It’s not uncommon for an adult woman to have had intrusive thoughts her entire life and not even recognize that they are connected to her anxiety levels. She is often unaware that there is anything she can do to actually ease her anxiety and reduce the bad thoughts (such as fearing horrible things happening to her husband and children). Enter the amino acids: GABA, tryptophan, 5-HTP and the pyroluria protocol (zinc, vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil). They can do all of this and more. Kimberly shared her own experience and success on a blog post about intrusive thoughts and these specific nutrients. Here is her story in her own words:
Oh my goodness, I’m realizing after reading this, that intrusive thoughts are something I’ve had my entire life. As a child, this manifested in thoughts of what might happen to my one stable parent when we were apart. More recently, I feared horrible things happening to my husband or children. Like the author of the original blog wrote, these intrusive thoughts reflect a greater anxiety. But I didn’t realize this until I began experimenting with your protocols.
I first tried GABA when I felt extremely anxious, but not on a regular basis. Next, I added the pyroluria protocol, which did bring some relief to the intrusive thoughts. Fast forward to today, when I also take 5-HTP, tryptophan and GABA regularly and have noticed a drastic reduction in those thoughts/fears. It’s like a miracle.
My fear level is maybe 15% of what it used to be, if that.
I also find that I can use extra GABA at night if I wake up and can’t shut off my mind. It works like a charm to help me get back to sleep. What a blessing to have these amino acids.
I’m a calmer, more serene person than I’ve ever been, without (for the most part) the crippling, irrational fears I used to experience. Thank you, as always, Trudy. You are also a tremendous blessing.
I thanked her for sharing and said how glad I was that she is connecting more and more dots. It’s very common to suddenly realize you’ve had these intrusive thoughts your entire life. With her amazing results, combining all the above nutrients she is a poster child for this approach that I use with my clients. I’m thrilled for her miracle outcome and so very happy for her.
I’m sharing her story here as a new blog so I can provide her with some additional approaches to explore and so you can see how these amino acids and other nutrients have worked for someone else (and get your own insights.) I’m also sharing my feedback on how she approached things.
Additional approaches to her to explore: adjusting what is working for her now
Her fear level is maybe 15% of what it used to be but ideally we want to improve on that by fine-tuning what she is doing and capitalize on what is working. Know this – it’s not unreasonable to expect that to get to zero!
If we were working together this is what I’d suggest (assuming she hasn’t already done this):
- Review the low GABA and low serotonin questionnaires and adjust the GABA and/or tryptophan/5-HTP based on any symptoms that remain with a score above zero.
- After that, if there are still some troubling low serotonin symptoms experiment with different doses and timings of tryptophan and 5-HTP – some people do better on one vs the other
- Also, if there are still some troubling low GABA symptoms, experiment with a few different GABA products. I’ve had folks try up to 5 different products before they find the perfect one for their needs
- If she can see the social anxiety and other pyroluria signs remain, we’d adjust zinc, vitamin B6 (and possibly add P5P) and evening primrose oil.
With all of the above, I’d have her do one change at a time and carefully document everything in her food-mood log.
Identifying if the remaining fear/intrusive thoughts are more pronounced in the second half of her cycle
It may simply be a matter of identifying if the remaining fear/intrusive thoughts are more pronounced in the second half of her cycle i.e. after ovulation. As I shared on the blog, one study showed that “women in the ‘early luteal’ phase… had more than three times as many intrusive thoughts.”
She may need to adjust the amino acids up during this period and it may be that over the next 2 months she sees these symptoms resolve with her current approach, as her hormones become balanced. It’s typical to see this in 2-3 months.
My feedback on her approach
Here is my feedback on how she did things and why I love her approach:
- She experimented with GABA some of the time – as needed – based on what she was learning from me from blogs, my book and interviews.
- She made one change at a time, adding the pyroluria protocol next
- Then she added tryptophan and 5-HTP (hopefully one at a time)
- And then her use of the amino acids became regular. This last aspect of consistency is a needle mover for so many of my clients.
- She now tweaks things and takes extra GABA at night if needed. This may be needed after a tough day or if you’ve been glutened or exposed to insecticides.
I will add that the sequence could have been varied and still have had a similar successful outcome, for example, amino acid consistency from day 1 and then adding the pyroluria protocol (this is what I typically do with clients).
However, it’s my goal to empower women like Kimberly to take charge, learn, make changes, listen to their bodies, learn some more and adjust to see further improvements. It makes me immensely happy when I hear that she is a calmer, more serene person than she’s ever been. I feel confident that she’ll be able to get to zero intrusive thoughts with the tips I shared above.
She may or may not also need to consider other possible root causes of intrusive thoughts: low magnesium, low iron, diet (a low carb/high fat intrusive thoughts case study) and gluten issues.
Psychiatric medication discontinuation syndrome, Lyme disease, mold toxicity, heavy metals, toxins, infections, TBI and trauma can also be factors with intrusive thoughts and anxiety, but with her huge improvement I’d suspect these root causes are unlikely for her.
Resources if you are new to using the amino acids and pyroluria supplements
If you are new to using GABA or tryptophan/5-HTP as a supplement, here is the Amino Acids Mood Questionnaire from The Antianxiety Food Solution (you can see all the low GABA and low serotonin symptoms).
If you suspect low levels of any of the neurotransmitters and do not yet have my book, The Antianxiety Food Solution – How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood, and End Cravings, I highly recommend getting it and reading it before jumping in and using amino acids on your own so you are knowledgeable. And be sure to share it with the team you or your loved one is working with.
There is an entire chapter on the amino acids and they are discussed throughout the book in the sections on gut health, blood sugar control, sugar cravings, self-medicating with alcohol and more.
My book also has an entire chapter on pyroluria (with the protocol and questionnaire). The questionnaire is on the blog too, together with many other related posts (simply search for pyroluria).
The book doesn’t include product names (per the publisher’s request) so this blog, The Antianxiety Food Solution Amino Acid and Pyroluria Supplements, lists the amino acids that I use with my individual clients and those in my group programs.
If, after reading this blog and my book, you don’t feel comfortable figuring things out on your own (i.e. doing the symptoms questionnaire and respective amino acids trials), a good place to get help is the GABA Quickstart Program. This is a paid online/virtual group program where you get my guidance and community support.
If you are a practitioner, join us in The Balancing Neurotransmitters: the Fundamentals program. This is also a paid online/virtual program with an opportunity to interact with me and other practitioners who are also using the amino acids.
Do you experience intrusive thoughts or did you have them in the past? Feel free to describe them if you feel comfortable doing so.
And did you think you’d be able to reduce the horrible intrusive thoughts with a nutritional approach?
What helped reduce them for you? If you used a similar approach, how did it look for you?
If you’re a practitioner, have you found this approach to help reduce intrusive thoughts and ease anxiety in your clients/patients?
If you have questions please share them here too.