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Gradual Taper With The Help Of Functional Medicine -- My Process


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#1 Scuffy1209

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 03:15 PM

I have been on Cymbalta for over a decade (currently 32y/o). For years I have felt totally anxiety/ depression free for a while but every time i try to come off the med i get horrible rebound anxiety. Now, i'm getting ready to think about having a baby and I need off! So, thankfully I have found functional medicine and Dr. Kelly Brogan (functional psychiatrist) and have a plan of action. I plan to document it here both to support myself and also hopefully help others. 

 

Functional medicine is, in opinion, the way medicine should be done. Dr's with this certification have standard MD's and medial training but also elect to get an additional 2 years of training in more integrative / holistic medicine that considers the entire person and finding balance rather than treating just symptoms. Functional Dr's are pretty obsessed with gut health -- as they should be. 70% of our serotonin is produced in our guts! The American lifestyle wreaks havoc on our guts, our hormonal systems and so much more. Things like sugar, caffeine, and many other processed foods we consume constantly are HUGE contributors or mood and anxiety issues. I know this in part bc i am actually a clinical psychologist as well as a consumer of cymbalta. Often times these Dr's do not take insurance, so it's an investment. You can use the link below to search for providers in your area -- i happened to find one in my area that does take insurance and i'm so grateful. 

 

 For those who are interested, here are some resources on Functional Medicine and specifically Dr. Kelly Brogan who is a holistic psychiatrist out of NYC. 

 

https://www.ifm.org/...ional-medicine/

 

Dr. Kelly Brogan: 

https://kellybroganmd.com/

 

Books i read that have changed my life: 

 

Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski

 

A mind of your Own by Kelly Brogan. 

 

 

SO, my process started about 6 weeks ago when i began a month long "brain detox" as per Dr. Brogan's book. It involved a pretty strict diet that only allowed me to eat foods that support mood, decrease anxiety and promote overall health.  I didn't change my dose during this time. It's hard but totally worth it. It lays the foundation for the taper and started me in a good place. Then, from this website i discovered that Lupin brand generic cymablta has little 5mg minipills inside instead of hundreds of tiny granuals. This would allow me to step down in an exact way without spending hours counting! So my pharmacist ordered that specific brand for me and i switched to Lupin generic about a week ago. I didn't have any trouble switching my generic brand -- though i stuck to my normal dose for the first few days just to make sure my brain equilibrated alright. Starting five days ago i decreased my dose from 30mg to 25mg. Thus far i feel no different. Today i'm super tired but i think that's unrelated. i have been really pushing my self care endeavors -- lots of yoga, meditation, supplements from my functional Dr that support mood (see Dr. Brogan's book for some of these). I'm feeling nervous but hopeful that this will be the time i finally kick this drug. Not to mention i have much more motvation than previously bc i really don't want to be on it when i get pregnant. I plan to decrease by 5mg every 2-3 weeks and slow down if i need to. I will post as things come up good or bad. 

 

In general, i can't say enough about functional medicine and approaching this holistically. I feel like a different person since being treated in a functional way -- i was so physically and mentally imbalanced and as i have gotten my body back in balance hormonally, nutritionally, and emotionally, i feel so great. Seriously. Do it. 


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 05:07 PM

Dr. Brogan has been a favorite with many members in the past. I have no problem with anyone trying his approach but one word of caution. If you have a genetic condition that causes the anxiety/depression than his technique will not help.

#3 fishinghat

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 05:13 PM

Some comments from members on Dr. Kelly Brogans approach.

(Excerpt from "Summary of Cymbalta Withdrawal" thread in the Medical Support section.

Informational Reading

A Mind Of Your Own

blanam - A great book is Kelly Brogan's "A Mind Of Your Own".

FH - Kelly Brogan, MD is absolutely correct. I remember my crying spell. It lasted about 3 or 4 weeks. I remember going for long walks in the park and crying every step, for no apparent reason. Everyone was asking me if I was OK. I waited for those spells to end before I went walking again.

blanam - Kelly Brogan, MD suggests that it can take from 6 month to 2 years for the brain/body to recalibrate.
kr15sy - I have been focusing on going Paleo to get healthy and lose weight, and after reading Dr. Kelly Brogan's A Mind of Your Own, and Dr. Perlmutter's Grain Brain, found out about the connection between your gut and your brain.

 

There is also an in depth look at the research on the mind/gut/skin connection in the "Summary of Cymbalta Withdrawal". You would not believe the number of medical conditions that are related to improper digestion.


#4 gail

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    5 months on cymbalta, scary side effects, to get help and to return the favor if I can.

Posted 16 August 2018 - 05:29 PM

Hi Scuffy,

Looks real interesting. Looking forward to an update. I sure hope that you are not predisposed to anxiety or depression.

Fishinghat, what is the reason that it won't work? Thank you Sir!

#5 fishinghat

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 05:51 PM

One of the effects of stress is to change the concentration of neurotransmitters like adrenaline, serotonin etc. These situations are often controlled by antidepressants or other meds. BUT anxiety/depression from genetic causes is often due to your body not being able to produce or producing too much of the neurotransmitters or the proteins that transport them. The antidepressants do not have a direct impact or in some cases little impact on the production of neurotransmitters or the transporters therefore their effect is little to none.


#6 Scuffy1209

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:59 PM

Updates two weeks in!  Saw my functional Dr. today. I have had a rough two weeks -- mostly bc I got a cold and a UTI, but also because I went down 5mg on the cymablta. It is starting to even out, but i was definitely feeling emotional , apathetic, and had an intense bout of anxiety a few nights ago. I have been making self care my second job -- tons of yoga, acupuncture, meditation and breathing daily. I'm also using a CES device which is supposed to help with depression and anxiety -- it emits a low grade current sent through ears. It is very popular in Israel,  but drug companies in US have prevented it's proliferation here.  Here's a web address for the CES: https://www.alpha-st...ood-conditions/. I am also eating super clean, no sugar, lots of veggies and drinking green juice every morning to help with detox. It all seems to help cumulatively. 

 

In terms of supplements my Dr has me on: inositol, phosphotidyl serene, magnisium, and LDN. That last one, LDN is a prescription low dose naltrexone which i take at night and it boosts a natural endorphine response overnight and allows me to wake up feeling pretty good and also helps with sleep. Here's a link: https://www.ldnscien...mark-shukhman. 

 

I plan to stay at 25mg of cymblata for a month total then decrease to 20mg. If this is too hard the plan is to do 25/20 alternating days for a week then step down. 

 

This is an all hands on deck situation but thinking about it as detox is really helpful. As a psychologist myself i have a pretty deep understanding of how these conditions come to be, and the chemical imbalance  / genetic only hypothesis is not really accepted any more. This is a bio-psycho-social phenomenon and even genetics can be manipulated with epigenetics. Seeing this as a holistic attempt to regulate my mind and body and detox from this drug really helps. Onwards and upwards!


#7 fishinghat

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 05:05 PM

I don't see anything wrong with that approach but I would suggest you get your magnesium and calcium checked every 6 months. As magnesium increases calcium declines.



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