Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Sunday, December 21, 2014

No More Methylation Experiments

I started experimenting with Nutrigenomics and Amy Yasko's methylation protocol almost two years ago, in March, 2013.  Prior to that, I had dabbled in a couple "simplified" methylation protocols without much success.  I knew that I would never get the idea of methylation protocols out of my system until I tried the full protocol.  I decided to go "full Yasko."

Now, almost two years later, I'm at a point where I'm ready to end the experimentation.  I wouldn't exactly call all the experiments a success, but I wouldn't call them failures either.  I was able to see some improvements implementing what Yasko calls "short cut" supplements, but not "long route" supplements.

Quick review:  Dr. Yasko theorizes that there are two chemical pathways by which the body's methylation cycle--an important detoxification system--works.  The short cut is a simpler chemical process that results in some detoxification.  The long route is more complicated, but results in more significant detoxification.  Dr. Yasko recommends that patients implement the short cut first, then concentrate on the long route.

(My full journey with methylation protocols can be read by clicking the "Nutrigenomics" tab in the right hand column.)

I don't think anybody could claim that I failed to put enough effort into the process.  I started with genetic testing through 23andMe, tested my hair and urine regularly, and worked with Yasko's web resources to tweak my supplement levels--all while trying to find the perfect combination of supplements to trigger the methylation cycle in just the right way.

I had some success with short cut supplements, including the use of a supplement called Phosphatidyl Serine Complex, or PS Complex, or PS/PC/PE. This supplement seemed to help reduce brain inflammation and reduce the dreaded "brain fog."  I still take this supplement and the other "short cut" supplements today.  I plan to continue taking them.

When it came to "long route" supplements, I could never quite get it right.  The cornerstone of long route supplements is vitamin B12.  Whenever I added Vitamin B12 to my regimen, I would experience increased levels of brain and nerve inflammation.  I would endure increased "brain fog" and hand, foot and leg numbness and uncoordination.  Each time this would occur, I would back off of B12 and start over, always going "low and slow" as Dr. Yasko recommends.  (This means starting with very low doses, and increasing very slowly).

My genetic results suggested that the "active" forms of B12 (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobolamin) would be problematic for me, so I concentrated on other forms.  But it seemed no matter how slowly I titrated and no matter what forms of B12 I used, I couldn't avoid feeling worse while taking B12.

I also don't think the problem was that I failed to stick with it long enough to move past initial start-up reactions.  After each failed attempt, I would take a new run at it.  For the most part, I would continue with each new B12 run for 3 to 4 months before backing off and trying again with a new combination.

So I've now come to the conclusion that, for unknown reasons, methylation protocols involving vitamin B12 simply aren't for me.  My body chemistry doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with vitamin B12, other than in the smallest doses found in regular multivitamins.

So I plan to stick with short cut supplements, but stop experimenting with long route supplements, at least for the foreseeable future.  I am changing doctors after the new year (moving on from Dr. W.), and my new doctor has experience guiding people through methylation protocols.  I won't rule out the possibility of returning to methylation protocols in the future, under the guidance of my new doctor.  But I think for now, we have other things to work on first.


  1. I had a similar experience with her protocols. I started the short cut protocol this past spring. I had significant improvement in both cognitive function and energy levels but plateaued after a few months. That is when I tried the long route supplements. It was an unmitigated disaster. One after another, I had bad reactions to the supplements; severe sleep disturbances, irritability, etc. The worst were the two serotonin storms I had which can be dangerous. So I quit all of the supplements and found a local doc that has been trained by her. I'm seeing him later this week. I'm inclined to switch back to the short cut protocol and leave it at that. I was doctor shopping anyway since both of my CFS docs retired this year so I need a new one that knows about brain inflammation, MTHFR and hopefully CFS/ME.

    So glad you wrote this post. With my brain not working well I thought I was doing something wrong but it sounds like this whole area is still a dark art.

    1. Very interesting Baffled. I too an glad to know that I'm not the only one who really struggled with this "dark art." LOL