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Is Undermethylation causing your procrastination?


Is Undermethylation causing your procrastination?

Aisling FitzGibbon


So, what are you waiting for? For the time to be right? For everything to be sorted before you take action? We all suffer from procrastination to some degree from time to time. You know how it is when you have two weeks to complete a college assignment and somehow it gets crammed into the two days before the deadline. Ahhhhh. You know the feeling.

There are others however, who begin the assignment and after writing a few decent paragraphs decide those paragraphs aren’t quite good enough and so begin again and again and again. Addicted to perfectionism they’ll  spend too long going over and over their work, all the while feeling horrifically stressed. Waiting for everything to be beyond perfect can cause crushing disappointment when it’s not.

Procrastination is very often a symptom of perfectionism as perfectionists are afraid of not being able to complete a task perfectly so can tend to put it on the long finger. Perfectionists are very often high achievers, reaching for the best in everything in life but on the flip side they can be plagued by worry and inner tension.  It can even lead to paralysis where nothing is done, other than constantly think about it.

One of the symptoms of undermethylation is this drive to perfectionism and many people with undermethylation can be in high power positions such as lawyers, business executives, CEOs etc. Those who are undermethylated are very often typical Type A personalities who are very driven to succeed. Not all people who have undermethylation issues will have symptoms. However, there are some who are prone to perfectionism, procrastination, inner tension and depression.

Undermethylation occurs when too few methyl molecules are available to add to enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters. This influences our behaviour, mood, memory, concentration and sleep. Undermethylation is characterised by low levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine with high whole blood histamine. In essence, the “feel good “chemicals are in short supply.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. A lack of this chemical can be linked to procrastination as we are less likely to want to do our tax returns and more likely to spend copious hours on Facebook or Instagram where we get our dopamine hits. Motivation to go for a promotion in your workplace is down to dopamine as with lower levels we are less inclined to put ourselves forward for a higher position in the workplace. Low levels of dopamine will see us pursuing activities that give short term pleasure while delaying unpleasant tasks that may in time lead to more substantial rewards.

While undermethylated clients may feel the benefits of SSRI medication these medications are not addressing the underlying nutritional deficiencies that are creating this disorder in the first place. Undermethylated parents are much more vulnerable to epigenetic insults that can lead to conditions such as anxiety, depression, autism and ADHD in the next generation.

Undermethylators don’t do well on a plant based diet as they can be high in copper and folate. Protein is vital for undermethylators as protein helps to generate methyl donors. Vegetarians would need to take the amino acid methionine if they are undermethylated.

What Dr Bill Walsh, author of Nutrient Power, discovered is there is often treatment compliance issues with undermethylation. What can happen is when these people are given a health plan with a list of supplements they might follow it for a week or two. There is a tendency to giving up easily. What helps is when people are made to feel accountable in a structured health programme and are given guidance as to how to interpret the physiological changes they’re experiencing.

It is important to correctly diagnose undermethylation. In my practice,  I offer blood tests that test methylation status. I use a natural approach to addressing this biochemical problem using nutrient therapy. I combine my Occupational Therapy skills to aid treatment compliance and help design a manageable approach to creating full health. It takes 2-3 months of treatment before results are noticed. If you are interested in taking your health to the next level and working with me please fill out my clarity call application form.