The return of 5-HTP

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hey all, I'm still hanging in there. Despite doing light therapy twice a day, the seasonal depression (SAD) is hitting me hard with all the grey weather. So I've struck back with an over the counter supplement called 5-HTP. As some of you may recall, I tried it in the summer for my insomnia, but felt it didn't help and just made me not want to eat. With the intensity and volume of my training, I HAD to eat, so that did not work for me at the time.

However a theory of a cause of SAD is low levels of of a mood-regulating hormone known as serotonin triggered by a lack of light. 5-HTP promotes production of this hormone. I felt I was hitting a low, tired, and even wanting to binge eat (and you guys know this is NOT like me - normally I have trouble eating enough.) So I thought I would try it again. Low serotonin can cause people to eat and crave especially carbohydrates because eating carbohydrates raises serotonin levels in the brain.

Well the same things that did not help me in the summer seem to be helping now. With the 5-HTP, my appetite is almost back to normal and my energy and motivation are better. I still do not feel as I do in the summer, but definitely improved.

I have also decided to tone down the Fitbit tracker and go from a 750 calorie a day deficit to a 500 calorie a day deficit. In reality I am going to be OK at a 0-500 calorie a day deficit with all I have going on right now. I think the FitBit may have been underestimating the exercise I am doing. Serotonin can drop low with too low calories as well, so I want to be careful of that - especially this time of year. With the SAD, I've gained about 3 lbs in the past month due to eating, but things have leveled out and I hope I'm on a downward trend again.

I'm working on a new life plan and some overall goals. It seems overwhelming, and again with the SAD I lack some motivation to get it done, but I'm on my way. I will also post with updates.

I got several books from the library. So, I'll also be posting reviews of what I read, which include anything from goal setting to healthy cooking!

Ok, all for now. Hope everyone is doing well!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    sAD is real.
    So much we dan do about it.
    2085 days ago
    I'm so happy that you are fairing better with your treatment this time! Sometimes all you need is that leg up in the beginning to get yourself in shape to get back to life.

    I hope that all continues well and that you have a fantastic week!
    2085 days ago
    interesting I might have to check that out.
    2085 days ago
    2085 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    So very happy that you are doing better. emoticon
    2085 days ago
    So glad you found something that helps, you are very good at using your mind to figure out what will help you out. I am glad this worked! I never heard of 5-HTP before, looks like you researched it well!
    2085 days ago
    Glad it is helping this time. I am getting sick of the cold and having to keep my curtains shut to keep the heat in better.
    2085 days ago
    I just set up my full spectrum light and will use it for the first time tomorrow. We are on the 11th straight day of inversion with the temps remaining in the 20's.

    I also am getting benefit from using my grounding mat when I sleep. I'm not depressed like I have been every year at this time.

    2085 days ago
  • SKATER787
    Another solution is to drive to Sequim and spend time outside. You could get lucky and get a sunny day.
    2085 days ago
    Me too cutting back on the Spat , more mediation after that last phone call -thanks for dropping by emoticon SAD - I was thinking do you think it be related to your last Doctor visit ? Just a thought - Hugs K
    2085 days ago
    I bought some 5-HTP a couple months ago after seeing a recomendation on YouTube channel. It seemed to help me as well. INtersting to finally see someone else use it and also agree that it helps.
    2085 days ago
    Hope all works out for you
    2085 days ago
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