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Old 08-10-2001, 05:25 PM   #1  
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Question Smart Chicks...I have a question!! Please?

Why is Wellbutrin and low carbing a good combination? I know it has something to do with seratonin levels but I do not know how to explain it! Could of you brain twisting scientist give me the scoop?

thanks!
peach
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Old 08-10-2001, 06:26 PM   #2  
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Angry Uhhh....Peach,

I guess I have to find out what Wellbrutin is first!

Let me do some research....but hopefully the smarter chicks/chucks will have the answer!

Wish I could help!
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Old 08-12-2001, 09:57 AM   #3  
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OK..I'm the one that started this "Wellbutrin thing". I can tell you what it is, but not why it might help my cravings.
Wellbutrin is a serentonin uptake inhibitor.
Doesn't that help you understand better now?
Seriously, it helps even out the level of serentonin your brain accepts. Some people produce too much (mania), too little (depressed)or uneven amounts (manic depressive, mood swings). I have been on Zoloft for 7 years. Every time I tried to ween myself off it I would end up terribly depressed and mean Since I've been getting depressed lately again (and haven't wanted to have sex for about 3 years!) my Dr. switched me to Wellbutrin saying it had the benefits of Zoloft but since it's also sometimes prescribed for people trying to quit smoking, it may help with my cravings as an added bonus
Now that you know my psychological dysfunction.........
hope you learned something
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Old 08-12-2001, 11:24 AM   #4  
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Thanks Renee ~~ Good explanation. Your psychological dysfunction? From reading your post I think the only difference between you and me is....you've been diagnosed !!

Seriously, my mood swings and depression have gotten so regular the past year or so I'm at a point where I don't know if it's menapause, "real life" stress or if I'm just losing it!
My DH tells me (only on my better days-lol) that I used to be so sweet now I'm such a **tch! I've started taking black cohosh, kava kava and St. John wart recently and feel some better but perhaps I should check wellbrutin out.

Thanks....interesting topic.

J
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Old 08-13-2001, 07:30 PM   #5  
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Default Where is Jiff when we need her!

I was hoping someone would come along with the science lesson!

Serotonin is a brain chemical that is linked to feelings of calm well-being. Sometimes the brain cant' use what we have, or we under produce it and feel depressed. The SSRI's(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) will let the neurons accept the serotonin better.

Or something like that.

But, for most of us here, that is just the beginning. Serotonin and other neurotransmitters are part of a complex relationship that includes many of the other chemicals in our bodies: hormones, etc. So estrogen levels, pituitary and thyroid levels, insulin- YEP- insulin, is related to our production and use of serotonin.

So, the constellation of symptoms that those of us who do well on LC have, are all interrelated. Dropping estrogen? YUP! Hypogycemia? Yup! And many other metabolic problems.

I think the best info about serotonin I ve read would be in Potatoes, Not Prozac, or The Schwarzbein Principle. They really describe how diet is related to our feelings, going further than just how sugar makes you feel better. So try one of those books. The website www.radiantrecovery.com have a section at the bottom called brain chemistry 101, for more exciting reading!

So take your Wellbutrim, but keep your blood sugar even, get adequate sleep, and relax. (I'd add exercise, but you know how I hate to give credit to exercise for anything! )

This feels like a very brief answer, but it's something to read more on. I would check out the Protein Power Lifespan, I seem to remember something there, but Im not sure.

dottie
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Old 08-14-2001, 02:05 PM   #6  
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Default Dottie! Ya DONE GOOD!!!!! Jiff would be proud of you!!!!

Thanks for answering that question! In a year when Jiff is waiting for parts for her antigue jag that she is dreaming of getting I will work her skinny little butt off answering this type of stuff!!! Won't that be FUN!!!!!

Chemistry 101... reminds me of the time my lab partner and I lit the lab table on fire with the bunsen burners!!! (do they even have bunsen burners anymore?) That cemented our friendship for years to come!

Thanks...you are a Peach!
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Old 08-14-2001, 11:06 PM   #7  
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Looks like Wellbutrin should be the one thing I should avoid! I have to take Paxil because I have VERY low seratonin, in fact so low that if I don't take the Paxil I end up shaking like a leaf. I suffer from anxiety disorder and that indicates that I have low seratonin. I don't know if anyone remembers, but scientists did some tests to show what happens if your body doesn't get seratonin--they bred some puppies that had low seratonin and the shook all the time--think they did that in Englad or something--anyways I refer to myself as the shaky puppy when I get all out of control with an attack. So you see, too much seratonin and not enough are equally as dangerous to you body!
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Old 08-15-2001, 07:15 AM   #8  
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Default For Pooky

Pooky, maybe I wasn't clear- this stuff is confusing!

Wellbutrim is also for LOW serotonin levels, or to help the body use the serotonin it produces BETTER! It is very similar to Paxil, or Zoloft or other anti-depressant drugs. Paxil has a good anit-anxiety effect without mood alteration, so it would help the "shakies" but not elevate your mood.

The problem for most of us here is not enought serotonin.

Many of these drugs are called "anti-depressants" but that is just a way to classify them, they all help with neurotransmitter function in the brain in various ways. And since what we eat can help, too, many of us also feel better when our insulin, thyroid and other hormones aren't out of whack.

hope this helps
dottie

Last edited by dottiejon; 08-15-2001 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 08-15-2001, 09:47 AM   #9  
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Ooooooohhh....thanks for the clarification Dottie, I thought that it was the opposite! Well, that means that it's the d$#% sugars and starches and all the yummy stuff causing this problem of mine? I asked my docotr about this and he barely gave me an answer, but hey, if it's low carb I need, than it's low carb I do!
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Old 08-15-2001, 05:43 PM   #10  
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Just reading thru the posts and wanted to put my two cents in. Wellbutrin helps to increase serotonin. Atkins and very low carb diets decrease your serotonin levels. That's why foods with carbs are called the "feel-good" foods. We crave carbs because they make us feel better - carbs increase serotonin. So I guess my opinion is that if you low carb, you might get lower serotonin levels and the Wellbutrin would help increase them....Makes sense to me. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2001, 06:51 PM   #11  
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Default Is that your final answer?

OK... first of al, Pooky, many Dr's don't know much about nutrition. Usually, only if they go out of their way to learn. (Ask any dietician, they know!)
Secondly, all I know is depression runs in my family (mom and dad have been suicidle, my brother and dad are both alcoholics...) so while my "problems" may be somewhat agravated by my poor diet, I know I have a chemical inbalance going on that meds have helped trmendously (as well as about 8 years of psychotherapy! )
The only way you can know for sure if a medication is right for you is to talk to your Dr. and hope he/she isn't med happy
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Old 08-15-2001, 09:23 PM   #12  
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Thanks for the input mum2five, I have been taking Paxil for over a year now and I KNOW it is the right med for me. Without it, I am literally helpless. What I didn't understand is that there is some correalation between my eating habits, the medication I take, and the seratonin levels in my body. Definitely something to explore further!
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Old 08-20-2001, 02:31 AM   #13  
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Default Mini science lesson - watch out!

Peach, and all who responded here, let me put my two hundred cents in.

Wellbutrin is not an SSRI like Prozac, Zoloft, and other antidepressants. It actually blocks the reputake of different neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine, in the brain. Serotonin is indeed the "feel good" neurotransmitter because when our levels of serotonin are good we feel content, sleep better, and are more mentally alert.

When we do a starvation diet (which causes a depletion of protein and other essential nutrients) or eat a low protein/low fat diet where we don't consume enough proteins and fats to produce a good supply of neurotransmitters (as well as hormones, antibodies, and other items which require a healthy and balanced diet to produce in the right quantities) we don't make enough serotonin. We become lethargic, depressed, have poor memories, and insomnia. Eating lots of carbs or taking stimulants such as caffiene (coffee, chocolate, dark sodas) ephedra, nicotine, and alcohol produces a quick release of stored serotonin. The bad news is the stored serotonin is quickly used up and we then get to feeling bad again and need stimulants to force more serotonin to be produced. It is like squeezing the last drop of toothpaste out of an empty tube and continuing to push more and more out of that tube rather than getting a full tube.

According to Dr Schwarzbein (The Schwarzbein Principle ) only eating a correctly balanced diet can produce the right amount of serotonin.

By the way, eating too many carbs does produce serotonin. But when you come down from that carb high, you will again be depressed, tired, anxious, or whatever your brand of reactions might be. That is why alcoholics cannot stay away - it produces a feeling of well being and when they sober up they feel terrible. When us carb addicts come down from the high we get from the carb binge we also get depressed and so on. And we crave more carbs. The alcoholic craves more alcohol. The smoker craves more nicotine. Decreasing carbs while eating a healthy and properly balanced diet produces a continual production of serotonin and keeps a good supply in storage. It does not lead to a low serotonin state.

Wellbutrin is one name for that drug. Another name is Zyban. Same drug. Zyban is used to help smokers quit. It does the same sort of thing as the SSRIs but for other neurotransmitters. Okay, here is a mini lesson about how those reuptake blockers work.

Neurons go from the brain to the body to carry messages such as "chew" or "put your left foot down and pick up your right foot and put it a few inches in front of you" (walking) and so on. Neurons are like the strings used by kids to make a phone with cans. Only they don't actually touch each other. They get so close you need a powerful microscope to see the place where one neuron passes the message to the next down the line to the leg muscle or wherever it is headed. Chemicals cause an electrical charge to flow down each neuron and back again to the brain for getting those messages through. But at the tiny space between neurons, a bunch of chemicals are formed to pass the message across that space. Serotonin is one of those chemicals which slides across that space and causes chemical reactions on the surface of the next neuron to start the change of chemicals which causes the electrical message to be passed along through that neuron.

SSRIs block the chemicals which brake down serotonin. That means there is more serotonin around to pass messages along better when there is a low amount of serotonin to begin with and more is needed. SSRIs allow more serotonin to hang around to do that work of passing messages along.

Wellbutrin blocks the breakdown of norepinephrine and of dopamine. Those are other neurotransmitters needed for other kinds of messages than the kind serotonin passes along.

The entire point of this dissertation is to say Wellbutrin does the same sort of thing as SSRIs but is not an SSRI. It may seem like a silly point, but the difference causes huge differences in how they work.

For some reason not clearly understood (by me if not those reseachers who found out Wellbutrin works) it seems to act on the place in our brains which activates addictive behavior. Therefore, it calms the need to use addictive stimulants. Cigarettes. But also carbs, possibly.

It also works as an antidepressant, and is used often for that purpose. A side effect is that it may decrease addictive behavior. Also, by the way, it does not seem to dampen the sex drive as do the SSRIs.

So Peach, if you have not fallen to sleep yet, the reason low carb and Wellbutrin might be a good combination is that (and this is only my guess) Wellbutrin might help curb carb cravings, and we know a strict low carb diet can too. Together they may help curb carb cravings very well.

Sorry folks, I do get carried away. But I thought it might matter to correct some misunderstandings about Wellbutrin (and the serotonin and low carb diet combo not lowering serotonin levels).

Insulin, by the way, seems to help because serotonin is produced from tryptophan, and insulin helps to get the tryptophan into the brain so the serotonin can be produced.

Now, don't even ask about vitamin C because you would hate that lecture! It is 5 times longer!
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Old 08-20-2001, 10:45 AM   #14  
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Default Great job, Giggles!

Very interesting!

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Old 08-20-2001, 04:13 PM   #15  
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OK Giggles...I must say, your explanation was a tad more involved than my Dr.'s. He said "well, Its (wellbutrin) just like Zoloft, a serentonin uptake inhibitor, but with another ingredient that seems to help with cravings. Zyban is the same thing. The sexdrive loss doesn't seem to be a problem with it. Lets see if this works for you. See you in two weeks."

I gotta say, the labido thing is amazing!! I feel horney everyday! As opposed to NEVER Its been a long 6 years for my dh and me!

Sorry. Im sure its TMI for most, but I had to share with someone! (Other than my husband! )
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