I’m sharing this question I received on my GABA Calm blog to illustrate how different people respond to GABA and how some people may not even have the low GABA type of anxiety. Here is the question this mom posted:
I have used GABA (several brands, just open capsule and sprinkle small amount under tongue) for years now, with calming results within minutes. It was recommended to me by 2 family members, both bi-polar, who were tested by Dr. Amen. I have also used it with my children (now adults); my daughter says it doesn’t work for her. (She has anxiety issues and occasional panic attacks, and Rescue Remedy helps her.) It does work to calm my 3 sons, but one says it makes him sleepy, and lasts into the next day, so he won’t take it. Trudy, have you heard of this reaction? It seems extreme for such a small amount used. He is a college student and ‘medicates’ with caffeine, if that makes a difference.
She shared that she uses 500mg or 750mg capsules of GABA, and get several doses from a single cap (so maybe 100mg per dose).
This is what I shared with her: we are all biochemically different and one form of GABA (or GABA combined with other amino acids/nutrients such as GABA Calm) may work for one person and not another. Also one person may need more and another may do fine with much much less. Also anxiety has many underlying causes, with low GABA only being one of them.
If I was working with your daughter I’d have her trial higher amounts of GABA for the anxiety and panic attacks. I’d also look into low serotonin and a trial of tryptophan too especially if her anxiety is the worry, ruminating anxiety with insomnia and the blues, with increased afternoon and evening cravings for carbs and chocolates.
If I was working with your son, because it does work to calm him, I’d start by having him trial just 25mg of GABA and increase slowly from there, monitoring how he feels. His anxiety may also be related to his caffeine consumption – which can also affect sleep and the fatigue he feels in the morning could be related to that.
Note: She did ask this question on the GABA Calm blog and was planning to have them trial this form of GABA. I typically don’t have clients use GABA Calm at night (because of the tyrosine) but it’s certainly worth a trial especially with her son.
If you’re completely new to the amino acids for anxiety here is an overview with questionnaire, precautions and how to do a trial.