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Friday Q & A


Friday Q & A

Aisling FitzGibbon


Hi Aisling, I had these bloods done in Dublin and was deemed to be copper overloaded and undermethylated based on high histamine. He said this was an unusual combination. However, I spoke to a nutritionist in Galway and she didn’t think that a high histamine alone would prove undermethylation as histamine is so variable. My tests were done by a doctor who had trained with Dr Bill Walsh. I wonder what are your thoughts on this? Do you do more than one test for methylation? Do you think histamine alone is a good indicator? Also, is there information for the lay person to read that proves that high histamine= undermethylation. I’m confused. N. 

Hi N, Thanks for your question. Methylation regulates histamine levels so when a person shows up with high whole blood histamine levels this is a marker for undermethylation. The test for histamine is whole blood histamine and not plasma histamine.  As I don’t have your test results in front of me I don’t know what your homocysteine levels were.  In undermethylation there is also elevated basophils (a type of white blood cell which releases histamine in an allergic response).  This is why undermethylators need to avoid folic acid as it can release excess histamine.

There is the blood test for undermethylation and there are the symptoms that are synonymous with methylation such as perfectionistic traits, OCD tendencies, low pain threshold, history of competiveness, high career accomplishment.  With undermethylation there are low levels of serotonin, dopamine and nor epinephrine that can cause mood issues such as depression and anxiety. Healing from undermethylation takes time as opening up the methylation pathways can cause detox reactions so it is best to proceed slowly and to ensure that the organs of elimination are well supported.

In my practice, I help address the factors that cause undermethylation in the first place such as diet, environmental factors, lifestyle and stress. Cortisol inhibits histamine secretion which is why stress can be strongly a causative factor in undermethylation. In the exhaustive stage of stress (adrenal exhaustion) cortisol levels are reduced and are unable to reduce histamine levels. Excess oxidative stress tends to deplete gluthatione levels, impair the one carbon cycle and cause undermethylation.  Undermethylation cannot be looked at in isolation to what is going on in the rest of the body. According to Dr Carl Pfeiffer, author of Nutrition and Mental Illness, some people don’t methylate well during liver detox which causes them to overproduce and over retain histamine which results in an excess of histamine in the blood.

Your methylation status and your copper status and are two separate issues. Copper levels can lower histamine but not in a drastic way. Many women are undermethylated with high levels of copper. Children who present with autism are undermethylated, suffering from oxidative stress with high levels of copper.

Most methylation issues are due to food and environmental toxins, stress and genetic deficiencies. What is causing the undermethylation needs to be addressed and the organs of elimination supported while you change your biochemistry. I do the blood test that checks for histamine levels and I also look at symptoms and genetic inheritance in addressing methylation. 

If you have any questions for my Friday Q & A then please send them in and I will do my best to address them. If you are interested in working with me, then please fill in my clarity call application form.