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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:57 am 
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone have an informed idea as to how long it takes for your natural production of endorphins to recover after you cease taking all opiates?

I remember hearing a couple of years ago off my prescribing doctor that studies had shown it takes on average 18 months for levels of a certain protein kinase that has a lot to do with endorphins to be at near normal levels. Is this true? Is this what accounts for the so called PAWs?

Has anyone got a link to the study I'm thinking of? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:00 pm 
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Hmm, good question. Surprised no one answered, I'm also curious. I guess I could google up that, but I'm sure you could too =) If we both did, we may get a bunch of info!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:27 pm 
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I agree - that is a very good question. It's not something I have ever heard before but it certainly would explain why so many people report PAWS for months following stopping an opiate such as Suboxone. Lord, let's hope it doesn't take 18 months! Or if it does, let's hope it only takes 18 months to return to 100% but that you hover around perhaps 90% much sooner - like a year or more sooner! I really hope someone is able to find some reliable info on this. Or, perhaps Dr. J has something he can provide. Or, perhaps donh can get off his butt and go hunting for some information himself and report back on what he finds. :)

See, now this Suboxone stuff has me refering to myself in the third person. Talk about side-effects.*





[sup]* Yes, I'm kidding.[/sup]


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:01 am 
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Yeah, I'm looking, I'm looking... but it's all oh so specialized and complicated and has a lot of big scary words... so I guess I'll go populist and share some common knowledge from the trenches :)

1. Proteins! A lot of it. Beef, eggs, fish, poultry (NOTE - be careful with turkey though if you are on MAOI antidepressants, otherwise you risk getting hit by the serotonin syndrome). Proteins are the building blocks for all that gray stuff in our brains. If you're not on MAOIs, eat a lot of turkey, it has tyrosine, and tyrosine is essential for out yummiest endorphins - the betas.
2. L-Tyrosine supplement (once again - check with your family doc before starting ANY supplement regimen. Some of your meds might not get along with some foods or vitamins). Also, the 5-HTP complex, which helps replenish serotonin storages or something. I've heard abut tweakers taking 5-HTP before a trip so their crash won't be so bad).

3. L-Arginine combos - usually with alpha-lipoic acid, is rumored to have a "human growth hormone" effect, although this particular effect diminishes greatly with age. But it still can help boost hormone production, especially if you

4. WORK OUT! Yeah, I know. A moan every time I utter those words. But there's no way around it. Cardio is good because it's essentially a "shortcut" to endorphin release (runner's high type of thing), but if you can't stand running or have a bad heart or something, lift weights and stretch. You see what resistance training does - it makes microscopic "tears" in our muscle tissue, not wounds mind you - wounds will only grow scars, - but teeny-tiny little tears that our bodies have enough resources to mend. That;s why bodybuilders grow big muscles, - putting a strain on them makes them bigger (in a way, a body "plugs up the holes" with the same stuff, just don't overdo it). But that's not the main reason to go Terminator.

Increasing your muscle weight speeds up metabolism. Fast metabolism allows for faster regeneration of cells. All of them. See where I'm going? That's right. Your body is more efficient (and shapely!) so the natural balance returns sooner.

5. Stabilize your sleep cycle. We all know how annoying and depressing it is when you can't get much sleep, but that's not why it's important to sleep at night and be awake during the day. You see, evolution made us day-creatures, and for a reason. Our bodies have two major stages - the catabolic stage, when we are awake, we break up big molecules into amino acids and other small things, and produce energy (by the way being exposed to natural sunlight during that stage is important, otherwise some essential nutrients cannot be utilized), and the anabolic stage, when we are asleep, and our bodies make big molecules from the small stuff and consume energy. The body is trained to put us to sleep when it gets dark, cause that's when the building begins, so it doesn't want us messing around and walking and burning all these precious calories it needs to do our nightly overhaul. Interrupting the daylight cycle or whatever it's called, is not just a nuisance that makes us irritable and late for work, it is known to cause many of major health problems. So SLEEP WELL and SLEEP RIGHT :) And to help you with that, there's Melatonin (it is NOT a sleeping pill, its a supplement that helps your body regulate its sleeping cycles.) Melatonin is supposed to be taken after sunset (how dramatic! :)) and it only works if taken regularly for a period of time (usually you'll start noticing the effects in about 2 weeks).

6. Did I say you have to work out? :) Fresh air is also recommended in high doses and is not known to build up tolerance.

7. Teach yourself to enjoy things all over again. Most of what is good in this life is forgotten in an opiate-induced haze, and it's a shame. Simple things, like listening to music while you commute or do your chores, going out to see movies, eating your favorite food... whatever used to make you happy before - try it. Chances are, it still is. And keep busy - not just because boredom is a number one reason for relapse, but also because of that "need to do something - doing something - done something - PROFIT" model that helps reanimate a "healthy" reward mechanism in the brain. Also, teach yourself delayed gratification. Gardening is great, - also, it's a great exercise - did I mention you should exercise? :) - or fishing, or hiking, or something similar. Start a number of projects - some for work, some for fun, the idea is - it should require some time and some effort so that you will be rewarded by a great result in the future.

Right now there's no substances that are proven to increase natural endorphins in humans. So don't believe any of that advertising crap. Supplements are there to help our bodies function, but they won't do your work for you. And if you're over 30 and have beed opiate-dependent for years, chances are your endorphins will never go back to your "pre-addicted" level, your body won't be able to do it by itself. But even if you are still young - better sooner than later, right? It's all so simple, really - most of it can be found on every "diet" resource, in every healthnut journal, and doctors are tired having to repeat the same things again and again to the same patients - but that's how it works. There's no shortcuts when it comes back to getting ourselves healthy... The greatest maintenance meds out there mask the uncomfortable symptoms, but the rest is our responsibility.

I feel a sour taste in my mouth for some reason. I know how reading that thing can make you cringe :) But it's the only reliable info I have right now.

And yeah, is there are studies, I will find them and quote the crap outta them and you'll wish you never asked! :)

Best of luck to all

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"If I knew it was harmless, I would have killed it myself." (c)


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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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