Dear Dr. T,
What do you suggest for sleeping, natural wise – L-Theanine? Someone recommended GABA and Inositol—300mg each. Melatonin doesn’t seem to be working—maybe because my hormones are out of whack as I have not menstruated for 4 months, etc. Aside from protein powders, which I alternate, what will prevent the loss of muscle mass I am experiencing? (I went from 98 to 88 lbs in August and have not been gaining it back; I’m 90 lbs now). Do you ever use the 22 Allergens RAST ENZYME MOLDS blood test? Think it’s worth investing in? Many thanks!!

Dr. Teitelbaum’s response:
Theanine 50-200 mg can be very helpful, as can Wild Lettuce, Jamaican Dogwood, Hops, Valerian and Passion Flower. This mix of 6 herbs is superb and can all be found in the “Revitalizing Sleep Formula” by Enzymatic Therapy. Take 1-4 caps 30-60 minutes before bedtime.

Melatonin 1/2-3 mg can also help as can taking calcium and magnesium at bedtime. 5 HTP 200-400 mg can help, but should only be used under a holistic practitioners supervision if you are also on serotonin-raising medications, as otherwise the serotonin can go too high and be dangerous.

Using a lavender containing pillow and taking a hot bath before bed can also help.

My From Fatigued to Fantastic! book also discusses sleep hygiene and many other helpful treatments at length.

I do not use GABA as it causes nausea in most people by the time they take enough to really help. However it is OK to try (it does help some folks).

Inositol helps anxiety, but is not as helpful for sleep.

Optimizing progesterone and estrogen with bioidentical natural hormones can be very helpful.

Optimizing hormones, especially adrenal, DHEA, testosterone and Growth hormone (increased by sex, exercise and sleep) can improve muscle mass. You need a good medical evaluation to rule out other causes of weight loss (infections, high thyroid, cancer, etc). Creatine 3 gms a day may help a bit as well (2-5 pounds worth).

I find blood tests for allergies to NOT be reliable.

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.
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