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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » I'm Using Alcohol As A CNS Depressant!

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Author Topic: I'm Using Alcohol As A CNS Depressant!
aklnwlf
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What's a person to do??

It's 3:55 a.m. and I'm still up!! I've taken Vicodin, Soma and Ambien CR with Tanqueray and Tonic and I'm still up!!! [bonk]

I'm on my second drink and I can't seem to depress my central nervous system enough to get to sleep!

I burn Lavender oil in my room, try to read and nothing is working some nights! What to do?

What are you all doing to fight the CNS symptoms and insomnia?

If I didn't have this connection with Lymenet I'd go nuts. Especially on a sleepless night.

O.K. gang any pointers out there? [bow]

--------------------
Do not take this as medical advice. This comment is based on opinion and personal experience only.

Alaska Lone Wolf

Posts: 4897 | From Columbus, GA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
butchieboo
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Yes,

The use of alcohol is very bad for a couple of reasons.

If you're taking any antibiotics, drinking alcohol negates their efficacy.
Alcohol also lowers your immune system.
The combination of alcohol and the drugs you are useing is a bad mix.

There isn't much to do some nights.

Exactly what CNS symptoms are you talking about?

Pain,twitches?
If you mean the insomnia. The feeling that you can't shut off your mind from thinking. Rushing from one subject to another. This would be the manic side of bi-polarism.

The only things I have found to fight these is an ssri I have been taking called lexapro.
The only other thing that stopped all the manic/depression extremes was IV antibiotics.

and time.

Dr. B recommends METHYLCOBALAMIN (methyl B12)

This is a prescription drug made from vitamin B12 that helps to heal damage to the nervous system. Must be injected into the muscle, as it will not be effective if used under the tongue, or swallowed, His protocol recommends 25mg daily.

I have used some advil pm, or benadryl but never together, and never with booze.

You must have seen some protocol for fighting these diseases. If so, I'm sure that alcohol was highly discouraged.

Especially, where a sleep aid or pain killer, is concerned.
This will also have an adverse affect on your liver.

Try, peanut butter crackers and warm milk instead.
Try increasing your melatonin...I believe some folks use that.
At present I am taking Ketek and Alinia and I am sleeping too much actually.
Slept away Sunday...pretty much...

I probably needed the sleep because I have been trying phentermine as an energy booster.
It works but...when I crash...I CRASH!

Please, don't think alcohol is a good idea with lyme and the necessary medications needed to fight this disease.

You'll do yourself more harm than good.Let us know. How did you feel, for example,all day Monday and Tuesday.

Were your lyme symptoms worse or better? OVERALL!....


[tsk] [tsk] [dizzy]
BB

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luvs2ride
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alknwlf (what is that anyway? Looks like alkaline wolf [Smile] )

I agree with BB about the alcohol. Even if you weren't sick, alcohol knocks you out initially but ultimately prevents sleep. I can't remember exactly why. Alcohol is hard on your body and your body is already very sick. Skip the alcohol.

I too am an insomniac. Here is what helps me.

Stay away from caffiene of any source. Coffee, sodas, tea and chocolate. Drink decaf and drink lots of water.

Drink 1 tblsp of magnisium in hot water in the evening before bedtime. This is a calming agent and most lymies are deficient in mag.

Take your B vitamins. They do several things. They calm you and they make you bug resistent. You just won't taste good to the bugs.

Melatonin works for many but not for me. Kava Kava works well for me but it can be hard on the liver too, so maybe not a good choice for you.

Sometimes just 2 aspirin is all I need to relax my body and allow the best sleep of all. Avoid the PM OTC drugs as they also are very hard on your liver.

Be checked for parasites. Parasite activity increases at night and this prevents sleep.

Good luck. We must have our sleep in order to heal.

Luvs

--------------------
When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, there will be Peace.

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Vermont_Lymie
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Hi Alknwlf:

Please try these things:

* gentle exercise in the morning (no matter how awful you feel) for as long as you can, 30 minutes or more.

* get some sun in the morning to reset your clock.

* Methyl B-12 is a very good idea, with an overall B vitamin in the morning. I find the Jarrow sublingual B-12 works fine, it dissolves under your tongue, I have not needed injections.

* I use homeopathic Hylands "insomnia" tablets and camomile tea; take extra Magnesiuim-calcium supplements.

** Some nights we probably just have to accept that sleep will be limited; reading a good book or listening to the radio helps me with those moments.

Please do not drink alcohol with any of these medications -- it is in fact dangerous to mix these.

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AliG
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You've gotten some good suggestions.

The only thing I've found that helps me, when I can't sleep is taking two Calcium & Magnesium supplements before bed. (It works great!)

I know it's not good to take too much calcium at one time (causes stones), so I only do this when I'm desperate. I believe you're supposed to take one 3 times a day.

If you drink alcohol (much/often), especially with parsites or parasitic diseases, it can cause deficiencies that can screw up your CNS. Thiamine is a big one that comes to mind.

I believe that the sub-lingual B-12, taken along with a good B-complex (look for Thiamine because they don't all have it) is a good idea.

Please be careful with the alcohol & Vicodin, you really need your liver [Roll Eyes] :

from my drug interaction checker:
quote:
ALCOHOL may interact with ACETAMINOPHEN (in Vicodin)

Both alcohol (ethanol) and acetaminophen can cause damage to the liver. The risk of experiencing liver damage may be increased when alcohol and acetaminophen are used together.

This potential interaction is more likely to occur when alcohol is combined with high doses of acetaminophen, or when alcohol and acetaminophen are both used daily over a long period of time.

People who consume three or more alcoholic drinks per day should avoid using high doses of acetaminophen or avoid using acetaminophen on a regular basis.

Discuss this potential interaction with your healthcare provider at your next appointment, or sooner if you think you are having problems.

If you suspect it may be intestinal parasites, you may want to try:

  • 1 oz. raw pumpkin seeds daily for 10-14 days.
    (best taken on empty stomach, will paralyze them for 8 hrs to aid elimination)
  • papaya - I'd eat 1/2 large papaya daily until feeling better. (some people eat the seeds (YUCK, not me!))
  • GARLIC - 1-2 whole bulbs sauteed in oil, over a little linguini is OK, eat ALL the garlic! Maybe alternate days on this one, it usually makes me exhausted the entire day after and then better the next couple of days)
  • bitter melon (if you can stand it,(gack, it's really bitter!) I can't find a way to make it taste good)
  • also take plenty of probiotics- but a couple of hours after the garlic (garlic has antibiotic properties)

Be aware that these things can cause a Herx, so depending on your constitution, you might want to back off if it is too much to handle.


Please quit mixing meds with alcohol, it makes me nervous. [Eek!] I know someone who blew out their liver with alcohol & tylenol. Not a pretty sight. [Eek!]

I hope you got some sleep & are feeling better today.

Be well,
[hi]
Ali

--------------------
Note: I'm NOT a medical professional. The information I share is from my own personal research and experience. Please do not construe anything I share as medical advice, which should only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.

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wiserforit
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I agree with all the other posters -- alcohol can make you want to go to sleep, but you ultimately wake up and can't get back to sleep!

Also, the alcohol combination with the other drugs is dangerous and may wire you even more. Not to mention that Lyme & alcohol don't mix -- my symptoms grew worse with every glass of wine (sugar/yeast? sulfites?).

I tend to have the opposite (paradoxical) response to most over the counter drugs. If they promise sleep, I get wired. If they make someone speedy, I fall asleep. So, I just avoid them altogether.

I've noticed that if I wear headphones with guided imagery/relaxation tapes (the kind with someone talking in a soft, boring tone), I just phase out. I don't even hear the relaxation suggestions; the tapes become a soothing white noise.

I hope you can try some of nutritional suggestions from other posters along with a relaxation tape or two. Just to see if anything helps...

Wishing you easy zzzz's,

wiserforit

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Aniek
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Vicodin can act as a stimulant in some people. So beware with using that for insomnia! Plus, it's generally not a good idea to take pain medication for any reason besides pain.

If it's pain keeping you awake, by all means take the vicodin to kill the pain. But if it's not for pain, that's when the pain meds can become addictive.

Regular exercise is really one of the best things you can do for insomnia. Do whatever exercise your body can handle. It will take a while, but it eventually helps regulate the CNS.

And for those nights you just can't sleep, I find television helps more than anything. It's often so bad late night, that I fall asleep on the couch.

--------------------
"When there is pain, there are no words." - Toni Morrison

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Aniek:
Vicodin can act as a stimulant in some people. So beware with using that for insomnia!

Ask your dr for Trazodone!!!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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AliG
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Aniek also mentioned exercise.

I recall, when my pain was at it's absolute worst & I couldn't sleep, the only thing that REALLY helped was to immediately get out of bed and go pace around & move whatever joints were troubling me. I would do this for about 15-20 minutes until it subsided and IT WORKED EVERY TIME!

The longer I lay there trying to sleep, the worse it got. I think the movement creates more bloodflow & that either flushes the buggers out or flushes the inflammation. It definitely flushes something. [Big Grin]

--------------------
Note: I'm NOT a medical professional. The information I share is from my own personal research and experience. Please do not construe anything I share as medical advice, which should only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.

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sixgoofykids
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One thing my grandmother told me is to not worry if you can't sleep, just be sure you get some good rest .. a night of good rest is better than nothing. This keeps me from having anxiety over my insomnia.

My LLMD has me taking Melatonin and Valerian ... I just started it a few days ago. I don't know that it's helped me sleep, but it sure makes me relax. [Smile]

I also take magnesium and eat protein before bed.

Ear plugs help, too. Sometimes hubby will go sleep somewhere else so he doesn't keep me up.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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Marnie
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Pay attention to where I bold words or use ***

Alcoholics need to rebalance the neurotransmitters.

I'm not saying you are an alcoholic...I am saying you share the same sleep problems that alcoholics do who try to go off booze.

This rebalancing is done via a new drug called acamprosate.

Here's how it works from a "technical" standpoint:

Thus, acamprosate may concomitantly enhance NMDA-EPSP/Cs while ***blocking presynaptic GABA(B) receptor-mediated inhibition of GABA release.*** These results suggest that acamprosate's clinical efficacy in preventing relapse in weaned alcoholics could derive from its interactions with both the glutamatergic and GABAergic systems in the NAcc."

If your tryptophan level is too low, you can't make serotonin which converts to melatonin to help us to FALL asleep (NREM sleep).

Acamprosate Treats Abstinent Alcoholics Suffering Dysfunctional Sleep Patterns

CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows that acamprosate ameliorates both sleep continuity and sleep architecture parameters classically described as disturbed in alcohol-dependent patients.

From a clinical perspective, it suggests that an 8-day acamprosate prewithdrawal treatment is well tolerated and can

attenuate the sleep disturbances engendered by alcohol withdrawal in alcohol-dependent subjects.
PMID: 16930211

Alcoholics generally don't sleep well. Nor does abstinence improve the situation much. In fact, sleep difficulties during alcohol abstinence may be responsible for a relapse to alcoholism as individuals attempt to self medicate their sleeping problems.

New findings show that an alcoholism-treatment drug called acamprosate, widely used in Europe, can alleviate post-withdrawal sleep disturbances by influencing glutamatergic transmission.


"On a more mechanistic level, these results appear to implicate glutamate in both sleep disturbances and withdrawal symptoms, and acamprosate appears to be able to decrease the physiological effects of glutamate in the brain ."

The glutamate receptors (very complex!) are "gated" by Mg and Zn and glycine (etc.). If those nutrients are low...

These glutamate receptors are also known as the NMDA receptors...just to make it harder for us to understand!

This drug may help more than sleep, I suspect.

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farah
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Hey aklnwf,

If you are already burning lavender essential oil, try sticking 30 drops of it in vegetable oil and rubbing it into your head. Use your knuckles and rub it in deep. Also, massage your ears real thorough while you are at it. When you massage your ears, it releases natural opiates into the body. That is a more healthy way to get to sleep than alcohol.

Farah

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mojo
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I use Ativan to sleep - it's a benzodiazepate like Xanax but lasts longer. I take an Ativan and 2mg timed released Melatonin about an hour before bedtime. I also save my Magnesium and Calcium supplements for night, too (and right before my daily afternoon nap). If I wake up (and I usually do about six hours after I go to sleep) I take a half of a Xanax.

It's so very important to get quality sleep to recover from Lyme. It's just as important to avoid alcohol. (two of the three reasons Dr. Burrascano gives that will prevent you from recovery - the third being compliance with your protocol)

I have a "background noise" machine that I LOVE. It prevents being awakened at night by noise and it relaxes me. It's also important to sleep in a very dark room.

I hope you get some sleep soon.

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Keebler
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Yoga, Tai Chi, or QiGong are wonderful aids not just to sleep but to balancing out so much of what we need.

Other stuff that helps is gentle music, avoiding TV and computer past a certain hour due to the stimulation. I try only to watch PBS or calmer DVDs after 9 pm. Don't always succeed but it does help.

A compromised liver will keep one awake and agitated as will excess toxicity that has to be processed by the liver.

Lots of good suggestions here.

a warm bath (not hot) with epson salt and baking soda might help, too.

Good luck. Sweet dreams of improved health.

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tailz
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I have MAJOR troubles sleeping. Sometimes though, if I start reading the Bible, I am able to drift off when all else has failed.
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merrygirl
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1mg Xanax works for me.
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DolphinLady
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Consider getting your cortisol and blood sugar levels checked especially during difficult times.
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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by tailz:
I have MAJOR troubles sleeping. Sometimes though, if I start reading the Bible, I am able to drift off when all else has failed.

Speaking of that....If I pray for others, I will fall asleep. I think it's God's way of blessing me for blessing others! Sometimes I feel like I'm just using God, but I'm telling you it works OFTEN. [Smile]

[I ask him to forgive me if I'm being selfish by doing that!! [Big Grin] ] I think he knows my heart though!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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hiker53
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10 minutes of biofeedback helps me to relax. I just diaphramatic breathing and think of myself in a beautiful place with Jesus by my side. If you are not religious, of course, just think of your favorite place to be and breathe with your diaphgram. Hiker

--------------------
Hiker53

"God is light. In Him there is no
darkness." 1John 1:5

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aklnwlf
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Oh you guys!! You did a great job! Thanks for the suggestions. Didn't mean to come across as a lush but on occasion the old standby's aren't enough.

I don't drink when I'm on meds for the week but my week off I have trouble sleeping.

I'll definitely implement your find ideas and am looking forward to restful sleep.

Thanks my friends. [Big Grin]

p.s. aklnwlf stands for Alaska Lone Wolf

--------------------
Do not take this as medical advice. This comment is based on opinion and personal experience only.

Alaska Lone Wolf

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Aniek
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quote:
Originally posted by aklnwlf:
I don't drink when I'm on meds for the week but my week off I have trouble sleeping.


Do you stop all meds regularly for a week? If so, maybe there is a med that is either helping you sleep that you shouldn't stop regularly, or maybe there is a med that you are becoming dependant on for sleep that you maybe don't want to be on because of that.

--------------------
"When there is pain, there are no words." - Toni Morrison

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BJG
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Hey,

What a Bummer.

A Warm, not hot bath, with Lavender oil and other soothing oils may relax your body.

I am in agreement with what others are saying, although don't beat yourself up.

I think those of us who have this Yukki disease by nature, are hard enough on ourselves.
Lyme puts us in a world of DON'TS.

Don't drink
Don't eat sugar
Don't stay up late- {I am in deep dodo there}
Don't combine this and that.
ON and ON and On.

Sit back at find a place in your minds eye where you have peace.
{Hiker-good idea}
Relax and breathe.
tighten your shoulders and neck-then release.
Do this a few times

Alcohol will deceive you in thinking that it will help with sleep.

You can also purchase sleep tapes/CD's.

Meditate, pray, yoga teaches your body how to shut down for sleep.

No negative thoughts about yourself.

Be well and gentle with yourself. [sleepy]

Peace,
B

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Keebler
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There are some wonderful herbs, too, that help with sleep.

And I'm not talking about valerian which makes me hung-over for days (though others may find it helps).

Fu Shen, Zizyphus . . . more later. I'll look up my stuff.

ZZZZ . . .

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jaime1978
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I agree....alcohol is not a good idea....especially with meds, and it's aweful for us lymies.... as you've read above, many have listed the why's and why not's....

I have taken several different things to help me sleep.... many you can find at a health food store...there's one thing called "sleepRX".... it helps greatly.

melatonin is great, as is valarian root....

if all else fails, you could ask your doctor for xanax... sometimes it relaxes me just enough to drift off.....

I seem to go in spurts where I don't sleep for a week.... then I get so exhausted I am able to sleep.... I know those sleepless nights are just aweful.... I pray you find some help soon.

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Rianna
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Do you have the slleping pil Zopicole in USA?

I could not sleep, tried many pills but just 1/2 pill of zopiclone knocks me out for 8 hours with no after effects whatsoever.

Rianna

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Rianna
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Typo

Its is ZOPICLONE

Rianna

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Greatcod
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With deep sleep hard to come by, I found that almost any noise would awaken me from my light sleep. This included birds chirping at sunrise, I came to despise the winged loudmouths.
Anyway, I use an air cleaner as a souce of white noise, set to a level that drowns out various noises.
I know that white noise generators can be purchased, but for me the air cleaner works just fine.

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Parisa
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When things would get really bad my husband would take a Lunesta (was able to get free samples from PCP). He tried to rotate the sleeping pill with Valerian as he didn't want to get addicted (it's not "supposed" to be addictive but you never know.)

For the past two months, he has been drinking Kefir (home brewed) before he goes to bed. Maybe it's the calcium? I don't know why but he's been sleeping really well ever since. So he's getting his probiotic, getting his sleep and we've been able to knock out the sleeping pill.

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hatpianka
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I have used Seroquel for trouble sleeping.

It is a anti-psychotic at high doses, but really helps sleep.

It is often given to recovering addicts as they are through with the initial detox but are in the initial stages of being drug-free.

It is not at all addictive like the other sleep aids (as much as they say they aren't addictive or habit forming - they are!).

The only bad side effect for me was extreme hunger.

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