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Neurologic issues are some of the most common and complex health challenges we face – and the treatments are often worse than the disease itself! When it comes to medications for Parkinson’s, ADHD, and insomnia, the side effects can be downright dangerous, ranging from balance issues all the way to suicidal depression. It may surprise you to know that there are safe, natural amino acid therapies that get to the root causes of these complicated illnesses to provide relief from the debilitating symptoms.
Neurologic disorders like Parkinson’s are on the rise, with an estimated 60,000 new cases each year and 1.2 million diagnosed overall. But the medication that provides the most relief, L-dopa, is often not well tolerated at therapeutic levels. This may be because of amino acid depletions, and Dr. Marty Hinz has come up with a novel new amino acid therapy to address this.
L-dopa has been found in studies to deplete L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, serotonin, epinephrine, and the sulfur-based amino acids, which are already deficient in many Parkinson’s patients. Dr. Hinz has been researching these deficiencies in Parkinson’s since 1997 and found that they were a hidden cause of the side effects of L-dopa that keep patients from being able to take enough to be effective.
When these amino acids are deficient, serotonin is out of balance with dopamine, and these two important neurotransmitters are key players in Parkinson’s disease that need to stay in balance for symptom management. He uses a unique amino acid therapy to keep them in balance while on L-dopa, and has found that the tremors, moods, motor function, and ability to function in normal daily activities of his patients are well maintained for years – with no complications – even when the dose of L-dopa is increased.
Here are the starting doses of his therapy. It’s important to note that doses of the amino acids and supporting nutrients change as the doses of the L-dopa change, and you should seek the help and monitoring of a qualified Functional Medicine practitioner if you have Parkinson’s and would like to use this successful amino acid therapy.
Fortunately, the success of amino acid therapy isn’t limited to just one neurologic issue. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with deficiency in 8 different key amino acids, which are especially important to a growing and developing brain. Considering that up to 85 percent of children with ADHD are at risk of it continuing into adulthood, novel approaches that are safe for the long term – like amino acid therapies – are needed and can provide natural symptom relief at any age.
According to the CDC, ADHD now affects 11 percent of all children ages 4 to 17 years old. When it persists into adulthood, they estimate that only 11 percent of adults receive treatment for it. There are said to be as many as 7 different types of ADHD, but what I’ve found is that this disease is very individual and each person needs to tailor their amino acid supplementation to their own specific needs. This is what makes finding successful natural alternatives such a challenge – or any treatment, for that matter.
Considering the dangers associated with the stimulant medications, I believe natural therapies along with a clean, healthy diet like my Fat Flush or Radical Metabolism plans are a good first line of defense worth trying. Your Functional Medicine health care provider can even do urinary neurotransmitter and organic acid testing to help you narrow down which amino acids may give you the best relief and what doses are appropriate at your age, weight, and level of deficiency. Here are the 8 that have been found in studies to be effective:
With 1 out of every 3 adults affected by insomnia, we need better answers than rescue medications to help with the quality and quantity of sleep we’re getting. The 2 main neurotransmitters that help us sleep are actually amino acids we’ve already learned about for Parkinson’s and ADHD. By supplementing with these amino acids, we can get a good night’s sleep – without side effects.
If you’re looking for a natural “chill pill” to help turn off your brain and relax for sleep, then the combination of 5-HTP and GABA should fit the bill. Both of these amino acids taken together have been shown in studies to shut down that “wired but tired” feeling and improve both sleep quality and quantity.
In the case of insomnia, you don’t need to balance out the 5-HTP with tyrosine because we’re looking only for that drowsy, feel-good effect of increasing serotonin. And unless you have ADHD, taking GABA in its whole form should be absorbed without issue. I recommend 100 to 200 milligrams of 5-HTP at bedtime, along with 200 to 400 milligrams of PharmaGABA, a more easily absorbed form of GABA.