"Once your natural serotonin levels are low enough to cause syptoms it is very difficult to significantly raise serotonin levels enough by food alone. SSRI's or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and SNRIs, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors do not actually increase the amount of serotonin molecules in the brain. SSRI’s are thought to block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin by certain nerve cells in the brain. This theoretically leaves more serotonin available in the brain. However if you have low serotonin to begin with these medications either will not work well, or work for a while then "poop out". - To read more: Intergrative Psychiatry - Serotonin.
O.K...what should be my next step then in your opinion? I think taking Wellbutrin has really thrown me off. I actually (not intentional) forgot to take it yesterday and today. I have had zero mood swings so far. Coincidence? Should I go back on Cymbalta...that has been known to work well with me, then "poop" out....then work well, then "poop out" etc. Frustrating!!!!
Your thyroid isn't optimally treated which isn't expected since you just started 3 weeks ago. The stated "conventional" treatment for hypothyroidism is to aim for a TSH is between 0.5 - 2mU/L. As symptoms rule the show this is just one lab to take into account. Many feel their best with free T3 and free T4 in the upper end of the reference range.
All antidepressants have the black box warning of suicidal thoughts and actions. In the cymbalta anti depressant trials, 9 attempted suicides and 4 actual suicides occurred in healthy, non depressed people who volunteered to make extra money. The case of 19 year old student Traci Johnson, healthy with no mental health issues who hanged herself in the cymbalta trials, was big news. When this story broke, clinical trial volunteers dropped 20%.
From the article "Alternative Treatments for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress-Related Disorders: Dr. Podell’s Perspective on Brain, Mind, and Mood"...
"Alternative Treatments for Depression: Nutrients and Herbs
Nutrients and Herbs:
Inositol - Intracellular Second Mechanism
S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) - Improves Methylation Pathways
Fish Oil - Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid
Tyrosine - Amino Acid, body uses to make Norepinephrine and Dopamine
Eliminate Wheat Gluten - May apply if blood antibody test is abnormal
Anti-Hypoglycemia Style Diet - Mood Stabilizing Effect
Folic Acid - Improves Methylation Pathways
Vitamin B12 - Improves Methylation Pathways
Tryptophan - Amino Acid, body uses to make Serotonin
L-Carnitine - Improves mitochondrial energy metabolism
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) - May help energy pathways
“Allergy” Elimination Diet - May be helpful for some
Herbs and Hormones:
St. John’s Wort - Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor
Estrogen - Often helps in perimenopause; usually does not help during menopause
Testosterone - Possibly helpful for both men and women
Thyroid, especially T3 form - Double Blind Studies Show Improvement even if thyroid blood tests are normal
DHEA - Adrenal gland hormone
Appropriately paced exercise conditioning - Many studies show benefit"
Thanks so much for your insight! I am looking into many of the thingsyou mentioned. Do you have a personal experience with 5HTP? Has anyone you know used it with success...and with what dosage?
I think yo need to talk to your Dr about the FACT. That when you absentmindedly forgot to take your Wellbutrin for a couple of days your felt BETTER.
That may be worth exploring further.
Depression and Hypo are directly linked at least in some if not quite a few people. many people on this site have reported that they were able to eliminate or at least reduce their need for anti-depressants when they got their Thyroid levels optimized for their individual requirements.
Hopefully that will happen for you as well!
I haven't used 5HTP personally but i know it's a popular supplement for depression. My major mental health issues were due to severe vitamin B12 deficiency.