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Miserable from only 800mcg of folate?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by LynnJ, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Okay, I need help. I'm feeling totally baffled (and ill) right now.

    I started taking Solgar's 800mcg folate, once daily, about a month ago or so. I've been feeling really unwell. At first it was just on occasion, but now it's every day. This time around, though, it's not just the muscle aches and headaches that happened when I tried to take folate in the past. It's a lot of stomach upset - I'm constantly in the bathroom, especially after eating, chills, anxiety (just feeling nervous for no reason)... The stomach garbage is the worst. I've also been getting some cystic acne.

    I've been off folate for at least a week and have been taking niacin, but some of the issues are persisting. All I've eaten today is a little protein shake, and I've had to visit the bathroom 6 times now. Has anyone else experienced these symptoms, and if so, how long did they take to clear up after stopping the folate?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
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  2. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Taking folate alone can be a problem, even more so at moderately high doses, such as yours.
    Folate doesn't work alone, it requires many other cofactors and vitamins from the B complex. You haven't mentioned if you are also taking a B complex etc...

    Taking high dose of one component can deplete the others pretty quickly and cause other problems. Of course this is just speculation as I don't know anything about your situation.

    It might be that you simply don't need methyl -olate, or maybe you need it but you need to start at a much lower dose and build the tolerance.

    I think it was Dr. Ben Lynch that has spoken multiple times about methyl-folate worsening inflammation in many of his patients, especially those chronically ill. He used to recommend to start by adding B12 first to make sure there's no deficiency there and then add methyl-folate very slowly starting at 100-200mcg and seeing how it goes.

    It is possible you have pushed the folate too hard.

    cheers
     
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  3. helen1

    helen1 Senior Member

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    I second what Peter says especially that you need B12 if you are taking folate. B12 is needed to keep folate in cells where it's needed and out of circulation where it can cause nerve damage.

    And yes all the Bs work together and can deplete one another if not in the correct ratios. Piece a cake right?

    Many of us have had to start with b12 first in small amounts then add very small amounts of folate e.g. 100 mcg.
     
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  4. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Here I was thinking 800mcg wasn't that big of a dose.

    I have a decent diet (not super unhealthy), but as a picky eater I don't get a ton of variety. That, combined with the fact that I'm taking Spironolactone (which depletes folate) and have been experiencing issues like neuropathy in my hands and feet for the past few years, leads me to believe I do need folate. I should get a blood test done, but my doctor said I should be taking folic acid/folate.

    I did take a good B-Complex (I think the brand was Jigsaw) for a while, but I got a little alarmed when I developed eye floaters for the first time in my life not too long after starting it. I don't really know if there's a connection there, but I stopped it out of fear that there was.

    I normally take B12 every day, and have been for years. I just stopped recently because I need to place an order for more, and got busy with the holidays.

    Cripes, I hope this all stops soon... I've spent all morning writhing with nausea at my desk. UGH! I actually feel hungry now but I'm terrified of eating even a cracker.
     
  5. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    In addition to what Helen and Peter said above (which is very important re B12 and the other Bs), the folate may have depleted your potassium. Potassium depletion is one of the most important things to watch out for when starting to supplement with B12 and folate. Have you read any of Freddd's posts on this: see http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/active-b12-protocol-basics.10138/

    Low potassium will make you feel like crap. It made me very tired and achy. The good news is my low potassium symptoms resolved relatively quickly once I started taking it. Don't take a whole lot at once. It's important to go slowly. I titrated up gradually over a couple of days to 1000 mg. a day in divided doses and the symptoms of low potassium abated.
     
  6. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    I have been taking a bit of potassium (with my usual magnesium) when I feel a little too achy. But this time around, rather than muscle aches, it's the stomach issues that are the big problem.
     
  7. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Does anyone know if it's normal for these symptoms to continue after ceasing folate for, again, a good week now? That's what concerns me the most at the moment.
     
  8. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @LynnJ - I've never heard of folate causing the stomach issues you're having.

    But I did look up Spironolactone - and that can cause nausea, vomiting, etc. Have you been taking it very long? Maybe it's the culprit.
     
  9. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Oh gosh, yes. Been on the Spiro for....what? Three years now?

    I've poked around on Google and found numerous reports from people complaining that folate (or folic acid) caused digestive issues, from diarrhea to constipation to vomiting to nausea. Some of them were from this website. So I don't think it's EXTREMELY unusual?

    I've also seen warnings like this on a few medical sites: "If taken in high doses, side effects of folic acid may include stomach cramps, gas and bloating, diarrhea, and problems sleeping."

    Maybe I'm just extra sensitive or started too fast with 800mcg? :( I just want this all to stop!
     
  10. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Best thing to do is stopping it. Try at least a couple of weeks and see how your symptoms evolve, if they clear up folate is not your friend. At least not at that dosage.

    good luck!
     
  11. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    There have been 2 or 3 others in the recent months who had very difficult times w/ folate. Maybe there are particular snps that are doing poorly, but I don't know of any associations presently. Hope you feel better soon.

    http://mthfr.net/taking-folate-and-feeling-badly-methylation-requires-balance/2011/11/15/

    http://mthfr.net/methylfolate-side-effects/2012/03/01/

    http://mthfr.net/preventing-methylfolate-side-effects/2014/11/26/
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
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  12. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Thank you for the links!

    I was just surprised this time around that it caused all the tummy trouble. Maybe because last time (which was a while back), I was only able to attempt it for a few days before I had to stop due to muscle pain. Whereas this time, the muscle pain was far less, so I kept going and going...

    And at first even when I felt sick I thought it was just a little virus/flu bug, so I didn't stop. It wasn't until two weeks into it that I realized I might be getting sick from something I'm taking.

    Here's hoping it is just the folate, and it clears up soon!
     
  13. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Gastro issues used to be a primary indicator for me that I needed to increase my folate. Not saying for you to increase your folate unless you're comfortable with doing so; my point is that gastro issues and all issues to do with epithelial cells (such as rhinitis, angular cheilitis, etc.) can be indicative of problems with folate, whether it be actual deficiency or paradoxical deficiency from simply not having enough B12 to let the folate do its job (or enough of other co-factors to keep everything in balance).

    I never got nausea with folate/methylation but I did lose my appetite for a while in the beginning. But the primary gastro symptom for me was IBS-like symptoms. Using methylfolate and mB12 (Freddd's protocol) messed up my already messed-up bowels pretty badly. The IBS/gastro symptoms got much better after I pushed my folate and mB12 dosage high enough. All my symptoms got better with the right dosages, and stabilized with increasing improvement as I kept the high dose over time.

    I also crashed with flu-like illnesses a lot, the first time was within a week of starting Freddd's protocol. I took a lot of time off work that year. Most of the crashes were flu symptoms like fever and severe head cold symptoms, but my last big crash I got really sick with nausea and vomiting (plus the worst IBS stuff I've ever had). That was a little over a year ago and I haven't crashed since. (knock wood)

    If you're going to take folate you definitely need to take enough B12 to make it go. For myself, even after all this time I've found I still need a quite high dosage of mB12 relative to my folate dosage, every single day, to keep my symptoms at bay. If I take folate daily, even small doses, and I don't keep up with daily B12, I start getting symptoms. These days the first symptoms are things like rhinitis and angular cheilitis, not gastro issues. My point is that even with as much as I've recovered, without daily B12, things deteriorate. Pretty quickly. I inject mB12, BTW. Have for over two years. Probably forever.

    Can you get your hands on some B12? Maybe taking that would help snap you out of whatever's currently going on.

    Good luck. Hope you feel better soon! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
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  14. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    May I ask how much folate and B12 you take every day?

    I do have some Enzymatic Therapy B12. Maybe I'll take one tonight. Woke up sick again this morning and had to shovel down some Immodium so I wouldn't have to call in sick. It's weird - I usually get sick in the morning and/or early afternoon, and once dinner rolls around I'm fine. I woke up on Christmas morning with a horrible stomach, and then later that day ate a large dinner at my grandmother's house without difficulty. Every day is pretty much the same story. So weird!

    I think the anxiety I'm feeling exacerbates the stomach issues, since when I'm nervous I tend to get sick.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  15. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    I inject about 0.3mg methylcobalamin every day. I don't know what absorption of that works out to when compared to sublingual or topical mB12, though. I think it's still a pretty daily intake even though I consider it low. :lol: When I first started out I seemed to need really big doses, like 5mg/day (yes, 5mg not 0.5mg). That's what it took to make me feel good and keep me feeling good. Then I went down to 1mg/day. Now I seem to do okay on the lower dose as long as I do it every day.

    Folate I take between 2mg and 10mg per day. I got some cheap quatrefolic that seems to work well for me, but I only have 10mg tabs (was high-dosing when I bought it) and since the tabs are tiny and crumbly I usually just sublingual the whole thing rather than try to divide. Honestly, only doses of folate that are too small ever gave me problems. But any amount of folate will cause me a problem if I'm not getting enough B12 to make it go. Plus of course I need other co-factors if I got low in them. But B12 was and still is the biggie as far as ensuring folate can do it's job. Sadly, sometimes the side effects of finding the right dose can be prohibitively unpleasant.

    Gastro issues can be a lot of things, and lots of things at once. Gut is a weak area for me, as well, and trying to fix it is still an ongoing project encompassing diet and therapeutic application of other supplements. Methylation/folate helped some with the gut issues but that wasn't the whole story so I keep trying other stuff. It's a lot better, but still not what I consider normal. My problems tend to be IBS-D type, too, not IBS-C.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  16. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Is there anything else I can take that might help, other than the B12?

    I was taking niacin quite a bit, but it didn't seem to be helping. Maybe because the high dose of folate in addition to no B12 is the real problem here, so I did stop the folate and started taking 1000mcg of B12 last night. But is there anything else that might help? Glutathione...?
     
  17. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Niacin will slam the door shut on methylation. For a long time I couldn't take it at all in supplemental form. Now I've learned it still isn't a great friend, although I can take it in small doses without it making me feel bad almost instantly.

    If you've been taking niacin while taking B12 and folate, that could be a lot of your problem right there. That's kind of like trying to start a fire with a lighter while simultaneously pouring water on the wood.

    Glutathione also may not be a good thing. Depends on your situation and biochemistry.

    Yes. Please read the threads stickied at the top of this form (the "Detox" forum). They're all marked with the icon of a red pushpin. They really have a lot of good information and will answer a lot of your questions. Methylation is a large topic and so much has already been written, it's prohibitive to try to summarize it all. I wish I could help a little more than that, but I don't have the brainpower or the time.

    Also, read some of the documents that user @ahmo has in her signature. Maybe she can chime in with some more suggestions.
     
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  18. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Oh no! To clarify, I only started taking niacin when I started feeling badly and realized it could be the folate. I know for a lot of people that stops the nasty side effects right away, but it wasn't doing much (if anything) for me.

    Thank you! I'll go check out that thread.
     
  19. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    @LynnJ Methylation for Dummies is linked in my signature. Also, Caledonia has several text and vid links re beginning methylation.
     
  20. LynnJ

    LynnJ Senior Member

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    Bumping this because I'm ready to start trying folate every day again. I've been doing a lot of reading on the different forms of folate, but I'm not seeing any information on whether there's a form that's considered the gentlest for most people, side-effects wise.

    Maybe there really isn't (obviously everyone is so different), but is Quatrefolic maybe the way to go? Doctor's Best has some, and that's usually a good brand.

    I was taking Solgar's before which was causing AWFUL anxiety, which in turn was what caused all my tummy trouble. When I get nervous, I get sick.
     

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