Monday, March 23, 2015

Neurotransmitters, Methylation and anti-depressants

Ten years ago, my former MD ignored evidence of methylation problems revealed by high homocysteine and insisted that I needed an SSRI (selective serotonin).  When that failed, I was put on SNRIs (serotonin, norepinephrine), which also failed. The dumbest suggestion that I ever heard was that the fatigue was just a side effect of the drug. One of the major reasons I took that drug was to GET RID of the fatigue!   That's hardly uncommon.  In fact, by Big Pharma's own admission, fully 70 percent of patients who take an anti-depressant report that they still have unresolved symptoms.  Their solution?  Add another drug, usually Abilify, which is actually an anti-psychotic.  No business can stay afloat with a customer satisfaction rate of 30%.  While I still believe in natural methods, I would never tell the lucky 3 out of 10 to stop the drug.  What about the other 7?

 There is another cause of their depression.  Doctors should never prescribe a powerful mind altering drug without knowledge of the patient's methylation and neurotransmitter status.  It ought to be common sense that giving an SSRI to a patient with normal serotonin and low dopamine/adrenaline will be ineffective at best and potentially dangerous at worst.  Also, if you are an over-methylator, you will almost certainly react poorly to SSRIs.  As for me, it still remains to be seen what my methylation looks like but it is possible to be both an over and under methylator and I do have characteristics of both.  I did have a low serotonin level but was also low in GABA, dopamine and adrenaline while the norepinephrine was normal.  I did get some relief from anxiety but my fatigue actually got worse.  I know now that while serotonin may have risen, adrenaline probably fell and the adrenaline/norep. ratio got further out of balance.

Neurotransmitters can be tested with a painless urine test and treated with targeted amino acid therapy tailored to your results.  I responded very well to treatment.  Dopamine was the first to rise followed by serotonin and GABA.  The adrenaline took longer but normalized within 2 years.  My only gripe was terrible sensitivity.  1/2 a pill meant the difference between a great day and an awful one.  The prescribed doses were too strong and I could take only limited amounts but my numbers kept moving in the right direction.  Eventually, they stayed normal without any support.  I thought I had a clear path to balance.  That was in 2009 and I am still waiting. 

I know now that genetic mutations were to blame for the sensitivity but the COMT may have contributed to the quick rise in dopamine.  Man, I must have been extremely sick for that to drop so low in spite of pre-disposition toward elevation.  I've read 2 things recently that make some sense:
-Problems due to mutations are more likely to appear as you get older.  My sensitivity got a lot worse after I turned 30.  As much as it sucked to have adrenal fatigue in my mid-20s, it was easier to treat at a younger age.  Some of the stuff that I took may not have worked today with mutations fully turned on.
- ACE mutation can cause sodium retention.  I'm likely positive on that, which explains why mega Thym-Adren was needed to get my tissue Na under control and why I often could not go a day without the Thym-Adren.  That brings the likely positives up to 4 (MTHFR, CBS, COMT, ACE).  Can that be treated?  If so, it will be easier to keep the Na down.

Genes can be activated and inactivated due to environmental factors and treatment.  For example, there is in fact a gene for nicotine dependence.  Well, even if I do have that gene, it won't hurt me because I never have and never will try a cigarette or chew tobacco.

Current health status:
Biggest complaint is extreme sensitivity to All In One but I can tolerate Cal/Mag + Thym-Adren.  If I take more than 1 pill, it's too much but if I take it before bed, it starts to wear off by the afternoon.  It must be taken in the morning so that when it does wear off, I will be asleep.  I could get the 23andme results as early as the end of the week and am already frequently checking my e-mail. 
I could still get lucky in Kentucky but it could be a 2:30 Gallowalk finish.
Today's workout: 3 miles in 22:24.  LAME.

One other symptom and I'll be as tasteful as I can.  My urine smells strongly of sulfur and ammonia or other toxins such as mercury.  I often feel a little better after I get that stuff out.  More than likely,  taking more than 1 All in One causes too much detox.  I still think I might have mercury issues and if that is indeed the case, All in One does aid in the detox.

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