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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum

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A few weeks back I made a post about nightshades worsening or at least aggravating my HPPD symptoms, which you can find here: http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5431-nightshades/

Interestingly enough, after eliminating nightshades for the past few weeks I've felt much better, however yesterday after eating lunch I noticed my symptoms became aggravated in the same way when I consume nightshades, caffeine and other stimulants. When I analyzed what I ate that was different from previous days I realized it was granola I'd recently purchased with a large amount of nuts, but especially sesame seeds which are high in glutamate. 

In recent months the subject of glutamate has come up in multiple different posts, some of which you can read below:

http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5399-glutamate-and-some-theory-about-visual-snow/#comment-34148

http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5337-possible-relation-in-paws-and-hppd/#comment-33768

http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5371-negative-reaction-to-caffeine/#comment-33951

http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5336-old-article-about-the-brain-and-lsd/#comment-34024

In addition, several months ago while browsing the Web I came across an interesting connection between glutamate and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), which has some overlapping similarities to HPPD. In fact, a user of this site recently complained of symptoms that align with RLS: http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5450-hppd-from-weed-alone-rare-experience/#comment-34486

RLS is often treated with drugs that have had similar success in alleviating symptoms of those in the HPPD community, primarily benzodiazepines, dopaminergic agents and opioids. But like HPPD these are no cure for RLS. Also similar to HPPD is the high correlation between emotional stress (especially anxiety) and RLS, as well as certain stimulating agents such as alcohol, caffeine and SSRIs which have a track record of exacerbating RLS symptoms. 

In recent years RLS has been linked to chromic inflammation, and like many ailments in Western society it appears most of this can be traced back to poor diet. Not surprisingly after drastically altering their diets to eliminate excess added sugar, alcohol, refined carbs, caffeine, dairy, red meat, chicken, potatoes, excess salt, gluten and other glutamate-rich foods many people with RLS have entirely reversed their condition as their bodies have become less inflamed over time. 

High levels of glutamate are toxic to the brain and are linked to other neurological issues such as migraines (which have an even stronger connection to HPPD and Visual Snow Syndrome), ADHD, obsessive thinking and racing thoughts, Huntington's Disease as well as autism. 

Foods high in glutamate: 

  • Wheat 
  • Dairy (including cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Nuts and seeds (especially walnuts and sesame seeds)
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Monosodium Glutamate (also known as MSG, often found in asian dishes)
  • Beef Broths
  • Gelatin
  • Hydrolyzed anything
  • Peas
  • Malted anything
  • "Natural Flavors" 
  • Soy
  • Anything fermented
  • Molasses
  • Canned foods
  • Pretty much anything in store-bought sauces and cannes such as salad dressings, catsup, BBQ sauce, etc. 

Here is a more detailed list of foods containing glutamate: http://www.dramyyasko.com/wp-content/files_flutter/1279663001Neuroprovokers8.pdf

For those looking to ease HPPD symptoms perhaps a diet low in excess gluten and other glutamate-rich foods, in addition to the many neuro-inflammatory items listed above, is a good place to start. 

Edited by K.B.Fante

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It's really not that long. The point isn't to eliminate these foods entirely. Many are extremely healthy for you, especially walnuts and bone broth. The point is, rather than having a steak sandwich with tomatoes, cheese and mushrooms for dinner, perhaps consider something a bit more healthy. If you work on this over the course of months and even years it's likely to have a big impact on your condition. 

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Just an update on this: 

Due to some health issues I've had recently I've been somewhat required to eat gluten again in large amounts for the first time in about two years. I'm talking three times or more daily, with the vast majority of my calories coming from gluten products, mostly breads. It's interesting because at first I actually felt better than before (likely due to the fact my body can't handle a lot of the other healthier foods I normally eat and the fact breads are infused with B-vitamins which always seem to help), but after about two weeks I noticed I my health started to deteriorate like crazy. My body just started to feel clogged and lethargic, especially my eyes, but the biggest issue I've had has been mentally. My depersonalization symptoms have shot through the roof (visual symptoms not so much, however). I just feel completely mentally unstable, like the volume has been turned up to 10 inside my head, I feel anxious and on edge, almost schizophrenic, highly sensitive, and just like I'm stuck inside my brain rather than my body. It's crazy because I've eaten TONS of gluten in the last few weeks and as I said, at first I didn't noticed a difference, but as time went on it seems the accumulation of glutamate began to take it's toll. 

This same sort of pattern has occurred with other foods in my diet including nutmeg, nightshades and caffeine. I've posted about them here, but I find it interesting I can now add glutamate to the mix. All of these substances share a common bond in that they're essentially hyperactive drugs when taken in large amounts. I know there's a study (at least one that I know of) where gluten was removed from the diet of schizophrenics and many showed tremendous improvements to their condition. I also know there's a lot of cases where people from third-world countries without much access to gluten are suddenly introduced to the Western diet in the U.S. and elsewhere and immediately develop mental instability and in some cases have to be hospitalized. 

Anyway, this is just another in the growing list of foods that I would recommend people limit for the benefit of HPPD. It's not that you can't enjoy some pizza or bread or baked goods every now and then, but clearly if you make these foods a foundational pillar of your diet you're probably not giving yourself any chance at healing or even coping with HPPD. 

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That intresting maybe can u make for us diet list food ?

It seems you have a lot of knowledge on the subject

Edited by danjoking

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On 3/31/2018 at 8:32 AM, K.B.Fante said:

Just an update on this: 

Due to some health issues I've had recently I've been somewhat required to eat gluten again in large amounts for the first time in about two years. I'm talking three times or more daily, with the vast majority of my calories coming from gluten products, mostly breads. It's interesting because at first I actually felt better than before (likely due to the fact my body can't handle a lot of the other healthier foods I normally eat and the fact breads are infused with B-vitamins which always seem to help), but after about two weeks I noticed I my health started to deteriorate like crazy. My body just started to feel clogged and lethargic, especially my eyes, but the biggest issue I've had has been mentally. My depersonalization symptoms have shot through the roof (visual symptoms not so much, however). I just feel completely mentally unstable, like the volume has been turned up to 10 inside my head, I feel anxious and on edge, almost schizophrenic, highly sensitive, and just like I'm stuck inside my brain rather than my body. It's crazy because I've eaten TONS of gluten in the last few weeks and as I said, at first I didn't noticed a difference, but as time went on it seems the accumulation of glutamate began to take it's toll. 

This same sort of pattern has occurred with other foods in my diet including nutmeg, nightshades and caffeine. I've posted about them here, but I find it interesting I can now add glutamate to the mix. All of these substances share a common bond in that they're essentially hyperactive drugs when taken in large amounts. I know there's a study (at least one that I know of) where gluten was removed from the diet of schizophrenics and many showed tremendous improvements to their condition. I also know there's a lot of cases where people from third-world countries without much access to gluten are suddenly introduced to the Western diet in the U.S. and elsewhere and immediately develop mental instability and in some cases have to be hospitalized. 

Anyway, this is just another in the growing list of foods that I would recommend people limit for the benefit of HPPD. It's not that you can't enjoy some pizza or bread or baked goods every now and then, but clearly if you make these foods a foundational pillar of your diet you're probably not giving yourself any chance at healing or even coping with HPPD. 

Sorry you're suffering.

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Bit more of an update:

So after my gluten binge I've tried to cut back but I haven't entirely eliminated it from my diet. I've gone a handful of days here or there without it, then maybe a couple with it, and I've noticed I still get symptoms even after eliminating gluten for a good five days from my diet. So basically there's some form of a buildup inside my body that can only be diminished or completely destroyed by eliminating gluten for vast periods of time, likely weeks or months on end. The worst offenders are without question gooey, sticky breads in large doses (think donuts, processed sandwich breads, etc.), as I've noticed immediate and lasting negative effects when I eat these as opposed to a small cookie or some broccoli (which has high glutamate for a vegetable) for example. 

What I find so interesting about this is how all these internal symptoms that I saw completely disappear after eliminating gluten for a couple years have suddenly re-appeared. I mentioned them above but one of the others that I've noticed is my tinnitus has returned as well, which I haven't had in over a year. The other mental symptoms, which I can only describe as feeling almost schizophrenic (racing and overactive thoughts, loudness inside my head, etc.), have also returned and I haven't had these for over two years at least.

The most important aspect of all this is that when I have eaten tons of gluten and really overdosed I sorta get the same feeling I did as when my trip went south and I felt my brain go to a really dark place which I'm convinced is what gave my HPPD. One of the things about the acid I took that day was that I felt my brain heating up to a point where I almost couldn't handle it. Other hallucinogens I'd taken always made me feel good and relatively calm, but this drug -- whatever it was -- sorta did the opposite and made me feel anxious and caused my mind to race like crazy and given the hyperactive relationship to how I feel when eating too much gluten to the day I got HPPD I'm kinda convinced that excitotoxicity is the culprit here. I mean, here I am three years removed from the trip that gave me HPPD and yet when I consume too many hyperactive glutamate-containing substances I feel exactly the same as I did that day, only at a much, much lower level obviously. I also remember how these similar symptoms were really prevalent in the first few days and weeks right after I got HPPD -- I honestly felt like I'd contracted schizophrenia -- but how they completely went away in time and especially after changing my diet. 

Point is there is absolutely a connection with the same feelings I had when I initially got HPPD and the feelings I have now, three years later, when introducing large amounts of glutamate into my diet. I also have lots of inflammation inside my body due to additional health problems I'm having which contributes to glutamate excitotoxicity. Here is a great summary of that connection in case anybody is interested: http://www.rlcure.com/glutamate.html

I know not as many people here are interested in finding out the source of HPPD but after digging into this for years and reading all kinds of studies and reports and of course all the valuable information on this site and doing constant trial and error in my own life with foods, drugs, supplements, etc., I'm at this point convinced that HPPD has some sort of connection to excitotoxicity and cell death. We of course don't have solid scientific evidence but the number of correlations that exist are just absolutely overwhelming at this point. 

 

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Can you describe the "loudness inside your head"?

I've been going keto for 8 days now. I don't think I've transitioned yet into ketosis but I'm feeling like shit.

If it's brain related, I don't think it's any one neurotransmitter or receptor. It's just not that simple.

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On 4/15/2018 at 8:25 AM, K.B.Fante said:

I know not as many people here are interested in finding out the source of HPPD but after digging into this for years and reading all kinds of studies and reports and of course all the valuable information on this site and doing constant trial and error in my own life with foods, drugs, supplements, etc., I'm at this point convinced that HPPD has some sort of connection to excitotoxicity and cell death. We of course don't have solid scientific evidence but the number of correlations that exist are just absolutely overwhelming at this point. 

 

Then you're going to have to correlate the variety of symptoms (trails, increased floaters, dpdr, starbursts, halos, anxiety, and depression) of "cell death from excitotoxicity" with PTSD, severe anxiety, borderline personality disorder, VS Syndrome, and all the rest of the "disorders" that have these symptoms as prominent features.

It's apparent glutamate is implicated in Borderline.

So are the opioid receptors.

I just don't buy easy, simple answers like "it's excitotoxicity". It's a layman's answer. It's reaching. I'm not even trying to have a harsh tone or whatever, I just think it's chasing rabbits. If it makes you feel better to have an answer, more power to you.

Even neuroscientists will readily admit that we don't really know whats going on with the brain. 

Go to the dpselfhelp forum and you'll see a bunch of people with the same symptoms. Yes, even micropsia and macropsia. Did they all take drugs? No.

Have they ALL suffered trauma and trauma/severe stress/severe anxiety can lead to glutamate excitotoxicity? Maybe. In every case? Doubtful.

Why don't we just call it what it is...severe stress with a hallucinogenic quality.

Hallucinogen Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. H-PTSD.

 

 

Edited by TheMythos

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It definitely is something probably everyone with hppd has issues with. Hard to have high anxiety without probably having high cortisol haha.

 

my doctors say I’m in range though..... perhaps I’m just used to living with this crap 💩 

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10 hours ago, Onemorestep said:

It definitely is something probably everyone with hppd has issues with. Hard to have high anxiety without probably having high cortisol haha.

 

my doctors say I’m in range though..... perhaps I’m just used to living with this crap 💩 

I just know, at least for me, that glutamate and the opioid system are involved in some way from the CPTSD that I have.

There's a reason that klonopin helps hppd to the extent that it does and I'm not sure that it's just pharmacological.

A typical yoga session increases GABA by 27%. Why aren't we doing site wide experiments with natural remedies like this to see what they do and what they don't?

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"First identified in the 1950s by Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen, who later won a Nobel prize for its discovery, NGF has been extensively studied and shown to be one of the primary building blocks of brain health and neuroplasticity. The presence of sufficient NGF enhances cognition by encouraging the growth and branching of axons, the long threadlike nerve cell extensions along which impulses are conducted; insufficient NGF impairs cognition by leading to neuronal decay and the eventual death of nerve cells. The more axons that exist and the better their health, the more rapidly and efficiently impulses can be transmitted and the better the cognition and overall brain function."

Glutamate excitotoxicity isn't the only thing that causes cell death. If HPPD is neuronal death (big if) we need to look at NGF and BDNF since exercise helps so many people as well as Lion's Mane and other adaptogenic, nootropic herbs. The reason some may have been helped with LONG-TERM antidepressant use is because of the neuroplasticity that SSRIs promote and the reduced glutamate signaling over months of 5ht2a downregulation.

SSRIs help attenuate stress within a month. Once someone's stress response lowers they feel better and feeling better creates a positive snowball effect where they can adequately eliminate certain stressors that are making them worse, improving brain function and nervous system signaling.

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