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MTHFR – Over or Under Methylated?

Please note: The content of this post is my own, unless the technical terms is too hard to explain, then the content is copy and pasted. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery. 

Say What?

Is it not enough that you are not methylating properly, now you need to worry about under or over methylating? What does that mean? But there is more. What about Copper overload, Pyrrole Disorder, Glucose dyscontrol and Malabsorption?

Before running to the pharmacy to pick up a B-vitamins supplement, you have to understand that if you have the MTHFR mutation that you can be either over or under methylated and the B-vitamins supplement will not help you much.

OVER methylation

Overmethylation (Histapenia): Too much methyl (a carbon group with three hydrogen atoms). This causes an overproduction of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain.  In many cases, high serotonin levels can cause psychological problems including reduced motivation, reduced libido, weight gain, and confusion. If you are overmethylated you might also have low levels of histamine, and likely a low count of absolute basophils. Additionally you may discover high levels of copper, but low presence of zinc and histamine throughout the body.

Overmethylation Characteristics

Below is a list of possible characteristics that you may experience during overmethylation. Understand that overmethylation will not necessarily cause every single symptom on the list and that severity of each symptom is highly subject to individual variation.

  • ADHD: Those who are overmethylators may have attention deficits and may have been previously diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Anxiety: In some cases, the overmethylation can lead to increased levels of anxiety and susceptibility to panic attacks.
  • Artistic: Some sources have suggested a link between artistic and musical pursuits and overmethylation. Whether this is accurate is subject to debate.
  • Depression: Those with overmethylation may become depressed as a result of high levels of serotonin, lack of motivation, and accomplishment.
  • Dry skin: It has also been speculated that in those who are overmethylated tend to be more susceptible to bouts of dry skin.
  • Food sensitivities: If you are an overmethylator, you may notice that you are highly sensitive to certain foods and/or chemicals.
  • Frustration: Another sign among overmethylators is rampant frustration or becoming easily frustrated in seemingly benign situations.
  • High pain threshold: Unlike those who are poor methylators, overmethylation is associated with a higher pain tolerance.
  • Low libido: Another symptom of overmethylation is that of a decreased sex drive. They may be considerably less interested in sex than average.
  • Low motivation: The general tendency among overmethylators is that of deficient achievement in workplace or competitive settings. This is often a direct result of the motivational deficit that may be a byproduct of overmethylation.
  • Nervousness: This ties into the generalized anxiety that a person may experience as a result of the overmethylation.
  • Obsessions: Some have suggested that individuals with overmethylation may demonstrate clear obsessions, but they aren’t usually accompanied by compulsions.
  • Overweight: Those who are overmethylated may be more likely to pack on weight in part due to motivational deficits and depression.
  • Paranoia: Among those who are strongly affected by overmethylation, paranoid thoughts, and possibly auditory hallucinations may emerge.
  • Restless legs: Another possible symptom that you may experience if you’re dealing with too much methylation is restless legs.
  • Self-imposed isolation: Those who isolate themselves from others may do so in part as a result of depression and or anxiety from overmethylation.
  • Self-harm: Researchers believe that among those who commit acts of self-harm and mutilation, overmethylation tends to occur.
  • Sleep disorders: Those with sleep problems may be more likely to have overmethylation.
Supplements for Overmethylation

The goal is to gradually reduce the amount of methylation that occurs with targeted nutritional interventions. Below are some supplements that someone may take if they are overmethylated:

  • DMAE
  • Folic Acid (Folate) or Folinic acid
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Medication Outcomes

If you are taking a medication and have a mutation of MTHFR that leads to overmethylation, below are some likely reactions.

  • Antihistamines: Since you already have low levels of histamine, you are going to respond poorly to any antihistamine drug. People who are overmethylated tend to have less allergic responses than usual as a result of the low endogenous histamine.
  • Benzodiazepines: Favorable responses have been noted among those with overmethylation to taking benzodiazepines.
  • Lithium: The mood stabilizing agent Lithium has also been thought to yield noticeable improvement among those who are overmethylated.
  • Oestrogen therapy: Should you engage in oestrogen therapy as an overmethylator, you are likely to experience an adverse reaction.
  • SAM-e: This supplement should be avoided by any individual that is dealing with overmethylation. Adverse reactions are likely to occur as this will further increase methylation.
  • SSRIs: In general, people who are overmethylated already have high levels of serotonin and don’t require an SSRI. Further increasing serotonin levels may be problematic and may yield unwanted side effects or adverse reactions.
  • Many persons who are over methylated might have adverse reaction to serotonin-enhancing substances such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, St. John’s Wort, methionine.
Under Methylation

Undermethylation (Histadelia): Too little methyl (a carbon group with three hydrogen atoms). Essentially they have low levels of SAM-e, which donates methyl. This can lead to perfectionism, high accomplishment, and high achievement. Now why would this be problematic? This can lead to low levels of serotonin, making them susceptible to depression.

The undermethylation can lead to a number of deficiencies in nutrients throughout the body: High histamine, low zinc, low copper, high Basophil count, high homocysteine and high heavy metals.

Undermethylation characteristic

Keep in mind that if you are suffering from undermethylation, you may not experience every symptom on this list. There are different genetic polymorphisms of the MTHFR gene as well as other factors that may dictate your experience. Below is a collective list of symptoms that people with undermethylation tend to exhibit.

  • Addictions: Those who are considered undermethylators may be more likely to battle addictions and/or have addictive personalities.
  • Competitive: It is believed that many undermethylators are extremely competitive in sports, business, and other facets of life. Competition is a notable signal that a person may not have a sufficient methylation process.
  • Concentrative endurance: Some individuals who are suffering from undermethylation may have a difficult time maintaining focus for prolonged periods of time. In other words, their concentration ability may wane quicker than average.
  • Delusions: Certain individuals that fall into the undermethylation diagnosis may experience delusions or beliefs that aren’t based in reality. While these generally are not severe, then can interfere with the accuracy of a person’s perception of reality.
  • Headaches: Some researchers believe that undermethylation may cause physical symptoms such as headaches.
  • High achievement: One characteristic (rather than symptom) of people with low levels of methylation is that of accomplishment and achievement. Many individuals considered top athletes, CEOs, and professionals may be fueled in part by undermethylation.
  • High libido: A person may be highly interested in sex and/or have a higher than average “drive” compared to others.
  • Obsessive compulsive: Undermethylation may provoke symptoms of OCD or other obsessive tendencies. In fact, someone may actually get diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder as a result of their methylation deficiency.
  • Oppositional defiance: Another common finding is that those displaying signs of oppositional defiant disorder(ODD) tend to also have undermethylation. While this isn’t a very common diagnosis, it is thought to be related to undermethylation.
  • Inner tension: While a person who is an undermethylator may appear to exhibit a calm demeanor, they may be filled with inner tension.
  • Low pain tolerance: Individuals with undermethylation tend to have a poor tolerance to any sort of pain.
  • Perfectionism: Another trait of undermethylators is that of perfectionism. They aren’t satisfied unless tasks are completed in accordance to their specific methodology. They may be intolerant to less-than-perfect outcomes.
  • Phobias: Certain phobias or irrational fears may be caused in part by undermethylation.
  • Ritualistic behavior: Those who are undermethylated may engaged in ritualistic behavior with rigid schedules. They may have specific daily rituals to which they must adhere.
  • Seasonal allergies: It has also been suggested that allergies may be stronger among undermethylators, particularly during seasonal transitions. This may be related to naturally elevated levels of histamine, leading to more pronounced reactions.
  • Self-motivated: A person who is undermethylated may be highly self-motivated in both school and work functions. They may not need any outside inspiration or encouragement to complete their work, they are fuelled internally by themselves.
  • Social isolation: Some individuals with undermethylation may isolate themselves from others and prefer to be left alone, especially during the completion of work.
  • Strong willed: Another characteristic that is found among those who are undermethylated is that of a strong will.
Undermethylation Treatment

Generally treatment doesn’t yield drastic improvement overnight, and in some cases it can take 8 to 12 months before a person feels noticeably better. However, it is also important to realize that nutritional intervention can be highly effective and successful over the long-term.

Since undermethylation results in low levels of calcium, magnesium, methionine, and Vitamin B6 – it’s important to consider these for supplementation. Additionally it may be important to avoid folic acid as levels may be abnormally high throughout neurons. Correcting nutritional imbalances is considered an important step towards improving undermethylation symptoms.

Supplements for Undermethylation

Work with a professional to determine what quantities of vitamins and/or “stack” you should be taking.

  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Methionine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • SAM-e
  • Vitamin B12 (methyl B12)
  • Vitamin C
Medication Outcomes

If you plan on taking a medication, some researchers have noted that outcomes among individuals with undermethylation are considered specific based on the type of drug utilized.

  • Antihistamines: Since those with undermethylation tend to have high levels of histamine, using an antihistamine may result in favorable effects.
  • Benzodiazepines: People taking benzodiazepines like Xanax tend to have unfavorable responses if they are suffering from undermethylation.
  • SSRIs: Those dealing with undermethylation tend to respond well to selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are antidepressant drugs that specifically increase the amount of extracellular serotonin. These are considered helpful among undermethylators because they have low levels of serotonin.
  • Vitamin B Complex: Those taking Vitamin B Complex may experience adverse effects. This is because the person already has high levels of folic acid (Vitamin B9) and the complex serves to further elevate it.
  • These undermethylated persons may benefit nicely from Paxil, Zoloft, and other serotonin-enhancing medications, although nasty side effects are common.  A more natural approach is to directly correct the underlying problem using SAMe, methionine, calcium, magnesium, amongst others.  Although most undermethylated patients thrive on folates, supplements of folates must be avoided for patients whose problems are dominated by low activity at serotonin receptors.  Folic acid, folinic acid, and methylfolate all reduce serotonin/dopamine neurotransmission by an epigenetic mechanism, and this effect overwhelms the folate benefits of improved methylation and serotonin synthesis.
Enzyme polymorphisms (genes)
  • MTHFR
  • COMPT

For a more comprehensive list of Over and under methylation characteristics click here.

Click on the link for more on Methylation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W14kkO61Ano&t=2741s

 

My Colour Is Blue is going Orbital

Wait, Orbital? As in space?

Yes that’s right, the My Colour Is Blue logo is going into Space aboard the Asgardia-1 Micro Satellite to be launched on SpaceX  CRM-13.

To the best of our knowledge this will be the highest ever Autism Awareness has ever gotten, Outer Space!

This is thanks to Asgardia, the first space Nation and micro satellite company Nano-Racks.

Launch date at this time in not set, but we will update as soon as we know more.

A Tank of Petrol and 4 hours out of Town

Friday, 12 May 2017 – Langebaan and Elands Bay

Recommended by a friend and because Alex is sooo much into Dinosaurs right now, we decided to make it a day trip and drive out to the West Coast Fossil Park. A Nice day of family fun. And sight seeing. And to complete the lesson in South African History – a trip to a cave with some rock paintings.

West Coast Fossil Park

The dig at the Fossil Park shows part of South Africa’s Ice Age. It features mostly Siber-tooth Tigers and woolly Mammoths. The fossils was discovered after some mining operations.

Elands Bay Cave

The cave situated on hill above the shoreline, depicts some of the animals found in the area during the end of the Ice Age.

A Teary Farewell

It was a teary farewell to teacher Katherine on the last tutor lesson in April.

Due to financial constraints we had to make the difficult decision to drop the tutor lessons, as Alex has started at a Special needs day care half day.

We will miss Teacher Katherine 🙁

One Year Later

One Year Later and a lot has changed …

We have grown as a family and discovered that Autism is such a big world and one where no-one really agrees on anything, but neuro-typical parents are doing their damn hardest to create a world where their child might thrive.

On the health front:

The last stool test in February revealed that Alex’s candida has cleared and his leaky gut has been healed for now, so NO MORE SPECIAL DIET which we struggled to follow because of his eating issues.

It still means that we need to be careful with sugary and gluten foods, but I don’t have to use rice flour anymore – which really sucks. It does not taste nice.

Still using the Melatonin, but added a weighted blanket, which really works – if Alex would sleep in his bed for once.

We stopped using the MB12, Alex did not react well – behavioural changes.

Multi-vitamin and Omegas – I am giving him the Brain Child vitamin and omega. The only one he seems to like. (Changed again, he seemed to have gone off those for now. Jungle Vits and EyeQ omegas) 2018- And yet we have changed again – to GNC’s Multivitamin.

We started the P5P (B6) supplement in January 2017 and must continue for about a year. As of February 2018 we are no longer using the p5p as the Methyl Care had the recommended dosage.

The Probiotic and Vitamin D I have combined in probiotic drops with Vitamin D3 – Reuterina with VitD. Though the doctor did say that the added D3 to the probiotic might not be enough and that I should still look into giving him a Vitamin D supplement. (So far, Clicks is the only store that sells these.)

The Zinplex syrup we only had to use for 6 months. Must say it does seem to have worked, because he has not yet been flu-ish or sick since starting daycare again. As soon as there is the first sign of the sniffles, I would give him Zinplex.

Sort of given up on the meal supplement, because Alex is not such a big fan of them. Though I did see that one of the pharmacies is selling the protein drinks given to people in hospitals that is tube fed. Might give that a try. Have not yet try this.

Just because he has an issue with trying new foods and not really eating lots of fruit and vegetables, I have been giving him Solal’s 24-in-1 superfruit and veggies juice with probiotic. It contains: Blackcurrent, acai, goji berry, noni, mangosteen, cranberry, Pomella® pomegrante,grape seed extract, lycopene, bilberry, Biolut™ lutein, AstraREAL® astraxanthin, zeaxanthin, blueberry, citrus bioflavonoids, carrots, celery, red beets, spinach, lettuce, onion, parsley, rosemary and lactobacillus cultures. It does have a soy allergy warning though. You can taste the rosemary the most.

Concerned about his hyperactivity at school and how it was influencing his ability to concentrate, also it was starting to disrupt the class. We spoke to Dr Lindenberg and she prescribed Extension IQ for restlesness. It is a supplement that helps promote clarity of thinking, sharp focus and excellent memory. It is also given to children with ADHD as a supplement. He is only on half the dosage, so we see how it goes.

(The Extention IQ did not do so well, more it refused to go down. The taste was horrible. And it was discontinued. So we have been trying the Feelgood Health Bright Spark and Focus Formula. His he is willing to take. It is also homeopathic. It contains Scallcap – oohhh)

Remember that the blood test was done last year, we have not really been concentrating on that so much. Fixing the stomach, that was the priority. Well we are re-looking at the blood test results.

Because of his high levels of Folic aid and B12, the doctor suggested a Methylation Genomic Test for MTHFR or Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase.

April 2017 – The results are in! And like 50% of the world population and 90% of Autistic people, he has got it too. You can read more about it in the blog series called MTHFR you can start here.

 

 

Misophonia

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-misophonia

Misophonia

Misophonia, also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, starts with a trigger. It’s often an oral sound — the noise someone makes when they eat, breathe, chew, yawn, or whistle. Sometimes a small repetitive motion is the cause — someone fidgets, jostles you, or wiggles their foot.

Symptoms and Triggers

 

The literal definition of misophonia is hatred of sound but a person with misophonia does not simply hate all sound. People with misophonia have specific symptoms and triggers and are sensitive to only certain sounds (and occasionally to visual triggers). Any sound can become a problem to a person with misophonia but most are some kind of background noise. People call the collection of sounds that they’re sensitive to their trigger set. It is possible to add to one’s trigger set over time.

List of common triggers

Please note, some people find that reading about triggers has the potential to make them take on new triggers. Some people also avoid hearing or imagining sample trigger sounds for the same reason. If you think that learning about new trigger sounds could in any way be a problem for you, then there’s no need to read the lists below.

Mouth and Eating: “ahhs” after drinking, burping, chewing, crunching (ice or other hard food), gulping, gum chewing and popping, kissing sounds, nail biting, silverware scraping teeth or a plate, slurping, sipping, licking, smacking, spitting, sucking (ice, etc), swallowing, talking with food in mouth, tooth brushing, flossing, tooth sucking, lip smacking, wet mouth sounds, grinding teeth, throat clearing and jaw clicking.

Breathing/Nasal: grunting, groaning, screaming, loud or soft breathing, sniffling, snorting, snoring, sneezing, loud or soft talking, raspy voices, congested breathing, hiccups, yawning, nose whistling and wheezing.

Vocal: humming, muffled talking, nasally voices, overused words such as um or ah (repeated words), sibilant sounds (S, P, T, CH, K, B sounds), singing, gravelly voices, bad singing, soft whisper-like voices and whistling.

Environmental: clicking from texting, keyboard/mouse, TV remote, pen clicking, writing sounds, papers rustling/ripping, ticking clocks, texting and cell phone ringtone.

Utensils/metals: dishes clattering, fork scraping teeth, silverware hitting plates or other silverware and rattling change in pockets.

Plastic: water bottle squeezing/crinkling, breaking hard plastic and bouncing balls.

Wrappers: plastic bags crinkling/rustling, plastic bags opening or being rubbed and crinkling food packages.

Cars: sitting idling for long periods of time, beep when car is locked, car doors slamming, keys banging against steering column and turn signal clicking.

Heavy equipment: lawnmowers, leaf blower, air conditioners and chain saws.

Impact sounds: other people’s voices, muffled bass music or TV through walls, doors/windows being slammed and basketball thumps.

Animal noises: dogs barking, bird sounds, crickets, frogs, dogs or cats licking, drinking, slurping, eating, whining, dogs scratching themselves and trying to bite their fleas and claws tapping.

Baby: Baby crying, babbling, adults using baby talk and kids yelling.

TV: loud TV or radio.

Body Movement related: Foot shuffling (dry feet on floor/carpet) or tapping, finger snapping, foot dragging, heels, flip flops, knuckle/joint cracking, eye blinking, nail biting and clipping, eating, chewing, fidgeting, hair twirling, movements out of the corner of eyes, repetitive foot or body movements, jaw chewing/movement.

If you have a mild reaction, you might feel:

  • Anxious
  • Uncomfortable
  • The urge to flee
  • Disgust

If your response is more severe, the sound in question might cause:

  • Rage
  • Anger
  • Hatred
  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Emotional distress
  • A desire to kill or stop whatever is making the noise
  • Skin crawling
  • Suicidal thoughts

This lifelong condition usually starts between the ages of 9 and 13 and is more common with girls. It comes on quickly, but isn’t related to any one event.

Because your ears are normal and your hearing is OK, the doctor may have trouble with a diagnosis. Misophonia is sometimes mistaken for anxiety or bipolar or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some doctors think it should be classified as a new disorder.

Medical Professionals That Can Help

Audiologists
An audiologist may help by evaluating whether a person has misophonia or some other audiological issue. Audiologists can suggest the use of earplugs and fit them to an individual. These can be made to supply white noise or other sounds to mask problem noises.

Psychologists
Psychologists can help people by evaluating and studying behavior and mental processes. A plan for reducing stress and coping with the symptoms of misophonia could be developed by a psychologist familiar with the condition.

Psychiatrists
A psychiatrist is a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Although misophonia is not thought to be a psychiatric condition, psychiatrists can prescribe medication to treat symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, feelings of rage/fear, and depression.

Neurologists
Changes in sensory perception can be evaluated by a neurologist.

Occupational Therapists
An occupational therapist may help with assessing treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder.