Neurotransmitter testing

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by Josie, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I've been taking easy child/difficult child to an Environmental Physician psychiatrist. He is Board Certified in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. I'm pretty sure he started out in psychiatry and over the years discovered a link to environmental causes. For the past 12 years, he's been treating this way. He also will prescribe regular medications as needed.

    He ran a a lot of blood tests in the beginning to rule out underlying medical problems. He also did a urine test to check neurotransmitter levels. This isn't peer-reviewed science yet so isn't accepted as accurate by a lot of doctors. Her old psychiatrist has heard this new psychiatrist speak about this at a state meeting and says it is cutting edge but it isn't known yet if there is a direct relationship between neurotransmitters in the urine and in the brain. I'm thinking it is worth a try since the new psychiatrist has been doing this for so long, he must know what levels in the urine lead to good results.

    Her first test showed she was low in serotonin so he told her to start taking 5 HTP, an amino acid that is needed to make serotonin. Surprisingly, she was improved on the 3rd day. When we went back, he started her on another amino acid to increase her norepinephrine levels. She took that for 3 days and every day she had an explosive temper. He agreed that it was the supplement and said it is too soon to start that one. I am amazed, though, at how quickly these amino acids are having an effect (good or bad), so I am encouraged that she may get better this way. I stopped giving her the second one and that same day, she was better again.

    He does the testing every month and makes adjustments along the way based on the results. We go back on Friday and should get some of the results from the second test. I am interested to see if her serotonin levels are really increased.

    Just thought I would share this since it is a different way of dealing with all this. Has anyone else tried this? I was told by a naturopath last spring that it can be used with regular medications or supplements.

  2. patti

    patti New Member

    we've just been to a homeopath who gave my son a "remedy". I don't know if it will work or not yet. it's only been one day. I'm praying though...
  3. sadlady

    sadlady New Member

    I went yesterday and I too spent $190.00 on homeopathic stuff. I too pray that it works but unfortunately I don't have much faith anymore in anything.
  4. mom23gsfg

    mom23gsfg New Member

    sorry i was wondering if u could help me out? im new to all this and i was wondering.....
    i was under the impression by what my son's new hos. doctor told me there is no cure for ODD and i noticed you have (used to be ODD)next to ur child's name
    also do u have any info on this type of testing u are talking about thanks
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My daughter was diagnosis'ed with ODD and depression. She was taking 20 mg of Lexapro and we were going to add either Seroquel or a mood stabilizer because she was still aggressive and violent at times.

    Then we discovered, on our own, she had a problem with gluten (wheat, rye, oats, and barley) and casein (milk). We eliminated every trace of these foods and she is fine. When she cheats on this diet or makes a mistake, the old ODD behaviour is back. She is now on no medications. Most doctors don't know about a possible connection between food and behaviour. Even her psychiatrist who has seen all of this develop has suggested her improved behaviour is due to maturity.

    There are many stories about the girlfriend/CF diet and behaviour if you do a search. Most of them are about autistic children but my daughter is not autistic. A site about the gluten free diet is A lot of the people there also avoid casein. You can do a search there for gluten's affect on people's behaviour and mood.

    The neurotransmitter testing is also out of the mainstream. I first discovered it at a naturopath. The first test on my other daughter showed low serotonin along with other things. We opted at the time to go to the psychiatrist and treat with SSRI's for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She tried them all and had too many side effects to continue. Her behaviour was getting out of control, not just Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)-related, and I felt like this doctor was just throwing medications at her to see what worked. Before going down that path, I decided to look for a doctor who looked for the cause of problems instead of treating symptoms. That led me to a Board Certified Child Psychiatrist who is an Environmental Physician. He also does this neurotransmitter testing. This time, we are treating with the supplements and so far, it is working without bad side effects. I'm hoping that the hypomanic side effects we saw before were due to too much serotonin and that with this doctor's monitoring, that will be prevented this time.

    To me, it only makes sense to monitor the levels. The problem is that this test hasn't been peer reviewed or around long enough to be accepted by most doctors. For me, the typical treatment wasn't helping so I am willing to go outside of the mainstream. Maybe this test will later be commonly accepted or maybe it will be revealed as a fraud but it does seem to be helping my daughter and that is all that matters to me.

    The company that does the testing is I think you can e-mail them to find a doctor in your area who uses them.
  6. Hummerbee

    Hummerbee New Member

    My grandson was just tested. His Epinephrine and Norepinephrine and Serotonin and PEA was in a good range. His GABA and Dopamine was high. My daughter started him on Travacor and he became a wild child. He couldn't be still or focus. She took him off and when he has school break she will try it again only this time once a day to start to see what that does. I'm online to search this out. I'm all for Naturopath along with Western Medicine. But doctors don't want to take the time, they just medicate and my daughter does not want to pur her son on drugs. I look forward to seeing more on this subject.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I take 5 HTP for depression, and it has done wonders for me. When you take an SSRI anti depressant it blocks the receptors that reabsorb (for lack of a better term) so their is more serotonin for your body to use. The 5 HTP is the precursor to Serotonin, so it helps the body make more. So they get the same result
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    Mom23. This is my personal opinion here. Some will agree and some won't. It is my belief that ODD is a symptom of ADD/ADHD, bipolar, etc. Once the disorder is under control, the ODD usually resolves itself. When my difficult child was hypomanic, she could not control herself and was extremely defiant. When she wasn't hypomanic, she would be fairly compliant.

    I'm going to check about the HTP for Missy. Three days? Sounds great!
  9. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    we have one of my sons on 5htp. it seems to be helping, better than prozac for him. There is some research validating the use of it.

    Where do you all get it? Can you get it at local health food store?

    What supplement was supposed to help noriphrenine?
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Pepperidge, I get my 5 HTP from the Fred Meyer health food area, and recently they had the brand I liked at Costco. That was great, as it was reasonably priced. I have not looked at whole foods, but I would imagine they would have it too.
  11. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

  12. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    thanks CM.

    I just saw some at Costco. Do you take it in the morning or night? Have you had any side effects?

  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I take it morning and night. I have had no side effects. It has been great. From the info I found the dosages can vary quite a bit, and I have considered going to see a naturopath to make sure I am not taking too much. I found a forum that has many experiences posted, and it was informing.

    When I first started taking it, I had been taking St. John's Wort, but found out it can interfere with birth control. I do not want any more children, so I went straight from that to the 5 HTP. FWIW, I am not too complicated medically, and generally respong to what few medications I have taken in a normal matter.

    That link goes to an interesting page, you can click on discussion forums, etc. The page is meant primarily for St. John's Wort, but there is info about lots of other supplements.