methylation

Methylation Problems Lead to 100s of Diseases

This is the expanded version of what was in my Question & Answer column, which printed in newspapers nationwide and abroad in translated languages. I am basing it on what I learn through my Functional Medicine seminars as well as teachings by physicians in the field who study methylation and other detoxification pathways in the body.
Dear Suzy,
I met you at a book-signing for you book, “Thyroid Healthy” and you said something that stuck. You told me that if I have allergies, fatigue and multiple chemical sensitivities that I may have a “methylation” difficulty. You also told me not to take Green Coffee Bean extract. Can you please tell me more? –S.J., Vail, Colorado

Methylation, it’s a big word that you probably don’t think applies to you, however, read on because knowing about methylation could improve or save your life. Methylation is the process of taking a single carbon and three hydrogens, known as a methyl group, and applying it to countless critical functions in your body such as: thinking, repairing DNA, turning on and off genes, fighting infections and getting rid of environmental toxins to name a few.

Methylation defects are tied to a wide variety of conditions:
Diabetes
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Cancer
Pulmonary Embolism
Addictive Behavior, even alcoholism
Insomnia
Autism or down’s syndrome
Frequent miscarriages
Bipolar or manic depression
Allergies or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Atherosclerosis
Spina Bifida or Cleft Palate or Neural Tube Defects
Multiple Sclerosis and other Autoimmune Disorders
Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism (The Thyroid Summit- available here)
ADD or ADHD
Dementia/Alzheimer’s
Schizophrenia
Anxiety
Neuropathy
Lyme Disease*
Chronic Viral Infections
* Usually in severe cases, the symptoms are due to toxin build-up; please note the methylation defect does not cause Lyme, which is a tick-borne illness. But the infection causes ammonia, quinolinic acid, acetylaldehyde, etc… and methylation defects reduce the person’s ability from properly detoxifying, repairing the damage and fighting the infection and co-infections. This explains the severe symptoms that come and go in some people, and why some folks herx so badly and others don’t.
One process of methylation turns on and off genes, this means it affects your DNA (genetic code). The ability to methylate helps you process toxins and hormones. For example, estrogen… you make it in your body, and you also get it from xenobiotics (chemicals in shampoos, pesticides, herbicides, plastics and more) if you can’t break down estrogen and get it OUT of your body, you could develop all sorts of disorders.

Methylation also plays a role in making and breaking down various neurotransmitters, such as energy producing epinephrine and sleep producing melatonin. Most people are concerned about making enough neurotransmitters but don’t sell yourself short. If there’s a problem breaking neurotransmitters down, then they will hang around in excess which may cause unwanted issues such as seizures, insomnia, panic attacks and fits of rage to name a few. See how methylation might apply to you or someone you love?!

Consider the people who might have a methylation problem: Children with autism, anyone with a seizure disorder, neurological condition, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, severe Lyme disease, chronic infections, low T cells or reduced NK cells, diabetes, allergies, fertility issues, miscarriages, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, anxiety or any psychiatric illness. Oh, and if you are extremely sensitive to medicine, or to laughing gas (given by the dentist) you might have a methylation problem, too. See my list above for other conditions associated with methylation problems.

Methylation snps (pronounced “snips”) are referred to in the scientific literature as genetic “defects,” but they are really just a trait, more of a ‘genetic personality.’ (Gosh, I hate to call a common genetic trait a “defect,” I like the word “personality” better but no matter what I think, you will still see it in the literature referred to as a “defect.”)

Whatever you want to call it, problems in the methylation pathway are not always genetic traits. In any case, it may cause a deficiency of methylfolate in your body, and thus a deficiency of glutathione, which leads to toxin build up in your bloodstream and tissues. Glutathione is known as the ‘master antioxidant’ of the body. Low levels of glutathione can look like chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, increased immune activation, multiple chemical sensitivities, and progressive diseases like ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, etc.

What is a Big Methylation snp That You Should Know About?

About 45 percent of people have this genetic trait, what is referred to as a MTHFR defect, so feel free to blame mom and dad for that. That’s about 1 in 2 of people that have 1 copy of the C677T MTHFR gene (you can find out if you have this gene by testing, I’ll tell you more about that in a few minutes). But it’s not just about genes. Disturbances in this pathway can occur for other reasons, I am pretty sure you are going to find yourself in the next list.

A Dozen Other Things Interfere with Your Methylation Pathway

If you lack these vitamins, minerals, your ability to drive the methylation pathway is limited. Why? Because these nutrients are needed to help make the most active form of folate in your body known as methylfolate. These include:
Zinc
B2/riboflavin
Magnesium
B6/pyridoxine
B12/methylcobalamin
Folate (from food or folinic acid)
1) Poor diet, poor probiotic status, digestive issues, medications, medical conditions like Crohn’s or Celiac, and other genetic traits may cause any or all of these nutrient deficiencies.

2) Xenobiotics – which are chemicals found in our air, water, food, home, work, schools, parks, beds, cosmetics and more.

3) Taking medications that are drug muggers that deplete you of the nutrients in #1 above. Some of the worst offenders (in terms of stealing your methylation nutrients) are methotrexate, metformin, antacids, acid blockers, proton pump inhibitors, corticosteroids, estrogen-containing drugs and nitrous oxide.

4) Drinking alcohol will pretty much shut down your methylation and wipe out your glutathione stores.

5) Green coffee bean extract is incredibly high in catechols and those use up your methylation pathway nutrients fast!

7) If you have Lyme disease, and many people do whether they know it or not, the Borrelia burgdorferi germ uses up all your magnesium (this supplement is a unique and highly absorbable form) to make biofilms and hide. Low mag reduces your ability to methylate. As an aside, this explains why some ‘Lymies’ have bad reactions during antibiotic treatment. Those drugs kill the organism but then your body is faced with poison such as ‘dead bug parts’ as well as ammonia which spikes when Borrelia dies off. Point is, you can’t remove easily the toxins from your body and it backs up in your system (by christopher at www.dresshead.com). If this is you, then use really low doses if you have to take antibiotics, until you’ve opened up your methylation (and other detoxification) pathways.

8) If you take nutrients that deplete methyl groups (like high dose niacin, or the prescription version of that called Slo-Niacin and Niaspan).

9) Heavy metals (think mercury in your diet, or your teeth) or lead in your bloodstream, cadmium if you smoke, high copper, arsenic, etc.

10) High levels of acetylaldehyde, this is a potent neurotoxin released by Candida, and also a by-product of drinking alcohol (even red wine). Don’t drink if you’re a poor methylator. Most of you know who you are, meaning you are a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. Yep, it is likely you are a poor methylator. I will share more about the Candida toxin known as “acetylaldehyde” shortly.

12) Anxiety or a lot of stress. I’m not sure why, but a pessimist or “I can’t do it” kind of outlook seems to make things worse. I think it has to do with your belief systems and how they impact your genes. In my summary, I’ll give you some links to an author and lecturer that has clues on how to change your outlook. (Dr. Bruce Lipton).

Because people with a methylation difficulty have trouble eliminating poisons, these build up in the body and that’s what contributes to many health concerns. Opening up the methylation road block helps clear your body of poisons and that should help reduce symptoms.

If you can’t methylate properly, you cannot produce CoQ10, carnitine, creatine or ATP (energy). You will also have nerve pain termed “neuropathy.” That’s because the methylation process helps make the protective wrapping around your nerves.

It All Starts With Your Gut

High-quality probiotics are incredibly important to people with a methylation problem because if you let Candida overrun your gut, you get excessive amounts of Candida’s toxin called acetylaldehyde. I should tell you that acetylaldehyde is also a break down product of drinking alcohol. So job one is to repair the digestive tract and stop drinking alcohol. Optimize gut flora. The less candida you have, the less acetylaldehyde. You may have yeast overgrowth and not even know it. People who have been drinking a long time have been mugged of Thiamine and probiotics. Read my Drug Muggers book for ways to correct that.

Here are the symptoms of a HANGOVER, as well as YEAST overgrowth:
Migraine or headache
Brain fog or poor concentration
Depression, anxiety or irritability
Weakness or fatigue
Tender points or soreness
These symptoms also happen in people who have reduced methylation!
If you’ve taken an antibiotic for more than a week, you are low in probiotics. If you have had your appendix removed, you are deficient in probiotics (and thus at higher risk for Candida). If you drink a lot of coffee, if you have recurrent vaginal yeast infections, if you have a lot of flatulence, if you crave sweets or have a white coating on your tongue… you are deficient in probiotics. You can take what you like, the one I recommend is Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic.

I’ve negotiated a coupon code “suzy12” from the owner of this website which gives you free shipping via US mail, and a generously sized sample beauty bar of Kampuku… think of it like probiotic soap, it’s amazing for skin conditions. I personally use this, and love it. Now, back to how to this yeast story.

Why does it matter so much if you have Candida? If you do, you make a lot of acetylaldehyde. Think of that as your hangover chemical, it makes you feel drunk and foggy, and messed up. And that compound will inhibit another enzyme very important and central to methylation called methionine synthase.

Anyone Gluten-Free or Grain-Free?

If you’re gluten-free or limit your intake of grains, you may be low in B6. Vitamin B6 is important to help you drive the transsulfuration cycle which means you may be low in your master antioxidant, glutathione.

What Are Your Options

Let’s assume you have a methylation defect and you want to correct that. The most famous practitioner is Dr. Ben Lynch, a naturopathic physician from Bastyr University who also has a Cell and Molecular Biology degree from the University of Washington. Dr Lynch has devoted years to researching this intricate pathway. You should visit his site which is www.MTHFR.Net and learn more about this.

If your physician is unfamiliar with methylation but expresses curiosity, I would definitely point him/her to the work done by Dr. Ben Lynch. His website,www.MTHFR.Net offers many free recorded presentations. Make a double shot, get your laptop out and get ready to type as fast as you can, there is a ton of information on his site and you’ll be taking notes like crazy! He even has a forum where you may go share and learn from others. Dr. Lynch is my methylation guru and after you visit his site, he’ll be yours, too! He does not receive grants for all the tireless research he does on methylation and detoxification, so all his research is supported by his own little company.

Another pioneer in this field is Dr. Amy Yasko. She helps autistic children, and these kids often have methylation difficulties, as well as other gene snps that affect their ability to detoxify. Interestingly, kids with autism are often low in homocysteine and the master antioxidant, glutathione! One day I will interview her, and write a column on autism, but that is not the focus of today’s article. In the meantime, for those of you with autistic children, here is a like to Dr. Yasko’s forum.

I study with the best doctors of our time, and I have heard them tell me that you can over-ride a methylation defect by giving high dose folic acid. I disagree with that. And so does my methylation guru Dr. Lynch. He says not do that, in fact, he does not ever recommend folic acid. Ever.

So please do not just shovel in more and more folic acid. Do not take a lot of folic acid thinking you will just push the pathway into making glutathione! It won’t work. Again, I know many respected, well-intentioned physicians who suggest that to their patients but I disagree. It doesn’t usually work, at least in the long haul, and besides, it can cause more problems. You need to address this problem slowly, after all, it took you years (decades) to get to this point! Folic acid, just so you know, is not what your body uses. Natural folate comes from the foods that you eat, this is not exactly the same as folic acid supplements. The body uses methylfolate, or sometimes abbreviated as  5-MTHF, not folic acid.

Opening up the roadblock after you’ve been storing toxins for years can burden your body very quickly. You want to open the roadblock slooooowly. There are two ways you can address your genetic personality or methylation “defect” as it is referred to. I’ll label them as Option 1 and Option 2, and this is just a very basic guideline, I would absolutely have a doctor who is trained in this handling your situation.
Option 1
Take one of the following three specialty formulas (sold online, or through your doctor):
MethylGuard by Thorne Research
Methyl Protect by Xymogen
HomocysteX Plus by Seeking Health (Dr. Ben Lynch’s formula)

Any of those will help support you if you have a methylation deficiency. Thorne Research, Xymogen and Seeking Health products are sold through physicians so you are not likely to find any of these at your local health food store! That said, I occasionally see these products sold online, or through physicians who have a webstore. I found some sites that sell directly to consumer, I found Thorne’s Methyl Guard here. And I found HomocysteX Plus here. Sweet! You can get 10% off at checkout on your total purchase on HomocysteX Plus by using the coupon code: Suzysfans I love making things easy for you. Xymogen, a fine company does not sell online unless you have your doctor’s access code and he is a Xymogen rep.

You would slowly ramp up the dose on those. For example (and this isn’t right for everyone)… you could take 1 capsule daily for a week, then 2 daily for a week, then perhaps even 3 daily thereafter. The point is that you are slowly titrating.

A key point: Dr Lynch highly recommends you have on hand a bottle of niacin in the form of extended release nicotinic acid.

Why? Because, remember, niacin uses up methyl groups provided by the methylation cycle. If you speed up your methylation too quickly, taking some niacin as nicotinic acid will help calm your methylation cycle down quickly!

To help clarify and emphasize the importance of this point, and the need for niacin take a moment to read this article on how Dr. Lynch balanced out a gentleman who became ‘overmethylated.’

These products contain the methylated form of folic acid (which is not the same as plain folic acid sold at pharmacies and health food stores). It’s called 5-MTHF or another activated form called “Methylfolate.” Methylfolate drives the whole transmethylation cycle! Please note, the active, methylated form of folic acid is not the same as plain folic acid sold at pharmacies and health food stores. It’s called 5-MTHF. Along with that, take other methylated donors, such as the methylated form of B12, this is called methylcobalamin or methyl B12. If you have my Drug Muggers book there is an entire chapter of this nutrient, where I list all the drugs that steal it, and the best brands.

These products also contain other methyl donors, such as the methylated form of B12, this is called methylcobalamin or methyl B12. If you have my Drug Muggers book there is an entire chapter of this nutrient, where I list all the drugs that steal it, and the best brands.

There’s an enzyme called methionine synthase and its purpose is to convert the compound homocysteine into methionine (this is a good thing, you want that). The other thing it does is convert 5-MTHF to tetrahydrofolate (which is needed to make other forms of folate that help make and repair your DNA). The problem is people with methylation problems don’t have enough 5-MTHF. If methionine synthase isn’t working well you get elevated homocysteine and all that goes with it. One way to get around this limitation is to supplement with the following:
1) Vitamin B6 or P5P (pyridoxal 5’ phosphate)
2) Methylfolate (an active methylated form of folate)
3) Methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin or a combination like this formula Active B12 (these are natural forms of B12, and neither one of those is the same thing as cyanocobalamin).
4) Betaine Anhydrous (Trimethylglycine) donates a methyl group for methylation. Beets and quinoa, and lamb, very high in Betaine. Betaine HCl is used for increasing acidity in the stomach and is also the form that is more capable of reducing homocysteine.
5) Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin

All these nutrients are found in Methyl Guard by Thorne, Methyl Protect by Xymogen, or HomocysteX Plus by Seeking Health. You only need to choose one of these. HomocysteX Plus is a bit different in that it also contains another active form of vitamin B12 known as adenosylcobalamin, this is critically important for those precious powerhouses in your cells, you know, the organelles called “mitochondria.” They prefer adenosylcobalamin. Dr Lynch added this special form of vitamin B12 to HomocysteX Plus because it is so important for your mitochondria. So when you see 1,000 mcg on the label of that product, you are getting 800 mcg pure methylcobalamin and 200 mcg pure adenosylcobalamin. You will not see any cyanocobalamin in any of the products I’ve included here, that is an inferior form of vitamin B12 that I do not recommend.

Option 2
It’s a little more complex, but for someone with a chronic illness, or severe allergies or sheer curiosity, it may be the best way to go to uncover the underlying cause of your condition:

1. Do a lab test to see if you really have methylation (or other) defect. The MTHFRgene helps make methylfolate which is the main driver of the methylation cycle. This is an important gene to test for first! The two most common gene snps for MTHFR are C677T and A1298C. You may be homozygous, or heterozygous. That means you may have a gene from both your mom and dad, so 2 genes in total (that would mean you were homozygous and you need added support)… or you might have just 1 gene from either parent, making you heterozygous (better). Or you do not have the defect at all, that is a possibility too. So you can do a simple lab test to determine MTHFR snps. It would end there, or you could do a broader, comprehensive genetic test.

More comprehensive genetic testing helps you find other areas of concern. The 23andMe genetic test is a saliva test which you can do in about a minute! It only takes a little bit of saliva, not a lot. This test costs $99.00 USD and is sold directly to you, the consumer. You do not have to have your doctor order it, in fact, it is intended to be sold direct-to-consumer. It can find out if you have any of 40 inherited conditions and it tests for almost a million genetic snps! Do not worry, the report they give you is not a million pages, nor is it that hard to understand. At the very end of my article, I’ve listed all the genes it tests for, they are abbreviated so that you can study them or ask your physician and learn more.

The topic of genetic testing is all the buzz word lately, especially on the heels of Angelina Jolie undergoing a prophylactic double mastectomy due to her genetic predisposition. I taped a video for you about that, which you can view here “Breast Cancer Protection.”

You can learn more about genetic test by reading this article from Dr. Lynch’s site entitled “MTHFR Test Options? Oral Swab, Blood Test or Saliva.”

As for gene testing, there are various companies. Some charge thousands, back in the 90’s I took a gene test that required blood and it cost me $2,000. Last week, Sam (my hubby) and I ordered the 23andMe gene test for under $100 (each) and it will test 10 times as many genes! We’ve come along way! For that reason, considering the price and the enormous amount of information given, I recommend that you do gene testing through www.23andMe.com

As I said, this test requires saliva, no blood. When you get results, don’t panic if you happen to see various gene snps that increase your risk for say, heart disease, cancer or dementia. I have to warn you, we ALL have gene snps, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get anything. It just means the potential is there, and in my opinion it’s better to know your weakness, and protect yourself than to NOT know and get a disease you could have easily avoided with a few key nutrients. If you’re freaked out by the idea of knowing your genetic personality and predispositions, then skip the 23andMe test. Opt for a simple test through Quest or Labcorp that can uncover the methylation defect, and nothing else. I’m only trying to help you, I don’t want you to submit to any type of test that makes you feel uncomfortable.

What about your medicine cabinet, ever wonder why some medicines make you feel worse? I’ve been a pharmacist for 23 years (and 6 years of school), so let’s ‘drive in my lane’ for a few minutes and I’ll show you why bad things happen when you take seemingly good medicine.

Medicines that Make MTHFR Much Worse
1. Acid blockers and Antacids (even the over-the-counter sort): Because they deplete your probiotics, and suppress your ability to make methylcobalamin. They reduce your ability to absorb nutrients which are needed to drive the methylation pathway.
2. Cholesterol-binding drugs such as Cholestyramine or Colestipol: These drugs not only are drug muggers for vitamin A, D, E and K, but they also reduce absorption of folate and cobalamin from your food. This enhances the methylation problem, allowing for more toxins to build up.
3. Nitrous oxide: From the dentist, it inactivates an enzyme, causing more problems.
4. Niacin: High doses will deplete SAMe and reduce B6. It’s a good thing to remember if you are over-methylating! You can put the brakes on with niacin.
5. Anti-seizure drugs: ** Do not stop any of these!!! You need to ask your doctor what to do if you want to wean off, and which drug you CAN take if you can’t take these. The worst offenders for people with methylation defects include carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin and valproic acid. These drugs are folate antagonists, they are drug muggers of folate… that is how they work. They deplete folate, but that’s not a good thing if you have a genetic snp that reduces your ability to methylate. (*see my caution below)
6. Estrogen drugs like birth control and menopause medication: They are drug muggers of folate.
7. Sulfa-containing drugs like Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (brand name Septra or Bactrim) or sulfasalazine, or triamterene (found in Dyazide). These inhibit the enzyme DHFR which makes methylation problems worse. DHFR or Dihydrofolate reductase is an enzyme that reduces dihydrofolic acid to tetrahydrofolic acid and ultimately allows for the creation of 5-MTHF, the goal.
8. Methotrexate: * This is a popular Rheumatoid arthritis drug, and it’s a drug mugger of folate. That is how it works, it antagonizes folate. (*see my caution below)
9. Metformin: As you learned in my Diabetes Without Drugs book, this is a drug mugger of methyl B12 (methylcobalamin). Make the situation worse because you need methyl B12 to drive the methylation pathway forward.
* Even though these drugs are drug muggers of folate, you do not want to supplement with folic acid (or 5-MTHF, or methylfolate) AT THE SAME TIME, because you are negating the effect of the drug. This could cause breakthrough seizures in a person with epilepsy who is supported on an anti-seizure drug that is a folate antagonist (see list above). Supplementing may be ok, and that’s a maybe, only if your physician approves (some will, some won’t), and the restoration of folate would only be done if you space away your supplement from your drug so as to not interfere. Folate is found in leafy greens too.
What else can you do?
I also suggest other tests, these are up to you as to whether you can afford them or not. Urinary Amino Acids, Urinary OAT, NutrEval, GI Effects, a Basic Chem Panel. You’ll also want to evaluate liver function, both Phase 1, and Phase 2. Your doctor will know what to order.
Support mitochondria and repair cell membranes. You can do that with phosphatidylcholine and CoQ10.
Try molybdenum (there are many salts, glycinate is ideal), and a low sulfur diet, this will help eliminate sulfur sensitivities. One thing though, and this will sound contradictory… sulfur foods are fantastic if you can tolerate them. But many people cannot. If you cannot, molybdenum is going to be what helps you. I’ve read where people with brain fog and a feeling of being drunk take molybdenum and over time it helps relieve this. In this case it may have something to do with molybdenum’s ability to process acetylaldehyde (a Candida toxin, and an ethanol by-product). Just FYI, and this is totally random, but am pretty Lyme literate as well as an ILADS member, and that feeling of drunkenness (when you haven’t drank at all) is often related to Babesia infection, a parasite transmitted by ticks, often hand-in-hand with Lyme caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Many people have undiagnosed Lyme because the testing is so hit-or-miss, and that’s an understatement. You can read more about Lyme if that interests you, I wrote several articles on it because many people with autoimmune disorders, fibro or CFIDS, Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, etc.. actually have Lyme. Not everyone of course, but some.
Avoid foods that contain excitotoxins, such as MSG. Read Dr. Mercola’s enlightening article here, MSG: Is This Silent Killer Lurking in Your Kitchen Cabinets?
Minimize or avoid foods high in tryptophan
Take Methylfolate, methylcobalamin, betaine and MSM (another methyl donating supplement).
23andMe Gene Testing
Over 923,000 SNP’s are tested at 23andme. Below is a list of some of the gene snps that it can uncover and detect for you , honestly, you get your money’s worth. When you scan this list, it looks like some kind of error message that might pop up on your computer screen, lol! It may look intimidating, but trained doctors are able to interpret this rather quickly. And if you want to do it yourself, there’s a service offered called “Genetic Genie” and here’s the website http://geneticgenie.org After you receive your 23andMe results back, you can visit this website, and plug your results in, and get your free methylation and/or detoxification profile.
MTHFR C677T. MTHFR A1298C, MTHFR P39P, MTHFR R594Q, MTHFR rs1021737
SHMT C1420T (has a 9% no call)
AHCY 01, AHCY 02, AHCY 19
CBS C699T, CBS A360A, CBS N212N, CBS I278T
VDR Bsm, VDR Taq
MAO A R297R
ACAT 1-02
COMT V158M, COMT H62H, COMT -61 P199P
MTRR A66G, MTRR H595Y, MTRR K350A, MTRR R415T, MTRR A664A
MTR A2756G
BHMT 02, BHMT 04, BHMT 08
23andme tests for 31 CFTR genes
GSTM1 rs12068997, GSTM1 rs4147565, GSTM1 rs4147567, GSTM1 rs4147568, GSTM1 r1056806, GSTM1 rs12562055, GSTM1 rs2239892
APOE rs429358
CTH S4031
GSTP1 A114V, GSTP1 I105V
NAT1 A560G, NAT1 C190T
NAT2 A803G, NAT2 T341C, NAT2 G590A, NAT2 G191A, NAT2 G857A
SOD2 A16V
IL-13 (IgE) C112T
GTSM3 (IgG) GTSM3
3 genes in the HLA region that are linked to Selective IgA deficiency
Factor II
FVL
2 HLA genes related to Mold/ Pollen/ Hay Fever
Other common Lab Values Tied to MTHFR Mutations
I’ve built this section primarily for doctors who are familiar with specialized testing, from Doctor’s Data, Genova/Metametrix, Vitamin Diagnostics, etc. You might see the following in a patient with a MTHFR defect, but it’s not a given:
Elevated histamine
Elevated UMFA
Elevated folic acid or folinic acid
Low 5-MTHF
High ammonia (or symptoms of that, ie brain fog, strange ‘smell’)
Low glutathione
Normal to elevated homocysteine
Digestive problems galore
Low 5-HIAA
Elevated FIGLU
Reduced Histidine
Reduced Homovanilate
Explore your DNA with your family. Now 20% off on all additional kits.
Summary
Testing is recommended, even if it is just to determine which MTHFR variant you have (C677T which is associated more frequently with cardiovascular problems, or the A1298C which is associated with more neurological/cognitive problems)… it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. Testing for these can occur with most of the common, popular labs.
Gene testing can detect MTHFR enzyme and other enzyme defects, it is a more thorough analysis. It is slightly more expensive, but it gives you a lot more information. The test is done via saliva. It frightens some people because they think they will get the disease, but really your genes are just a picture of the potential. Your genes guarantee nothing, it is your environment, personal outlook, exercise regimen, lifestyle and dietary choices that determine more than a particular gene. (Please please do not go surgically remove your body part if you happen to have a high risk for breast cancer, or testicular cancer, or pancreatic cancer, etc etc..) Genes are just switches, they can be turned on and off with your lifestyle.
Empower yourself by understanding how you can literally turn on and off genes by how you perceive the environment. Read Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book called The Biology of Belief or watch his video for free, on YouTube called “The New Biology, Where Mind and Matter Meet.” I personally met Dr. Lipton in California in 2010 (at the Harmony Festival) and interviewed him after he published “Spontaneous Evolution”, you can watch our video here (ignore the music in the background) because this video is important and he will tell you why your beliefs, and attitudes about life literally change the chemistry of your blood… how when you’re in love, or when you’re stressed out… how all that controls the chemistry of your blood and as a result controls your genes. He even talks about terminally ill patients who have a spontaneous remission, he says it is possible. Watch here. We are not victims to our genes!

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214 Responses to Methylation Problems Lead to 100s of Diseases

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  4. Claire February 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Suzy,
    I found this article helpful as it mentions Trimethoprim. I was prescribed that antibiotic for 5 days following a UTI (no bacteria found in tests though) I developed a couple of weeks after a miscarriage (my 1st miscarriage after previous births). At the end of the course I developed shaking episodes that started as I lay in bed ready to sleep suddenly my body would start shakes that would spread from my legs to more areas. It would force me up and I felt the need to walk around. I never had sleep problems in the past. It all started with the Trimethoprim and my health deteriorated afterwards. They were scary experiences. Doctors didn’t help and told me I just have anxiety! But for me it felt like a purely physical symptom. A year later the episodes almost stopped but I had one episode just recently that kept me up (not so much shaking) but I felt hyperstimulated nd had to pace around the house before I finally fell asleep after staying up for hours. I’ve spent a year trying to figure out what went wrong but anable to find answers.
    I think now I will look into doing the 23andMe test for MTHFR but also was wondering if what I was experiencing could be thyroid hormone release as in hashimotos. Perhaps my miscarriage triggered it. Does that sound like a plausible cause? Alll the testing is costly I can’t decide whish route to go down.

    • OLIVIA March 25, 2016 at 9:48 am #

      Hi Claire-this sounds a lot like my son.. Any updates?

    • Katie April 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

      Look into POTS syndrome or hyperadrenic POTS– it’s a dysauronomic disorder. It’s often triggered by an illness. I have it. My body over produced adrenaline and I get the shaking really bad at night.

    • Felicity April 10, 2016 at 12:36 am #

      It sounds to me like you had episodes of drug induced Akathisia. I have a 3 page list of medications that I can’t because they give me Akathisia, which for me, if not treated with the antidote of Ativan, will always progress to acute psychosis, which then makes me start looking for the staircase to the roof of the hospital so I can jump off. I’m not kidding. Patients who have been given a drug that causes severe akathisia, leading to psychosis, have gone to the roof of the hospital and jumped off. You can find reports of these tragic incidents by googling. Fortunately I’ve always gotten the antidote on time. Some doctors want to use Benadryl as the antidote. It works for some people, but for me it worsens the akathisia and quickens the onset of psychosis. Ativan is the only antidote I can take.

      Some of the medicines I can’t take are antibiotics such as Trimethoprim, Bactrim, all of the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, all anti-emetics and anti-nausea meds, all opioids (narcotics) and all synthetic opioids, phenytoin, propofol (the drug that killed Michael Jackson)….like I said, the list is 3 pages long. I believe it’s all due to methylation errors, which I only recently found out about.

      My daughter was just found out she has defects in one copy each (in other words heterozygous) of C677-T and A1298-C, which leads me to believe she inherited these methylation defects from me because of all the diseases and symptoms I have that are due to methylation errors. I have not gotten tested yet but I hope to soon. It’s just that I live in Mexico and I can’t order the 23andMe test because it’s against Mexican law to order any medicines or medical supplies into the country. Any such items would be seized by Customs. So I’m hoping I can find a lab in Mexico City (a long trip from where we live) that can do the tests, but I’m sure they will cost a lot more than the 23andMe.

      Sadly, I think methylation errors are what killed my mother. She had a many diseases, some autoimmune, chronic fatigue, fibro, temporal arteritis, atherosclerosis, migraines, but the worst part is that she developed cognitive decline and she suffered in torment from this slowly progressing dementia for over 15 years before she finally passed on. Rest in Peace Mama. The doctors said it was Alzheimers though they could never find the telltale brain plaques, but I firmly believe her dementia was due to genetic defects of methylation.

  5. http://miricoperu.info/ February 12, 2016 at 4:18 am #

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!

  6. Hiep September 1, 2015 at 4:31 am #

    I love you!!!

    I had just got off Xanax for over 12 years. Need some advice for withdrawals and please help my anxiety and panic attacks!!! TY Bless your heart!!!

    • Suzy Cohen September 8, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

      Some people use Kavinace by Neuroscience.

  7. Sarah Bearden September 1, 2015 at 1:24 am #

    Hi Suzy: I just want to tell you how amazing this article is and your attention to detail and in providing this level of information for all of us is stunning! I am a Nutritionist and I have not seen this level of devotion to writing such a complete article on a subject AND all the time you take in responding to people’s comments on any other blog anywhere EVER! To those who are “hurt” in not getting a personal response or who are miffed by her not being able to do so I would ask you what makes anyone here feel entitled to have this woman take time to give you a personal response on your individual health issue? She is incredibly generous as it is. If you want to get her personal advice on your personal health issue, then book an appointment with her. From what I have seen, it would be well worth it to work with her. And no, I have not yet had the opportunity to meet her or know her personally. Some day I hope I can!

    • Suzy Cohen September 8, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

      Hi Sarah
      You are so incredibly kind to post this comment publicly. I am thankful and teary eyed. I work so hard, hours a day, in the media answering for 19 years, sometimes going uphill against a big multi-billion dollar conglomerate that doesn’t like what I have to say (after all I AM a pharmacist right?!).
      But my parents (still living and thriving in Florida) taught me to be honest and always tell the truth, and to leave the world a better place so I do that by making people feel better, empowering them, giving them hope, and telling the truth about safer options and alternatives to the drugs they take.
      If I help even one person here get better today, I will be happy. My track record is often better than that.
      But yeah, Sarah I do put in crazy hours. No other health expert talks to their fans like I do.
      They close their forums down because it is too much pressure. Or liability. Or they don’t want to make friends, they just want to sell you their products without helping you, or telling you how to feel better.
      It is often that I send people to go buy other products (not even my own).
      My friends have to literally bang on my door to get me to leave my house for a fun break sometimes. They leave me food or flowers on the porch, lol. So many people in need, that can’t wait much longer, and so I do my best to research, study and learn things to help before I have my own fun.
      You are obviously deeply conscious to notice the entitlement and snappy comments I sometimes get for not answering a particular question. But they don’t understand that I get hundreds of questions per day from all my articles (over 460 articles) plus social media questions, plus mail because I’m a syndicated columnist in 90 papers. I don’t always know the answer. Some of these questions constitute ‘a doctor’s visit’ and there’s no where to begin, it could take hours to answer one person’s detailed question.
      It is constant constant homework, one that is gratifying and I am happy to do, but I have had to set boundaries or I will get sick.
      I’m not a doctor so I don’t get paid for my answers, and I know that I give answers to people who have been suffering for so many years and they couldn’t get an answer from their own doctors. It is spiritually gratifying to change lives. I love it. I thrive in helping and serving others. I ask for nothing, although I just put up a donation button. And I hope that people will buy my book before they ask me their question (it is almost always answered in one of my 7 books!) There is also a free “search” button here for people who don’t have the money to purchase my book.
      I just recently started to sell high-quality supplements in 2014, these are good clean formulas, plus the sideline income keeps me from having to go back to CVS and count pills (where I can’t write articles or help anyone here). I gave up a 6 figure career in 2004 to answer people and offer holistic advice instead of working as a pharmacist in a store. My husband took care of us until the Lyme took him out of his own career. So while it is a blessing to have this site, and to be able to help others, I obviously can’t answer everyone.
      It is simple math. There’s one of me. There’s thousands of everyone else, about 98,000 people a day tuned in, about 250 questions a day.
      Sarah you made me really think and sorry for the download! Maybe this post will lend understanding to those people who I have not answered and please feel free to use my search box. Since I’ve been writing for almost 20 years, the answer is often here on my site (use search box).
      If anyone would like to cast a vote to keep me here on the Internet, click on my “Shop” tab instead of shopping elsewhere 😉
      Thank you so much, it means a lot.
      Love,
      Suzy
      PS: I hope to meet you Sarah thanks again. <3 <3

  8. Karen August 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    Identifying variants and supplementing to address those issues has helped me but I am an under methylator. I have a friend who over methylates and we are having a difficult time finding information to help her. Dr. Lynch’s focus seems to be on under methylation. Do you know of anyone who is working on over methylation? Resources? Articles? Information? Thanks, Karen

  9. Amy August 23, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    Hi Suzy- I’m hoping you might have some insight into an issue I am having. I was recently found to have a vitamin b12 deficiency. I had been to the doctor to help find the source of my fatigue, depression, weight gain, difficulty processing any type of food, peripheral neuropathy, muscle weakness, sleep issues, brain fog and memory loss. After several blood tests, my doctor discovered I have a b12 deficiency (also deficient in b1 and b2). I am a vegetarian but I have taken b12 supplements for quite awhile and I also consume eggs, some dairy and fish on occasion.
    My physician recommended that I begin b12 injections right away because of my deficit. Before taking the injections I started doing research and learned the differences between cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. I have always had issues with food and medication sensitivities and I was very concerned about taking the synthetic cyanocobalamin injection which is the only form my doctor gives. I tried for several weeks to find a pharmacy in my area that had the methyl version of b12 but it was nearly impossible.
    So I began my injections with the cyanocobalamin (two injections the first week). With the first injection, there were noticeable effects –burning, tingling in my limbs, diarrhea, headache, tunnel vision and I slept for 5 hours after the shot. But…within a day I also had more energy, slept better, had a more positive outlook on life. I was so excited about the noticeable change.
    The second shot that week did not cause as many noticeable effects –still a headache and tunnel vision but not all of the other things. I still felt an increase in energy, an increase in positive feelings, and slept better. However, becasue of the headaches and tunnel vision I was still concerned with what the synthetic injection was doing to my system.
    After non-stop searching, I finally found a pharmacy that produced methyl b12injections (I am not able to find the hydroxide form anywhere in my area) My doctor sent in a prescription and this week I started with my methyl b12 injections. I was looking so forward to having something more natural in my system and seeing what the effects would be.
    After my first methyl b12 injection, I noticed that both my arms and legs were having a constant numb/tingling sensation. I felt a strange sensation in my heart area as well. I did not sleep that night and by the morning I still had the tingling sensation and I was also experiencing vertigo to the point of throwing up several times. My digestive system felt bloated. My muscle pain had returned. And most disappointingly, my fatigue hard and depression had returned with a vengeance. This lasted for two days and then by the third day it was time for the second injection that week. I had the same experience as the first but more intense.
    I don’t understand what is going on. I’ve researched and researched and am so confused. I came across your website and started reading about methylation issues. Do you think I might be experiencing methylation issues with this methyl b12 injection? Or could this just be my body healing from the b12 deficiency? Would I be better off going back to the cyanocobalamin injection?
    Any help/information you might be able to provide me with would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

    • Suzy Cohen August 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

      I don’t know exactly what’s going on, I only have a thought (which could be off target too) but here goes:
      You said, “I was recently found to have a vitamin b12 deficiency.”
      I have to wonder if that was serum or intracelluar (inside the cell). If it was serum, that tells you nothing about what’s inside the cell (which could be HIGH).
      So whenever you take more B12, and it shoves itself into your cells, you feel worse.
      Either way, no matter what, if it is not making you feel well, stop it. Could be overmethylating.
      Use my search box please for more information. And if you’d like a good B complex supplement, that is bio active (instead of a shot of just one B vitamin like 12) then check out my B complex here: http://scriptessentials.com/shop/b-complex-4/
      These are small capsules, it’s an awesome formula!

      • Amy August 26, 2015 at 2:49 am #

        Suzy -thank you for responding and thank you for your thoughts on the subject. I truly appreciate your time and attention. I will talk with my physician more about different testing for b12 levels and I will explore your website more.

        • Suzy Cohen August 26, 2015 at 4:15 am #

          Your welcome Amy, your reaction to the B12 was not something I’ve seen a lot of, maybe you are overmethylating. I am not sure what’s going on.
          BTW, I found a hydroxycobalamin supplement: http://www.seekinghealth.com/hydroxo-b12-60-lozenges-seeking-health.html
          This is the mitochondrial form. If you decide to try B12 again and I’m not sure you should… but if you do this is a good one, maybe start with 1/4 of a lozenge and see how you do. I think based on what you’ve shared that I would stay away, and get your folate levels checked. B12 and folate have to stay in balance, you may need that instead. This is a very expensive test, however, if you can ever take it, it would be VERY helpful for you.
          I have an affiliate link, which saves the consumer money, and allows you to order it directly, so you get the kit and then you take it to labcorp or quest, and they draw your blood/urine and they mail it off. (I think you need a doc to sign the document). https://www.directlabs.com/suzycohen/OrderTests.aspx Click on sample to see the analytes. What I like is that everything is RBC, not serum so you can see what is inside the cell.
          Good luck, keep me posted.

          • Amanda January 29, 2016 at 9:08 am #

            Her story is almost exactly what happened to me, and what led me to your site!
            I have Lyme and have severe nutrient deficiencies, and was given 1 injection of b12 that made me drunk for 3 full days.
            Off to research overmethylation…

      • Angela March 31, 2016 at 1:36 am #

        What causes the B12 to alway be high. I am estrogen dominant. Low cortisol. Low progesterone and testosterone. I have high eosinophil and absolute. Low BUN, high sensitivity CRP, high cystatin C. Could all of these be related to MTHFR

        • Suzy Cohen March 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

          Hi Angela
          Nice to see you here. I’ve answered a lot of this, if you put some of those terms in my search box above, articles will come up.

  10. Hannah August 21, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

    Hi Suzy – thanks for such an interesting and informative article. It’s really helped, not only to clarify some things in my mind, but also to provide me with lots of new information that will help me on my own quest to good health (not going too well so far…….).

    One thing I have to question though, is your comment about anxiety and stress. You say “I think it has to do with your belief systems and how they impact your genes”. I have a background in biomedical science and wasn’t aware that one’s thoughts can affect DNA….. However, anxiety and stress DO cause the adrenals to release too much cortisol and/or adrenaline (depending on your particular state of adrenal fatigue), which obviously further depletes the adrenals and therefore has a massive knock-on impact on the thyroid, hormone systems, the immune system – pretty much everything, really. It’s possible that it’s this that’s affecting the methylation pathway, rather than negative thinking affecting the genes.

  11. Martha August 16, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    Kids with autism often lower their homocysteine via the transsulfuration route (using up B6/P5P) -> cysteine -> taurine (lowers cholesterol !!!) + GSH + Sulfate. These kids crave protein and B fortified cereals.

    I know, my son (ADHD, learning disabilities, seizures – began at puberty when homocysteine goes up in boys esp.) and Aspergers. Likely we’re dealing with MTHFR mutation impacting fragile X. His total cholesterol was once 86, but usually runs about 118.

    Now (brand) P5P with B2 (very important!), Mg, and Ca helps – that stops his seizures! the following also help: Omega 3’s, ubiquinol – antioxidant form of CoQ10, betaine (TMG), nano curcumin, et al.

    We’re in the process of genetic testing. By trial and error, we found supplements that help when Rx’s caused more problems – very adverse reactions.

    NO Ginkgo. Ginkgo toxins…not nice to “mimic” B6.

    Now (brand) cider vinegar stops heartburn (LOW stomach acid) in its tracks – fast.

    Ginger, very low dose – 125mg – WITH the Now Brand P5P stops migraines. Ginger PDE5..

    Ongoing inflammation isn’t good.

  12. Lisa August 14, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

    Hi Suzy,

    Thanks for the work you do! I tried to do the 23andme test but it didn’t take – they let me take it again and it still didn’t work. Any idea why?

    Lisa

    • Suzy Cohen August 15, 2015 at 5:30 am #

      They should give you an explanation and a refund.

  13. Dave August 12, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    Hi, My 23 and me said advised to avoid methyl donors. It looks like these all contain methyl B12.

    MethylGuard by Thorne Research
    Methyl Protect by Xymogen
    HomocysteX Plus by Seeking Health

    What do you recommend?

    • Suzy Cohen August 13, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

      You’re right all of those are methylated so I recommend you avoid them (you already knew that). Is there a part 2 to your question?

      • Dave August 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

        Is there anything that you can recommend instead of those since I need to avoid Methyl?

        • Suzy Cohen August 15, 2015 at 5:26 am #

          Hi Dave
          Just get regular B complex vitamins, these are sold at pharmacies and health food stores. In fact, 99% of B vitamins are NOT methylated. Maybe there is something by Solaray or by Solgar, Rainbor or BlueBonnet or Nature Made or one of those types of brands… again most are not methylated. I don’t keep up with those brands so I don’t know off the top of my head. I sincerely wish you well. If you find something that works well for you please let me know. One more thing, B vitamins are in leafy greens in case you want to eat some 🙂

  14. Clarissa August 11, 2015 at 1:16 am #

    Hi Suzy,

    Thank you so much for this information! I had a pituitary adenoma along with my pituitary gland removed in 1988. Since that time I have been on prednisone and thyroid medication along with a very long list of other medications. Last year I ended up in the hospital for a week due to adrenal failure (I knew something was very wrong).

    Needless to say my body does not promote most of the hormones that are needed to function properly and my immune system is extremely low. I am so very fatigued where going to the kitchen causes me to have to sit down and rest before going back to bed. The joint pain, vertigo, vision problems, and migraines, chronic sinusitis can be challenging to deal with at times however, the brain fog and the extreme fatigue are terribly embarrassing and leave me feeling frustrated beyond words. Not being able to think of a word or two in the middle of a sentence is horrible when you are trying to hold a conversation with someone. Having to stop and catch my breath after walking 15 steps is so embarrassing when people are watching, I don’t want anyone to assume I’m lazy . I know I shouldn’t care what people think but …

    I have seen more doctors than I care to mention through the years, they all had one thing in common, pushing me off to the next person, “You need to go see this specialist”. My P.A. has been a gift from God! She refuses to give up on me and is determined to help me. I believe the last time I saw her she mentioned this. I cannot wait to share this information with her!!

    Thank you so very much and God Bless

    • Suzy Cohen August 11, 2015 at 5:28 am #

      Clarissa I will have more information about this topic, and about infections that can drive the symptoms you have. So please keep reading my newsletters, make sure you’re signed up for them, tell your friends. I will be writing about a sinus infection known to cause this kind of craziness. Hang on dear, there could be a miracle in store for you and many others…

  15. Amber July 31, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    This article was very informative and at the same time has left me with many more questions than I had to begin with. My daughter had the swab test done and results have shown “greatly reduced activity” for the MTHFR gene, thus have a deficiency and have been given a list of 4 supplements to start her on. After reading this, however I am left with more worry and questions especially after reading that you cannot take these supplements with certain medications. Can these not be taken while she is on Oxcarbazepine? And you are recommending one supplement while I have a list of four? Any info would be greatly appreciated

    • Suzy Cohen August 1, 2015 at 4:52 am #

      My recommendation would be to do exactly what her physician suggested, because the doctor knows exactly what is going on, what is off. Should be fine with the medicine, but ideally separated by 4 hours away from the medicine. Some seizure drugs work by reducing folate, that is HOW they work, that is what they’re supposed to do so if you go and give folate you negate the medicine. It has to be separated. Please ask doc for sure.

  16. Gary July 31, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    Suzy,
    I start taking 800 mcg of Methyltetrahydrofolate for methylation purposes. I felt better at first. I have gluten intolerance, food allergies, insomnia and chronic fatigue, etc. Three days ago after taking this for a month I had extreme heart palpitations. Spiked at 196. Do you think that the folate could cause that? Some web sites do suggest side effects could be heart palpitations. My blood profile is normal, which obviously doesn’t tell what is going on inside the body’s cells. I’m not taking other meds.

    • Suzy Cohen August 1, 2015 at 4:45 am #

      I think I would stop, you should of course alert your doctor who told you to take it.

  17. Sharon July 22, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    One more question: what would cause ONE hive to appear in the same spot every time after I drink orange juice or eat a lot of pineapple? Strange huh? 🙂

    • Suzy Cohen July 22, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      Allergic response.Would stay away.

  18. Sharon July 22, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi Suzy,
    I’m very new to all of this but saw one thing that concerned me. I noticed that antacids are at the top of the list and I feel a little defeated. I have been suffering from GERD for a long time and take Zantac pretty much daily to fight it. I don’t really know what else to do to get my acid production under control. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get off the Zantac?
    Thank you.

    • Suzy Cohen July 22, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      Hi Sharon.
      Please use my search box and put in heartburn, reflux, gerd and other search terms since I have written about this before. It’s too much to outline here in a comment.

    • Suzy Cohen July 26, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      I don’t know how to get around that, until the GERD is healed up. Please see a gastroenterologist that is holistic-minded. You should also use my search box and put in key search terms like GERD, heartburn, reflux and so forth, to see all the articles that I have written on this topic. There is a ton of help here on my site, often referrals for books and articles for people who are experts on this topic. It can be done. It absolutely can be healed.

  19. Michael (NW) July 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi, I’m MTRR ++. (Also, BHMT +-, CBS ++ (although CBS doesn’t seem to be active as I have normal ammonia and sulfur/sulfite levels), VDR Taq1 ++ and VDR Fok1 +-, and NOS ++).

    From my testing, it does appear that MTRR is an issue as I had high/normal homocystein, and histamine. And I had HIGH levels of B12 in my blood (standard form) that apparently wasn’t being used/converted. I was getting B12 shots, etc… Now I take Methly-B12 which is helping.

    Anyway, I could go on and on about all sorts of methylation stuff regarding my test results, but my main question here is, with MTRR ++, which helps to make/recycle Methly-B12, I would assume that my methionine levels were low if tested. Would this be the reason I’d have some food allergies to dairy, eggs, wheat, certain nuts, etc….? Would taking Methly-B12 resolve my food allergies once levels go up and my methly cycle starts working better?

    The only other question I have is, although I have CBS++, and my ammonia and sulfur/sulfite levels were normal, I had another test showed I had a HIGH need for Glutathione. Not sure why. I’ve been healthy/organic/natural since I was 13, now I’m over 40. But….not that I haven’t come into contact with toxins. As a kid I did play with chemicals in the garage, I did play with some mercury one time, (so bad), 🙂 so, that could have messed with my methlyation, or just requiring my body to detox. Funny thing is, Genova Labs who ran that test (NutrEval) said they didn’t know why it showed I had a high need for Glutathione. Seemed strange. Anyway…

    Thanks.

    • Suzy Cohen July 18, 2015 at 1:32 am #

      Michael if you don’t feel you need glutathione then don’t take it bc a lab test told you to. It’s how you feel. NutrEval is a good test, I’ve done that too. Maybe their conclusion is that everyone needs added glutathione lol, but if you want to take it maybe ASEA water, one of my friends keeps saying how it helped raise her glutathione levels (personally I’ll believe it when I see it, that is some kind of expensive water). Anyway, as to the food allergens, maybe it is your CBS reacting to the eggs? Maybe it is poorly functional DAO enzyme I’m not sure if B12 will help that but I can tell you B12 is manufactured from gut flora (probiotics) so maybe PROBIOTICS and digestive enzymes are the place to start.

  20. Elena July 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    Dear Suzy:

    Have to express my appreciation for helping us understand our bodies and “read” what they need. I have learned so much from you. I wish our doctors would teach us more about the needs of our bodies as part of preventative medicine. Sometimes I feel like we are just sources of great revenue for doctors and the whole pharmaceutical and medicine machine. It is such an enlightening process to understand in layperson’s terms how and what our bodies need. Thank you for everything you do to promote real preventative medicine.

  21. Joan July 4, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Suzie,
    Do you know if methylation problems have anything to do with familial pulmonary fibrosis?
    Thanks!

    • Suzy Cohen July 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

      I am not sure, mthfr.net is a site dedicated to methylation and discussions such as this. I am only teasing the surface to give people a little ‘flashlight’ on the issue.

  22. Natalie July 1, 2015 at 1:48 am #

    Oh and I forgot to ask…

    What would you recommend for a prenatal that has the “methyl” constituents! I would rather the methyl folate than folic after reading this great article ..!

  23. Natalie July 1, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    Hi Suzy,
    If I’m negative for MTHFR 2 main gene mutations can I still be undermethylating? Can you explain how ..
    My understanding is limited and I have read high histamine levels are an indicator of this – yet can’t you have intermittent high histamine leaves that could denote an allergy or something?
    Just want to get a clear diagnosis/answer around under methylation and how to go about it

    Thank you very much!

    • Suzy Cohen July 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

      Low zinc, low copper, low folate, low homocysteine and allergies (and yes high histamine) can contribute to undermethylation. Other things too but those are the main ones. You may have immune dysregulation causing the intermittency. Take Cyrex Array #5 for immune. Symptoms of undermethylation include OCD behavior, high libido, defiance, inner tension, phobias and perfectionism so a diagnosis would be made on levels of those biomarkers I made above and a ‘clinical presentation.’ It is much more common in people with the MTHFR gene which you don’t have.

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

      Hi, They said I didn’t need MTHF folate, but taking it helped me…got more circulation in my toes. Heavy metals may block chemical reactions. Pure company Coenyzmated B vitamins help me. Under methylating may not detox well and maybe high in zinc which releases histamine. Vit C may lower histamine. Allergies maybe due to leaky gut due to gluten. See my above comments about Celiac help. Best wishes.

  24. Marcie June 15, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

    Suzy, great article on methylation, thank you! I have Lipedema and Dercums Disease, and am 30 days post op from stem cell surgery. I start methylation treatment this week to try and move out the anesthesia. If you have any information on methylation and Lipedema/Dercums, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

    • Susan F. June 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

      So I learn from you and Dr. Lynch that sulfasalazine prescribed by rheumatologist is a drug mugger for methyl folate so I take methyl folate as I am MTHFR c677t homozygous but that would block the drug from working? Dammed if I do or dammed if I don’t? Don’t mean to swear but that’s the best expression for this predicament. I take both twice a day so is there enough hours to space apart and would it matter? Thank you for all even if you don’t get to this question.

      • Suzy Cohen June 27, 2015 at 12:24 am #

        You can space the the supplement an hour away from medicine.

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

      Hi, When I didn’t eat fruit for 10 years, I started to get precancer and fatty small precancers on my leg. Eating low sugar fruit helped me. Spirulina/chorella may help make stem cells. Anesthesia may destroy Vit B12 methylcobalamin..so taking it in shot/under the tongue kind/spray/cream/Intrinsic factor kind may help and coenyzmated B vitamins..Pure company …help me. See my above comments for Celiac help which may help. Best wishes.

  25. Catherine June 13, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Hello, Suzy….

    I’m having a terrible time understanding VDR TAQ! I am VDR TAQ AA ++ and COMTV158M AG +/- and COMT162H CT +/-. I put my 23 & Me results through both Genetic Genie and Sterlings APP. Genetic Genie shows the above results with VDR TAQ, but Sterlings APP shows nothing for VDR TAQ……..in other words, no results. Can you shed some light on this? Thank you so much for all of the info you provide on your website. It’s invaluable……..

    • Suzy Cohen June 13, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

      You’re very welcome Catherine. It’s nice to meet you here. I don’t know how to resolve the discrepancy you see between Genetic Genie and Sterling’s App, can you ask one of their representatives off the contact page because I am not familiar with how they derive their results, or any of their algorithms and tech stuff. I can’t imagine why they would not match when you plug in the same information! Let me know if someone answers.

  26. Shelley May 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    Thank you so much for making a valiant effort to get this info out to us. There is so much to learn, and even Dr. Lynch’s advice sometimes contradicts itself – will be one thing for one variant, and the opposite for another. I look forward to the day that the genetic genie takes all our mutations into account and provides a report for that individual, what to look for when the genes start misbehaving, and supplement suggestions!

    • JB June 6, 2015 at 3:16 am #

      Hi Suzy!

      Are they still offering the comprehensive 23&ME testing if you purchased your kit prior to when they were stopped by the FDA? I purchased my kit, however I have not sent it in yet!

      Thanks!

      • Suzy Cohen June 6, 2015 at 5:39 am #

        Yes JB I am pretty sure they are (99.9%). It’s not that they every stopped testing, they just had to stop including an interpretation of the genes, so now they are forced to just provide raw data, no interpretation or risks. Something like that, but I hope your kit is not too terribly old, I am uncertain how long the assay keeps (exp date). You should email and make sure it’s still fresh (probably is) but I’d make sure.

  27. Colleen Conlan May 19, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Hi. Do you know of any practitioner, who specializes in this MTHFR “personality” trait, who is in the San Diego or Orange County, CA area? I have been tested and have both genes, C677T & A1298C. I have been searching for YEARS for differents conditions that I have had, from miscarriages to “fibromaligia” type pain, and one other thing in particular that has been VERY stressful to say the least. I had some dental work(root canal & then extraction of same tooth) done in 2011 that resulted in continuous nerve pain in my upper left gums (above that extraction). I’ve been searching for 4 years to find a doctor who can help me. The naturopath that I have been seeing has put me on Xymogen Methyl Protect and I’ve been getting methylated B shots. I have been feeling better but after reading your article and Dr. Lynch’s website, have been wondering if there is someone who specializes in my area with this type of thing. I will also add that I had a thyroid panel that showed T4, TSH, reverse T3 all in range. But my free T3 was pretty low. My Dr. hasn’t really addressed this yet and I feel that things are moving along a little too slowly with her. So this is why I’m asking about whether you know of anyone you can recommend in my area. It has been a very painful and stressful 4 yrs. Thanks so much.

    • Suzy Cohen May 20, 2015 at 8:07 am #

      At Dr. Lynch’s site you can click “Find a Doctor” and I found this link where people are talking about different physicians, and a few mention doctors in SoCal. http://mthfr.net/mthfr-resources/

  28. toly arutunoff May 16, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    I caught Lyme disease in ’02 by taking a nap in the grass in upper New York state; but my niece was into supplements and I’d heard about vitamin c decades ago so I took about a dozen vitamin/mineral etc. plus c a day. Never had a health problem. Then I ran out in ’04 and took nothing for two weeks and THAT was when the Lyme struck!

    Thru the years the symptoms have recurred weaker and weaker (a general smell of bad cologne was the tipoff). In the past half dozen years I’ve been awakened with a throbbing heartbeat and think it might be that parallel infection you mentioned. So I’m gonna crank up the c and go with coq10 and astaxanthin and a dozen other things that I don’t take together or 3xday as the bottles recommend. I think I know when the Lyme got into my brain: 3 days after lying in the grass I had a terrifying nightmare that was objectively a very pleasant dream–I figure the germ/germpoop got into my wiring at that moment… love yer stuff

  29. Lynn Zamora May 8, 2015 at 5:38 am #

    Thanks Suzy for your terrific article on methylation. I have been super curious about this topic for months, but rather intimidated because of the complexity, however you put it all together and I actually got thru it with a fair understanding!

    Over the many decades, I have experienced numerous of the conditions that you listed as tied to Methy defects. My dilemma is that I see “Bactrim” listed in your long list of meds that make MTHFR Much Worse ! And I was just recommended to take it when I inquired of my doc about a possible antibiotic treatment for my Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a reactive spinal & sacral arthritic condition, that I have been (for almost a yr) “controlling” via a no starch, no lactose and finally no diary diet and LDN (totally off Tramadol & Tyleol and Pred). However it leaves me quite vulnerable to unknowing food choice mistakes when out (with the subsequent pain and immobility), and still always a certain degree of stiffness and inflammation, so I was excited about the possibility of eradicating these Klebsiella bacteria which I believe to be just a form of SIBO, and AS a closely related “cousin” to Crohn’s. In fact all my joint problems, CFS, Fibro, etc. began after a ruptured appey in my late 20’s. Within the past year, I have taken a 1.5 month course of herbal antimicrobials with no results, oregano oil, garlic caps, grape seed, colloidal silver, 1 year of probiotics, etc. with no notable improvement. I also notice that my water Kefir actually makes the AS sx worse, and see that many docs recommend no probiotics till after the SIBO is treated. Meanwhile I do regular bone broth to heal the leaky gut.

    So, how do I accurately weigh the pluses and minuses of implementing this Bactrim treatment (800/160mg) bid for 14 days ? Can I begin to repair the Methyl issue after this Bactrim tx or is the potential damage possibly irreversible ? Or can you suggest a less hazardous yet effective antibiotic to wipe out the intestinal Klebs bacteria or even a totally different approach ? btw, I live out of the US and do not have access to a functional med practitioner here in my country in Ctl Am. Any guidance greatly appreciated! Thanks, Lynn

    • Suzy Cohen May 9, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

      I’m not sure but maybe clove oil? Have you looked into the research for that for Klebsiella or SIBO bacteria. I used to give Sam 1 drop of the essential oil of clove in a cup of warm water. Not sure if it helped but you can certainly look into it. Yes, of course you can repair yourself if you use Septra/Bactrim. Or maybe you can take folate with the antibiotic??? Ask about these things. You need to take care of yourself, and get that germ load down. Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074903/

      • Lynn Zamora May 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

        Thanks so much Suzy. Will see if I can locate clove oil here, and folate (so far have only seen folic acid, but will keep searching).

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

      HI, Bactrim hurt me..felt almost like a heart attack and 1/2 the dose made my heart flutter. Colloidal silver poisoned me..my liver could not detox it. Far Infrared Sauna may detox heavy metals and kill bacteria and detox endotoxins they give off. AL complex or
      Artemisia/clove may help kill bacteria and heal the gut lining. Celiac may cause the things you mention. Best wishes.

      What I do that helps my Celiac:
      No gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO and vitamins/good oils, LDN and detoxing help me. Vit D3 5000IU, zinc 50mg if detoxing, fish oil 2000mg, 20000mg of evening primrose oil. 2000 mg of lecithin, Phosphatidylserine/DMAE or krill oil, Coenzyme Q10, Rhodiola, Mg citrate 400mg, Vit C, 5000mcg of biotin, Nature’s Plus- Source of life multiple, HCl and enzymes with meals, dairy free probiotic, Vit B12 methylcobalamin shot/spray/under the tongue kind/intrinsic factor kind, MTHF folate, coenyzme Q10, rhodiola, may help brain/body/thyroid/ and more health issues. Gluten is wheat/barley/rye..oats may act like gluten with avenin. GMO corn/soy/canola oil may hurt. Amour thyroid maybe needed since gluten may made antibodies to the thyroid.

      Sunlight (helps the immune system and helps to heal the gut lining),exercise, organic food, good water..not tap water, cooking by scratch pure food….. no food in a box/bag/premade/label/restaurant which may help avoid hidden gluten. Certified gluten free food may have 20ppm of gluten…too much. Nuts not sold in the shell/meat basting/some spices may have hidden gluten and lotion/make up etc. One restaurant cooks special for me…rice/veg/tea/extra mushrooms (no meat since the woks may have MSG/gluten in them).

      EDTA/DMPS IV chelations from an Alternative doctor, 600mg of cilantro, zeolites, organic sulfur, Now brand- Detox support, Far Infrared Sauna and more may help detox. Hair tests show good minerals and heavy metals. Heavy metals can block thyroid and other chemical reactions in the body/brain.

      LDN may help block hidden gluten/heal the gut lining and help the immune system, but the Celiac diet is still needed. 100% no gluten..no hidden or microscopic gluten may help. Cutting back on gluten or cheating by eating gluten hurts the immune system. It may take 1 1/2 months to heal the gut lining after getting hidden gluten.

      Amour thyroid has some T3 and Calcitonin. Synthroid is only T4..may not convert to T3. Zn/Se/enough iron/strong probiotic may help convert T4 to T3 for thyroid.

      Coenyzmated B vitamins far from synthetic kind may help..make me more calm

  30. James Vita May 2, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

    I am sorry, but I think your response to Pamela McCoy was very insenstitive.
    We are all very busy.
    Her feelings were based on the fact that you usually answer posts the very same day
    judging from the history.

    • christy May 13, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

      well, Ms. Dr. Cohen…when you want to scream and stop answering our stupid questions for free remember, you have every right… People are cray! 🙂 But I hope you don’t.
      I NEVER make comments or ask questions on forums but I so appreciate your efforts to assist us in filtering the information available into something usable I just couldn’t read the previous comments and NOT say something.
      Your work and time and experience has contributed greatly to me “sort-of” understanding my homozygous “personality” and I am positive I am not alone.
      Thank you very much for all you do and the time you offer to the world so generously!

      • Suzy Cohen May 14, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

        You’re very sweet Christy, and funny as heck!

      • Avis June 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

        Dear Suzy, I call you by your first name because I feel like I know you with your approachable humor and your generous spirit. I appreciate all the work you do and that you make this information understandable. I use your information as a spring board to all my health issues and questions. In short, I trust you. I get so much from you for free and I have bought some of your books but I can never repay you for the confidence you give me to go out and be healthier. Thanks for taking the time that you do, you are amazing and I wouldn’t be writing but I want you to know you are appreciated and I can’t imagine how you have the time to do it all.

        • Suzy Cohen June 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

          Avis thank you <3 I do get tired sometimes. I can't answer every single person that writes to me, I do the best I can.
          Sam once calculated that if I answered every single person (one question) that wrote to me today, just today, that I would be finished in 11 years (just today) and tomorrow thousands of more questions will come. I do my best. My heart is in it.
          Your note means everything to me!!!
          🙂

  31. Pamela McCall May 1, 2015 at 2:55 am #

    Hi Suzy,
    I have been a little hurt that you didn’t answer me the first time I wrote.
    I’ve been taking MethylGuard Plus by dividing each capsule in half for about a month now, and if I take more than that my symptoms still seem to get worse. For two days now I have felt very tired and wonder if it’s the B vitamins. Should I continue to hope my body will adjust?

    • Suzy Cohen May 1, 2015 at 3:09 am #

      You’re hurt? Please understand I receive hundreds (almost a thousand) questions each day globally, and there’s one of me. I do the best I can. I am human. Most are just grateful for the free information they get. I don’t know for sure what is happening to you but sometimes one can overmethylate from supplements -even good ones- and maybe that is the case for you. I’m not sure though. Read the symptoms of overmethylhation at mthfr.net (Dr. Lynch’s site) he has a ton of information on it. I would listen to your body. Also use my search box to get more questions answered and read more on “methylation.” Keep us posted here and let us know if this is the case for you. Good luck!

      • Gloria August 31, 2015 at 1:02 am #

        Suzy,

        Can’t thank you enough for all you share to keep us informed! You share much in-depth information. I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme and have learned so much through you. I’m tremendously grateful for your time and effort. Blessings, Gloria

        • Suzy Cohen September 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

          Thank you Gloria! I’m sorry you are dealing with Lyme. Put that in my search box, I’ve written several times. You can get well. DO NOT EVER GIVE UP.
          I have a follow up coming on Lyme in a few months, or less. <3

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

      HI, People need all the B vitamins not just 3 in the supplement. Pure has a B complex plus that may help. A person needs to get their diet/supplements ok. See my above comment for what I do for my Celiac. Best wishes.

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

      Hi, Yes.. ..get copper zinc ratios correct. A hair test shows minerals and heavy metals. Detoxing and Vit C may lower zinc. Never take copper without zinc, but can take zinc without copper. Getting all the rest of your supplements figured out may help and then instead of regular synthetic B vitamins taking the conenzymated form may help, but not too much or too little and right formula. My son likes the Pure brand of coenzymate B vitamins. Too much may lower B vitamins. Electrodermal person may help also. Best wishes.

  32. Kathryn April 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    This article is very interesting. I deal with thyroid and fatigue issues. Thank you for your work.

  33. Kristin April 29, 2015 at 2:24 am #

    Hi Suzy, and thank you for taking the time to publish such extensive information! I’ve had the 23 and Me testing done and it has shown quite a few variants. I have been on the fence as to which way to go to best treat my symptoms (hypothyroid, adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, vitamin deficiencies, fatigue).

    I sought the advice of a functional dr [doctor] who wants to treat with supplements that specifically address my most prominent variants (in addition to taking Nature-Throid). But I have also been told by my chiropractor that most people have methylation issues to some extent and that many of our symptoms can be improved with changes to our diet, namely a reduction in sugar. He has me on a low carb diet and is using whole food supplements to treat my leaky gut and vitamin deficiencies. I haven’t been with him long enough to know if what we are doing will help. But I’m also very leery about continuing with my functional dr… it’s all so new and hard to wrap my head around! What are your thoughts? Is there any way that a change in diet can help improve symptoms… or are these genetic issues more involved than that?

    • Suzy Cohen April 29, 2015 at 4:10 am #

      Well you said you have a “leaky gut, vitamin deficiencies and adrenal fatigue” so yes, a cleaner diet will impact all of those. It’s not just about SNPs which may not even come to express themselves. I don’t think diet alone will fix this, you may need supplements to help with all of that, soothe the gut, rebuilt the gut lining, improve nutritional deficiencies and of course support thyroid. It’s complicated and can feel overwhelming so just take baby steps. I believe in you 🙂

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

      Hi, Celiac can cause low thyroid/leaky gut/adrenals to burn out/low nutrients absorbed/tired. Tests may not work for Celiac. Low carb should be no gluten (wheat/barley/rye..oats may act like gluten with avenin. I need vitamins/good oils also, but recently taking coenyzmated B vitamins helps greatly far from synthetic kind. Thyroid dose needed to be right before my gut lining healed. LDN was great help…helped block hidden gluten. See my other comments above. Best wishes.

  34. Nancy Ludwig April 17, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    Thanks for the article about methylation problems. Why isn’t there more coverage for over-methylation?

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      It’s a good question Nancy, I see everyone trying to get their methylation pathways opened up (unlocked) and then boom, SO EASY to start over-methylating. Can be detected easily too, especially if you start feeling wired, anxious, buzzing, faster, faster… one possible way to help that is balance and take niacin, the plain flushing sort. That’s why self-treatment is tough, it’s easy to swing one way or the other within hours.

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

      Hi, When copper is higher than zInc then people maybe over methylating and mind may race. Hair tests show Copper/zinc and other minerals and heavy metals. I take 50mg of zinc daily since detoxing lowers zinc. Stress may use up B vitamins and zinc. Pyroluria people need more zinc/ B vitamins. Coenzymated B vitamins may help people far from synthetic B vitamins. Water may rinse B vitamins out of people. Mo may lower copper if needed. Vit C may lower histamine and zinc. Schizophrenia maybe due to high copper and Celiac…not absorbing enough zinc and other minerals due to gluten. See above comment what I do for Celiac. Best wishes.

  35. Mary Ann Soltis April 16, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi Suzy , I have a rising Platelet count of 860. my Doctor prescribed a cancer drug. I had only a blood test. The drug…..hydroxyurea . I am afraid to take it. What do you suggest?

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

      Hi, I don’t know about high platelet. My platelet cause was 12 when I first was diagnosed with Lyme/coinfections. Fish oil 2000mg daily helps me..it thins blood and helps the immune system. Cancer can be due to Celiac. Tests may not work to diagnose Celiac. Celiac help may prevent cancer and may help the immune system and raise oxygen/pH/rebuild the cells so they work right. Best wishes.

      What I do for Celiac:
      No gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO and vitamins/good oils, LDN and detoxing help me. Vit D3 5000IU, zinc 50mg if detoxing, fish oil 2000mg, 20000mg of evening primrose oil. 2000 mg of lecithin, Phosphatidylserine/DMAE or krill oil, Coenzyme Q10, Rhodiola, Mg citrate 400mg, Vit C, 5000mcg of biotin, Nature’s Plus- Source of life multiple, HCl and enzymes with meals, dairy free probiotic, Vit B12 methylcobalamin shot/spray/under the tongue kind/intrinsic factor kind, MTHF folate, coenyzme Q10, rhodiola, may help brain/body/thyroid/ and more health issues. Gluten is wheat/barley/rye..oats may act like gluten with avenin. GMO corn/soy/canola oil may hurt. Amour thyroid maybe needed since gluten may made antibodies to the thyroid.

      Sunlight (helps the immune system and helps to heal the gut lining),exercise, organic food, good water..not tap water, cooking by scratch pure food….. no food in a box/bag/premade/label/restaurant which may help avoid hidden gluten. Certified gluten free food may have 20ppm of gluten…too much. Nuts not sold in the shell/meat basting/some spices may have hidden gluten and lotion/make up etc. One restaurant cooks special for me…rice/veg/tea/extra mushrooms (no meat since the woks may have MSG/gluten in them).

      EDTA/DMPS IV chelations from an Alternative doctor, 600mg of cilantro, zeolites, organic sulfur, Now brand- Detox support, Far Infrared Sauna and more may help detox. Hair tests show good minerals and heavy metals. Heavy metals can block thyroid and other chemical reactions in the body/brain.

      LDN may help block hidden gluten/heal the gut lining and help the immune system, but the Celiac diet is still needed. 100% no gluten..no hidden or microscopic gluten may help. Cutting back on gluten or cheating by eating gluten hurts the immune system. It may take 1 1/2 months to heal the gut lining after getting hidden gluten.

      Amour thyroid has some T3 and Calcitonin. Synthroid is only T4..may not convert to T3. Zn/Se/enough iron/strong probiotic may help convert T4 to T3 for thyroid.

      Coenyzmated B vitamins far from synthetic kind may help..make me more calm..take far from synthetic B vitamins.

  36. Ammonia Smells??? April 15, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2577406/Does-breath-smell-like-nail-polish-remover-You-diabetes-Doctors-reveal-different-illnesses-SMELL-like.html

    Doctors reveal what different illnesses SMELL like…WHICH DISEASES HAVE A SCENT?

    Liver failure can make a person’s breath smell like raw fish <——- <——–
    A bladder infection can make their urine smell of ammonia
    Rubella can make sweat smell like freshly plucked feathers
    Schizophrenia can make the patient’s sweat smell of vinegar
    Diabetes can make the breath smell of nail varnish remover.
    Typhoid makes the skin smell like freshly baked bread.
    Yellow fever can make the skin smell like a butcher's shop.
    Scrofula – a lymph node infection – can make a patient smell of stale beer.

    Dogs help diagnose diseases and get help for patients. Trained dogs can detect low blood sugar levels in diabetics and judge them or fetch a blood monitoring kit. Dogs can smell certain cancer cells–they can detect cancer by sniffing urine…lung and breast cancers by smelling people's breath…and melanoma by licking a patients skin. Some dogs can detect seizures before they start and seek help. Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, director, Research Center for Human-animal Interaction, University of Missouri, Columbia, quoted in the Wall Street Journal

  37. Stephanie Kochan April 15, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

    Hi Suzy, So, I accidentally came across your site today.. no accident of course! I too am a pharmacist since 1985, practiced/ing holistic pharmacy … Left pharmacy in ’05 for many similar reasons you did… and more. I also carry and love salt, totally get the flower/herb thing, and now feel like I am having a PHd in Lyme … I have had it since oddly ’05 when I also experienced, adrenal exhaustion and toxic mold exposure. Last summer I finally got diagnosed and have been on antibiotics for 60 days. Thinking may be good to do lots of probiotics, herbs and essential oils…I read Horowitz and Buehner and McFadzen .. just tough to do all of the protocols and my MD’s protocol all at the same time…ugh..
    I know you are not an MD .. a sounding board is always nice.
    Also, who did you do Func training with? It may be somewhere in my future. I too love school and exploring life… I currently teach pilates and therapeutic massage .. yes business has suffered I have had to use 401K for MD expenses… thank goodness I had that … anyway, thanks so much for your website …any other Lyme articles I should look at?
    Be Well, Stephanie

    • Suzy Cohen April 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

      No accidents Stephanie 😉
      Did you put Lyme or Bartonella or Babesia in my search box? I write about Lyme all the time, and covered the headaches in “Headache Free” book. Good to meet you here. Make sure you’re signed up for my free newsletter.

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      Hi, I have Lyme and below is what I do and I commented on a book:

      Book: Insights Into Lyme Disease Treatment: 13 Lyme-Literate Health Care Practitioners Share Their Healing StrategiesSep 5, 2009
      by Connie Strasheim

      It was an interesting book with 13 doctor’s protocols to help Lyme. There is one doctor who allowed people to find their dose of things which I thought was good since they are inside their own body and know what helps/hurts.

      The doctors mention lots of anger people had who had Lyme. Lyme/coinfections is like having the flu nonstop for 2 years with fear and pain/suffering/****. Adrenals are burned out and anger may mean the liver needs detoxing. The person maybe very weak/worn out/no sleep/alone/isolated. To see others die who didn’t get help or didn’t know how to help themselves enough and took medicine nonstop that may have hurt their kidney/liver etc is sad. I know 2 people who got cancer due to Lyme and one died. Don’t let Lyme treatment be like Chemo/radiation that destroy the person. Herbals help and give energy. Raising oxygen/pH/sunlight/exercise/energy/thyroid not suppressing always is needed. Medicine may lower ATP or coenzyme Q10 or thyroid or mitochondria or Mg. Some people died from heart attacks. They may have thought I need to feel bad before I feel good and need to Herx..never giving their body a rest and beating it down until they died. They may not have known enough to say something to the doctor that they needed a break, but still help which herbals can give.

      I don’t believe in too many medicines at the same time. It may hurt the liver/kidneys. Low oxygen in the brain may cause depression/anxiety/obsessing panic/no sleep/suicidal thoughts. Drugs for sleep/pain/depression may hurt and not help. Things that help raise oxygen may help depression/sleep etc…exercise/no gluten/coenzyme Q10/Amour thyroid dose/Vit B12 methylcobalamin shot/coenzymated B vitamins/pulsing antibiotics/herbals and more. If a person needs to rest…lay there. Getting up before a person is ready may burn out adrenals even more. Eating small meals and protein before bed may help adrenals. Less sugar may help adrenals as blood sugar is more stable. Oregon grape root may help blood sugar level.

      I like Herbals the best since they give energy and don’t hurt me. A L complex (affects hormones, but for me in a good way and helped heal my gut lining and may help cancer…has 11 herbs…is awesome), Artemisia and clove, Teasel, cryptolepis, garlic (has S and Se)/oil of oregano/monolaurin, Banderol and more helped me.

      I didn’t like antibiotics except Minocycline/doxycycline. Minocycline went into the brain and helped me sleep for the first time in 30 years, but gave strange cognitive errors and dizziness. Bactrim hurt my heart, but I could take it with food. Antibiotics hurt my gut lining causing more leaky gut and temperature was like 93.3 or 95 often and precancer/clots when it lowered my thyroid/mitochondria. PQQ helped make more mitochondria. Antibiotics may poison mitochondria.

      Taking Mg citrate helped since Lyme and antibiotics lowered Mg. Antibiotics lowered good bacteria in my large intestines. Ultra Floral Critical care or Orthobiotic dairy free probiotic helped me…taken before food. Antibiotics can’t be taken with food or Mg may block it. Antibiotics at night may not work since the Lyme is in cysts. 2 Serrapeptase at night may eat up cysts..taken once a week.

      Buffered Powder C hurt me…changed my pH fast which killed the microorganisms, but it went into my brain cells and didn’t let me think well.

      Sunlight increasing Vit D/exercise increasing oxygen/organic food/good water/ Celiac diet helped me.

      Eating organic vegetables: onions/radishes/mushrooms/ scallions/cabbage/carrots etc. and some slow sugar fruit helped my pH/minerals. Gluten is wheat/barley/rye..oats may act like gluten with avenin…may lower the immune system/hurt intestines so less nutrients absorb. GMO corn may hurt the gut lining. Eating no gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO…taking vitamins/good oils, LDN, detoxing helped me. LDN taken in the day (Taken at night it kept me awake, but it may work better at night) helped my immune system and block hidden gluten. LDN was awesome help. It is about $1 a day from a compounding pharmacy and helps the immune work right and helps block hidden gluten.

      Gluten maybe hidden in food in a box/bag/label/restaurant/nuts not in the shell/some spices/meat basting/certified gluten free may have 20ppm of gluten. Lotion and much more may have hidden gluten that may lower the immune system and nutrients absorbed/B vitamins etc. It took me 1 1/2 months to heal my gut lining from hidden gluten.

      Vit C, zinc, 2000mg of fish oil, 400mg of Mg citrate,Vit A10,000 IU, Vit D3 5000IU daily, rhodiola, coenzyme Q10 HCl and enzymes with food, probiotic far from stomach acid, Vit B12 methylcobalamin 2500mcg shot daily or spray/under the tongue kind/cream/intrinsic factor kind often and MTHF folate, coenzymate B vitamins far from synthetic kind, Nature’s Plus- Source of life multiple and more helped me. 4 Sight by Orthomolecular helped my eyes. Valerian and Osteoprocare, probiotic, Vit B12 methylcobalamin shot helped my sleep.

      Gluten made antibodies to my thyroid so I take Synthroid (T4 only) and Amour thyroid (T4/T3/T2T1/calcitonin). Zinc/Se/enough iron/probiotic is needed to convert T4 to T3. Antibiotics/Lyme/heavy metals lowered my temperature/energy/mitochondria/thyroid so thyroid dose needed to be increased during those.

      Bioidentical hormones..estriol/progestrone/testosterone helped my circulation in my brain/sleep/thyroid medicine to work/energy/stiffness of skin/blood vessels/intestines/blood pressure etc. The bioidentical hormones were needed for survival.

      Hair tests show good minerals and heavy metals. Lyme/coinfections may lower Fe/Mn/Mg and more. Far Infrared Sauna may lower heavy metals. Far Infrared Sauna (130 degrees 30 minutes once a week. The Far Infrared Sauna may go 3 inches into the skin…kill Lyme/coinfections/yeast and detox them in the sweat. Drinking enough water before and after is needed and sea salt afterwards that has ~84 minerals in it. I use reverse osmosis water, not tap water that has F in it.

      Detoxing: EDTA/DMPS IV chelations may eat up cysts and remove heavy metals and S in it kill Lyme etc. I drink lots of distilled water during/after it and I don’t eat before the IV chelations.
      Now brand- Detox support/organic sulfur/Vit C IV and glutathione push (helps increase white blood cells to kill Lyme with Vit C and detox and help connective tissue along with Si. Glutathione may lower free radicals which help in detoxing heavy metals and more.) 600mg of cilantro, chorella/spirulina/chorphyll, Far Infrared Sauna. Epsom salt/bath soda bath may help detox with S/Mg and help pH.

      Fermented food/coconut oil may help fight infections. Coconut oil clogged my blood vessels. Gluten free chocolate chips may help raise Mg and help constipation. Mg may help K get into cells. Vit C and Si may help connective tissues. Low sugar/starch may help not feed Lyme/coinfections.

      Squinting may mean low B vitamins. Microscopic gluten may lower B vitamins and other nutrients. Probiotics may multiply B vitamins so low probiotics may hurt. Probiotics may help T4 change to T3 for thyroid also.

      Yeast on tongue…oil of oregano or garlic and later dairy free probiotic may help. Onions have inulin which may cause yeast and sugar/starch may feed yeast. Antibiotics may increase yeast.

      Constipation: Low Mg due to Lyme and antibiotics lowering Mg. I took 400mg of Mg citrate which helps cramped muscles in my foot/back and constipation. Mg may help 350 chemical reactions in the body/brain. Mg may help K (potassium) get into cells and hydration. Chocolate may help constipation. Enough thyroid medicine, bioidentical hormones, raw walnuts (open shells to avoid hidden gluten and freeze) and then drink lemon juice in water, exercise, carrots/ pumpkin, Osteoprocare drink (Ca/Mg cofactors), probiotic may help constipation. Cyst busters may lower minerals and cause constipation. Taking them too often and too high a dose may hurt by removing too many minerals.

      Overdoing antibiotics or cysts busters may hurt. Too much plaquenil hurt my eyes as it removed minerals and I forgot to take my vitamins/good oils/minerals one night due to cognitive errors and eyes got hurt.

      Hobby to distract…dance/walk/music etc helped me. People who understand you are very sick. It may take 2 years to heal since it is hard to squeeze all in a protocol and food may block antibiotics.

      Prayer/friends and family/internet/books/Integrative doctor and more helped me.
      Books by Buhner/Waisbren/Dr. Kevin Conners/Singleton/Schaller and more are also good.
      Best wishes.

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

      Hi, Yes…It is hard to squeeze everything into a day. The strong dairy free probiotic is very important..keeps the thyroid hormone working along with Zinc/Se/enough iron. It may take 2 years to get rid of Lyme/coinfections. The Far Infrared Sauna and Vit C IV with glutathione push and EDTA/DMPS IV chelatoins, A L complex, cryptolepis and more are great help. Best wishes.

  38. Pamela McCall April 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

    p.s.
    Oh, I forgot. I also can’t eat wheat or yeast. Wheat seems to cause muscle aches. And yeast seems to cause painful hip joints. I’ve been avoiding both for at least 15 years. I’m now 63.

    Also, I had horrible allergies to trees or something in the environment and lots of sinus infections, but they suddenly went away about 20 years ago and the neuropathies took their place. They started with an intermittent hot right foot and 1/2 my head went numb for a couple of months.

  39. Pamela McCall April 15, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Hi Suzy,
    I happened upon this site about a day after I decided that my symptoms, which I’ve had for about 25 years, really do add up to MS. I have had 3 MRIs over the years, and they were all inconclusive. So I chose to assume all of it was psychological. But I no longer think so. Anyway, when I saw your essay on the methylation problem, I thought, wow!, that might be what it is. It seemed to me to make more sense that it was chemical than that it was a matter of tiny lesions in my brain causing migrating sometimes fairly debilitating neuropathies, vision problems (as though seeing through water), memory loss, digestion problems, very bad insomnia, dry mucous membranes, and heat intolerance. So I’ve been taking Thorne’s MethylGuard Plus. The first capsule I took was obviously way too much, so I started opening them and taking about half at a time. Iv’e been doing that for about three weeks now, and have noticed some positive changes — like better coordination and sleep. But this morning I decided to try a whole one, and noticed very quickly that my vision was much worse and I felt weird. So I took a no-flush niacin capsule. But that didn’t help very much. Anyway, I wonder if you have any advice. I would love to think this is my problem and that I am not going to end up blind and in a wheel chair. I would love to talk with you, if you do that sort of thing.
    Pamela

    • Wm.J. Gates May 27, 2015 at 3:31 am #

      Hi Pamela,
      I have been dealing with what sounds like the same issues over around the same time frame and have learned to deal with them by adjusting my lifestyle, diet, supplements and exercise. That makes it sound simple but I found that it wasn’t and it wasn’t easy. Non of us like change very much. The biggest impact came from Vitamin C, walking, take rests when tired (just stop and sit down/ do nothing), no dairy, animal protein, grains, alcohol, sugar. Eat only whole foods. Read “Wahls Protocol” and “Inflammation factor. I could go on but I won’t take your time.

      Wm

    • Sandra June 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi Pamela,

      I get episodes of vision disturbance – like looking through water; and I have traced the episodes back. They follow, usually 24 hours after, I have accidentally eaten Aspartame or MSG.
      I have to check all labels, but sometimes it happens after eating out and nearly all medication contains Aspartame – so i avoid.
      Make sure this isn’t your cause of vision disturbance.

      Sandra

    • Wendy Allen July 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

      Hi, Coenyzmated B vitamins far from synthetic ones make me more calm. B vitamins are water soluble so people may need to take them more than once a day. Heat intolerance maybe due to not sweating due to low thyroid. Amour thyroid may help. Vit A 10,000IU may help mucous membranes. Lyme/coinfections may also hurt people. Antibiotics may hurt by herbals may help. Far Infrared Sauna may kill Lyme and detox them and heavy metals which may block thyroid and other chemical reactions in the body. No flush niacin may not help circulation. Time release niacin may hurt the liver. I can’t take niacin…I flush too much. I am ok with what is in the multiple/complex etc, but not addition niacin. Best wishes.

  40. Brenda Lee March 31, 2015 at 1:13 am #

    Hi Suzy, I am homozygous MTHFR C677T and have a very itchy rash under my arms, under my breasts and vaginal and **** area as well as bloating and gas whenever I eat. The bloating and rash gets worse when I eat anything that feeds candida like sugar, carbs, chocolate, wine or anything fermented like yogurt , keifer, balsamic vinegar, dried fruits and teas. I eat a very clean diet and supplement for my snp’s. The rashes also seem to get worse right before and during my period.I have been blood tested for all food allergies, thyroid problems and celiac and gluten sensitivity. The real stand outs were dairy and yeasts but not wheat nor gluten. I have been on an anti candida diet as well as alternating, nystatin for 1 month and then natural supplements to kill candida artemisia berberine worm wood blend and Pau D arco. This does not seem to be working I felt better initially then it came back. Do you have a candida protocol you recommend? What about combining Nystatin and Difuucan or Sporonex for a month or 2 to really hit the candida hard.I have been dealing with this for 2 years and I am very frustrated. I take Methylguard by thorne and am trying supplementing with Betaine HCI when I eat a high protein meal to see if this helps my digestion. Any suggestions that you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all that you do!

    • Suzy Cohen March 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

      Hi Brenda
      This is a lot here. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t offer medical consultations.
      Seems like you’ve tried the obvious.
      Have you considered oral Amphotericin B perhaps? Have you looked at the work of Ritchie Shoemaker? survivingmold.com
      Take a look at his site and consider taking his CIRS test. http://www.survivingmold.com/docs/Berndtson_essay_2_CIRS.pdf
      Good luck, keep us all posted, we have doctors on my forum that are quite generous with their knowledge, so check back to see if someone else has weighed in.

    • JJ April 25, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      Suzy,

      Please note that betaine hydrochloride, the “digestive acid”, and betaine anhydrous, trimethylglycine, are not the same.
      Betaine hydrochloride (HCl) is a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid. Betaine HCl is not to be confused with betaine anhydrous. As trimethylglycine (TMG), betaine anhydrous is used almost exclusively to treat high homocysteine levels by donating a methyl group to convert homocysteine to methionine, while as the chloride salt of TMG (betaine HCl) increases acid production.

      • Suzy Cohen April 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

        Hi JJ
        Thank you for noting this and I have made the clarification in my article. I really appreciate you 🙂

    • Wendy July 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi, Nystatin/Difucan has F which may block thyroid and lower the immune system. Buffered Powder C or another way to make body pH neutral may help. Far Infrared Sauna to kill yeast and then strong probiotic like Ultra Floral Critical care or Orthobiotic later is what I do. I need no gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO…take vitamins/good oils, LDN and detox. Onion has inulin which may grow yeast. Sugar/starch may grow yeast. Green tea/chocolate etc. may raise the Th2 immune system which may attack the body more with inflammation..make antibodies. Best wishes.

      • William H July 21, 2015 at 4:13 am #

        May I ask – what is F? I’ve been taking nystatin lately and for years it helped me. But lately something is screwing me up. I have this orangish look- I’m sweating, feel weak and have been sweating like crazy when exercising, which I never experienced before except when i took armor or Dhea.

        My other thought is that the licorice root tea or the pregnenolone which also helped me for months has now stopped helping me and is making me feel worse. I stopped both seven days ago but i still feel weak and lethargic. I haven’t stopped the nystatin…
        Thanks

        • Suzy Cohen July 22, 2015 at 4:26 am #

          I don’t know William, but if I had an orange tint I’d ask a licensed health care provider like a doctor. Yellow usually indicates jaundice however orange … sometimes this happens with vitamin A or beta carotene toxicity. It could also indicate liver or kidney disease so again, please check yourself out.

          • Sarah Bearden September 1, 2015 at 12:59 am #

            Hi Suzy: I am a Nutritionist. Also NOT a doctor. I had a client once who had a problem with this orange color. In that client’s case, they were not metabolizing beta-carotene. For people who have this problem, there can be a number of reasons and yes, they should get a licensed medical practitioner’s diagnosis for this. If they get that, if they cannot figure it out, my client had a zinc deficiency. Zinc is needed to covert beta-carotene. Another potential reason: a thyroid issue. But get the diagnosis first and then go from there.

          • Suzy Cohen September 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

            Yes you’re right!
            I’ve never seen it in person, was their skin orange, or their eyes?
            Zinc is often measured incorrectly (in the serum) but if it’s measured correctly as “RBC” it may show up as tanked!
            Another reason for poor conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A is that gene BCMO-1 when it’s double homozygous, it causes A deficiency.

  41. Karen Fraser March 27, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    Your article is helping me with the paring back of non essential supplements that were bogging me down. I do have Lyme disease. I eat a very clean as possible organic diet low in animal products. Going to Garden medical here in CA for this . Dr. And I are tuning in more to methylation issue. I have the genetics from one parent. Doing a second test currently on that. Big problem is getting the vet b right. That is huge. Via b b 12th really makes me nervous. Taking the Byron White drops for bab and a for any viral to start. Feeling some better doing this but I can see more now how to help myself thru doing and asking the right questions . Thank you Karen

  42. Brenda Watson March 25, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    i have been reading your site and the replies. You mention Lyme disease a lot. But I have the tick caused Alpha-Gal red meat allergy, not Lyme. Do you have any idea of how this affects the methylation process? I have to avoid anything that has mammal meat or mammal products. I also have an allergy to gluten. I feel better with these out of my diet but it sure is hard checking everything that goes into my body for gluten or mammal.

    • Suzy Cohen March 26, 2015 at 6:27 am #

      Hi Brenda,
      Alpha-Gal red meat allergy is tough, so sorry to hear. You need to probably avoid all whey (or protein powders containing whey) as well as gelatin and dairy. When you eat those kinds of foods (ie alpha gal foods) you increase histamine. I recommend you avoid high histamine foods (as well as mammalian meat). A healthy methylation cycle reduces histamine so you want that pathway running.

  43. Wendi March 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi Suzy,

    I just found out Friday I have MTHFR homozygous. That’s all he told me until we meet Monday. I have been juicing for about 2 weeks in order to see if my diet changes helped until I got my results. I have had chronic phlegm (allergies) for years and never can get it better-affects my breathing. I have anxiety, panic attacks and depression, sleep issues and chronic fatigue. I had 10 years ago dissection in my right vertebral artery. I would like I look sick but always get dismissed by doctors because I look fit. I’m 51 years old and finally this great doctor suggested the test. I’m a pharmaceutical rep as well. I’m telling you all this because I don’t know where to begin. I’ve read so many sites and need a starting point. The allergies make me think I’m going to drown in the phlegm. I get so winded just sweeping a 3 car. Carport. I need help with all of this.
    Wendi

  44. Robin March 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    My daughter has had three miscarriages. She has no children. After the second she was tested for MTHFR gene. Came back heterozygous but doctor made no change to prenatal vitamin and no methyl supplement ordered. After the third miscarriage the doctor put in orders for methyl folate. She picks up the folate today.

    Should she consider Dr Ben Lynch’s vitamin -supplement and use that instead of the methyl folate only? My husband was also tested and he carries the same heterozygous MTHFR. I plan to do the 123 test. And our 20 year old son.

    Thank you for your work. Each miscarriage is heartbreaking.

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