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Old 10-20-16, 01:25 PM
Syndicki Syndicki is offline
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Alcoholism, Dopamine/Serotonin and ADHD

Hi,

I have a question that some of you may be able to help out with. What I want to know is if people thing that it may help me to take an serotonin/dopamine/iron supplement to overcome some side effects I am having. And if so, are there any recommendations anyone has?

I think what my medication is not working as well as it should as the levels of serotonin/dopamine in my brain are low and as a result my ADHD medication does not have enough of it to work with

The background of my situation is detailed below. Please note, I have copied a few pieces from articles to try and explain my situation:

Until a few months ago I took Vyvance 50mg and changed from 50mg to 70mg, and then back to 50mg. I'm now on 70mg again, and it is generally working OK. However, not as well as it used to when I was a fully functioning human being.

To cut a long story short, I am a recovering alcoholic (in day 45 of soberity). I am taking good care of my health, eating well, drinking lots of water, exercising and taking my vitamins etc. However, my diet has very low levels of iron.

I did a lot of damage to my body as a result of sustained drinking over a long period. Many of the symptoms have subsided. However, I am still having a number of side effects (headache/fatigue/low concentration etc).

The vitamins I currently take are vitamin b (stress complex), zinc, fish oil 1000mg and Omega 3 300mg.

From my research, sustained alcohol consumption can cause a reduction in the production of the brain producing and transporting dopamine/sertonin, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brainís reward and pleasure centers.

Research has also found the brains of alcoholics to have fewer D1 dopamine receptors, sites in the brain where dopamine binds and excites neurons, the specialized brain cells that transmit nerve impulses. Fewer D1 receptors would make the brain less responsive to dopamine, causing an individual to struggle in order to feel the same euphoric rush from alcohol that others may experience.

Some of the symptoms of low dopamine/serotonin like Chronic fatigue, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite or carbohydrate cravings, hot flushes and temperature changes, headaches, stomach pains, low libido, social withdrawal, sadness and frequent crying spells, low self-esteem and self-confidence, loss of personality, feeling emotionally sensitive and taking things personally, Irritability and so on.

My understanding is that for regular people (not alcoholics/not with ADHD)imbalances in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine can lead to muscle and behavioral problems. Depending on the location and direction (high or low) of the imbalance in the brain, dopamine problems can cause stiffness in muscles, tremor, irrepressible urges to move while at rest (also known as restless legs syndrome), problems with attention, concentration, motivation, and depression, but also psychosis, paranoia, and aggression.

Here are two articles I found on these issues:

Alcohol addiction and dopamine levels

http://www.medicaldaily.com/alcohol-...-levels-376577

Iron, dopamine and ADHD

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...amine-and-adhd

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 10-21-16, 03:05 AM
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Re: Alcoholism, Dopamine/Serotonin and ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndicki View Post

To cut a long story short, I am a recovering alcoholic (in day 45 of soberity). I am taking good care of my health, eating well, drinking lots of water, exercising and taking my vitamins etc. However, my diet has very low levels of iron.
I am so proud of your recovery! I am as well, in fact I celebrate four years in December.

Quote:
I did a lot of damage to my body as a result of sustained drinking over a long period. Many of the symptoms have subsided. However, I am still having a number of side effects (headache/fatigue/low concentration etc).
When you get sober- it takes more than 45 days IME for the fog and effects of alcohol to go away. I use a 12 step thing to keep me sober and for the first three months all I could do was go to meetings, sweat,walk around like a zombie and cry. (not saying 12 steps are for everyone-some people do not like them).
I know technically it only takes about 10 days for alcohol to leave your system but My experience has been that prolonged alcoholic abuse takes a few months-both physically and mentally to get through. After a few months the real work at staying sober begins.



Quote:
The vitamins I currently take are vitamin b (stress complex), zinc, fish oil 1000mg and Omega 3 300mg.
Here are the supplements that I take: I have a lot of deficiancies so they may not all apply to you:
vitamin C,B12,D,B-complex,zinc,iron,folic acid, calcium,magnesium,biotin, melatonin and a prenatal multi.


I am also bipolar so I take an antidepressant as well as other meds.
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Old 03-18-17, 09:58 PM
madhadder madhadder is offline
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Re: Alcoholism, Dopamine/Serotonin and ADHD

Great job on your recovery so far and the recovery to come!! What you've done is not easy and the first month is definitely not smooth!!!!

Have you thought about switching ADHD medication? A SSRI may help you with what you mentioned but if you think the Vyvanse isn't working as well, I would suggest talking to the doctor about changing that before adding a SSRI. You may not want to add a sero/dopa medication before you have an ADHD med you are confident in. There could be a mixture of a few things; tolerance, diminished affects from consistent alcohol, diminished affect from no alcohol. If you were drinking and taking the Vyvanse, there is a chance the alcohol was enhancing some of the medications effects. Your body could also used to putting energy into processing the alcohol, distracting it from processing other things like the medication. Now that it's no longer forced to process the alcohol, it is starting to process the medication quicker and could be a reason you notice it is not working as well. Your body may associate Vyvanse and alcohol, an ADHD medication your body isn't used to may not only help keep you on the good track but could help your sero/dopa levels too. There are a lot of studies that ADHD meds deplete these levels but there are also some studies that they can help near as well as a medication dedicated to that purpose.

Just my personal experience with drinking + ADHD meds + SSRI
When I quit drinking, the first 2 months were terrible. I slept constantly, could not drag myself out of bed, had no motivation, etc. definitely could be from dopamine/serotonin and it's likely the same thing is happening in your case. I almost gave up, that was the time I met with a doctor and he diagnosed me with ADHD.
I had no idea the impact the medication would have on my drinking. It wasn't until I started taking medication for my ADHD that I was happy with not drinking. The 2-3 months when I stopped drinking was near depressing, all I thought about was drinking. When I started taking adderall, not only were my cravings gone, I had a positive outlook again & I did not even want to drink. The thought of drinking made me gag. The doctor added an SSRI after about 8 months of taking an ADHD medicine which for me might have ended up making my outlook on things worse. I had my first (second and third) relapses all recently and all after starting to take an SSRI along with my ADHD meds.
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