5-HTP for migraine

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treadlightly
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/2/2008 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,

I have suffered with migraines for about 18 years now ever since I hit puberty basically. I have also suffered from "chronic daily headache" - I had headaches pretty much all the time. Most days the headaches were tolerable, but there were a few severe headaches every week and usually at least one migraine (debilitating) per month. I was told by my doctor that most of my headaches were probably migraines, just less severe ones since they were almost always accompanied by sensitivity to smell, sound, light etc. After years of suffering though this and letting it impact my social life, relationships and lets face it – overall enjoyment of life, popping pills all the time and fearing the side-effects of all those drugs, I recently put some time into researching more natural courses of action. I discovered that recently there have been links made between migraines and serotonin levels. This was new knowledge for me and made sense since I've also suffered from depression, anxiety and have been told that I may have fibromyalgia - all of which have also been linked to low serotonin levels. Once I decided that low serotonin might be one of my problems, I started researching ways to boost this brain chemical naturally. One of the things that came up in my searches was a supplement called 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). 5-HTP works by increasing the cell's output of serotonin. Some of you may have heard of the amino acid (protein building block) called L-tryptophan. Tryptophan is found naturally in foods such as milk, eggs, poultry, and some nuts and seeds. Tryptophan obtained through the diet is usually converted in the brain into 5-HTP, which is then converted into serotonin. Some people however do not produce enough serotonin on their own. Also, stress and anxiety can deplete those precious stores of serotonin. The tryptophan in 5-HTP supplements (a highly purified extract from Griffonia simplicifolia, a West African medicinal plant) provides brain cells with the necessary materials to make more serotonin. The recommended dosage of 5-HTP is usually about 50-100 mg daily. Higher daily dosages (over 100 mg) could cause some side effects, including mild nausea. Vitamin B6 should also be taken on the same day as 5-HTP because it is necessary for converting 5-HTP into serotonin. I have personally been taking a higher dose - 200 mg twice per day but am going to start reducing this now in hopes that the benefits will continue on a lower dose. Since starting on 5-HTP back in August, I have not had a single migraine attack. I also rarely get headaches and when I do they are mild and I generally don't even need to take over the counter pain relievers for them. I realize that not everyone will have the same success with this treatment, but I'm posting this because even if it helps one other person, it will have been worth my time to post this information. Please note that if you are on any kind of prescription medication you should speak with your doctor or pharmacist before taking 5-HTP as there can be interactions. Also drinking alcohol is not a good idea while taking 5-HTP. The odd drink is fine as long as it's not shortly after taking your 5-HTP supplement. 5-HTP can take a few weeks to start working and you need to be diligent. Take your dose(s) at the same time every day and be patient. Best of luck! I hope others can share in my success with this treatment! smilewinkgrin

bbycakes
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/3/2008 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)  I myself have been diagnosed with chronic migraines.  I have suffered for 14 years with little relief except from some triptipans.  Over the years I have used triptipans 4-5 times a week and can no longer tell migraines from rebound headaches.  I have tried several preventative drugs and currently have my 3rd series of Botox injections in my neck, shoulders and head.  I have been to chiropractors, accupuncturists and so on.  Starting to feel like there was no hope I found a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and went to see her.  She started me on 5-HTP with the advice that it may take up to 3 months to start being effective.  I have been taking it for 24 days and during that time I have only had 1 migraine.  Like you I wanted to share my story because it could be just the right thing for others.  I can't find the words to express the relief I feel and how it has changed my outlook on life.
 
 
 

treadlightly
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/3/2008 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi bbycakes,

I'm very glad to hear that you are having success with 5-HTP as well. I hope you continue to get better and that this treatment will work for you long-term! It really does feel like a miracle for me to be suffering so much less and nothing would make me happier than if word of this treatment spread and others could also find relief. I have also been to many therapists in addition to my family doctor (Chiro, Acupuncture, Naturopath, Osteopath) After so many failed treatments, it is nice to have hope again. Best of luck to you!

Sherill :-)

lilcookie
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/3/2009 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I'm happy to hear that you both had some success with the 5-HTP. I have only recently heard of this and was doing a little research whenI cam across your thread. Since we're a month out from the last post, I was wondering if you are continuing to see results. Out of curiousity, can you tell me what other preventatives you have tried in the past? I have tried a bunch with little help and mostly a bunch of side effects. Also, could you tell me the brand you take, and what time of day it is to be taken? Thanks a bunch! I'd like to give it a shot since nothing else really has worked. :(

treadlightly
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/4/2009 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilcookie,

I still have not experienced a migraine attack since taking the 5-HTP (last one was sometime in July or early August I believe), but have recently been getting a few headaches again. I suspect that has more to do with neck problems I've been having though. Since I haven't been getting migraines I think the 5-HTP is still working.

Other preventative methods that I've tried in the past include feverfew, supplementing magnesium, I received a natural liquid preventative treatment from a naturopath a couple years back but honestly can't recall what it was called now. It didn't seem to have any affect though. I've also tried acupuncture, massage, osteopathy, chiropractic... most of the usual probably. Yoga, meditation, boosting antioxidants in my diet and supplementing grape seed extract, vitamin C and E etc. also to boost antioxidants - at the advice of the previously mentioned naturopath. Dietary changes - eliminating dairy products did help me a bit but I was lactose intolerant already so that could be why.

In addition to the natural approaches, I've taken prescription medications to treat migraines once they happen - Migrainol, Zomig, Maxalt. They all made me feel terrible from side affects but Maxalt always worked for the migraine and allowed me to function despite still feeling pretty nasty after taking it.

I personally take NOW Brand 5-HTP with L-Tyrosine in a 200 mg dosage twice a day. I take one capsule in the morning with my breakfast and one with dinner. This is a high dosage - higher that what is typically recommended, but I've found that cutting back on it caused more headaches for me. I think it's probably different for everyone. You might want to try a lower dosage initially, especially since the 200 mg capsules can be hard to find and it might be overkill.

Good luck, please post again in a month or so if you start taking it regularly. I'd like to hear how it goes!

Best,

Sherill smilewinkgrin

lilcookie
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/4/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for responding Sherill. Glad to hear that it is still working for you. It must be such a relief! I just started B2 and am trying a low tyramine diet (which is tough, I feel like there's almost nothing I can eat!) . I'd like to see if those 2 things have any affect, then add in the 5HTP. If so, I will definitely post & let you know how it works for me.

bbycakes
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/5/2009 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
HI, I am still having good success with the 5HTP. I take 100mg first thing in the am and 200 mg at bedtime. I use THORNE brand name that I get from the Naturopath. I am also taking one 50 mg tab in am of Metoprolol and one Topamax at bedtime (both which I was taking prior to the 5HTP with little or no results). My last Botox treatment was in October and is starting to wear off. I am waiting to see what impact this has on my migraines. If there is little change I am not going to continue with the Botox any longer and will hopefully start to reduce the other two drugs until I am only on the 5HTP. Currently I have a migraine approx. once every 2 weeks. Prior to 5HTP I was having migraine/rebound pain 4-5 days a week. I have encountered no side effects from the 5HTP. I hope that the 5HTP works well for you if you chose to try it.
Keep us informed.

Bbycakes.

Jack Hopper
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/19/2009 6:06 AM (GMT -6)   
5 Htp Supplements & its Benefits


I had severe depression; I couldn't get into seeing a Head Doctor for meds as it would take 2 weeks. Then I decide to search internet & found HerbsMD for Herbal Supplements and their I found 5 Htp, it worked in 2-3 mins. My depression was gone and I felt so good, I did not want to live that day but because of this product and being able to get it and use it daily, its my life line to living. Thank you for making this product and selling it. Everyone that has depression should have it on hand. It works so fast.

What is 5 Htp?

5 Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and tryptophan are so-called natural alternatives to traditional antidepressants, used to treat unipolar depression and dysthymia. 5-HTP is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin basically 5-HTP is a forerunner to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which transfers nerve impulses from one cell to another and regulates several vital processes in the body.

Benefits of 5 Htp:

5-HTP is not present in significant amounts in a typical diet. The human body manufactures 5-HTP from L-tryptophan, a natural amino acid found in most dietary proteins. The benefits of taking 5HTP supplements are conquering depression to getting a better night's sleep. 5HTP might also benefit you by relieving your nasty migraine headaches or easing those persistent carbohydrate cravings that keep your hand glued to the cookie jar. If you have a problem caused, or exacerbated, by low serotonin levels, 5HTP can provide benefits.
 
Edited to remove contact info **please visit forum rules**

Post Edited By Moderator (tysmyboo) : 3/19/2009 4:58:07 PM (GMT-6)


roshan7
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/27/2009 2:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Here describes how to get rid of Headache or Migraine
visit http://preventmigraine.blogspot.com/

kellyinCali
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/25/2009 1:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Will you please share a link to the product brand?

dvikib
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/12/2009 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
 
I haven't tried 5-htp yet but plan to order some next week for my migraines.
I've tried beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, Topamax and SSRIs to no avail.
However, I noticed one of the above posters said she was taking  L-Tyrosine
with 5-htp.  While L-Tyrosine can indeed help some migraneurs, it can also cause
migraines.  "The amino acid, tyrosine, produces a breakdown product, called tyramine. Tyramine is a significant cause of migraine headaches. It does this by releasing norepinephrine from brain tissue, which causes constriction of scalp and brain blood vessels."
 
Many products with tyramine give me migraines.  If anyone is interested in these 2 therapies,
I would suggest trying 5-htp first and then adding L-Tyrosine later.  I have read that L-Tyrosine can help some people with migraines, but I imagine it would not be suitable for many people due to its relation to Tyramine, a known cause of some migraines.  If you try both
supplements at the same time and have a problem, you won't know which supplement is
causing the problem.

Violet Rose
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 6/13/2011 3:01 AM (GMT -6)   
hmmm I was researching this too recently.
 
It makes a lot of sense as I have restless leg syndrome too and that is also supposedly caused by low seretonin levels.  I am also being treated for anxiety. Migraine, anxiety and RSL are all caused by low seretonin so I have read.
 
I am very tempted to come off my preventative medication (which does nothing anyway) and try this natural alternative.  Trouble is its very expensive but hell I'll try anything rather than endure these daily headaches!
 
Had a headache everyday this week *sigh*

krylla
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/11/2011 6:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
I've been suffering menstrual migraines for some years now. Seems to have got worse over the years. ive tried many tablets prescribed and otc, maxalt is the latest and doesn't touch on removing pain. Headaches last around 4 days from 2 days before my period, but can last up to 10 days during which time everything is difficult and i miss a lot of time off work. DOes anyone know if 5htp can help with menstrual migraines?

Violet Rose
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 9/11/2011 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
hi krylla
 
I did try the 5htp for about a month.  Unfortunately it made no difference to my migraines which are menstrual related.  I did however start taking iron supplements which for a while helped a great deal not only with the headaches but also cured my Restless Leg Syndrome! However over the past month or so my headaches have returned and for the past month they  have been as bad as ever.  In the past year I have worked out a pattern with my migraines.  I get 2 very bad ones a month each lasting between 3-10 days. They always show up around day 14 (ovulation) and day 28 (menstruation).  For the past year or so I have recorded it and its regular as clockwork, so at least I figured out that much!! Trouble is sometimes they go on for so long that I only get a few days break before the next one starts :(
 
Any info from anyone regarding hormone related migraines would be much appreciated :-)

KindHeart
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 12/23/2013 11:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello there. Came back here for good advice because all of you are so good - I know from experience on your board. So my question is concerning 5 HTP Supplement. I've been experimenting with this and find that it is reducing my migraines - my question is.....can I continue to take my supplement on days that I take a 10 mg Maxalt or am I suppose to set aside my supplement? I've been in a migraine phase for several days and I've been taking a 100 mg 5HTP in the am and at at night and only 1 10 mg Maxalt in a 24 hour period - my migraine has been mild - responding well to one Maxalt tablet. So, in other words, am I suppose to put 5 HTP aside or on hold while in a phase using my 10 mg Maxalt per day? So far, I feel fine - no symptoms - just asking because the whole idea of serotonin syndrome sounds frightening. I really want to put my migraines in remission with the 5 HTP and eventually not have to take Maxalt. I've also discovered that the 5HTP has helped me recover my neck aches and low backache - I think the neck and back pains were related to low serotonin. So what do you think? Thanks!!

KindHeart
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 12/24/2013 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all and Treadlightly - I am trying to follow your advice on the 5 HTP supplement. Well, I'm sitting here with a migraine zinger on my left side - should I take the maxalt or pop 2 100 mg 5HTP? I'm confused on over lapping these two. It's one or the other, right? I did take a 100 mg 5 HTP last night, had a 10 mg Maxalt about 2 PM - well, here I am.....argh!!!!! Drinking coffee right now to help - took 2 Magnesiums...Argrh!!

blarneby
New Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/5/2014 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello. I know this thread is really old, I'm hoping this will get to Violet Rose. I have the exact same menstrual migraine pattern as she does and am hoping to see if she has found any relief. I am feeling rather hopeless. Major migraines around ovulation and menstruation that last for 3-10 days. I get about a week break between the two where I have mild headaches to no headaches. In a month I have about 3 headache free days. Have tried preventatives, supplements, researched and had every diagnostic study done! I would love input, especially from Violet Rose. Thank you!

Coopwell
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/3/2014 6:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I also have the same menstrual patterns and am going to try 5 HTP now I have read this. I read in an article about 8 years ago about a women who had a MIRENA coil to fix her migraines. I then decided to have a coil and I literally had no headaches or problems for 2 years. they are supposed to last 5 years but at year 3 I started getting periods / headaches again so got a replacement coil. Again, it lasted two years and I rarely had headaches but now at the 3 year mark again they are coming back and am reticent to replace the coil again. I am desperate for any advise as not just the headaches but the mood swings linked to my hormones.
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