*Updated 1 March 2014*
I think it’s really important to celebrate any little victories you have on your way to wellness. So today I’m excited about a few health developments that are looking good for me. There’s been a lot of nay-saying about MTHFR and its effects on health lately. Many doctors tell patients that their MTHFR issues are insignificant or nothing to worry about. People toss around the word ‘quack’ when pooh-poohing research about the genetic mutations and too many healthcare professionals are either unaware or dismissive of the negative effect that having MTHFR mutations or other methylation problems can have on a person’s wellness.
Well, I’m here to tell you that Dr. Ben Lynch’s MTHFR C677T protocol worked for me. At least when it comes to the homocysteine. On April 3rd it was 9.4 umol/L and just yesterday I got my September 10th lab results back: 6.3 umol/L! I started taking the methylated B vitamins and other supplements on July 1st along with all the healthy, low-toxin measures I’ve been discussing on this website. I can’t feel the changes because there’s still some other work to be done (and high homocysteine isn’t something you can feel), but I am thrilled that the protocol seems to be working.
I’m also starting to get my energy back. Two weeks ago I wrote about being diagnosed with adrenal fatigue – across the board low cortisol, which was leaving me very tired in the afternoons. I elected not to take Isocort or adrenal glandular supplements, or to push for hydro-cortisone. If things get really bad and a doctor determines that I need these, I will take them. But I really want to do things the natural way – it’s something that I strive for in my life and on this website. I started researching online for tips and natural methods of combating adrenal fatigue without drugs or supplements. I’m happy to report that I no longer have to go and lay down for a nap in the afternoon (though I will if I get tired). I am not advocating this for anyone – lots of people are probably going to tell me that I should be taking hydro-cortisone and if someone is facing an adrenal crisis because they have very low cortisol, then you should be seeking your doctor’s advice. In my case two doctors have told me not to do anything.
Here is what I’ve been doing:
- I often wake up around three or four in the morning briefly. When I do I take one grain of my Naturethroid because I read that the adrenals try to make cortisol a few hours before you wake up so this gives them the T3 that they need. Then I fall back to sleep. This is officially known as the Circadian method.
- Riboflavin supplementation: I was deficient in this vitamin on my Spectracell Micronutrient panel. I’ve read this is essential for adrenals and also helps with thyroid. I take 35mg of Riboflavin 5′-Phosphate (the active form) in the morning and mid-afternoon and I can’t believe the energy I have now.
- Pantethine supplementation: High doses of the active form can really help with adrenals
- I try to have the Adrenal Cocktail twice a day to get my sodium and potassium in balance. I also add 1/4 tsp of sea salt to my morning lemon water.
- Sleep: I try to be in bed by 10.30pm and to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. If I do feel tired during the day I set my alarm and take a timed 15 minute nap, which always rejuvenates me.
- Taking it easy. One of the most important things in adrenal recovery is not to do too much too soon. I have kept up with my Pilates classes twice a week but I don’t do too much other exercise. I don’t overdo it when it comes to other activities because I still find that if I have a “big day” it takes a lot out of me.
- I also maintain a low-stress diet. I’ve been trying to get my mental house in order and to let go of all my past resentments and anger. When I started working on it, I realized I had quite a few of these and a lot of people I needed to forgive. According to Foods That Heal author Dr. Bernard Jensen, everything in the body is more relaxed when we let go of nervous and mental tensions. This is also important for those trying to heal their guts. And I don’t let little things get to me anymore. I’ve become focused on staying calm and centered throughout life’s little annoyances. My low cortisol is probably helping me out a little in this department but I just don’t feel stressed out these days. It’s become a good habit.
- I go to acupuncture once a week. I’ve been doing acupuncture for a year now. I began going for fertility and no, the fact that I’ve been doing it for a year doesn’t mean that it didn’t work. I actually did become pregnant while doing acupuncture. But we haven’t been trying to get pregnant since my miscarriage and my current acupuncturist focuses on my adrenals along with the fertility treatments she does. I always feel like a million dollars after an acupuncture session and I plan to write a post dedicated to this wonderful therapy in the coming weeks.
- Increase glutathione, which is essential to mitochondrial function
- And finally, I’m working on my B12 levels. According to my doctor I’m functionally deficient and have heard from others that bringing up these levels could raise my cortisol naturally. I have a prescription for methylcobalamin injections that I need to fill tomorrow and I’ve also been supplementing with 2,000 mcg sublingual methylcobalamin daily and taking 2-3mg lithium-orotate daily to help with transport.
As I said, I still have a ways to go in getting to optimal health. Homocysteine can rise again so I have to always be vigilant in having that checked and in continuing my supplementation and maintaining a clean lifestyle. But I am always encouraged by good news!