Friday, December 10, 2010

And The Sleep Saga Continues

I know many of you are friends who wonder what's going on with my sleep problems. So, I apologize to those of you who don't care to read about this. But this is a good way to update folks.

So, a couple months or so ago, my newest doctor recommended we test my neurotransmitters -- those are the chemicals in your brain. I find it fascinating that none of the other doctors in the last two years suggested this. The last sleep specialist left me with the recommendation that I find a psychiatrist who would prescribe me an anti-depressant to see if messing with the neurotransmitters would help, but why he didn't suggest testing the levels of the neurotransmitters first, I can't imagine.

Anyway, the test was revealing. My excitatory neurotransmitters (the ones that rev you up, keep you alert) are at elevated levels, and my inhibitory neurotransmitters (the ones that calm you, put you to sleep) are, in his words, "almost nonexistent". Well, that's useful information.

This doc leans toward the natural remedy, which I appreciate, so he recommended I take 5-HTP and Taurine. 5-HTP is an essential amino acid that has to be there for serotonin production, and Taurine apparently does something similar for GABA (GABA and serotonin were two of the inhibitory neurotransmitters I was lowest in).

It's been about a month and a half. I don't think I'm sleeping any better. I still yawn all day -- I even have HAD to lay down for a nap once in a while, which I've usually been able to avoid (naps often mess even more with my night sleep). However . . I'm often more alert and positive during the day -- I'm guessing that's just a result of the extra serotonin. Anyway, the doctor said the next step would be to test my adrenal glands, so I did that test and sent it in earlier this week. The results probably won't get in until I'm already out of town for Christmas.

So, the saga continues. I know a couple other people who are also dealing with health issues that just seem to have no answer. Very frustrating. I know many of you are praying for me, and I really appreciate that. Please pray that, whatever it is that I'm supposed to be learning from this experience -- dependence on God, contentment with all circumstances, perseverance when my well seems completely dry, whatever -- I will learn my lessons well. It would really suck to go through all this and have nothing to show for it in the end.

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