Orthomolecular medicine is a system of medicine practiced by medical MD’s throughout the world.  It is a system of medicine that uses mainly herbs and vitamins/minerals.  It mainly uses natural substances that are non-toxic and are safe in a wide range of dose.

Dr. Bob was a MD internal medicine, orthomolecular doctor, MD psychiatrist, chiropractor, and healer 65 years.  He was a diabetic who lived to 108 years with only 1 side effect 2 years before he passed away.

Dr Bob advised the following for anxiety and panic attacks:

Consider supplementing 30 minutes before meals using at least 8-12 ounces of distilled water.  Food allergies, poor digestion, stomach acid, and other factors can destroy supplements if they are taken at the same time as meals.  Therefore taking supplements at mealtime may not be beneficial for people with anxiety and panic disorders. They often have many of the symptoms mentioned above.  Using supplements 30 minutes before meals allows time for the supplements to pass into the bloodstream before the meal enters the stomach.

 

1.      Consider supplementing the amino acid taurine.  It is used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, poor brain function, and seizures. Taurine is considered an inhibitor amino acid that may inhibit neurotransmission.  Start at low dose amounts and build up to levels that relieve symptoms.    Consult with an orthomolecular doctor.  Orthomolecular doctors specialize in nutrient protocols.  Dr. Bob usually built up levels to ½ gram to 1 gram per day.  After 5 days Dr. Bob would have you stop supplementing taurine if no symptoms were present.  He would have you restart in 5 days and then continue cycling it 5 days on taurine and 5 days off.  Whenever you had symptoms he would have you start taurine again.  Taurine is an amino acid and other amino acids can compete with it.  Therefore consider supplementing taurine 3 hours before you eat any protein and 3 hours after eating protein.  Taurine can be laboratory measured.  If it is low then appropriate supplementation should be considered to increase levels to normal.

2.      Consider the supplement GABA.  GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.  Its function is to decrease neuron activity and inhibit nerve cells from over-firing - it helps to inhibit stress-related messages from reaching the motor centers of the brain by occupying their receptor sites.  In anxiety and panic attacks, stress hormones can lead to the brain over-firing messages.  GABA helps turn off the stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can help turn off anxiety and panic attacks. You should consider starting at low doses and building the dose up slowly, in helping to decrease anxiety or panic attacks.  Dr Bob advised to start off at ¼ - ½  gram in the AM and PM.  If there are no adverse effects, you can build the dose up slowly to ¾ gram.  If the panic attacks continue then you can add a third dose each day, taking GABA three times a day in order to spread out the effects of supplementation. You can supplement too much GABA and get side effects.  A primary side effect of GABA can be the effects similar to a niacin flush - an uncomfortable tingling, itchy flush.  GABA may have low absorption qualities, so consider methods that enhance GABA (see A-E listed in this article). You may need to experiment with different doses.  Consider using GABA and taurine at the same time.

3.      Consider a B50 supplement.  The brain uses B vitamins to help produce energy, detox, and many other functions of brain cells.  The B vitamins can help the brain more properly utilize taurine and GABA.  Consider using a B50 along with GABA and taurine.

4.      Consider the hormone DHEA.  DHEA is a hormone that helps balance the adrenals.  Thus DHEA can help regulate the stress hormone adrenaline.  Regulating adrenaline can help control the over-firing of the brain that can occur from anxiety and panic attacks.  You should always consult with a hormonal specialist when starting DHEA.  We recommend the anti-aging doctors called the A-4 doctors.  A-4 doctors are tested on the latest cutting edge hormonal science before they can become A-4 doctors.  Their national number is 773-528-4333.  Dr. Bob advised 5-25 mg of DHEA daily in divided doses for women after the age of 35 years, and 25-50 mg of DHEA daily in divided doses for men after the age of 35 years.  He recommended taking part of your dose in the morning, preferably between 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM.  He recommended you take DHEA in 2-3 divided doses to spread out its effects, but supplement most of your DHEA before 4:00 PM.  Dr. Bob advised to cycle DHEA 5 days on it and take 2 days off it each week.  He advised you stop taking it 1 week out of every 7 weeks.

5.      Consider the hormone melatonin.  Melatonin is another controller of the adrenals.  Consider consulting with an A-4 doctor or hormonal specialist before starting melatonin supplementation. Melatonin is the hormone secreted by the pineal gland that helps to control sleep cycles.  Melatonin is also an extremely powerful antioxidant and helps prevent free-radical damage from fatty acids, (which is a primary cause of brain aging).  Studies also indicate that melatonin boosts immune activity and that it can help prevent a wide range of illnesses, including cancer.  According to Dr. Bob, the hormone melatonin may have wide and scattered ranges throughout individuals when measured.  Because of these wide and scattered ranges, Dr. Bob did not feel measuring melatonin was of great value.  Dr. Bob advised if you were past the age of 35 you should supplement melatonin.  He recommended you supplement 1-3 mg 1 hour before bedtime.  He said to cycle melatonin 6 days on it and 1 day off it.  Melatonin helps to control the sleep cycle and if you sleep consistently well, Dr. Bob felt your melatonin level was likely in proper ranges.  If you did not sleep well, Dr. Bob felt this might be an indicator that your melatonin levels may be low or imbalanced.  Dr. Bob would have people start off with 1-3 mg of melatonin each night.  Dr. Bob would wait a few weeks to see if melatonin supplementation improved sleep.  If it did not improve sleep after a few weeks, then Dr. Bob would increase the melatonin dose.  Dr. Bob said you could slowly increase the melatonin dose if good sleep was not happening.  He recommended not increasing melatonin doses past 12 mg each day.  He advised if 12 mg was not working, likely you had problems with other supporting hormones and cofactors in the body.

Other orthomolecular supplements Dr. Bob would sometimes use for anxiety and panic attacks are:

A.      Consider the B vitamin niacinamide.  Niacinamide works like GABA and inositol--it helps prevent stress-related messages from reaching the motor centers of the brain by occupying their receptor sites. Consider consulting with an orthomolecular doctor who will be familiar with starting at low doses and building up doses until symptoms begin decreasing.

B.      Consider the B vitamin inositol.  It is a mediator of adrenaline. The B vitamin inositol works similarly to niacinamide in helping to calm down a person. If a person had any nerve tingling or other nerve symptoms such as twitches, Dr. Bob would use inositol in place of niacinamide.  Inositol helps accelerate nerve impulses while also acting as a calming nutrient, thus capable of double duty in some people who need calming down and also have nerve conditions.  Consider starting at low doses and building levels up slowly, until symptoms start to decrease.  Dr Bob advised ½-1 teaspoon in the AM and PM. Consider consulting with an orthomolecular doctor who will be familiar with starting at low doses and building up doses until symptoms begin decreasing.

C.      Research indicates that niacinamide and inositol enhance the effects of GABA.  (1)

D.      Consider vitamin B12 – it has many benefits for brain and nerves.  Japanese doctors are using a form of vitamin B12 called methylcobalamin to treat neurological disease caused by excess glutamate release (excitotoxicity).  Methylcobalamin is the neurological active form of vitamin B12.  The liver does not convert regular vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) into adequate amounts of methylcobalamin to prevent or correct most neurological defects.  The solution is to take methylcobalamin under the tongue when you supplement it.

Additionally, women who begin to experience anxiety and panic about 10 days or less before menstruation might consider seeing an A-4 doctor to find if they may need natural progesterone supplementation.  Progesterone has a natural calming effect and in some cases can reduce anxiety in women.  For anxiety occurring close to menstruation, consider raising the progesterone dose slowly to find the dose that can help control anxiety.  One symptom of low levels of progesterone in women is they feel like they are in a fog (most cognitive symptoms in women usually indicate problems with the estrogen hormones- but fog in the brain can be considered a symptom that can involve progesterone instead of estrogens).  Consider measuring your progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone levels and restore appropriate levels of each.  Women who are depressed near the time of menstruation, progesterone therapy may not be proper.  Progesterone can be calming and a person who is depressed wants to increase energy not calm down.  It is also becoming more common for doctors to recommend estrogens in the first half of a woman’s cycle and progesterone in the second half of a woman’s cycle.  This may be more in rhythm with a woman’s cycle.  However, this may depend on many factors such as pre-menopause, menopause, pregnancy and so on.   In some cases it may be proper to overlap estrogen and progesterone.

Also hyperventilation can sometimes be observed during increased anxiety and panic.  If you observe shallow and rapid breathing during stress, and other abnormal breathing patterns, consider learning about breathing techniques.

Some symptoms of hyperventilation can be:

 

·        Palpitations

·        Tires easily

·        Breathlessness

·        Nervousness

·        Chest pain

·        Sighing

·        Dizziness

·        Faintness

·        Apprehension

·        Headaches

·        Paresthesia

·        Weakness

·        Trembling

·        Unsatisfactory breath

·        Insomnia

·        Unhappiness

·        Shakiness

·        Fatigued all the time

·        Sweating

·        Fear of death

·        Smothering

·        Syncope

·        Flushes

·        Yawning

·        Pain radiating to left arm

·        Vascular throbbing

·        Dry mouth

 

The symptoms and sensations arising from hyperventilation can increase anxiety and panic.  Learning proper breathing techniques can help you learn to control hyperventilation, which may lead to a lessening of anxiety and panic.

 

The information on symptoms of hyperventilation came from the book, “Breathe Well, be Well,” by Robert Fried, Ph.D.   Additionally, Dr. Fried’s book describes other behavior techniques, such as visualization and muscle relaxation that may benefit you during times of stress and panic. 

 

A.     Neuroactive steroids – steroids that accumulate in the brain and regulate neuronal function. The study of neuroactive steroids is a developing science.  Neuroactive steroids in physiological concentrations regulate neuronal function through their concurrent influence on transmitter-gated ion channels and gene expression. (2) They help modulate and balance the central nervous system and are involved with modulation of GABA.  Progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA and metabolites made from them are vital neuroactive steroids of the central nervous system that accumulate in the brain after local synthesis or after metabolism of adrenal steroids.  You can check with a hormonal specialist to laboratory test your progesterone, pregnenolone, and DHEA levels.  If the levels are improper consider hormone replacement therapy to restore levels to optimal low youthful levels.  Many hormonal specialists consider normal ranges adequate for laboratory measurements of hormones.  Consider hormonal specialists who restore hormone levels back to optimal low youthful levels, since this may result in optimal benefits.  A group of doctors called the A-4 anti-aging doctors are tested on the cutting edge ideas of the hormonal sciences before they can become A-4 doctors.  We recommend them.  Their national phone number is 773-528-4333.

B.     The mounting evidence is neuroactive steroids help modulate the effects of the neural inhibitory neurotransmitter (chemical messengers of the brain) GABA.  GABA helps control neural excitability, as may be the case in anxiety and panic attack.

C.     The hormone pregnenolone contains the highest amounts of hormones in the brain.  The infinite wisdom of creation suggests pregnenolone is important in the brain, as the hormone present in the greatest quantities.  Pregnenolone-derived neurosteroids positively modulate the GABA (A) receptor complex.  Pregnenolone can be considered to enhance and modulate GABA (3) (4).  Check with a hormonal specialist on pregnenolone supplementation.  We recommend the American Academy of Antiaging doctors, called A-4 doctors.  Their national number is 773-528-4333.

D.     The hormone progesterone is involved with neuroactive steroids that modulate and enhance GABA (4).  Consult with a hormonal specialist such as an A-4 doctor.  Men may also need progesterone.

 

In conclusion, using GABA and other natural substances to enhance GABA may help decrease symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

 

Note – Glutamine is a precursor of GABA.  Glutamine is first synthesized to glutamate, then glutamate is synthesized to GABA.  However, glutamine in the conversion process to glutamate, can result in neurotoxicity.  If you already have poor brain health, glutamine supplementation may not be proper.  In healthy subject’s 2 grams of glutamine is often what is recommended.  For an ill person, the likely dose would be less than 2 grams.  Consult with your doctor before supplementing glutamine; ill health can stress the glutamine to glutamate conversion process leading to neurotoxicity.

 

Why Modern Medicine Does Not Use Natural Cures:

 

The reason the modern medical establishment does not use many natural substances may be that there is not much money available for research for natural substances.  Natural substances are not compounds that can be patented.  Pharmaceutical companies work on making a profit so they need to discover drugs that can be patented and become profitable.  The doctors are busy with patients and depend a great deal on their pharmaceutical salespeople to keep them updated on the latest information on new treatments.  Therefore the lack of research on natural substances is a flaw of the system and not a reflection on natural compounds.  The lack of research on natural compounds is an issue of money.  Orthomolecular doctors are familiar with the effects of natural compounds and can guide you in the use of natural methods for healing.  Most natural compounds are safe at the proper doses.  Orthomolecular doctors can start you off at safe low doses and build up your levels slowly until symptoms start to decrease.  

 

(1)   Valli M, Pringuey D.  New Trends on Biochemical Mechanism of Bezzodiazepines, Therapie 1980 Sep-Oct, 35(5): 561-9.

(2)   Rapprecht R. Holsboer F.  Neuropsychopharmacological Properties of Neuroactive Steroids.  Steroids 1999 Jan-Feb;64(1-2); 83-91.

(3)   Albrecht J., Roles of Neuroactive Amino Acids in Ammonia Neurotoxicity.  J. Neurosci Res 1998 Jun 15; 51 (2), 133-8.

(4)   Kupprecht R. Holsboer, Neuropsy Chopharmacological Properites of Neuractive Steroids.

 

WARNING:  DO NOT STOP ANY TREATMENT OR MEDICATION YOU CURRENTLY USE.  CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING THE USE OF SUPPLEMENTS. 

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The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated any of the statements contained on this web site. The information contained in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Remember each person's body is different and will react differently to various herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements. Therefore, any supplementation must be administered on an individual basis. Use the information found on this web site as precisely that: Information. You and your doctor must make any final decisions. This information is not meant to replace any doctor and patient consultation. This information should in no way replace your personal physician's advice.

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