me, it's the chemical equivalent of filling my head with foam and slowing down those surplus impulses long enough to let my brain sleep.

For some others, I think CH has a totally different set of root causes. Mystina is probably a good example, her CH and my CH have nothing in common except the pain. I hope there are a few others floating around who have the same version of this mess that I do, and we can keep experimenting! Who knows, maybe we'll stumble upon something that works for everyone. . .it sure as hell ain't going to come from a pharmaceutical company!

Just for my daily update. . .100% pain free today, pretty sure that's 15 days. Had a minor shadow yesterday at 4pm. I swear, I chased it with two beers and almost dared it to develop into a skullbuster. I'm taking a B6 tablet with the GABA tonight to see how it effects potency-

Actually, I have had insomnia since I was a small child. Which I think is a sign my hypothalamus was fucked up way back then. Since it's supposed to control hunger/thirst/heating/cooling/sleep etc... I have to take sleeping pills to sleep, otherwise I've gone for over 2 weeks without sleep until my family begged the doctors to knock me the feck out.  ;) (I get REALLY hyper after about 48 hours.)

I also sometimes run a low grade fever during hits...that end after the hit does, so that also makes me think the hypothalamus is involved too.

One other thing... if someone startles me awake, it's a guaranteed hit. My family tries not to mess with me when I'm asleep, because if they do there's a good chance it'll trigger me. And when it does, it's bad.

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got hit hard yesterday and last night, gaba was fun while it lasted, going to back off to one 750 mg pill, my mind is a little to focused taking 2 pills, but I think it has helped connect the dots, I'll see how that goes, thanks anyways Lt., good luck and pain free days everyone...

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Mystina, I stand corrected. . .your CH sounds more similar to mine than I originally thought!

Just to maintain my personal update, I added 100mg of B6 last night (it's a lot, but that was the only dosage I could find here on the island) to my usual 2.25g of GABA. There is some evidence out there that B6 helps the brain use GABA, or in the absence of natural GABA helps the brain create it. Anyway, I think it enhanced the effects, if nothing else. I felt extremely tired, which I never really got with just GABA. Slept through the night again, woke up feeling good.

Starting day 16 today. . .I think the most notable thing is that I've had absolutely no CH activity at night during all of this. The few shadows I've had have all been mid afternoon. I'll keep updating my progress in the event that this might help someone else.

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Magnesium can also cause loose stools... So maybe the two together are a little too much?

Precisely. Not to overtalk the Magnesium thing but it does give me better sleep as I have had unexplained heart palpitations the last few years right before waking and the Magnesium has quieted that down - and made me very regular.

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Mystina, I stand corrected. . .your CH sounds more similar to mine than I originally thought!

Just to maintain my personal update, I added 100mg of B6 last night (it's a lot, but that was the only dosage I could find here on the island) to my usual 2.25g of GABA. There is some evidence out there that B6 helps the brain use GABA, or in the absence of natural GABA helps the brain create it. Anyway, I think it enhanced the effects, if nothing else. I felt extremely tired, which I never really got with just GABA. Slept through the night again, woke up feeling good.

Starting day 16 today. . .I think the most notable thing is that I've had absolutely no CH activity at night during all of this. The few shadows I've had have all been mid afternoon. I'll keep updating my progress in the event that this might help someone else.

Will give it a try. I haven't slept through the night since 1979  'cause of BEP. Actually the first time I ever did a yoga class I slept un-interupted for that one night 19 years ago and then never again. I don't doubt that my inability to sleep through the night has skewed my brainwaves in some fashion that is causing the headaches as the commencement of the two issues coincide. I can't deal with sleep meds. All have too many side effects and are so freakin' addictive.

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I haven't slept through the night since 1979

Me neither, with the occasional exception, such as when I've taken RC seeds before bed, but does anyone routinely sleep through the night completely uninterrupted?  :o

That's such a foreign concept to me.

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but does anyone routinely sleep through the night completely uninterrupted

I have the last three nights I have taken GABA. Chevy style..." Like a Rock" I even had dreams  :o

Here's some more interesting information on the GABA subject.

"An easy to understand description of GABA receptors:

As the GABA Sensitive Ring and either the Second or Third Neurotransmitter rings begin to fill with their respective molecules, they tighten the whole GABA complex, thereby widening the chloride channel to allow more chloride to enter. Since chloride neutralizes norepinephrine, this process can calm excessive nervousness, tension, and stress.

Since the Second and Third Neurotransmitter Rings are sensitive to external source substances such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates and alcohol, these external substances can cause the Chloride Channel to open, thereby assisting in the neutralizing of additional adrenaline.

However, prolonged use of any external substances that cause the GABA complex to widen without the natural production of GABA, can eventually send the message to the brain that GABA is no longer needed. The brain doesn't produce neurotransmitters to store, rather it produces them for immediate use. Therefore, if the brain continues to receive the message that GABA is not needed to widen the chloride channel, the brain may finally slow down the GABA production, thereby creating a deficiency.

It takes at least two of the rings filling with molecules to tighten the whole complex. The amino acid L-Glutamine is a precursor to GABA. Therefore, an amino acid supplement containing L-Glutamine can nutritionally support the natural production of GABA."

Source: http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=25274.0

even pictures, lots of links in the thread as well

and just one last thing to note... "GABA is the primary inhibitory transmitter of the adult hypothalamus"

Source: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/15/7/5065.short

AO

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AO

how many mg's of gaba do u take?

I have a question I take a small dose of klonopin .05 at night. Does anyone think it will interfere with taking gaba supplements? I feel like when I took gaba for 2 nights it made me anxious instead of sleepy? Im a bit confused.

thanks

Anthony

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AO

how many mg's of gaba do u take?

I have a question I take a small dose of klonopin .05 at night. Does anyone think it will interfere with taking gaba supplements? I feel like when I took gaba for 2 nights it made me anxious instead of sleepy? Im a bit confused.

thanks

Anthony

Yes - I had got anxious for a short while the first time I tried the Gaba. I though maybe I was getting results at first but that hasn't been the case and the Gaba (even taken solo) has made me gassy and cramped and generally disrupted my digestion. So I'm giving the Gaba a pass.

Re: Clonopin... I weaned myself off (after taking it for 2 months) that recently after a bad bout of incredible stress due to a huge cluster**** spate of bad luck and being victimized by idiots in the business world. I know Benzos (unfortunately) too well and can say for sure that as the dose of Clonopin wears off at the end of its cycle - the slight withdrawal will trigger headaches. I was trapped in that dismal cycle from '78 - '88. Also (my theory) some folks can take benzos for years for anxiety and remain at a steady dose, never building tolerance. But people in chronic pain - will always end up building a tolerance and getting addicted. In truth - when I hear doctors say that some people can take them for years without getting addicted - I tend to think that's a myth... like when the doctor tells you, "Here, you take this as much as you like. It has no side-effects."  ::) I mean, wow, how many times have we heard that?

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Nice find, AO. . .some good reading in there, I'm going to dig into that further next week. I'm especially interested in the tolerance angle, and what I can expect from GABA and/or its precursors.

Interesting to note that the few people I'm in contact with plus a few on the forum are running at about a 2.5 out of 6 success rate, but I also notice that the less-successful tend to be the ones who have been on/are on some stronger meds, especially in the psych realm. Those of us who are getting positive results generally haven't. Speaking only for myself, the only prescription med I've ever taken for this was prednisone, and I got off of that quickly.

I tend to think that CH will "entrench" itself against the chemicals we throw at it, so maybe I'm like the kid who tries a beer for the first time. It hits me like a ton of bricks, but doesn't make a dent in someone whose brain has already been through the CH machine for a lot of years.

11am on day. . .what. . .17? Another decent night of sleep, no CH and no shadows. Still only on 2.25g of GABA with 100mg of B6. As I'm on vacation, I should note that I've had at least some alcohol every single day this week, too. . .usually a pretty reliable trigger for me.

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AO

how many mg's of gaba do u take?

I have a question I take a small dose of klonopin .05 at night. Does anyone think it will interfere with taking gaba supplements? I feel like when I took gaba for 2 nights it made me anxious instead of sleepy? Im a bit confused.

thanks

Anthony

im only taking 750mg, my metabolism is really high, i am very underweight (though weight doesnt seem to have any effect on brain chemistry except for more piping to go through)

i also do not take any medications or other supplements, not even aspirin. i take the 750mg at the same time each night. and i have not busted in 9 days.

I have a question I take a small dose of klonopin .05 at night.

that may be blocking your busting attempts....also benzos react on gaba receptors. so if you take a benzo and take gaba. one of them is unesscessary, they go to the same receptor. and possibly over-excitng the receptor resulting in anxiety and restlessness

I know Benzos (unfortunately) too well and can say for sure that as the dose of Clonopin wears off at the end of its cycle - the slight withdrawal will trigger headaches.

probably because benzos fill up those gaba receptors, when the benzo is gone the body hasnt made or stored enough gaba to fill the receptors when the benzo leaves. since it didnt need to because of the benzo being present and locking up the receptors... perhaps resulting is attacks from gaba deficiency?

what i would like to reiterate is any prolonged use of any substance that acts on gaba receptors will eventually result in a gaba deficiency pot/alcohol/opiates/benzos/ and numerous other supplements, perscriptions, and so on. when the gaba receptors are filled with other substances, the body thinks it has enough gaba and doesnt make its own or store, thus when the substance leaves and the recpeptors are open, there is no gaba to fill them.

funny too how gaba effects hgh, i have been tryin to find some info on steroids like prednisone and dexamethasone since they are effective for me in stopping ch. if i could pinpoint the mechanics of them i may beable to find something safer that acts the same way or similar

also L-glutamine is a precursor to GABA, which is in all kinds of foods and such, there is a supplemnt for that, so maybe instead of supplementing gaba, maybe supplemnt the l-glutamine to have your body produce its own gaba? just a thought....

AO

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Interesting to note that the few people I'm in contact with plus a few on the forum are running at about a 2.5 out of 6 success rate, but I also notice that the less-successful tend to be the ones who have been on/are on some stronger meds, especially in the psych realm

I'm not sure we can really extrapolate that info to mean that the drugs are the cause of Gaba not working.  I would also throw out the idea that the folks who are on heavy drugs are probably on heavier drugs for a reason--their clusters are a bit more out of control....

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I'm not sure we can really extrapolate that info to mean that the drugs are the cause of Gaba not working.

but what if the GABA receptors are occupied by other things than GABA? it would be like busting after imitrex, the receptors are occupied, there for ineffective?

this subject is really tough to decipher i agree, so many contradictions and variables, maybe not a direct cause and effect but a contributor to our problems does seems reasonable

then again how many times does o2 work for one and not another? or busting? or verapamil? now GABA...

i think this subject holds plenty weight for discussion and for those running out of ideas or options to consider looking into this.

i stand on the fence with it, knowing placebo is a much stronger "drug" that people make it out to be

AO

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Sorry I've been AWOL for a couple days with no updates, Sunday was an insanely busy travel day complete with delayed flights and lost luggage. Just a brief update. . .

On Monday morning, I got what I'll call a CH hit at around 8am. It started as a little shadow, intensified sharply to about a 7, then was gone in about 10 minutes. That was about 30 hours ago, and I've been completely pain-free since.

The variable was what I did with the GABA on Sunday. With an evening layover in Chicago, I figured it would be smart to take my normal dose very early (4pm) and sleep on the plane. That didn't work out, so I ended up wide awake until after midnight, then got some really fitful sleep. The link between GABA and sleep is a very direct one for me, so being awake for 8 more hours after taking it was a problem.

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In Dr. Goadsby's 'Treatment of Cluster Headache' in the American Headache Society's 'Information for Health Care Professionals,' (http://clusterheadacheinfo.wdfiles.com/local--files/file%3Agoadsbyclustertreatment/GoadsbyClusterTreatment.pdf), under Preventative Treatments he states that: "Other preventive agents include gabapentin (up to 3600 mg daily)"...

Goadsby's my new hero, so I thought I'd mention finding this.

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Interesting stuff, Bonkers. . .it's gonna take me a while to research the gabapentin and compare it to some of the OTC versions available.

On a related note, I think I've answered the question "Is it possible to develop a tolerance to GABA?" The answer appears to be "yes". After a couple more days of peace, I started today with hits at 3am, 6am, and 9am. Oh well, at least it's consistent!   :)

My next step is some combinations of GABA and inositol, possibly together or at different times of day. Back to the drawing board, kinda.

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it's gonna take me a while to research the gabapentin

I remember when I was on Gabapentin for seizures years ago and asking my Neuro about using Gaba instead...He told me gabapentin was named that because they initially thought it hit Gaba receptors, but eventually found that not to be true. 

Wikipedia says--"Gabapentin was initially synthesized to mimic the chemical structure of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), but is not believed to act on the same brain receptors."

And not to be a pessimist, but how do you tell the difference between gaba not working because of tolerance, and gaba just not working?  I only say this because many people, (including myself) have come across numerous substances that we have THOUGHT worked, but have eventually find out that clusters being clusters, they come and go.

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Just thought I'd add, in case it's at all useful, that gabapentin is otherwise known as Neurontin.

My casual, anecdotal observance of message board comments by CH'ers about neurontin is that some swear by it, probably more swear at it.

Personally, when I was on prescriptions for CH, I found high doses of neurontin to be helpful as a preventative.

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Ricardo, no offense, but I'm extremely in tune with my CH and how the animal behaves. The changes in my sleep cycles and quality were instantly quantifiable, and I got 20+ days of relief. I've never had 2 consecutive days of relief, let alone 20. And I'm still cruising along relatively pain free, even after my recent little setback.

Funny how neurontin and similar anti-siezure meds have been indicated for CH, yet there's no apparent crossover between the two disorders.

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