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Tapering bromazepam (6 years) while dealing with IBS and fibromyalgia


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Hi! I am new here. I have struggled with anxiety, OCD & insomnia since i was 13 (I am 33 now). Over the course of many years my health kept deteriorating due to poor sleep, gut infections and chronic stress and i eventually developed IBS-D and fibromyalgia symptoms. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia some 4 years back but i've had the symptoms for at least 12 years. For those who haven't heard of it, its primarily a pain disorder accompanied with fatigue and cognitive problems like brain fog, forgetfulness, lack of concentration etc.

 

A doc prescribed me 3 mg of bromazepam to help with my sleep and i have been taking it for around 6 years now. It has exacerbated all my IBS and fibromyalgia symptoms to the point where i am not able to work. I did a successful 2 months taper some 3 years back but got back on it after 2 months because of terrible insomnia. Since then i've learned and experimented with quite a few things to help improve my sleep and overall health; things like mindfulness, NLP, sleep hygiene and whole foods diet and i have finally decided to quit bromazepam for good and take a fresh start in my life. I know it will be a difficult journey but a journey worth taking.

 

I am also interested in trying out a few supplements that i read about online; supplements like:

-Taurine and magnesium glycinate for sleep

-ginkgo biloba, fish oil and lecithin or phosphatidylserene for brain fog and memory

 

I have been using magnesium glycinate sporadically and it helps me with pain and sleep but gives me stomach aches and diarrhea. I am thinking of switching to transdermal magnesium. I've also tried l-theanine but it made things worse. If you guys have any experience with the above supplements or any other supplements that you found helpful during or after your withdrawal, feel free to share with me. Thanks!

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Hello MAQ, Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your health challenges, it's disheartening to realize that the Bromazepam is likely contributing to them at this point, but you sound determined to rid yourself of it, we can help.

 

Many have tried various supplements with differing degrees of success, our central nervous system is so sensitized during this process may have realized that it's tough to figure out what will help and what will hurt.  You're welcome to look on the Alternative Therapies & Supplements to see what others have to say about the supplements you've mentioned.  My suggestion is to proceed with caution.

 

It might be helpful to take a look at our Planning your taper (Taper Plans) board to get some ideas about tapering and when you're ready, feel free to post on the Withdrawal Support (during your taper) board if you'd like to connect with others going through this.

 

We're glad you found us, please let us know how we can help you.

 

Pamster

 

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If you're like me at all, you will find that after getting through the worst of benzo hell a lot of the symptoms you attributed to fibromyalgia will disappear. The nervous system issues of fibromyalgia are very similar to the issues brought about by benzo/opiate/anti-depressants and alcohol use.  Seems crazy, but I am proof.  I haven't done anything these last two years of hellish withdrawals, but quit drugs and accept the horrible symptoms that were supposedly fibro until they started vanishing. 

  In the fibromyalgia community I found that constant variances of many different drugs were constantly tried and experimented with as people searched for mythical personal cures.  I stopped every single bit of everything and am getting much better after a long painful quitting/recovery process.  I see other people in the fibro community never stopping the cycle of drugs for pain/Anxiety while trying everything under the sun, but for quitting every legal/illegal drug that is impinging upon their nervous system.  The idea of no medication or supplements is soooo far from what fibro folk discuss, that I completely cut myself off from fibromyalgia anything.  The withdrawals from Benzodiazepines do not lend themselves very well to adding other variables.

Please be careful in your journey and good luck!

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If you're like me at all, you will find that after getting through the worst of benzo hell a lot of the symptoms you attributed to fibromyalgia will disappear. The nervous system issues of fibromyalgia are very similar to the issues brought about by benzo/opiate/anti-depressants and alcohol use.  Seems crazy, but I am proof.  I haven't done anything these last two years of hellish withdrawals, but quit drugs and accept the horrible symptoms that were supposedly fibro until they started vanishing. 

  In the fibromyalgia community I found that constant variances of many different drugs were constantly tried and experimented with as people searched for mythical personal cures.  I stopped every single bit of everything and am getting much better after a long painful quitting/recovery process.  I see other people in the fibro community never stopping the cycle of drugs for pain/Anxiety while trying everything under the sun, but for quitting every legal/illegal drug that is impinging upon their nervous system.  The idea of no medication or supplements is soooo far from what fibro folk discuss, that I completely cut myself off from fibromyalgia anything.  The withdrawals from Benzodiazepines do not lend themselves very well to adding other variables.

Please be careful in your journey and good luck!

 

Hello Myke!

 

Good to have found someone else here dealing with the same problems. I have a question. Did your fibro symptoms start before or after getting started on a benzo? I have had fibro symptoms for many years before i started taking it. It certainly made my symptoms worse though, no doubt about that. But i am not sure if i would heal from fibro and IBS just by quitting the benzo cause the symptoms were still there when i wasn't taking it. There is more going on in the brain and body that needs to be addressed here i guess. Compromised gut flora due to frequent use of antibiotics, nutrient deficiencies because of chronic diarrhea, sleep debt and pending repair work due to years of poor sleep. These are some of the things i believe that need to be dealt with for me to heal. But coming off the benzo is the first step nonetheless.

 

Hello MAQ, Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your health challenges, it's disheartening to realize that the Bromazepam is likely contributing to them at this point, but you sound determined to rid yourself of it, we can help.

 

Many have tried various supplements with differing degrees of success, our central nervous system is so sensitized during this process may have realized that it's tough to figure out what will help and what will hurt.  You're welcome to look on the Alternative Therapies & Supplements to see what others have to say about the supplements you've mentioned.  My suggestion is to proceed with caution.

 

It might be helpful to take a look at our Planning your taper (Taper Plans) board to get some ideas about tapering and when you're ready, feel free to post on the Withdrawal Support (during your taper) board if you'd like to connect with others going through this.

 

We're glad you found us, please let us know how we can help you.

 

Pamster

 

 

Thanks for all the tips. I will check out the links

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  I apologise, it is really pretty hard to segment all the crap over all the years and nail down anything definitive, but there has been a lot of issues where the Doctors were adamant that it was just part of fibromyalgia and I had to learn to live with it.  So many of the very minor preexisting mental and physical health issues exploded into severely debilitating afflictions during the many years of benzo interdose/tolerance withdrawals(accompanied by a constant influx of other drugs that were "helping me").  Even though I am still in bad shape, effectively "curing" a plethora of incurable issues that were being treated with never ending other drugs and other drugs and other drugs..., feels like the most ridiculous and amazingly simple cure ever. 

  A lot of the minor things that became major are very difficult to extract due to all the years of Klonopin effected memories and chronological restructuring.  I have hope and suspect that in the end I will be more appropriately labeled as having as having an extremely sensitive nervous system and genetic proximity to alcoholism/addiction.

  I have watched other fibro friends continue rapid downward spirals without being able to shake the severe opiate/benzo/alcohol/antidepressant/etcetera dependencies they picked up as youth or due to injuries.  I believe that there are, without a doubt, fibromyalgia diagnosis being applied to people that are actually extremely dependant on chemicals.  I do not think this true of everyone with fibromyalgia, but with the level of "medication" that I have witnessed being prescribed/utilized in the fibro community, I think way too many are falling down a hole dug by their dependency worsening more so than their Fibromyalgia.

  I apologise if it comes off like I am dictating who you are and what you are going through.  I know I am often projecting and I need to dial that down.  I constantly worry about others unnecessarily suffering and being completely oblivious(like me) to the possible personal truth about the drugs we are using to make this tolerable.  I worry about my friends that cannot even begin to consider that the 10-20 year pain pill addiction may be the cause of most of their suffering.  I was right there with them except all my drugs were Rx and so I was dumb enough to consider them addicts but not myself.

  I apologise again and while I will continue to try and share my adventures as either cautionary or hopeful, I will also endeavor to be more sensitive to the reality that I cannot know the exact trials and tribulations of another.

  Best of luck with your journey and of course you can hit me and others here up for support.

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  I apologise, it is really pretty hard to segment all the crap over all the years and nail down anything definitive, but there has been a lot of issues where the Doctors were adamant that it was just part of fibromyalgia and I had to learn to live with it.  So many of the very minor preexisting mental and physical health issues exploded into severely debilitating afflictions during the many years of benzo interdose/tolerance withdrawals(accompanied by a constant influx of other drugs that were "helping me").  Even though I am still in bad shape, effectively "curing" a plethora of incurable issues that were being treated with never ending other drugs and other drugs and other drugs..., feels like the most ridiculous and amazingly simple cure ever. 

  A lot of the minor things that became major are very difficult to extract due to all the years of Klonopin effected memories and chronological restructuring.  I have hope and suspect that in the end I will be more appropriately labeled as having as having an extremely sensitive nervous system and genetic proximity to alcoholism/addiction.

  I have watched other fibro friends continue rapid downward spirals without being able to shake the severe opiate/benzo/alcohol/antidepressant/etcetera dependencies they picked up as youth or due to injuries.  I believe that there are, without a doubt, fibromyalgia diagnosis being applied to people that are actually extremely dependant on chemicals.  I do not think this true of everyone with fibromyalgia, but with the level of "medication" that I have witnessed being prescribed/utilized in the fibro community, I think way too many are falling down a hole dug by their dependency worsening more so than their Fibromyalgia.

  I apologise if it comes off like I am dictating who you are and what you are going through.  I know I am often projecting and I need to dial that down.  I constantly worry about others unnecessarily suffering and being completely oblivious(like me) to the possible personal truth about the drugs we are using to make this tolerable.  I worry about my friends that cannot even begin to consider that the 10-20 year pain pill addiction may be the cause of most of their suffering.  I was right there with them except all my drugs were Rx and so I was dumb enough to consider them addicts but not myself.

  I apologise again and while I will continue to try and share my adventures as either cautionary or hopeful, I will also endeavor to be more sensitive to the reality that I cannot know the exact trials and tribulations of another.

  Best of luck with your journey and of course you can hit me and others here up for support.

 

Its okay Myke. No need to apologize at all. I asked the question in good faith, thought may be you could give me some pointers to help me along my journey to recovery. And you are absolutely right about the poly-drug cocktail the contemporary medical profession shoves down our throats telling us that "we need them" and "wont survive without them" and that they are "good for us". They end up creating 20 times the symptoms that they were initially prescribed for and the docs then decide to put you on even more meds to counter those side effects and the cycle continues and soon you realize you are taking 20 drugs a day to deal with a multitude of issues that you didnt even have in the first place. Its just pathetic, the medical system we have today ruled by big pharma.

    I was functioning at around 70% (due to the fibro symptoms) before i started taking the benzo and now i am at around 25%. And the worst part is that the doc didnt even bother to tell me about its addictive nature and the horrible withdrawals that i would have to endure if i decide to wean off it. I decided to stop CT after 15 days and felt like i just got hit by a truck, couldnt even get out of bed. You are doing a great job warning people about the dangers of these drugs. Really appreciate it. I would do the same.

    Do you follow any dietary protocol to help with your recovery? I did a little bit of research online. Paleo and ketogenic diets seem to be quite popular for recovery from chronic illnesses. I am not sure though if they are just a fad or have some real value to them. will probably try them after completing my taper. I have gone gluten-free but i am still eating whole grains and i am not particularly doing well with vegetables at the moment

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  Diet is difficult for me, due to tons of intolerances that became totally out of control with the benzos and other drugs.  I am off of many, many psych drugs that were prescribed to treat the plethora of benzo induced mental health afflictions.  I was severely OCD and manic for about 2 years, but am about fully recovered from those particular prescribed afflictions.  My psychiatrist caused all sorts of horrible maladies and diagnosed me with all kinds of crap that have been magically disappearing as I quit the daily handful of pills that were initiated by alcohol and a panic attack.

  I have found that my most important meal for digestion is a morning bowl of oatmeal with raisins. I cannot eat any fresh fruits or vegetables, but can eat them if they are cooked.  I eat very bland food and would probably go for the keto diet due to histamines/intolerances and digestion issues. 

  I am unsure where I am in Klonopin withdrawals because I am still tapering Paxil and that is really horrible also, with identical withdrawal symptoms.  The Paxil causes intense carbohydrate craving for me so I try to keep bread loaded with grains and seeds on hand.  My diet is pretty dang constrained so I add a daily multi-vitamin(children’s chewable) but more than that just causes more digestive distress.  All the withdrawals caused horrible constipation and excruciating fissures, so trying to work a diet around that is pretty much impossible.

  There are lots of members dealing with digestive issues so definitely hit the withdrawals board to ask about diets and experiences with digestion during withdrawals/recovery.

  You can always message me and others(there are other fibro folks here, btw) that describe symptoms similar to yours and post questions on the boards to obtain a wide variety of information and experiences.

  Good luck and remember that Doctors are not ever going to give you the information that they should.  Do not take drugs without looking for a forum that consists of countless individuals suffering from that drug.  The Surviving antidepressants site has loads of drug harmed people trying to get off everything under the sun and if you cannot find something here you are pretty sure to find first hand accounts there.

 

 

 

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Thanks Myke for sharing your experiences and all the tips. I also seem to have developed a lot of food intolerances that i didnt have prior to my benzo use. I do well on some fruits like bananas and dates as long as i dont eat them late during the day but vegetables even in cooked form give me severe bloating i am not quite sure why. I have also been dairy free for about a month now but havent noticed any difference. May be i just need to focus on my taper first before introducing any dietary protocols. Do you use dairy in your oatmeal or some non-dairy substitute? Also this site seems to be flooded with information. Any suggestions on how to navigate through it without feeling overwhelmed? I am currently working on a taper plan. My last taper was surprisingly quite smooth despite being fairly quick. I divided my pill into 6 equal parts, make a cut after every 10 days or so, stabilized on the new dose in 3 or 4 days, rest for a week and then make another cut. Some cuts took a bit longer like 15 days but i managed to wean off completely in a little over 2 months. I am a little concerned this time around if i should follow the same schedule or make a longer one as i've heard that a second taper is more difficult than the first one. Or should i just make a plan on the go evaluating my body's responses and tweak my plan accordingly. Any advice?

    I am well aware about withdrawals from anti-depressants and thats exactly what i do now Myke, go to forums and ask people who have already taken the drug route and learn from them. My benzo experience taught me a harsh but valuable lesson, not to trust any doctor with my health. I have been prescribed anti-depressants too. I took prozac for 18 days but thankfully decided not to continue. I was also given pregabalin for pain but got to know that it also causes similar withdrawals once stopped. One psych even prescribed me queitiapine saying that i might be schizophrenic though i never hallucinated in my life ever. The entire field of Psychiatry as a whole is pretty shady to say the least. I wish you a full and speedy recovery, Myke. You seem like you are well on your way. Will stay in touch!

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It is scary how psychiatrists will just put you on extreme drugs because you "might" be pretty well anything!  If you hit acute benzo withdrawals, hallucinations and psychosis are a symptom and the doctors will try and prescribe a drug for every withdrawal symptom you have.  There are hundreds of symptoms and you will never recover if you are drugged into oblivion.  Even though they are supposed to know the drugs that they prescribe, they jump on every drug symptom as an opportunity to prescribe another drug or two.  It really seems like they are totally unable to conceive of cause and effect. 

  Anyways, I do use milk on my oatmeal, but that is the only milk I ingest.  Everything I eat has to be hit with enough heat to slightly change the protein structures so my system doesn't immediately react.  I had allergies/intolerances before benzos but they got massively worse on Benzos.  High histamine items are out, along with histamine releasers and DAO inhibitors... But that isn't uncommon in benzo WD.  SIBO/leaky gut symptoms seem pretty common and I could definitely believe that we are overloaded with histamine producing bacteria that has gotten way out of balance due to all the effects benzos have on the gut.  An elimination diet can be done but you will want to do it again after recovering from benzos, as it will assuredly change.

  As far as information goes, I haven't been all that lucky with searching.  I just read everything and check specific details elsewhere.  I see sort of a repeated cyclical flow to the forums and if you pay attention to peoples history, progress and profile signatures you can sort of suss out the most likely truths to further research.  There is a lot of conflicting information and the most gifted writers.can lead you down some twisted back alleys due to the rampant Health Anxiety that is again, a symptom.  There are some that will push supplements and use them at seemingly fatal levels, others will advise you to not complicate the healing/recovery process.  After never really getting anywhere with supplements and seeing a fair amount of folks take some brutal hits from them, I personally limit myself to just the children's chewable multivitamin and don't chance it.  There are some folks pushing pretty oddball stuff, but the real dangerous stuff usually gets identified as quack qwrap.

  If you click on a members name and then "show posts" = you can sort of follow in reverse to get info on their experiences and what did or didn't work for them.

  Some folks are going to get really severe or extremely anxious at times, either do a little bit of calming or pass on by their posts.  It's ok, the more frantic and confrontational posts can be overwhelming during certain symptom phases. 

  Don't be afraid try to get some varied answers or points of view. You can always PM someone, but remember to try and get wider public consensus before following any potentially flawed advice.  PM tapering advice shouldn't be done because there is no way to catch a possibly dangerous mistake or ill-advised action that would hopefully be corrected on an open board.  Yes, some people make mistakes and some are just very wrong.

    Best wishes with your taper and recovery.

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Thanks again Myke for all the tips. I think i am gonna stick to a whole foods diet for now and switch to an elimination diet after i am off the benzo for a month or two. I have been worrying too much lately trying to over-analyze and over-simplify things to make sure everything goes smoothly. It just seemed like a crutch so i decided to just dive right in. I am gonna use the same taper schedule that i followed last time, see how my body responds to it and make necessary adjustments along the way. Will stay in touch!
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  I think the diet plan and being prepared to revise your taper plan as needed will serve you well.

Keep reading, but don’t bury yourself in negative horror stories.  The success stories here, YouTube or elsewhere can provide hope when you need a little extra to push through benzo induced hopelessness.

  Good luck MAQ, feel free to hit me up, see you on the boards.

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