Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Here you can share your experiences with substances that are ingested, inhaled, or otherwise consumed for the purpose of relieving RLS, other than prescription medications. For example, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet, kratom, and marijuana (for now) should be discussed here. Tell others of successes, failures, side effects, and any known research on these substances. [Posts on these subjects created prior to 2009 are in the Physical Treatments forum.]

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
Post Reply
LCH
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:08 pm

Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by LCH »

I purchased Natural Sleep-Aid with Melatonin (5mg), 5-HTP (25 mg), GABA (50 mg) & L-Theanine (30 mg), Before starting using, I tried to check on the GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) as I do not want to take anything that will worsen my RLS. I was using THC, but I ran out it is not legal where I live so not taking anything at this time. Does anyone have any info on GABA and RLS? Thanks!

(I have used most of the RLS drugs offered, and fear of augmentation combined with a feeling of discouragement has kept me from re-using some. I have had augmentation and it was no fun. My doctor did refer me to a local neurologist who after an attempt to find the right drug for me referred me back to my family doctor; last time I checked with family doc he said that going to a specialist would do not good that the neurologist had tried everything. Recently he implied I was anxious, although he did not come out and say I was suffering from anxiety. I need to find a new doctor but this is not the time to make such a move.)

Rustsmith
Moderator
Posts: 4902
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by Rustsmith »

There are some who suggest that GABA can be beneficial for RLS. I tried taking it for a while and didn't find that it did anything one way or the other for me. As I understand it, on paper it might help, but there are many potential roadblocks between taking the pill, getting it through the stomach, into the bloodstream and then actually getting it into the part of the brain where it is needed if it is going to provide you with any benefit.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

LCH
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:08 pm

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by LCH »

Thanks. From your experience it appears that at least it won't make things worse. Those nights when my legs are extra restless and my brain is extra tired are tough.

badnights
Moderator
Posts: 5761
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:20 pm
Location: Northwest Territories, Canada

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by badnights »

Besides what Steve said, I might add one thing. Regarding your doctor's implication ("Recently he implied I was anxious, although he did not come out and say I was suffering from anxiety. ") - you could point out to him that anxiety and depression are common with WED/RLS, and that correlation doesn't mean there is no WED/RLS - it just means there is something besides the WED/RLS. Lots of us have issues with anxiety or depression (or both) as well as WED/RLS.

But I am more concerned about his lack of willingness to refer you further. If the neurologist he referred you to was at a loss, maybe s/he wasn't a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders (e.g. maybe s/he specializes in migraines). If s/he was a movement-disorders neurologist, then you might need to see a sleep-disorders specialist, since WED/RLS is both a sleep and a movement disorder. The very best type of specialist to see would be an RLS/WED specialist, at one of the RLS Quality Care Centers, which are hospitals or clinics that have been certified by the RLS Foundation's medical board.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
Click for info on WED/RLS AUGMENTATION & IRON
I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

Frunobulax
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by Frunobulax »

LCH wrote:I purchased Natural Sleep-Aid with Melatonin (5mg), 5-HTP (25 mg), GABA (50 mg) & L-Theanine (30 mg), Before starting using, I tried to check on the GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) as I do not want to take anything that will worsen my RLS. I was using THC, but I ran out it is not legal where I live so not taking anything at this time. Does anyone have any info on GABA and RLS? Thanks!
I started taking Gaba, Melatonin and 5-HTP about 2 years ago. The dosage has been stable for a year, I take a teaspoon of pure GABA (maybe 2 grams) dissolved in water about 30 minutes before bedtime, Melatonin (2mg) and 400mg 5-HTP about 2 hours before bedtime. It works for me. Over a time of maybe a year my insomnia got a lot better, up to the point that I will fall asleep normally 2 nights out of 3, while I had very severe insomnia before that and pretty much every night was very short. But even today I need all 3 of them, as I have tried to taper each of them several times.

For me, this cocktail does to my RLS the same as any other agent that makes me sleepy: If my symptoms are well controlled, then I'm fine. If RLS breaks through, they get worse when I get sleepy. In fact my RLS symptoms got better since starting this stuff, so at least they didn't make things worse. But I did other treatments in that time, so I can't be sure if they were beneficial or not.

Note that I have ME/CFS, so things may be different for you.
LCH wrote:Recently he implied I was anxious, although he did not come out and say I was suffering from anxiety. I need to find a new doctor but this is not the time to make such a move.)
Sleep disorders can cause depressions and other psychiatric issues. Often sleep of a RLS sufferer is "fragmented" without us knowing, very similar to sleep apnea which is better known. So even if we think that we slept 8 hours or whatever, the sleep may not have been restful.
Many RLS specialists (I think Buchfuhrer among them, but I'm not sure) agree that in many cases the psychiatric issues disappear if the sleep disorder is under control. So even if you had psychiatric issues (I'm not saying that you have!) it could be a consequence of the RLS, and you should treat the RLS first and see about the psychiatric issues later.

But then, I've read somewhere that RLS patients have been incarcerated in psychiatric wards as recently as 50 years ago.

LCH
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:08 pm

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by LCH »

Thank you for the support of trying this new approach. And your comments about psychiatric issues related to RLS is very appreciated. One of my grandchildren has what his mom calls "jumpy legs". Everyone knows I have RLS. I am trying to eduate them about the genetic implications but resistance is high.

LCH
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:08 pm

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by LCH »

badnights wrote:Besides what Steve said, I might add one thing. Regarding your doctor's implication ("Recently he implied I was anxious, although he did not come out and say I was suffering from anxiety. ") - you could point out to him that anxiety and depression are common with WED/RLS, and that correlation doesn't mean there is no WED/RLS - it just means there is something besides the WED/RLS. Lots of us have issues with anxiety or depression (or both) as well as WED/RLS.

But I am more concerned about his lack of willingness to refer you further. If the neurologist he referred you to was at a loss, maybe s/he wasn't a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders (e.g. maybe s/he specializes in migraines). If s/he was a movement-disorders neurologist, then you might need to see a sleep-disorders specialist, since WED/RLS is both a sleep and a movement disorder. The very best type of specialist to see would be an RLS/WED specialist, at one of the RLS Quality Care Centers, which are hospitals or clinics that have been certified by the RLS Foundation's medical board.
Thanks for your comments. I am in an HMO and really like the staff at my docs office. Perhaps I could try one more time after this virus issue is resolved. The closest RLS Foundation contacts are over 200 miles away. But with telemedicine becoming a reality, I think this could be worked out IFF (if and only if) my doc will be open to my input.

Rustsmith
Moderator
Posts: 4902
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by Rustsmith »

But then, I've read somewhere that RLS patients have been incarcerated in psychiatric wards as recently as 50 years ago.
It is still happening today. Just before Christmas I went to the ER because that is what my doctor's after hours instructions were. I was having a very bad night and knew that without help, it was going to be a zero sleep night that was following several nights of very poor sleep. The ER staff had absolutely no idea about RLS and decided to fixate on my number 3 complaint, depression. In spite of the fact that I point blank told them that I was far from being a suicide risk, they decided that I was going to commit suicide that night and so they shipped me off to a psyc hospital 3 hrs away. They also refused to call my doctor, who is even an employee of the same corporation as the hospital and who has since told me she was at home that evening and is furious that they treated me like that.

The ride to the psyc hospital was in the back of what can only be described as a private police car, in other words, no way to move around inside a steel cage while experiencing a severe RLS attack. I spent 8 days there and was forced off one of my RLS meds cold turkey simply because the med was not in the hospital's formulary and the medical NP had no idea of how to treat RLS other than with DAs. There are far more indignities that I was forced to endure, but I cannot go into too much detail yet.

I have heard from several others with RLS since that time who reported receiving much the same type of treatment in the ER and the horrors of enduring a minimum of 3 days in a psyc ward.

Needless to say, I am currently working with an attorney with claims against both hospitals.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Frunobulax
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA &L-Theanine

Post by Frunobulax »

Rustsmith wrote: It is still happening today.
Jesus. This is torture, just terrible. I'm at loss for words, frankly.
I sincerely hope that you'll get at least some financial compensation out of this. Too bad that the doctors probably don't have to pay that out of their wages.

Post Reply