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Folic Acid Overdose and subsequent landslide

Discussion in 'Genetic Testing and SNPs' started by flong, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. flong

    flong

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    Over the last 5 years or so I've been losing weight, feeling malnourished and sick and run down with no changes in diet or environment. Among other supplements, I started taking a B100 complex pill in September, and within a week I began having a terrible reaction. Now I know it was an overdose of at least folic acid, as well as the methylation cycle being clogged up and not working properly, causing further anxiety and general insanity.
    I was only on the B100 supplement for about 3 weeks before putting two and two together, and immediately stopped. That was over two months ago, and I'm recovering, but still feeling totally beat up and weak. The anxiety is almost unbearable, but I'm going through it.
    I got my results from the 23andme test, and found out I am homozygous for the following:
    SLC19a1 G80A
    MTRR A66G

    I'm still learning what all of this means, but I know for sure that my system got flooded with a form of folate that I couldn't process properly. I'm getting my level rechecked over the next few weeks, it takes time to get the results back. Originally my B6 levels were through the roof, but are back to normal again. B12 levels were always okay throughout this.

    I'm hetrozygous for the following:
    COMT V158M
    COMT H62H
    as well as
    MTHFR C677T
    and
    CBS C19150T
    CBS C699T
    and
    NOS3/eNOS A(-922)G

    This is sort of an overview of where I'm at. I've been taking small amounts of zinc, molybdenum, and magnesium bisglycinate, and also probiotics. My system reacts strongly to the omega 3 fish oil, I can't take it.

    I've been reading through this forum and others. If anyone has any ideas about how I can feel better, please respond. Thank you so much.
     
  2. Eastman

    Eastman Senior Member

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    @flong

    How sure are you that your problem is due to the folic acid?

    I ask this because your B complex has a high dosage and many people do have problems with B complex in general (see for examples here and here), and many prefer low-dose versions (see here and here).
     
    ljimbo423 and Learner1 like this.
  3. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    It would be worth finding and consulting with a functional medicine doctor.
     
  4. flong

    flong

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    @Eastman
    I'm not sure of anything really. However, I do have the double mutation that deals with folic acid metabolism (SLC19a1 G80A). If I understand correctly, that gene only works at about 30% or so, so theoretically if I take 4.5X the RDA amount of folic acid, I can quite easily start to overdose within days, which is exactly what happened.
    Saying that, it seems that there is a bunch of things going on. My Vitamin B6 shot through the roof too, but surprisingly my B12 levels were normal. I didn't have any others tested at the time.
    @Learner1
    I am SO lucky to have found a Naturopathic Doctor about 25 minutes from here. She's the one who took my raw data and explained a lot of this stuff to me.
    Still a long way to go I think, but the initial overdose symptoms have gone at least.
     
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  5. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    That gene codes for the reduced folate carrier, one of the main carriers of folate into the cell. Its natural substrate is methylfolate but it can transport folic acid with reduced affinity. It has no effect on folate metabolism.

    The SNP has no effect on the rate of transcription of the gene - it works normally, it simply results in a protein in which the arginine at position 27 is changed to histidine.

    This does have a very small effect on function, but not one which consistently shows a difference in folate or homocysteine levels in serum - ie the functional effect of the polymorphism is virtually negligible in healthy people. It may be associated with a small increased risk of neural tube defect and may be relevant in some cancers treated with methotrexate, since it acts as a carrier for the latter.

    This SNP is very common - almost as many people have the variant as have the wildtype allele and its effects are so mild it is unlikely to be the cause of your problems. You might indeed be sensitive to folate, but it's not because of this SNP. Alternatively or in addition, you could be sensitive to several other of the B vitamins and just took too much in general. Many people report problems with B vitamins and need to start with a small dose and build up slowly.
     
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  6. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    We aren't healthy people. Wonder what the effect is with sick people or with a bunch of other folate SNPs?
     
  7. flong

    flong

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    @alicec Thanks so much for that, helps me understand a bit better.
    I do know that even three weeks after taking my last dose, my "Folate" levels were 2488 when the target is apparently around 1000.
    Before that, the first test I had was a week after taking the last dose of B100, and my "Folate" levels simply said "Greater than 2500" and my B6 was 167 with a target range of 20 - 96. My B12 levels came back normal however.
    I don't know what that means exactly, but something was seriously wrong. I was only on it for a week at most before getting that serious reaction.
    Is it possible that I'm not necessarily deficient in some of the B vitamins, but that my systems are not absorbing them properly? And when I put the synthetic forms of them in, they further blocked the absorption of the good kinds?
     
  8. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    Once you start supplementing B vitamins, blood levels usually are elevated. This is not a problem but it means that blood tests are no longer of much value (apart from telling you that there is plenty of the vitamin in the blood).

    In general, blood tests might be useful for detecting deficiency and there is a phenomenon of high blood levels (without supplementation) being associated with functional deficiency - ie the vitamin is not being taken up into the cell. Once you start supplementing, these possibilities are obscured.

    In your own case it is difficult to know exactly what went wrong but sensitivity to B vitamins is not uncommon. If in future you want to try again, start with a very low dose.It may be wise also to take the B complex apart and try individual B vitamins separately.

    You may find it is only one or two of the complex that is causing the problem and you might then be able to do more experimentation to see if something else that is needed to process or use that particular vitamin is lacking.

    Note though that, once inside the cell, folic acid is processed very slowly in everyone and in some people very slowly indeed. It can build up and interfere with other aspects of the folate cycle. Probably best to avoid folic acid - try methylfolate or folinic.

    Also folate and B12 work together so best to take these together if you do start to experiment with individual B vitamins.
     
  9. flong

    flong

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    @alicec Thanks so much for your reply. I understand better about the levels in the blood vs. levels in the cells.
    I won't be touching folic acid again or any fortified foods. I'm just hoping my system gets back to where it was before this happened. It's been almost three months, and I still can't eat more than a handful of foods without my system reacting, sometimes in a major way.
     
  10. flong

    flong

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    Hi everyone, a few updates.
    I had some blood levels returned:
    My RBC is low at 4.43
    Hemoglobin is low at 133
    Hematocrit is a bit low at 0.401
    Folate level is way high at 2365
    My red blood cells are normal shaped.

    Everything else looks in normal range. I'd like to get my b12 level tested again, and whatever else would be helpful, I'm not sure.

    My ND isn't exactly sure why I'm bordering on anemic: It doesn't sound like my iron is low...although I'm not sure what to look for on the test. I can upload the results here if anyone is curious.

    I am having yellowing of the skin for the last month or so which is what prompted this round of tests. She thinks it might have something to do with a b12/folate imbalance and is getting me to supplement with 2.5mg Methylcobalamin, which I'll be starting in a couple days.

    I keep reading stuff about an over-abundance of folate in available in the system while having problems actually absorbing it, resulting in low levels of folate in the cells. Is it possible that's what's happening here? I'm having most of the symptoms of low b12 though EXCEPT for tingling in the hands and feet.

    As a side note, my food sensitivities are crazy. I'm up all night and not sure why, but it might because I ate a lot of brown rice today. It seems to be activating to the system. I'll try without it for the next few days and see if it's any better.

    It seems like I'm getting closer to figuring out more of this puzzle. Thank you all very much for all your help!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  11. Eastman

    Eastman Senior Member

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    @flong

    Your ND may be suspecting that you are experiencing methyl trap, where methylfolate is prevented from being transformed into forms of folate used for cell division. It occurs in B12 deficiency, hence the methylcobalamin supplementation.

    However, you may also want to consider the possibility of a B1 deficiency, your B complex notwithstanding. According to Freddd, B1 deficiency leads to accumulation of folate. I have also mentioned elsewhere that Dr Derrick Lonsdale has written of a patient where B1 supplementation lowered very high concentrations of folate to normal range.
     
  12. flong

    flong

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    Thank you so much for your replies.
    @Eastman Those links are super informative, thank you so much.
    It looks like I'm not really able to tolerate grains right now. No oats or rice or corn at least. My system definitely tells me I'm not to eat them right now. Same with basically all of the nightshades, omega 3 fish oil capsules, legumes, and even plantain chips. So I'm basically down to the paleo diet right now. Trying to figure out how to gain some weight. I've been avoiding seeds too because of high phytic acid, which I feel may be a problem right now too. I'm going to get some organic coconut oil and see how much I can tolerate, just to keep the calories high enough.
    Over the next few weeks I'm going to be taking my ND's advice on how to proceed with lowering folate levels and hopefully feeling a bit better. Thank you all for the info.
    Again, if anyone can think of anything, I'm all ears!
    Thank you!
     
  13. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    I take extra virgin olive oil by the tablespoon with meals to keep my calorie intake up.

    I am on a low carb diet, so I need the extra calories from fat also. Might be something else to consider if you can tolerate it.

    Jim
     
  14. flong

    flong

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    Thanks @ljimbo423 I actually picked up some organic "Coconut Butter" which I'll try tomorrow morning. It sounds like it's just basically stone-ground organic coconut. I already cook with olive oil, but I have no problem taking spoonfulls of it too if it means more calories.
     
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  15. flong

    flong

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    Hi everyone, really quick update of weird symptoms with no apparent root:
    -Pericardial effusion (abnormal fluid around the heart), waiting on results of Echocardiogram and Electrocardiogram
    -Non-Iron-deficiency anemia (Possibly Pernicious Anemia?)
    -Still very high "folate" levels (unsure what kind of folate test it was or if it's "folate" or folic acid that's causing the high reading
    -Still having weakness, inability to gain weight, memory loss, brain fog, etc.
    -Inability to tolerate more than a small list of foods, only a few fruits, veggies and meats.

    Would taking Methylcobalamin likely help? I have a bottle of 5mg tablets that I can split into quarters if needed.
    Any input is always very much appreciated. Thank you so much.
     
  16. Eastman

    Eastman Senior Member

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    As per my previous post, methylcobalamin could bring down the folate if you're experiencing methyl trap and should then help if you have pernicious anemia.

    But also remember that B1 might be helpful, especially with your latest symptoms.

    A Case of Cardiac Beriberi: A Forgotten but Memorable Disease
    Case report: pericardial effusion with constrictive physiology in a patient with wet beriberi
     
    Learner1 likes this.
  17. flong

    flong

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    Thank you @Eastman , it totally makes sense, way more than before.
    Went to see my ND yesterday. I'm going to try methylcobalamin first. I have 5mg losenges. Just trying to figure out what a good starting dose is.
    I'll try that for maybe 10 days and if there's no issues I'll start on the b1.
    Honestly that info you provided is incredible. I'm hoping it all helps.
    You guys are awesome. I'll let you know how it goes.

     
    Learner1 likes this.
  18. maz

    maz

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    Personally, I try to remember to take very small amounts of supplements to begin with to check my tolerance. Some people seem to only tolerate a crumb of some supplements. I'm not quite that sensitive but I have wished on many occasions that I could turn the clock back while experiencing unpleasant reactions! I try to remember I can always takes bit more but I can't untake it! Caledonia's "start low and go slow" document was helpful in that regard. Hope you find something to help you soon.
     
  19. flong

    flong

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    I have 5mg losenges...I've divided them into 6 equal parts. One of those parts I've split into two, making two 0.4mg parts. I just took one of those. and I'll plan on taking the other tomorrow if it goes okay.
    I actually can't find a lot of info on dosing with methylcobalamin...does this sound like a good place to start to you?
     
    ljimbo423 likes this.
  20. maz

    maz

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    I'm not a medical expert and not even as experienced as many on here so I can't give anty recommendations. I would suggest looking up Caledonia on here - you should be able to find her articles on methylation quite easily and get some ideas from there. I only take 250mcg I buy the 1000mcg tablets and take a quarter. I had a higher tolerance to begin with but it went down after some initial success with the Rich Vank methylation protocol. As I said though, I gather from this site that even that amount could be too much for some people.
     

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