My story, and what has worked for me

Howdy all,

I have lurked this forum for a pretty long time, but this is the first time I have ever posted. I have spent a few years experimenting with different ways of dealing with chronic fatigue/other health issues that seem to be pretty common on this site (GI issues, histamine intolerance, sleep problems, general poor health/mood issues). I have also been down a path that sounds very similar to a lot of other users here; a brief honeymoon phase when introducing methylation support supplements, followed by a long phase of feeling terrible and spending a long time trying to troubleshoot what happened. I have finally arrived at a method that works well for me, so I figured I would share it (and my story) in hopes that it may be helpful to someone on this site. I’m sure that many of you have completely different health needs/issues than me, but this info may be helpful for some. If you want to skip straight to what my current regimen/plan is, just go to the end and all the info is there. My genetic genie report is also attached.

I am 34m, and currently at the best point of health/energy that I have been at since my teenage years. At my worst (about 5 years ago) I was only sleeping 4ish hours a night, had constant stomach pains, joint/muscle pain, was unable to breathe through my sinuses at all because they were so stuffed up, and had generally low energy and persistent mood issues. I have always been employed, but working a 40 hour week at that point would leave me on the couch for the entire weekend trying to get the strength back to continue life come Monday. I ate healthy, took good care of myself, but still pretty much felt like garbage all the time. It took a long time to come to the realization that it was unusual to feel as bad as I felt (I guess I just figured that everyone felt the same way I did, and we were all mutually deciding to fake like things were ok), and I started taking steps to feel better.

I did a sleep study, found out I have sleep apnea, and started cpap treatment, which was a big help. After that I did an elimination diet and found out that I was allergic to nightshades. This also helped, but didn’t completely eliminate my gut issues. I highly recommend a sleep study and elimination diet to anyone who has health issues they can’t figure out. They were both very helpful to me. That being said, even after a couple years of sleep apnea treatment and a year of completely eliminating nightshades from my diet, I still had very low energy levels and knew that there were more factors at play. I learned about histamine intolerance, and started a low histamine diet for a while, which helped reduce my symptoms further. A while later I stumbled on the topic of methylation and realized that this was the central piece that tied most of my symptoms together. I started taking methylation support supplements (I started with one that contained high dose B2, B6, active folate, B12 and betaine), and holy crap I thought I had just found the miracle cure. My energy levels went through the roof, I felt awesome (euphoric, even) and it seemed like all my problems were solved just like that. Unfortunately, as many other users on this site have experienced, this was short lived and things went downhill from there.

After 2-3 good weeks the good results started to taper off, and eventually I felt even worse than I when I started. Most of my symptoms came back, and a few new ones popped up as well. When I started getting bloody noses, shedding hair, and feeling super ADD I realized that I was screwing myself up and needed to stop taking the supplements. I still took them for longer than I should have, even though I knew they were doing me harm. It was psychologically very difficult to stop taking supplements, even with the weird side effects that I was experiencing because they had helped me so much for a while that it was hard to give them up.

It took about 5 months of taking zero supplements to get myself to a place where I felt better. After the nosebleeds stopped and other symptoms lessened I started experimenting again, but this time with very small amounts of methylation support and a lot more “assistant” supplements. I still ended up “overmethylated” at several points during my experiments, but never as bad as before because I pulled the plug on a strategy as soon as I started to get negative side effects (I put “overmethylated” in quotation marks because I tend to agree with Freddd’s belief that it’s not really overmethylation, just nutrient deficiencies caused by imbalances in supplementation). On my current supplement regime, I have been feeling pretty darn good for several months now: my mood is generally much better, my sleep has improved a ton (I can usually sleep around 7 hours a night), my performance at work has skyrocketed, and while a 40 hour work week used to destroy me, I can now work 20-40 hours of OT in a week and still not be couch ridden on my time off (I do electric line work for a utility, and we often work a ridiculous amount of overtime). I am still working to refine my regimen, but I am pretty satisfied with how I feel now and don’t plan on making major changes at this point.

Here is my current supplement regimen:

*note: I have included the specific supplements that I take, but I don’t think that there is anything special about these brands. They are just good deals/good quality and I would imagine you could use other brands of the same thing and get the same results.

Creatine: 3g/day (morning)
I currently take a creatine/glutamine combo supplement. I don’t think that glutamine does anything magical, but it does seem to be good for gut/recovery in general so I figured why not. Creatine is pure magic. It takes a lot of strain off of your body's SAMe supply and it has helped me tremendously.

Glycine: 2-3g, twice a day (with breakfast and dinner)
Glycine has been a huge help. I recently ran out and tried to go a few days without it to see if it was really doing anything. Huge mistake. I felt like I was in a hole I just couldn’t get out of. No energy/bad mood for a week solid until my next delivery came in.

Multi-mineral: 1 full serving (½ with breakfast, ½ with dinner)
To be honest, I’m not sure what minerals in here do the magic, but I know that if I take this I feel better. I took magnesium and zinc separately, and they didn’t seem to have the same effect on me as this supplement does. I may try to solve the mystery at some point, but for now I just keep taking this and I’m happy that it works.

Vitamin D3: 2000 IU/day (morning)
I noticed that I feel considerably better on days when I can get some sunlight on my body, so I try to do that whenever I am able to. But, when time/weather doesn’t permit I take supplemental D3. I don’t know that this relates to methylation in the body specifically, but it seems to help with my mood in any case.

Melatonin: 5g/night
Melatonin, like creatine, is methyl sparing. It also helps me to sleep quite a bit, which obviously helps everything else.

Multivitamin (with lots of B vitamins): <½ dose (once a week or so)
I have found that when it comes to the B vitamins, less is more. Whenever I try taking them every day I end up overdoing it, regardless of how small of a dose I try to take. I decided to go with the “pulse” method advocated by Ben Lynch, and it has been much better. I’ll usually take about half a pill of the multi and pour it into a large (32 oz) water bottle. I’ll sip on it over a long period of time (usually about half a day) and stop when I start to feel good. I find that this usually gets me through an entire week of work, sometimes more, before I start to feel low energy again and repeat. Aside from this supplement I avoid added B vitamins completely (even fortified foods/drinks).

Good diet: every day
Food is where you want to get as much of your nutrition from as possible. I make meat/veggies/rice make up 80%-90% of my diet, and it makes a huge difference.

Exercise: every day
I have a job that is very physically active now, so this is easy for me. If for some reason I have a mellow day at work, or I have a day off on the weekend, I’ll do a workout at home. I don’t really think that it matters what type of exercise you do, just as long as it is challenging, your body is stimulated, and your blood gets flowing.

And that’s it! I hope that this info is helpful to someone out there. I have spent a few years, hundreds of hours reading, and hundred of dollars on supplements (most of which are in a big trash bag now). If you have questions feel free to hit me with them and I’ll do my best to answer as I get time. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I would be happy to share what I know.