Lightbulbs EVERYWHERE: Methyl genetic nutrition

WOW! I haven’t been this excited about the prospect of healing potential since I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Let me tell you folks, methyl genetic nutrition is where it’s AT! I know most of us Lymies are familiar with the MTHFR genes, and roughly know that any variants on those genes can make it harder for us to detox. I heard about this early in my Lyme journey and always suspected there was more to be learned from genetic insights. But honestly, I was so overwhelmed with changing my diet, getting onto meds, getting through the early herxes and getting my detox habits underway that I put it on the back burner. Well, 7 months into treatment and doing well, it was time to move genetic insights to the front burner, and I’m so glad I did.

Last night I had my phone consultation with Bob Miller from Tree of Life. I learned more in that 60-minute conversation that I’ve ever learned in any other hour of my life, no question. You see, Bob Miller looked at my entire genome (mapped by 23andMe) and took me through each of my genetic variants and told me what they all mean.

For just $60, he told me….

  • I have homozygous mutations on ALL the genes that process gluten, so tons and tons of inflammation if I kept eating gluten.
  • I have 20 heterozygous mutations on the genes that break down histamine, which is why I flush when I drink and react to certain foods (especially gluten – double whammy there, no more gluten ever).
  • I have a whole host ACAT mutations that mean my body is NOT converting fat and protein to energy very well, explains why I do better on Paleo (more fat more protein = at least some will get converted) but this is why my body is always craving carbs (ahem, tortilla chips).
  • I have a combination of mutations on my SOD and Glutothione detox genes that mean my body is producing way too much of peroxinitriate, the nastiest of the nasty free radicals associated with inflammation and suppressed immune function – this explains why I’m prone to Lyme and so taken down by it.
  • I have heterozygous mutations on both important MTHFR genes, so I do have some trouble detoxing (but I knew that one).
  • I have “big issue” mutations on my genes responsible for processing B12, which is why I’m always deficient (but since I’m also low on glutathione, any time I try to take B12 I get stupid sick… we can fix these things but gotta go in order).
  • The BIG ah-ha moment came in the neurotransmitters… I have serious mutations in the genes that turn glutamate into GABA. This means I have a build up of glutamate which (drum roll, please) leads to:
    • ANXIETY
    • MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (wow!!!)
  • Interestingly, I have some genetic mutations that make it hard for me to break down serotonin and dopamine. This, Bob says, it what makes me a) a relentless achiever, b) super-duper positive even when shitty things happen. I told him we should leave those mutations right where they are. hehe.

Perhaps most beneficial of all, Bob caught a potentially really disastrous treatment error my Lyme doc and I had unknowingly made (my Lyme doc, after all, doesn’t know my genetics). You see, I have a mutation that is causing me to be SUUUPER high in cysanthione which is toxic in high amounts. Well, NAC, which my doctor just put me on a few weeks ago increases this. And I’ve been feeling the effects – my health has been nose diving recently with return of tons of old symptoms I haven’t experienced in months, including:

  • Jaw pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Brain fog
  • Panic

And until Bob Miller called out NAC as being super bad for my system, I had no idea what was causing the change. I was beginning to really fear that my treatment wasn’t working, that Lyme was coming back and that I’d never be able to get well (hello doubt spiral!). I stopped NAC immediately and already my joint pain is gone and brain is clear. I have no doubt he helped prevent a major setback in my progress just with one quick phone call.

So, amazing insights. Really just incredible. Bob said that on the “genetic complication scale of 1-10,” I am about an 8.5-9. Yeesh. In fact, he said with how complex my genetic variants are, there is no way I’d have gotten all the way well, or been able to stay well treating Lyme alone. These things need to be addressed. Wow!!

Here’s the good news: Your genes aren’t the BE ALL / END ALL determining factor of whether you continue to have these problems or not. By supporting genes and their processes with proper nutritional supplements, you can optimize the way they work and compensate for areas where mutations may currently be hindering function.

For example, I can help my body break down glutamate, which should be great for my “MS”. I should also be able to help my body produce less peroxinitriate, which will cut back my overall inflammation, and let my immune system rebound a bit. Not only will this whole endeavor, make my Lyme journey much much better, but it should bring my body into a place of balance and homeostasis that leaves if FAR more resilient and functional from here on in. Sounds like a great way to maintain remission from Lyme and MS when I get there.

So what’s next? Bob sent me a personalized list of supplements to begin taking. It was super reasonable too – just 5 supplements to start and a cost of only about $150 a month. It may sound like a lot, but this is NOTHING compared to my Lyme treatment cost. I’ll meet with Bob over the phone every 4-6 weeks to measure my progress (follow up chats are $30). Over time, as my body begins to get into balance, we’ll tweak the plan and add more layers to the optimizations.

Overall, this feels like a HUGE part of my healing journey, it’s relatively affordable and I’m so glad I went for it. I’ll, of course, keep you updated on the progress.

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Want to try it? Here are the steps to take:

Step 1: 23andMe

  1. Order your 23andMe kit
  2. Follow their instructions to fill the vile with saliva
  3. Send in your vile and wait for results

Step 2: Tree of Life

  1. Visit Tree of Life’s website
  2. Go to the Contact Us page and tell them you’re interested in a genetic analysis consultation with Bob Miller
  3. Follow their instructions to download your genome from 23andMe, and email it to them which they’ll interpret.
  4. Take their symptom survey.
  5. Send them a list of your current medications and supplements.
  6. Get on an hour-long call with Bob and prepare to have your mind blown!

Wishing everyone out there the best of healing.

Karla

 

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