Methylation roadblock - shallow breathing - please help

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I have severe histamine intolerance and see improvement with methylation support. However, I have recently encountered some new symptoms.

I was taking 680 DFE of methyl folate with 500 - 1000 mcg methylcobalamin for about 3 months. This lowered my histamine symptoms enough to allow me to take a low dose fish oil supplement. I have an ongoing essential fatty acid deficiency that I need to address. Anyway, I started getting severe headaches which luckily resolved when I took iron supplements with the folate and b12. However, the symptom that hasn’t resolved is shallow breathing. It has gotten to the point where I experience sleep apnea. I jolt awake in the middle of the night in a panic because I feel like I need to catch my breath.

I have no underlying conditions that would cause this. I’m 25 years old, 18 BMI so I’m not overweight or have any heart conditions.

I tried to take potassium - about 200 mg.. and ended up with diarrhea and palpitations that sent me to immediate care. All electrolyte tests were normal. I then stopped all supplements for a week and the shallow breathing stopped. I tried to take magnesium (only 100 mg to be safe) and again the sleep apnea returned. I again took a break and then tried to take a b complex this time (active forms) and the iron. Again the shallow breathing returned.

If you have any idea of what could be causing this, please let me know! I’m going crazy at this point. I really rely on the folate and b12 to control my histamine symptoms. I definitely feel frustrated because I haven’t been able to correct my omega 3 deficiency due to histamine intolerance.
 
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This sounds like me, with a few caveats.

You say shallow breathing, but would air hunger also describe it? Like it's not fast breaths, but it's the feeling like when you get to the top of your breath, to where your lungs can't take any more air in, your brain and body is telling you that you need to keep breathing in to get a satisfying breath?

And it's always caused, or exacerbated by B12, or B complex.

I had this and found that folate helped, as I'd been having it for a while before I'd tried mfolate. But now I'm not so sure the effect continues. Obviously, you've already been taking mfolate so this is not helpful.

I've no answers, but I would love to find them with you.
 
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If your breathing situation is the same as mine, I have a theory about what's causing it, but would then need a theory of the cause of the cause.

Low CO2 in the blood might tell the brain to trigger feelings which cause us to prolong the inhalation phase and shorten exhalation. But then what would cause low CO2, especially when the methyl cycle is driven.
 
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This sounds like me, with a few caveats.

You say shallow breathing, but would air hunger also describe it? Like it's not fast breaths, but it's the feeling like when you get to the top of your breath, to where your lungs can't take any more air in, your brain and body is telling you that you need to keep breathing in to get a satisfying breath?

And it's always caused, or exacerbated by B12, or B complex.

I had this and found that folate helped, as I'd been having it for a while before I'd tried mfolate. But now I'm not so sure the effect continues. Obviously, you've already been taking mfolate so this is not helpful.

I've no answers, but I would love to find them with you.
Yes, that seems like an accurate description. The breaths are not satisfying and seem slower and more shallow than usual.

I vaguely recall someone mentioning hypophosphatemia as a possible reason. When I got my latest bloodwork done, they checked potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride, but not phosphate. I ordered my own phosphate test which I will have drawn tomorrow. If my phosphate levels are low, there could be something to that theory.

Hmm.. I'm not sure what would cause low CO2 o_O
 

drmullin30

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@xinamatusx have you had your oxalate status checked?

All of the supplements you take and tried could cause an oxalate dump which can cause breathless due to the effects of hyperoxaluria. It can be intermittent and won't show up on your electrolyte panel. Also oxalates and salicylates can cause histamine intolerance see link below:
https://drbeckycampbell.com/oxalates-salicylates-histamine-intolerance/
Oxalates will also cause problems around fatty acid absorption and phosphorus metabolism issues along with calcium. Oxalates interfere with methylation and energy production as well. Here are a few other links on oxalates that are helpful.
https://mthfrsupport.com/2018/03/understanding-sulfation-and-oxalate/
https://sallyknorton.com/oxalate-science/
https://www.westonaprice.org/health...-of-oxalates-in-autism-and-chronic-disorders/

I don't want to alarm you but the other thing that comes to mind is ALS. Do you have any trouble swallowing, muscle weakness or any speech issues? Those are all symptoms of ALS including the breathing trouble you're having.
Here's some additional information from acu-cell: https://acu-cell.com/dis.html:
Dyspnea (shortness of breath, trouble breathing in): High cobalt, high nickel, low tin, high Vitamin A, low Vit E, low Vit B15, low Vit B1, low Vit C, [spinal alignment problem at T3 - T5 area].

Just to avoid any confusion, I'm not a doctor the DR is my initials.
 
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Yes, that seems like an accurate description. The breaths are not satisfying and seem slower and more shallow than usual.

I vaguely recall someone mentioning hypophosphatemia as a possible reason. When I got my latest bloodwork done, they checked potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride, but not phosphate. I ordered my own phosphate test which I will have drawn tomorrow. If my phosphate levels are low, there could be something to that theory.

Hmm.. I'm not sure what would cause low CO2 o_O
Yea I've been down the phosphorous road... wasn't it I'm afraid. For me anyway.

It seems linked to the methyl cycle tbh. Especially seeing as it seems linked to supplementing b12 and folate. Driving the cycle at the base (folate and B12) could cause the issue downstream where some other nutrient is perhaps unbalanced or deficient.

Or perhaps the lack of CO2 is from problems with oxidative metabolism...

I just don't know.
 
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Yea I've been down the phosphorous road... wasn't it I'm afraid. For me anyway.

It seems linked to the methyl cycle tbh. Especially seeing as it seems linked to supplementing b12 and folate. Driving the cycle at the base (folate and B12) could cause the issue downstream where some other nutrient is perhaps unbalanced or deficient.

Or perhaps the lack of CO2 is from problems with oxidative metabolism...

I just don't know.
Did you ever try molybdenum? I saw some people say that relates to “air hunger”. I’m not sure why.
 
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@xinamatusx have you had your oxalate status checked?

All of the supplements you take and tried could cause an oxalate dump which can cause breathless due to the effects of hyperoxaluria. It can be intermittent and won't show up on your electrolyte panel. Also oxalates and salicylates can cause histamine intolerance see link below:
https://drbeckycampbell.com/oxalates-salicylates-histamine-intolerance/
Oxalates will also cause problems around fatty acid absorption and phosphorus metabolism issues along with calcium. Oxalates interfere with methylation and energy production as well. Here are a few other links on oxalates that are helpful.
https://mthfrsupport.com/2018/03/understanding-sulfation-and-oxalate/
https://sallyknorton.com/oxalate-science/
https://www.westonaprice.org/health...-of-oxalates-in-autism-and-chronic-disorders/

I don't want to alarm you but the other thing that comes to mind is ALS. Do you have any trouble swallowing, muscle weakness or any speech issues? Those are all symptoms of ALS including the breathing trouble you're having.
Here's some additional information from acu-cell: https://acu-cell.com/dis.html:
Dyspnea (shortness of breath, trouble breathing in): High cobalt, high nickel, low tin, high Vitamin A, low Vit E, low Vit B15, low Vit B1, low Vit C, [spinal alignment problem at T3 - T5 area].

Just to avoid any confusion, I'm not a doctor the DR is my initials.
Would methylation improve hyperoxaluria like it does histamine intolerance? I already try to eat low histamine and I don’t eat dairy. Not sure how I’d do a low oxalate and salicylate diet as well! :cry: Is there a blood test for these?

As far as the ALS, I don’t think that’s the case. As I am seeing the correlation of these symptoms with the methylation vitamins. When I’m not taking those vitamins, they slowly go away. I’ve never had issues with coordination either.
 
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Did you ever try molybdenum? I saw some people say that relates to “air hunger”. I’m not sure why.
Yes, I've been on molybdenum for over a month now... I had seen improvements when I started the B12 transdermal oil, but it could have been after a few weeks of molybdenum? Was it meant to increase or decrease air hunger?
 
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Yes, I've been on molybdenum for over a month now... I had seen improvements when I started the B12 transdermal oil, but it could have been after a few weeks of molybdenum? Was it meant to increase or decrease air hunger?
It is supposed to decrease it. Something to do with sulfur. My phosphate lab was normal 4.2 (2.5-4.5).
 
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It is supposed to decrease it. Something to do with sulfur. My phosphate lab was normal 4.2 (2.5-4.5).
The problem with getting blood levels of minerals is that their concentration is highly regulated in the blood. I would never trust them if I suspected deficiency. The only times you'll see low blood levels is if you have so little in the cells that you can't maintain normal concentrations - you'll be close to death at this point. Phosphorus and calcium can be leeched from bone as well, so even less reliable for these two.

I had the air hunger under control for a while but now it's playing up big time. It's torture.
 

Learner1

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Would methylation improve hyperoxaluria like it does histamine intolerance? I already try to eat low histamine and I don’t eat dairy. Not sure how I’d do a low oxalate and salicylate diet as well! :cry: Is there a blood test for these?
This has been my experience. I didn't really start detoxing oxalates until I started doing methylation protocols.
Oxalates are a unique toxin found in many plant based foods. They cannot be detoxed by methylation or Phase I or Phase II detox.

Lowoxalate.info and the Trying Low Oxalates FB group have info on them, and the FB group has the most accurate low oxalate food spreadsheet.

Oxalates increase oxidative stress, so methylation, which leads to glutathione production may help a bit. They can also cause depletion of minerals and osteoporosis, as well as B6 deficiency, which is needed for methylation. They can cause pain through the formation of sharp crystals in organs, muscles, or joints, like kidney stones.

The Great Plains OAT test or a urine test from a standard lab can identify this problem, which can be genetic for some.

Treatment includes a low oxalate diet, taking citrate before every meal and keeping B6 normal. This will slowly reduce oxalates in the body.
 
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@xinamatusx I think I've cured my b12 induced air hunger.

Unfortunately I tried a few things concurrently and what I suspect is the savior may not be, but I'll tell you everything I've tried recently.

I found another person on here who had air hunger and she fixed it with manganese. As sure as night follows day, manganese cured her air hunger. So I tried this - just slightly above the RDA daily - and I think it is the culprit. May take a few days of this dosage to make an impact.

However, being the impatient so and so that I am, I've also been taking the following recently - carnitine, zinc and lecithin. So it's possible that one of these has helped me.

It's also possible that it's just a temporary alleviation unrelated to any supplements, but time will tell.

Theory - We're increasing ATP production and oxidative metabolism with methylation. This in turn requires Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) to neutralise superoxide. Given that we've high oxidative stress, we are probably using more of this than a healthy person. One flavour of SOD is MnSOD (Manganese). Two other flavours are zinc and copper... Perhaps this is our answer. I've been having better and better breathing until today when I can say my breathing has been great! Still early days, but better you know.
 

Mary

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I tried to take potassium - about 200 mg.. and ended up with diarrhea and palpitations that sent me to immediate care. All electrolyte tests were normal.
It's possible that you couldn't tolerate the form of potassium you took. 200 mg is not very much, when the RDA is 4700 mg. Potassium citrate exacerbated or may have even caused a bladder infection for me but I do well with potassium gluconate. However, potassium gluconate gave my sister diarrhea so she couldn't tolerate it.

Low potassium can cause breathing difficulties (8 Signs and Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency (Hypokalemia) (healthline.com) and it's well-documented that hypokalemia can arise when treating a folate and/or B12 deficiency. This post has some links which talk about this.

So I'd suggest you try drinking a couple of glasses of low-sodium V-8 if you try the B12 or folate again and the breathlessness recurs. If low potassium is the issue, I think you'd see results within a few hours of drinking the low-sodium V-8. I stress "low-sodium" because it's higher in potassium than regular V-8.
 

Mary

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All electrolyte tests were normal.
One last thing - this post by richvank explains why persons with ME/CFS may have normal blood levels for potassium, but still can have low intracellular potassium. I'd had low potassium symptoms even before starting methylfolate, but blood work always showed normal levels, albeit on the low side of normal. So your normal blood work doesn't indicate what your intracellular levels are. They could be low or drop low when you started the methylfolate and methylcobalamin.
 
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It's possible that you couldn't tolerate the form of potassium you took. 200 mg is not very much, when the RDA is 4700 mg. Potassium citrate exacerbated or may have even caused a bladder infection for me but I do well with potassium gluconate. However, potassium gluconate gave my sister diarrhea so she couldn't tolerate it.

Low potassium can cause breathing difficulties (8 Signs and Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency (Hypokalemia) (healthline.com) and it's well-documented that hypokalemia can arise when treating a folate and/or B12 deficiency. This post has some links which talk about this.

So I'd suggest you try drinking a couple of glasses of low-sodium V-8 if you try the B12 or folate again and the breathlessness recurs. If low potassium is the issue, I think you'd see results within a few hours of drinking the low-sodium V-8. I stress "low-sodium" because it's higher in potassium than regular V-8.
@Mary So I did try the potassium again (only 99 mg as I was playing it safe) and it did actually help as far as the shortness of breath a bit. However, after taking it a few times, I started to get palpitations again. I think my magnesium is low as the last RBC magnesium I had done was on the lower end of the range and this could be why I’m getting palpitations with the potassium? However, when I took the magnesium I got more palpitations even though magnesium used to really help me when I took it a few years ago.

Could it actually be that my calcium is low? The reason I say this is that I had hyperparathyroidism and had two parathyroid glands removed at the beginning of 2020. My doctors only had me take calcium as needed for pins and needles/tingling but I haven’t been taking a calcium supplement daily. I wasn’t sure if calcium worked the same way in that you can have a normal blood serum level but still be deficient.
 
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@Mary unfortunately, for me, the B12 induced air hunger isn't potassium related. I even thought it was phosphorus related, because it was happening when I took thiamine as well (you know all about phosphorus and B1).

I think breathing issues with these two electrolytes are very late-stage symptoms and wouldn't respond acutely to the ingestion of B12, or even thiamine. I'm trying to piece together a theory and both thiamine and B12 will increase ATP production and hence superoxide and other free radicals, which are usually taken care of by SOD and reduced glutathione. A lack of these and its B12 (being a superoxide scavenger) which picks up the slack, depleting it. Possibly a vicious cycle.

I'd love for others to try manganese (although there are zinc and copper SODs which may be deplete in others) to test the theory. As for how SOD depletion would cause air hunger, I'm stumped. Looking at the pattern of breathing, Rich's theory somewhere on here was a lack of CO2 in the blood, which makes sense with the pattern I observe. The body wants to prolong the inhalation phase, minimising the CO2 exhalation per inhalation of O2.

If anybody knows of a link between the cell's CO2 output and superoxide neutralisation, I'd love to hear it!