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Stomach Issues, Methylation, Supplements and Stress: All Intertwined

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by Kathevans, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    Hi guys!

    I’ve been reading PR threads all morning related to stomach issues. It’s probably where all this started for me, back when I was in high school. Though, we know issues of stomach acid and B12 could have been tangled up in there. Most likely were.

    This may be long and wearying, as it is for so many of us, so take a breath. It’s possible breath has more to do with this than I suppose…

    In any case:

    A couple of decades ago, after nearly another decade of taking zantac at low doses for acid reflux, I got a foot infection that required antibiotics. I don’t recall how long I took them. I do remember that the cellulitis was so bad they started me off at the ER with intravenous stuff. I was already burping, as of six months into the zantac, and massaging my belly to help bring up more burps. So that was there.

    In short order my stomach became hard and I felt very uncomfortable on the antibiotic. I developed a sort of mucus situation at the base of my throat that made me feel as if I was going to gag. I had to sleep sitting up. Yuck. Finally the infection resolved. (Just FYI, another infection in a subsequent year I completely healed by using Bentonite Clay mixed with water—many times a day. On, dried up, off and so on. It took a while and I had the antibiotics on hand in case I saw that red line tracking up my leg. But it worked.) And 6 months after this antibiotic punch, I'd developed the non-muscle recovery and much worse sleep that have been my constant companions since.

    I spent YEARS getting my digestion to a better place. First, I managed to get off the Zantac by chanting. Three weeks; no kidding. So maybe what I read in another thread about stress and some sort of exercises (I think that might have been you, @PeterPositive) helping tightness and hiatal hernias was at work in this. I had endoscopies regularly and the Gastro always said I had a “Pseudo hiatal hernia,” whatever that is. No H. Pylori, so good. And “No significant celiac sprue.” Hmmm. How much do you need for it to be ‘significant’? I’ve now been gluten-free for about 7 years, two of my sibs for nearly as long and with our British Isles, Northern European genetics, I strongly suspect at the very least a recessive celiac gene. My mother’s sister died of an Alzheimer-like dementia in a nursing home. She had chronic diarrhea long before dipping into the dementia. I’m very suspicious. I’ve read about links.

    Very slowly my digestion improved. A lot. I could eat raw foods again, salads were a staple. I got on Bee Wilder’s Healing Naturally site, and although I never could tolerate more than 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil, I learned so much that was worthwhile there. I added a small amount of lemon juice to each meal; I added a regular amount of Celtic Sea Salt to my diet (and when I became deficient, I added just a few drops of iodine!); I learned about coffee enemas (though I knew of them already as my mother had done them on the Gerson diet as she was dying of breast cancer); I got on a lot of very good supplements like magnesium, calcium (lately added the K2 for this!), cod liver oil and no doubt another one or two.

    Then I found Phoenix Rising.

    I’ve worked my way toward a methylation protocol, not easy for me as I was stuck on a B-complex that was doing some good mood stuff, even as it did a lot of bad physical stuff. After a very rocky month, I managed to work my way up to 1/2 , or 500 mcg of MeB12, and 100-200mcg of the Folate—I’m playing with this trying to find the right ratio because even at such low doses, I definitely feel when I’m out of balance with these two. My need for potassium has gone up to somewhere around 800-1000 mg/day of Potassium Gluconate powder to keep my heart rhythms even.

    This feels like an enormous success.

    I’ve been increasing those co-factors. I hadn’t been taking any zinc and am now up to about 25 mg/day. I discovered that despite the CLO, I am D deficient, so I’ve been increasing that (Thanks to whoever posted that video about Dr. Sasha Gominak: http://drgominak.com/vitamin-d-3/).

    I haven’t yet felt good two days in a row, but I now can have a few days a week when I feel good. I had one day this week where I was out for an evening walk, in that early evening Magritte-sky moment when the trees are black against the sky, and had such an intense moment of feeling ‘normal’ that the recognition was a punch to my gut. I let out an ‘Oooof’ and nearly wept because I couldn’t recall the last time I’d had that feeling. That sense that I had a life and I could live it. I had energy. The world was my oyster, there for the cracking.

    But.

    That mucus stuff is back at the base of my throat. My throat occasionally feels sore and scratchy. I feel as if I’m going to gag. I’ve stopped all my supps today other than my probiotic. There are few things that are new over the past couple of months and they are these:

    Titrated Zinc Sulfate drops, the same with vit D3 drops, up to a 1500 IU, 100 IU/drop, Nature Made B-complex-very, very low B basic Bs, Enzymatic B12, Solgar Folate, and lots and lots of NOW Single “0” VCaps made of hydroxypropl methylcellulose (HMPC), a vegetable source, and water, and finally--and I fear possibly most likely—Potasium Gluconate powder in increasing amounts.

    So, of course, I’m scared. Going forward is hard, but there’s no way I want to go backward. Maybe I need to chant more and just chill, as my son would say. I haven’t been chanting as much on this methylation rollar-coaster. Maybe I need to find other modes of ‘delivery’ of some of the supps. I am very suspicious of those VCaps, too.

    Two things that are already on my radar that I haven’t yet ordered are Betaine HCL and some Pancreatic Enzymes, for which I was very low on my NutrEval test. The iHerb order is on pause as I gather any other thoughts to explore…

    I have to find a way to move forward that includes this miracle of B12 that has only come to consciousness in the last year or so. Otherwise there are more symptoms than I even have the heart to complile in a list.

    Any thoughts you have are much appreciated. (I'm heading out for a walk; I'll check in again later...):)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
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  2. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    I began taking K+ and other minerals and aminoes by footbath, so the gut didn't have to deal w/ it. As far as I can tell, I didn't need larger doses doing it this way. Especially when I was needing high doses K+, wasn't so pleasant to drink it (NOW gluconate powder). If you believe the capsules are a problem, you could try emptying them into your mouth. I've found that the only thing that was too nasty to do this is B Complex. The others have been pretty tasteless. Good luck w/ tracking this down. Thanks for the Magritte sky moment.:)
     
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  3. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    This gave me a good chill.............I've had these moments when I get a glimpse of what normal feels like and it's almost majestic when it happens. I hope you get some good tips..................and here's to more majestic moments:)
     
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  4. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    @ahmo I was thinking about your footbaths earlier today. I recall coming across a post where you described them well, and I know I copied it somewhere...! :p But I think first I have to work a bit on the self-testing. I'll let you know if I need further guidance on that. Meanwhile the emptying into the mouth doesn't sound all that bad...
     
    ahmo likes this.
  5. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Hi Kath,


    I wish I had the answer.


    I am glad you had that walk, that moment.

    I cannot speak to the larger issues, but earlier this year I spent a bit of time looking into mineral and vitamin absorption and was surprised to find that we don't really know how it works for most minerals and vitamins.

    I read some articles on betaine HCL which were talking about all minerals needing acid, but found when I looked into it that people only have a good understanding of how absorbtion works for a few of them (Iron, Zinc, Calcium and B12, from memory).

    With the vitamin D and K (and E and A and CoQ10 for that matter) fat, enzymes and bile salts would be really important.

    You need the enzymes to break the fats down, and the bile salts to carry them out of the gut and into your body.

    In healthy people acid is needed to stimulate the release of bile, so acid is important there too.

    People have done research showing that you absorb all of the vitamin A and E from food with relatively small amounts of fat but K needs really large amounts. I cannot remember the details but the experimenters went up to 45g of fat and kept getting better and better absorption of K as they added more fat.

    I know that there was also evidence showing that cooking in fat improved absorption of provitamin A from carrots.

    But this is of course research done on healthy people.

    To absorb the fats you need digestive enzymes and bile salts, and your body needs acid in the stomach to trigger the string of events that release the bile and the enzymes and convert the enzymes into an active form.

    I wonder if this is why you had so much trouble with the coconut oil, and why you were low in vitamin D despite supplementation.

    hope this helps
     
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  6. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Oh and I should second what ahmo was saying about other ways of absorbing stuff.


    I am not as knowledgeable in this area, but I found http://www.iherb.com/Source-Naturals-Coenzymate-B-Complex-Orange-Flavored-Sublingual-60-Tablets/1048 really good for a sublingual b complex (it has folic acid which may be an issue)


    I have just started taking methylfolate up under my lip (thanks ahmo) and have always done this with zinc and b12.


    I have tried foot baths for magnesium but found them a bit too good, though I will probably go back to give them another try when it gets warmer.
     
    Kathevans likes this.
  7. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    @Richard7 Thank you for this very informative post on the fats/enzyme/hcl axis of digestion. It was confirmational for me and very helpful. I know I have some issue with fats from the NutrEval test and from observational experience in occasional greasy stool. My stool can also be pale at times, which I know relates to bile, so these are clearly things to address.

    I am heading back to most of my supps, but not those I take first thing in the morning with Vcaps. Alternative methods may work better. But until I figure out how to take the potassium, which I feel is the other major contender for the stomach issues, I feel nervous about the methyl donors. I was thinking of taking the K with food, so that it gets absorbed with food, but since I take my magnesium with my two main meals, I can't take it then as I understand that K and Mg are antagonists (thank you for the mineral link, @Gondwanaland.) So much to keep in mind... :confused:

    The gagging/mucus thing is better today as yesterday because with no methyls, I had only one dose of K when I began to have some heart irregularities during and after dinner. On top of a big meal, it seemed ok, and certainly did its work within minutes.

    Just to clarify, I wasn't taking any D when my D levels were tested as very low. I'd stopped taking cod liver oil, my main source, though admittedly only about 400 mg. My pcp had used scare tactics to get me to stop, but I started up again in the last month or so (I was probably without any for about 6 months), and added some NOW drops as well. I've got my sights on the Mercola spray, which delivers 1,000/pump. I know I need more than I've been getting.

    As to the coconut oil, it didn't upset my stomach in an obvious way, but my heart. My rhythms began to go off only at night and only when I tried to lie down. This led to about a year of sleeping sitting up. That was some experience, let me tell you... But there was certainly also a stomach connection in this. I thought there might be some bacteria in my stomach thanks to the years on zantac and the antibiotics that might have been irritating the nearby heart. Cardiologists say there is a close connection between the heart and the stomach. And ultimately I found that as I could increase the amount of probiotics I took, the more it resolved. Not that I take huge amounts. Currently only 1 1/2 capsule of HMF Forte/day. Back then, I noticed that when I pushed and took 2 caps, my heart didn't go off at all. But then I couldn't sleep even if I could lie down!

    I know this all sounds a little bit ridiculous. Sometimes I'm thoroughly embarrassed for my body...

    Sprays, sublingual, transdermals--I agree that many of these may be better delivery methods than our not-fully-operational stomachs. I want to get there, but in some cases, such as the B-Complex you linked, I need to be able to tolerate enough of the B12 and folate that these doses alone don't push me over the edge. I wish companies would just leave out these two because, from my experience over the last 10 months or so, what each of us needs varies so much.

    Epsom salts baths, which I take many times each week--2+ cups in a full very warm tub (but not so warm that I sweat out all my potassium!)--are a mainstay for pain relief, relaxation and general un-wiring before bed. And ok, I'm going to ask, how much did you put in your foot baths?

    What I really want to know is: how good is too good? Is there such a thing?! Don't we deserve gooder than good?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
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  8. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Could it be overstimulating your thyroid? It did to me.
     
  9. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    @Gondwanaland Well, this never occurred to me. My thyroid tends to fall into a pretty normal range, possibly slightly low T3, I think. I'd need to check. I remember thinking I could use some selenium, but once I took a drop the reaction was so strong (night 1: slept unusually well; night 2: slept unusually poorly) that I felt my body wasn't quite up to it yet...
     
  10. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    Ok, I checked just to be certain. It seems my thyroid level are in range as follows:
    TSH 2.27 uIU (.40-3.98) Free T3 2.8 pg/mL(2.0-3.9) Free T4 1.10ng/dL (.70-1.48)

    But that doesn't say what they were two years ago when I was on all that coconut oil. What is it in coconut oil that affects the thyroid?

    I'm thinking the T3 was low back then, possibly because I was low in iodine? At that time I began to supplement with a few drops of iodine as I'd been using sea salt for a couple of years and my alternadoc thought or perhaps tested that I was low.
     
  11. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    And what about iodine accelerating your heart?

    Coconut oil stimulates thyroid, I don't know how.
     
  12. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    My cardiologist was afraid this might happen, but at 3 drops--210mcg, only 140% of the RDV--I don't think this has ever been the cause. I understand the Japanese has set a safe upper limit of 3 mg, not mcg, per day in a diet that has much more than we do largely because of seaweed. For very long periods of time my heart is pretty calm. And my pulse and bp tend to be low (of course I am on that low dose beta blocker at this point).
     
  13. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I just can't go beyond 7.5 mcg of T3 or I have palpitations and teeth clenching :confused:
     
  14. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    @Gondwanaland That's such a tiny amount that I can't imagine titrating down that far. But actually, my selenium reaction of exhaustion and sleeplessness was with a drop (and two days in it's cycle), and I recall another supplement that my doc had me put one drop in a cup of water and take ONE TEASPOON of that water, and lo and behold, I couldn't sleep at all. I just remembered what that supp was...Yasko's Hydroxy B12!:lol: No wonder the first time I took 1/16 of an MeB12 I ended up in the Emergency Room with Atrial Fibrillation! And yet... I have to remind myself that at that particular time, I was trying to get off that evil Coenzyme B-complex by Country Life, the one that had 800 mcg of Methyl Folate and 500mcg of Methyl B12 (by mouth, as we know, so not actually absorbed more than 3% according to Freddd) and me with the pain getting worse and worse because of the folate block.

    Actually teeth/jaw clenching and face tightening are signs of that folate block for me.

    Off the B Complex, I can tolerate the methyls much better. Thankfully.

    It's not easy being a human being in a body...
     
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  15. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    This sent me to the ER too :ill:
     
  16. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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  17. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    OK, I am not a bath person. I have had dermatitis from time to time for most of my life, and there have been several years in my life when it was so bad that I had to use barrier oils on my feet to make showers possible.


    In Late summer and autumn I was having 3 or 4 hour long footbaths as I read at the computer. I was not forcing myself to take that length of bath, I really seemed to need the magnesium.


    Indeed the first two or three were actually baths, taken in a room with no distractions and no clock. I was worried that I would try to force myself to stay in for an hour if I had a clock. I ended up there for 3 to 4 hours in what became a cold bath.


    But I also had massive anxiety, problems with POTS and vibrations and palpitations.


    The symptoms started before the magnesium baths, but the palpitations seemed to get worse during the footbaths, indeed they were the thing that made me stop them.


    At the time I just assumed that I was causing an imbalance of electrolytes by taking way too much magnesium, but I now wonder if I was perhaps providing the feedstock for processes that used up my supplies of potassium.


    So the too good was about the strong desire to stay in the solution (which was strong perhaps 2 cups in a bucket) and the idea that I may have been starting up reactions that I needed (so good) but reactions I was not able to understand or was not ready for (so maybe too good).


    But in principle I agree that we need/deserve/will-accept-even-if-we-neither-truly-need-nor-deserve bathtubs full of too good.


    And I am getting some pretty good good at the moment. I assume it is the methylation, but who knows, I am taking 1mg a day of methylfolate with B-rite and 4 mg methylfolate under my lip each day (LEF) plus 10mg methylb12 10mg adenob12 and I am having extended periods of what might be happiness.


    And moments (several per day) where my sense of taste comes back and just about blows my head off (in a nice way)

    1st bite banana: body reels in shock “wow”,

    2nd bite: well cannot taste it now but that was amazing and I just want to smile.


    I took some b12 and methylfolate and had a doze this morning. I woke up with Kate Bush's cloud busting in my head “I just know that something good is going to happen,” a grin on my face, and a nasty headache, but I was still smiling.
     
  18. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    re potassium.


    I am still trying to work it out.


    For the last couple of weeks I have been taking it every two hours or therabouts. @ hrs if I notice in time otherwise when I start noticing palpitations.


    I adopted this approach because I read somewhere that this was freddd's approach. It seems a smoother ride. When I was taking it every 4 hrs or so I often had to rest afterwards.


    But the amounts have been going up, I took my first dose at 6:30 and it is now 1:25 and I have had 2.5tsp potassium chloride so far today (7.3g) along with 1.25tsp of salt and .5 tsp magnesium.


    At the moment I am taking magnesium citrate in 3 or 4 doses spread over the day with the potassium and some salt. So I do not take it with every dose of potassium just when I feel like it.


    I also have a fair amount of potassium in my diet 6-11g when I have measured it. I am currently eating something like 2400kCal/day.


    But as I pointed out in another post I am huge. Both in the sense of being overweight, and having a high lean mass. Before I got CFS my estimated lean mass was about 91kg, 10 yrs later in 2013 it was something like 87 or 88. I may well have lost some more muscle since then but not enough to bring me in line with typical 75 kg man with a lean mass of about 60-65 kg, or say a 65 kilo woman who would typically have a lean mass of about 49 - 52kg.


    So the absolute amounts of what I am taking may be a very poor guide indeed.


    Iodine and Selenium


    I am very different to you when it comes to iodine and selenium. I have no trouble with high doses of these minerals and often find I need/desire iodine (which I always take with vit C and selenium)


    But I went through a couple of cycles of iodoral in 2013 and 2014 and am currently taking about 25mg a day, when I feel like it, which is most days. Iodoral is complicated, needs to be taken with cofactors and definitely something that needs a bit of research before taking.


    When I was first taking it I had a couple of wild nights where my body did go a bit crazy, but I took a lot of vit C (10g) and calmed down quickly.


    I do not have diagnosed thyroid problems, but I do feel a pain/pressure in that part of my throat when I feel a need to start taking iodine or selenium again.


    Methylation/ potassium


    I started methylation with something like richvank's protocol and so was having 200mcg/ day of methylfolate at the beginning and then gradually worked my way up to 1mg split into 2 doses.


    About a month ago I noted the link between vibrations and methylfolate and started taking .4mg solgar then .5mg LEF methylfolate whenever I started feeling vibrations. I had increased up to 4 or 5 mg a day a week and a half ago. And now (the last 3 or 4 days) am on 1mg as b-rite and 4-5mg under my lip which according to ahmo seems about the same as 3x the dose swallowed.


    So I am pushing the methylation pretty hard. And this may account for my large doses of potassium.


    I started however, on the same small doses as you: .5tsp potassium gluconate ( 270mg potassium ) on top of my higher than average potassium diet. (Though come to think of it it is probably little more than RDA if one scales it for my size rather than energy consumed.)

    re the coconut oil

    coconut oil is 9% caprylic acid which is antimicrobial. So it may indeed have had something to do with your microbiome.
     
  19. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    Thanks, again @ Richard7 You are so knowledgeable about issues of digestion. You’ve obviously done the work.

    Today I got distracted by another of your major posts: How to heal the gut without provoking SIBO, http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/how-to-heal-the-gut-without-provoking-sibo.39729/

    I was treated for SIBO a couple of years ago and as soon as the treatment was done, immediately began to take both probiotics and eat fermented sauerkraut. I had hoped that had done the job and I know it helped, but it may be that the stomach acid levels are still not up to snuff.

    So perhaps you’ll forgive me if I don’t respond to your above post right away. But as I go over what you’ve said before, I do have a question that you might be able to answer.

    At some point in the last 5 years, I know I couldn’t tolerate Betaine HCL. It didn’t upset my stomach, it made an area of my intestines sore. Is there a value to trying again, or is it all the same if I head to Sweedish Bitters instead? I’ve read some very good reviews of them on iHerb and they seem to do much the same thing.

    In my research I started getting into the difference between bile salts and ox bile and got stuck reading about that, but no doubt I will have more questions for you. I’ve got to head out later today and must take a rest/nap to build up my stamina…

    Still working on the iHerb order. Meanwhile, I took some Enzymatic Therapies DGL before my brunch today and it felt very good in my gut. For the moment, I also put all my a.m. supps into a single VCap to limit my exposure to them. Except, of course, the sublingual MeB12. Pain, which was horrible last night, is so much better now... sigh!
     
  20. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    I don't know how effective it is but I once heard on a webinar that celery juice increases HCL and was one of the best things for the gut............ and that Betaine HCL was actually bad to take. It was suggested to take anywhere from 4-16 oz of celery juice a day if you could. Of course..........everyone has their opinions. I wish I had more energy to juice every day.
     

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