My Health: explaining my low homocysteine

With my specific DNA mutations in the methylation cycle a high homocysteine level is to be expected. Making me deficient for SAM-e and flooding my cells with sulfur.

pic by J. Gabriel

But much to my surprise the other day my blood test resulted in LOW levels of homocysteine. Too low, according to the lab. (“below six! Alert! should be 5-15”)

Now, having looked at my mutations, it is entirely possible my levels were substantially lowered in these few months that I started to supplement with methyl-B12.

I have two busted genes, one called MTR and one called MTRR.

Having MTR busted up properly, meaning a homozygous mutation, rendering the DNA useless to make its enzyme, is a rare mutation. Less than 1% of people have it.

Well, ain’t I the pretty spesiul snowflake!

 pic by J. Gabriel

Genic Genie -that wonderful program that will interpret your DNA results for you when it comes to Methylation and Detoxing- tells me this:

“Mutations in MTR have been identified as the underlying cause of methylcobalamin deficiency. Megaloblastic anemia can occur as a consequence of reduce methionine synthase activity.

A homozygous mutation of MTR A2756G is relatively rare (<1%). ”

Methylcobalamin is vit B12 once it enters your cells, y’all. Even though regular old B12 looks good in my blood levels there’s not enough of it in my cells. I have a vitB12 deficiency that doesn’t show up in blood tests.

Now, what is this MTR supposed to do anyway?

pic by Jefta

MTR grabs any a homocysteine particle and tries to glue a folate to it. With this new building block all kinds of wonderful things are done. Especially clearing the cells of all kinds of debris and heavy metals. So: important!

This glueing action by MTR requires homocysteine, folate, glue, scissors and a piece of mB12. Its friendly enzyme buddy MTRR makes this mB12.

MTRR is a special kind of enzyme, though, its like a brake. It does its thing in a slow, regulated way. Because hey, there’s other enzymes wanting a bit of mB12 too!

Here you can read a difficult piece of how it all works together. I don’t understand it myself. Yet. But the stuff has to do with proper DNA repair. And dopamine. And ATP and cortisol and moon phases. And they all long for mB12.

But my MTRR is broken…. no mB12 for any of you! This results in high homocysteine and all kinds of nastiness. And a sad little MTR who’s got nothing to glue.

But as soon as I started to supplement mB12 my MTR got going, grabbing homocysteine and folates left and right. Because my MTRR is broken too, there’s nothing to keep it in pace. My MTR floored it!

pic by Myles Davidson

As soon as I provided the mB12 my MTRR doesn’t make, MTR put the pedal to the metal. Quickly clearing my whole system of homocysteine. Resulting in the low levels that showed up in my blood work.

It may not be a bad thing per se. Wonderful stuffs are made from homocysteine-with-a-folate-glued-to-it. Stuffs such as SAM-e and Methionine (which I have not studied yet but they sound wonderful)

Homocysteine itself is a powerful yet dangerous thing I hear. Dr.Yasko compares it to a prison chain gang such as known in the US of A. A group that can do good and helpful things for the community. But they need to be monitored and supervised carefully.

Anyway, I do feel better on mB12. I take about 1mg per day (B12 felt not ok, neither did folate acid. Folinic acid doesn’t seem to do much either way, indicating that my heteryzugous MTHFR C677T is probably not expressed, meaning it functions alright and ignores the faulty half of the DNAladder.)
Next time I’ll get my methionine checked.

I wonder how the other enzymes are faring, the ones who’d like a bit of mB12 for themselves. Do they get any? How can I find out? How can I aid them?

to remind myself, this is what Heartfixer says about MTR/MTRR:
“The MTR A2756G defect is an up regulation. The enzyme is always on, grabbing every homocysteine and 5-methyl folate molecule that it can get its hands on, processing them to methionine and THF. Methyl-B12 is required for normal function of MTR, and with each spin of the MTR enzyme, one molecule of methyl-B12 is degraded.

MTRR (Methionine Synthase Reductase) serves the needs of MTR, regenerating methyl-B12 from available methyl donors and B12. Without methyl-B12, MTR cannot convert homocysteine in to methionine. Needed downstream methyl donors such as SAMe will not be generated. Methylation fails, so does your biochemistry, and there goes your health. ”

pic by Joel Kingsbury

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health: new knowledge twirls in my head.

I’m reading dr. Yasko’s free e-book: “Autism, pathways to discovery”.

It doesn’t cut to the core of things fast enough to my liking but then, this book is written to coach parents without any interest in biochemistry into understanding how they can help their children.

Basically: when biochemistry is messed up, children of today will display autistic behaviour. Delay or regression in speech, eye contact etc. When the chemistry is restored this behaviour disappears. Extraordinary!

dr. Amy explains why children now have this problem and not children of 30 years ago (they get ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia) and not children of 60 years ago (they get Alzheimers.) It is all the same principle: genetic constitution + environmental toxins (including food) + your age at first exposure.

go here to the website of dr. Amy Yasko

Genetic constitution accounts for your ability to process foods and toxins. Children from the last 40 years are more troubled by their genetic make-up then people from before that period. The genes are still the same but the build up of toxins and the sensivity to them increases with youth. Which is why my parents only recently have started thinking about vitamins while I cannot function without 60 mcg of vit. D daily. At least.

Where I a newborn today, I’d be probably diagnosed with autisme before the age of 4. And only if my now-parents would supply me with all the micro-nutrients I cannot process from food by myself would that diagnosis be reverted. As it is with many of dr. Amy’s patients. (we are talking thousands, not hundreds of babies)

Let me be clear: these diagnoses of autism concern children with autistic behaviour. I believe all autistics are diagnosed by their behaviour? Well, some can be reversed or lessened by micro-nutrients. As well as aggravated as any parent of an autistic child knows. (I’ll not clear at all, am I?)

Well, I’ve only just delved into this material myself….

Combined with my genetic info from 23andme.com it gives me a lot to think about. And experiment with.

There’s biochemistry on a cellular level to learn (google “methylation cycle” or ) read this .pdf., I found it very enlightening. Skip over the first diagram and go to where there are simple drawings and simple explanations:

mythelation community illustratie

from autismnti.com. The best document about the methylation cycle I read before delving into Dr.Amy’s book.. Go read it here.

Here you see the basic activity that happens in all human cells: there’s energy being generated; there’s waste being eliminated; neurotransmitters are being made; folic acid and B12 are transformed and enzymes are activated by attaching or removing a methylgroup to their ‘recipe’: the DNA-code. That last part is what ‘methylation’ means. Attach a methyl group to a molecule and things start happening.

This cycle shows that these five parts interact and which amino-acids, vitamins, hormones and enzymes are crucial at which stage.

Now see that little flag called MTR/MTRR between the two processes on the right? I’ve got mutant flags right at that spot. Which means, now that I am reading up on this, means I don’t process folic acid or B12 very well.

So starting this week I am trying out supplements (the already processed forms of folic acid and B12) to see what happens…..

Boy! I got cured for two days!

My body was SO RELIEVED to receive Methyl-B12, I took it and a spring of calm welled up inside me.. Not like the calm progesteron gives me, that is more of a wave washing over me, happily greeted by my body. This M-B12 calm welled up from the inside. Very strange!

Than I was happy, energetic, active untill the effect worn off after about 6 hours. I remained verrrrry suspective.

I also got a bit too hyper as all kinds of toxins got released (the waste disposal part of the cycle sped up too) but I took lots of herbal tea and roughage (raw carrots and boiled cellery in fat chicken soup) to help my liver and bile and bowels to eliminate waste. I still noticed alterations in my brain chemistry but I’ve learned to cope with those. They were not too severe.

The third day I got very ill. Spend all day on the couch being very unhappy, desperate even. A symptom I associate with a lithium shortage. Turns out you have to take lithium with these supplements as the cycle depletes it fast. I’ve been taking lithium (the mineral, not the drug) for ages not knowing why except that I need it or I’ll get mood disorder/despair. Now I find out there’s a biochemical explanation for that. The first two days of happiness depleted my little storage of lithium and I have another mutant flag that depletes my lithium anyway. There’s just a scientific explanation for my desperation, right there in the research…

As there is for the vit.D I need to take. And the progesteron. And the zinc. And the magnesium citrate. And the ginger root. And the cellery. And the beef. And the chicken soup. And the need for silence. And the getting out of the city and away from smog. And getting my amalgam fillings out. And stop doing tainted glass. And all the things I have gravitated towards in the past few years.

I am very shaken by all this. I am shaken that all those little naggings I feet inside and that promp me to do this or take that now seem to have a scientific base.

And all the weird things I stopped eating (garlic, gluten, cheese, nuts, vegetable oil, milk, green leaf vegetables, hummus, beans, lean meat, fruit, asparagus, nutmeg, alcohol, sugars, glutamate, aspartate) all have a scientific base too. It is not pickyness it’s sulfur foods and neuro-exitants and too rough on the intestines and the wrong fats and all other kinds of reasonable things.

pic by Vasile Bulgac

As I said, I’m very shaken. I am afraid I will now praise my ‘sensitivities’ and ‘quirks’ now that some (all?) of them are confirmed and that I will taunt them and insist on behaving odd.

Also what is happening to my body now is scary. Now that I have started some specific supplements for my genes things are changing in my body. I have little headaches from toxins release. There’s still a copper dump going on as I balance my zinc levels. I forget to take my hydrocortison, I don’t need it for the energy as my brain is firing a lot. If I take it I get very hungry (this is a sign of too much cortisol as people with Cushing’s disease know). I have slept three night for 6 hours or longer.

It’s not that I am cured. It is just that things are happening. I’m very wired and I’m also still recovering from the previous month(s). I frequently forget to pee and things are just stormy here.

What I have not been doing is working. I have not even thought about bacteria or writing. The garden got the better of me this year. And I cannot concentrate long enough to dabble in design.

That leaves art. I have been thinking about that.

And life. I’ve been thinking about life a lot too. But words make these thoughts so flat and meaningless. “You live. And then you die. Wether you’re a human or a fly. Both live meaningfull lives. Don’t presume a human life is worth more than that of the fly. To the human in question it is, of course, but in the grand scheme of things they mean the same. Which means that the value of my life lies in between the minutes. It’s when I am not planning and accomplishing that my life  reaches its grandeur.” And so on.

Nothing concrete yet. I think I need a few months to physically ease into this mythelation thing and to emotionally recover from the passing of my grandmother and adjust to life  in general (again).

I am here though. I live, in between the moments. Looking ahead.

.

back seat, sitting back

I’ve been through a couple of tiring weeks. I’ll need at least a few more to recover from them. So not much news or progress. It’s mainly regaining and maintaining an acceptable level of energy.

in between: I bought a car. A new used one. This will break the isolation I live in when I’m in the cabin. In my head I am now free to go and visit knitter friends. It is a knitters car!

and I am sewing a dress! With real couture techniques. But it’s something I can only do in the city. Somehow I’ve got to wear my smart lady shoes for it. Good thing I like the city!

I like learning to sew and doing this. And it yields a usable, flattering result to bet! Did you know there’s a whole sewing community online? With a lót of women who like to sew vintage patterns, with lots of couture techniques. There are a lot that approach this engineer style too.

I am documenting my progress in another blog: BumbleSews. I have nearly finished my first ever dress. It only needs a hem, a pressing and some magic.

The third piece of news I’ve got is this: I got my genome checked. I send some spit to a lab in the USA and they send back a bunch of letters and numbers that basically is a recipe for me. A pattern. A DIY menu.

Very interesting! Seams Seems my vit. D receptor is broken…. as is my B12 converter. I also should avoid heroïne and lepra as I am extra vulnerable to those. Oh. OK.

gengen

these are my results for genes that code for the Methylation Cycle. This table was generated by Genetic Genie, a wonderful initiative.

These are just some of the thousands of genes. But very important ones. Because the Methylation Cycle is VERY IMPORTANT. Unfortunately I am too tired to understand the full impact very quickly. This is a nuisance because I am used to understanding things quickly. Especially new fields.

All I’m doing these days is freaking myself out, reading about the interpretations of those few genes that are not perfectly good. Estrogen dominance, lithium depletion, heavy metal toxidity, autism, vit D shortage…. it’s all there, written down in my genes.

There are solutions: ingest the things you cannot make yourself. But you have to do this carefully. Too much too soon will release too much toxins at one. But I am too tired to draw up a good plan for this.

I keep reminding myself I got this old, with these genes, and I will live with them for a few more weeks at least so there’s no need to try and understand and fix it all today. *tongue in cheek, I expect to live longer than a few weeks with these genes*

I also find it difficult to match the different scales of things.

I was at ease with working on the big scale: mental, spiritual, amygdala, nervous system, relaxing each day, meditation/yoga (if these were my cups of tea), happiness, living life.

The smaller scale I handled too: food, supplements, hormones, muscles, specific organs, skin.

But this new scale: cells, amino acids, methylation cycle, molecules. It’s all new. Well, I read about it when I first fell ill and I took supplements that work for cells in petri dishes. But it was all theoretical.

Now that I have practical knowledge of what is going on inside my cells and what is nót going on, I am freaking myself out.

And I have difficulty connecting these three scales with each other.

I shouldn’t even try. I should focus on resting and recuperating from the weeks behind me. I have no brain cells left for this intellectual work. I should sit back and smell something.