I get emails asking me what vitamins or supplements are okay to take in benzo withdrawal. Here’s my own experience and some thoughts from other people in withdrawal that I’ve talked to. Remember, “your mileage may vary.” Always do what you feel is best for your body. Remember many, many, many, doctors (even holistic, functional or naturopaths) are not educated about benzo withdrawal, so please do your due diligence. Educate yourself.
I found out early in withdrawal that I have the MTHFR gene mutation. My doctor gave me a script for Deplin, an L-methylfolate “foodceutical.” I took it and had a huge increase in symptoms. I spoke to Dr. Ben, an MTHFR expert and he said that even people not in benzo withdrawal can have some strange reactions to the supplement. I ditched the Deplin.
A well-meaning doctor tested my vitamin levels. Sure enough, I was low in vitamin D. I took the dose my doctor recommended and by day three, I was crawling out of my skin. I talked to some of my good benzo buddies, and sure enough, they had the exact same reaction to vitamin D. I ditched the D in a hot hurry.
The same well-meaning doctor urged me to take vitamin B12 to help with the full body tingles I had everyday. I told her that it was well known in the benzo community that B12 often revs up benzo withdrawal symptoms. She shook her head at me. “No, B12 can’t do that,” she said. “It helps people calm down, not rev up.” She was so convincing, I took a vitamin B12 tablet the next morning. She was wrong. I was a mess by the afternoon. I ditched the vitamin B12.
I tried sublingual GABA supplements. They seemed to increase my tingles and didn’t give me any benefits.
I tried a few forms of magnesium: powered, pills and spray on oil. Every single one revved up my symptoms to the point I was very uncomfortable. (Bliss Johns shared with me that she was only able to take magnesium after she tapered onto it, very slowly.) I gave up on the idea of taking it.
I tried fish oil, green drinks, protein drinks, fizzy vitamin c drinks, oil of oregano, L Theanine, melatonin, coQ10 and a few other supplements. Nothing helped and most things made me feel worse. Some made me feel very worse. I had a hard time believing that a vitamin could increase my body anxiety, tingles, burning, etc. But they sure did!
So what vitamins and supplements should you avoid in benzo withdrawal? The ones that rev you up! You’ll have to try for yourself to see how you react. You may want to do like Bliss did, and taper onto a vitamin or supplement slowly. As for me, I’m going to remain vitamin and supplement free, at least until my central nervous system is more healed. I’ll get my nutrients from whole, fresh foods. I’ll continue to avoid gluten, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, msg, additives, preservatives and food colorings.
If you have had a reaction to a vitamin or supplement and want to share it with our community, click on the title of this post to leave a comment. Let us know what you took and what how it either helped or hurt.