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Altostrata

Waking with panic or anxiety - managing cortisol spikes

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SkyBlue
On 2/4/2012 at 8:18 PM, Altostrata said:

When your adrenals are doing such a good job of producing cortisol, the anxiety hormone, as they do in antidepressant withdrawal, if you stimulate them, you will get an unpleasant increase in anxiety or wakefulness.

 

Don't take adrenal support supplements, adrenal extract, adrenal tonics, or anything containing licorice.

Grrr! I wish I had known this when I went to see the naturopathic doctor who "helped" me with withdrawal. He prescribed me licorice root tonic. I think the people who do this kind of thing are actually exacerbating the situation for a lot of people. There are no magical supplements that will immediately bring your system out of the trauma of a psych drug withdrawal. 

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savinggrace

I drank licorice root tea, just once, for GI symptoms. I was so

pleased as I enjoyed the tea and thought I had found a “natural” supplement I would tolerate. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. Turns out licorice root interacts with a whole lot of meds. It may be great for those not tapering or in withdrawal but otherwise, ot’s Inviting trouble. 

 

Grace

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Viridian

This is currently the bane of my existence. I'm losing hours of each day to what I can only assume are morning cortisol spikes. It doesn't help that I recently flew back from the US to UK, and I tend to get really rattled by the jet-lag. Here's what I've tried so far:

 

Eye mask - seems to have helped with the early waking, and also helps me to fall asleep faster as I feel more 'locked in' for sleep - recommend

- Magnesium glycinate 133mg before bed and on waking - can't honestly say I've noticed any difference from this yet, but no side-effects either

GOS prebiotic daily, in a hot drink - I've been taking this for about a month now. It's more of a slow burner, but I've definitely noticed improvements in digestion, and this study tentatively suggests that there could be a link between regular GOS intake and lowered waking cortisol (various caveats apply: small sample size, plus the use of the salivary cortisol test which I understand is unreliable, perhaps more - mods please feel free to censor me if you feel I'm spreading misinformation)

 

Getting out of bed and moving around invariably helps speed it on its way, but that's easier said than done.

 

Interested in dietary solutions as I wonder how much is due to the hypoglycemia link that's been mentioned on this thread. Has anyone tried eating a handful of nuts or protein bar immediately on waking? I might make that my experiment for tomorrow morning and see if it makes a difference.

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savinggrace

Hi,

May I ask...is GOS pro-biotic a brand name or a certain strain?

 

Thank you,

Grace

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Viridian

 

51 minutes ago, savinggrace said:

Hi,

May I ask...is GOS pro-biotic a brand name or a certain strain?

 

Thank you,

Grace

 

Hi Grace. I'm by no means an expert on this, but GOS stands for Galactooligosaccharides (wikipedia article here), a type of prebiotic (foods that feed beneficial bacteria in the gut - different from probiotics, which give you a direct infusion of the bacteria themselves).

 

The product I've been taking is called Bimuno, and my gut became a lot better after I'd been taking it for about a week (though I can't say I've yet noticed a measurable improvement in anxiety). I'm not recommending or endorsing it, but so far I think it has helped me with IBS, which in turn has helped me to sleep better.

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Terry4949

I have started to get the awfull cortisol spikes again now after 12 months of it was one of the only symptoms that seem to fade after stopping all meds I fall asleep at 11 o’clock then wake at 1 am every morning my room is completely blacked out it’s very dark so no light is triggering my waking I wake with a startle reaction then shiver for 10 minutes then burn hot and sweat for 10 minutes this goes on for hours it’s torture I have had only 2 hours sleep a night now for 18 months why do we go back to square one with the cortisol spikes it’s getting to the stage where I don’t want to go to sleep through fear of it 

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