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Re: Effects of long term SSRI use... My Story... NewQuestions

Posted by bleauberry on April 17, 2009, at 5:40:19

In reply to Re: Effects of long term SSRI use... My Story..., posted by NewQuestions on April 16, 2009, at 15:53:28

It is hard to figure out, but even harder with mainstream common testing. Quite honestly, they use meaningless tests.

For example, thyroid. You say the tests were normal. Well, how normal? The so-called normal range is extremely broad and only fits healthy people as an average, not inclusive of every person on the planet. FreeT3, freeT4, and TSH all need to be at the far end of the broad range, the good side of that range. Not in the middle. Not slightly toward the bad side. Normal is not good enough, especially when you have symptoms. What we need is optimal. That said, I don't think thyroid explains your problems, though you probably are on the hypothyroid side of things despite being in a normal range. Keep in mind too, there is a thing called receptor resistance. We can only measure thyroid in the blood. What we cannot measure is whether the receiving receptors are recognizing it or taking it. Sometimes patients need extra thyroid hormone to break through the roadblock. Really good thyroid doctors do not rely on lab numbers. They go by symptoms, trial and error with various doses. The lab tests are only good as a baseline reading to know where you started. A reference point. Nothing more.

So, you can see, just getting a test has to be very specific.

The adrenal test you are about to get is also completely worthless. It is going to challenge your adrenal glands to see if they put out cortisol. That tells you absolutely nothing. If the adrenals are 80% bad, you'll be treated. If they are 70% bad, they'll tell you that you are in the normal range and everything is fine. Think about it, is it ok to have a heart that is 70% bad. Do you wait for a heart attack for someone to diagnose heart disease? It's the same with adrenals. Bad is bad, no matter what degree.

The proper cortisol test is called the Adrenal STress Index. It measures your cortisol in saliva, 4 times during a 24 hour period, unprovoked, so that you can see how your cortisol is behaving throughout an entire day. I would place money that yours is well below the normal curve. But alas, you have cortisol, and with the challenge test you are going to take, it will appear perfectly fine, when in fact it is in the dumps. Basically, you don't want to know what your adrenals will do following a challenge test of another drug. What you want to know is what are your cortisol levels during a typical average day at waking time, noon, late afternoon, and late evening. Is it low all of that time? Is it low some of that time? Is it normal the whole time? There is no way you are going to get any useful information from the test they are going to give you, other than whether your adrenals are dead or alive. Nothing inbetween.

Heavy metals. They aren't floating around in your blood or urine unless you have current or recent exposure. These metals settle into tissues and cells. So a blood test or a urine test is not going to show any metals. They are in the tissues, not the blood or urine. DMSA is a drug that chelates lead and mercury from tissue storage. And then it goes to the urine in high concentrations, if it was in the tissues. A DMSA challenge test will show how much mercury or lead is hiding in your tissues. I do not suspect this condition is your primary illness, though it could be, but I would put it high on the red flag list if you have or ever had amalgam fillings in your teeth.

You really fit the description of hypoadrenalism perfectly, which will not show in the test you are about to take. You gotta get that saliva test 4 times a day to see what is really going on.

I do believe serotonin is a player. All those years we were on ssris, our serotonin was bound up at the synapse sites. In studies it is shown that metabolites of serotonin decrease considerably while on SSRI. Total theory on my part, but maybe serotonin is not available to the rest of the body in amounts that it should be? In other words, it is all concentrated at the synapse, but stolen from everywhere else? And over longterm, that lack of bodily peripheral serotonin causes some longlasting adaptations that affect immune system (sensitivities), hormones, and stuff?

Maybe somewhere along the line our genes say, "Hey, there is way too much serotonin at these synapses. We weren't programmed for that. We need to tell all our neighbor genes to slow down or stop production of serotonin from protein tryptophan." Maybe we lose the ability to make serotonin, as the body's natural response to have artificially high serotonin from meds? And then maybe, just maybe, those genes that got turned off never get turned on again? Or maybe, if for example there a million serotonin receptors to begin with, when serotonin concentrations increase from the drug, the body tries to compensate by eliminating some of those receptors? So now maybe we have only half a million? Quarter million? A few thousand? And when the drug is stopped, they don't grow back again?

All kinds of weird stuff could be happening. I agree with Linkadge, that this topic should become very public and very huge, as it deserves close scrutiny.

The fact is, no one knows what these drugs really do, and no one knows what their longterm consequences are. I do believe longterm adaptive changes occur that are detrimental to many biochemical systems in our bodies, primarily related to immune function, which sets us up for sensitivities, fatigue, and brain fog.

And the best way I know of to kick start things back into sync is to treat hypoadrenalism. That covers the entire range of symptoms you are experiencing, and restores the lost sensitivities of serotonin and thyroid hormones back to normal.

> Bleuberry, help me figure this out! I have gotten a battery of blood tests. The only abnormalities:
> 1. High triglycerides and low HDL
> 2. High AST and ALT liver enzymes
> I was tested for metals, testosterone and thyroid and it came back negative. I didn't take DMSA so maybe the metal test wasn't thorough? Once I tested high for folic acid and B12 but it since stablized.
> Given the high AST and ALT, my doctor is now checking out:
> Hemochromatosis (iron overload)
> Celiac disease
> Muscle related inflammation
> Wilson's Disease (copper overload)
> Alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency
> Addison's Disease
> For Addison's disease, I will be getting a cortisol test this weekend and taking 1 mg of dexamethasone the night before. (Is that sufficient?)
> I have found a bunch of people on that took elevated doses of an SSRI for a number of years, went off of it, and experienced a bunch of withdrawal symptoms similar to mine, including hypersensitivities to drugs and vitamins, and at least some cognitive problems. Given that, and the fact that I live in NYC, I don't think Lyme disease is a likely candidate. However, some type of cortisol problem is more likely as it interrelates to SSRI's and serotonin.
> Does that sound right?




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