GABA is a calming amino acid that helps to reduce anxiety and panic attacks in individuals with low GABA levels and helps to address the anxiety that many individuals experience when they have Lyme disease.
At the recent IMMH/Integrative Medicine for Mental Health conference Dr. Suruchi Chandra presented on Neuropsychiatric Lyme Disease and shared that:
Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States. It can remain dormant for years and then later mimic a number of psychiatric illnesses, including anxiety disorders, mood disturbances, psychosis, and autism-like behaviors. It can be further complicated by the presence of co-infections.
Last month I shared a post called GABA, the calming amino acid: expert opinions and Tricia Soderstrom, creator of the blog Abounding in Hope with Lyme shared it with her online Lyme community with this comment:
Lyme anxiety is real! We’ve used GABA with great success.
Tricia shared further when I asked what had helped:
We’ve used Source Naturals GABA Calm sublinguals with good results. I learned about GABA helping anxiety and because I was treating my young daughter I purchased this because it was easy for her to take.
Lyme, Bartonella and Babesia are all known to cause anxiety and other psychological disorders ranging from mild to very severe. My daughter had it very severely but thankfully is much better now that we’ve treated the tick-borne diseases.
She also shared this excellent article by Pamela Weintraub as a resource: High Anxiety (Neurological Lyme Disease, Part Three)
I asked Tricia if I could share some of her daughter’s Lyme story and how GABA (and other nutrients) had helped with her anxiety while they were treating the Lyme disease. She kindly agreed and here are some excerpts from her blog post: How A Tick Bite Changed My Daughter – Part 2 Using Supplements To Nourish The Brain
When my third daughter turned 7 we had no idea that our whole lives were beginning to turn upside down by severe anxiety and OCD.
As that year progressed I noticed my …daughter incessantly washing her hands, pooling saliva in her mouth, clenching her fists until the skin around her knuckles turned bright white and repeating motions. Her eyes were wider than normal and she became very fearful of things that never bothered her before.
At the same time, she was complaining of deep hip pain, pain in her feet, very bad headaches, motion sickness, nausea, heart palpitations and other symptoms….
Her anxiety grew, her obsessions controlled her and she was incapable of thinking rationally during these episodes. With age her episodes became more frequent and more severe.
Tricia diligently searched for solutions for the Lyme disease that was impacting her daughter and herself. As Tricia learned more, she discovered the psychiatric connection to Lyme and they worked without success, with various doctors, having her daughter try antibiotic treatments and anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.
Still searching, she discovered Dr. Klinghart teaching about pyroluria and started adjusting her daughter’s diet and adding various nutrients: magnesium, fish oil, trace minerals, vitamin D, evening primrose oil, vitamin B6 and zinc (the latter three are key for pyroluria).
Tricia then came across some of the amazing interviews I did with various experts on season 1 of the Anxiety Summit and it further consolidated what she had already discovered. She shares this:
What I learned was astounding and it was very similar to what [Dr. Kinghart] taught but I began to also learn about GABA, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptophan.
To my daughter’s routine I added Source Naturals GABA Calm sublingual, Nature’s Way 5-HTP, Nature’s Way L-Theanine/ Green Tea sublingal, and Source Natural’s Melatonin.
At first we used GABA or L-Theanine whenever she would have a panic attack or her OCD was too much to deal with. After awhile I just had her take it first thing in the morning, mid-day and then again in the evenings when her symptoms would be at their worst.
The amino acids and brain nutrients were ONE part of the solution, together with dietary changes, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and homeopathy. As Tricia says:
These supplements did not cure my daughter but they helped her get off the prescription drugs and they helped both of us during our most trying times
This is why I love using targeted individual amino acids such as GABA. They give you immediate relief from anxiety and panic attacks while you are dealing with bigger underlying issues such as Lyme disease. Adding other nutrients (like zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 etc) address nutritional deficiencies that the Lyme disease may be causing.
Keep in mind that Tricia’s daughter did well with Source Natural GABA Calm but there are many other excellent GABA products that can be beneficial too.
Tricia’s daughter has given her the go ahead to share her story and she is now doing so well!
My daughter is now a beautiful 15 year old, looking forward to her 16th birthday and getting her driver’s license.
She is the brave one to allow me to expose how this illness completely changed her and controlled her. At one point she was embarrassed about it but now she really wants to help others.
What an encouraging, heartwarming and inspiring story!
Both Tricia and her daughter are very brave and I appreciate having the opportunity to share their story with you. I encourage you to read the whole story here on her blog.
Tricia also experienced Lyme-induced anxiety and she too found benefits with GABA. You can read more about her episodes of fear, panic attacks, fear of going outside and withdrawing from social situations on this blog post: Where Does Your Fear Come From And What Are You Doing About It? (Our Journey With Neurological Lyme)
Here is a little more about Tricia: She is a mom of 4 and wife of 26 years to Scott. She was living a busy and active life as an outdoorsy homeschool mom, when chronic Lyme disease side-lined her and her entire family. She has spent the past 8 years recovering, advocating and caring for her family and researching tick-borne diseases. Tricia continues to homeschool her youngest two children and blogs about her life as a Christian homeschool mom with chronic Lyme, while homeschooling her children who also have chronic Lyme. She is passionate about educating others about tick-borne disease, and how to prevent, recognize and get the proper treatment. You can read more about her and her Lyme resources here. And you can find Tricia on Facebook here AboundinginHopewithLyme
I’d love to hear if you have used GABA (or one of the other amino acids) to help with your anxiety while undergoing treatment for Lyme disease.
Dr. Klinghart discusses the connection between Lyme disease and pyroluria. I’d also love to hear if you have Lyme disease and also have pyroluria? You can do the pyroluria questionnaire here.