Whole blood histamine levels can be used to assess Methylation status in a person.
What is Methylation?
Methylation is the addition of a single carbon and three hydrogen atoms (called a methyl group) to another molecule. The removal of a methyl group is called demethylation. Think of billions of little on/off switches inside your body that control everything from your stress response and how your body makes energy from food, to your brain chemistry and detoxification. That's methylation and demethylation.
To name a few categories that Methyl groups control:
- The stress (fight-or-flight) response
- The production and recycling of glutathione — the body's master antioxidant
- The detoxification of hormones, chemicals and heavy metals
- The inflammation response
- Genetic expression and the repair of DNA
- Neurotransmitters and the balancing of brain chemistry
- Energy production
- The repair of cells damaged by free radicals
- The immune response, controlling T-cell production, fighting infections and viruses and regulating the immune response
Whole Blood histamine levels are used as a marker for methylation status. Histamine, in its whole blood form, is utilized as an accurate marker for undermethylation or overmethylation status in a person.
Assessing the methylation status of an individual will help to better understand causation and connections between physiology and health and this includes better defining what may be the cause of depression and other mood disorders as well as our overall health and emotional, hence and consequent behavioral well being.
Determining Methylation status is not just about chemistry, but also about understanding you as a person.
- Elevated whole blood histamine levels indicate undermethylation. Review of symptoms and medical history can bolster the diagnosis. For example, most under-methylated persons exhibit seasonal allergies, perfectionism, strong wills, slenderness, OCD tendencies, high libido, depression.
- Low whole blood histamine levels indicate over-methylation. Persons who are overmethylated generally exhibit high anxiety, panic disorders, absence of seasonal allergies, presence of food/chemical sensitivities, dry eyes, low perspiration, artistic/music interests/abilities, intolerance to Prozac and other SSRI’s, etc.
How does testing Histamine levels in whole blood assess methylation status?
Histamine is reduced or broken down by methyl compounds in the body and so with high histamine levels in the body, it will become depleted of it's methyl groups. Because histamine depletes methyl compounds, it is easy to identify ones methylation status from their histamine levels. Elevated histamine depletes methyl compounds and the resulting undermethylation status is established. Contrary to high histamine status, a low histamine status means there is an abundance of methylation potential in the body. Overmethylation is hence established.
Undermethylators have low serotonin and dopamine with elevated histamine.
Overmethylators have elevated serotonin and dopamine with low levels of histamine, which explains why antidepressant medications (SSRI’s increase neurotransmitter activity at the synapse) can cause suicidal ideation as well as potential homicidal ideation in these people.
When it comes to methylation, you either don’t make enough, make too much, or make just the right amount.
Some common symptoms of UNDERMETHYLATION:
· OCD obsessive compulsive tendencies
· SAD Seasonal affective disorder
· Competitive & perfectionist
· SSRI medications usually effective
· Calm exterior with inner tension
· Strong willed
· High libido
· Seasonal allergies
You’re likely to be a high-achiever constantly striving for greater levels of career accomplishment. Entrepreneurs, corporate executives, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, producers, and scientists all fit this type.
You probably have at least a graduate level education, and may come from an affluent background. Despite all your accomplishments and accolades, you suffer from severe inner turmoil, yet remain calm on the outside. Highly perfectionistic, no detail goes unnoticed. You were self-motivated in school and probably come from a family of high-achievers. You have obsessive compulsive tendencies you can’t seem to shake that drive you nuts.
You’ve always been very strong willed with a high libido. Despite poor concentration, ritualistic behaviors make you feel in control and you have a tendency toward addiction.
You probably have a low tolerance for pain. Seasonal allergies and headaches may be a problem, yet you respond quite well to antihistamines. You also respond well to anti-depressants, but may isolate yourself socially because you feel misunderstood and struggle with phobias.
Some common symptoms of OVERMETHYLATION:
· Improvement after folate therapy
· High anxiety, panic tendency, talkative
· Adverse reaction to SSRIs
· Improvement after benzodiazapines
· Food and chemical sensitivities
· Absence of seasonal allergies
· Dry eyes and mouth
· Low libido
· High artistic abilities and interest
· Hirsutism – excess hair (males only)
· Nervous legs, pacing
· Sleep disorder
· Noncompetitive in sports, games
· Underachievement in school
· Estrogen intolerance [~ estrogen dominance]
You’re likely to be the creative, sensitive type. An underachiever, you probably experience learning issues with a high level of internal tension and anxiety. There is also a tendency to overreact to experiences, and you feel that everyone is out to get you. You probably also have high empathy for others.
You struggle with depression, have trouble sleeping, and probably experience food and chemical sensitivities; obsessions without compulsions and low libido are also part of daily life. You had little motivation for scholastic achievements because you have trouble sitting still. Hyperactivity, panic attacks, and a high tolerance for pain are also part of your profile.
Physically you may be overweight with a pear shaped body (but not always), have heavy body hair, struggle with eczema, have dry eyes and mouth, and upper body/head/neck pain.
If you’ve tried antidepressant medications, you probably did not respond favorably to them.
Remember that you do not have to have ALL the traits described for either type to actually be an under- or over- methylator. Correcting this methylation status can be profoundly effective. We are not our genes. Our DNA is impacted by our environment and that includes what you eat, the supplements you take as well as how you think.
More to come, but consider the Histamine whole blood testing available with the Cometa Wellness Labs to start your journey to health. Click here for the Wellness Labs page.
Next visit will be coming up soon!
Dr. Cometa, the holistic doc