Posting Again (shorter) Dr Amen's work / methylation

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    • #125196

      Hi, I am thinking my last post (and my problem) was too complicated. But I feel alone. I have all the “classic” ADHD symptoms plus OCD/overfocused ADHD. The stimulant Adderall really helps my classic ADHD symptoms, and is calming, but does not help the OCD /overfocusing. I was pointed to Dr Amen’s work. It said increase both serotonin and adhd for “overfocused adhd”. I refuse to go back on an SSRI (was on zoloft years ago). So I am researching “other ways” to increase both neurotransmitters. So far my best guess (and only idea) is to get my methylation cycle working better ? I can do the research, but I sure hope it is the best direction to try …

    • #125217

      Hi. I too have ADHD, OCD and issues with methylation. This is quite a combination and everyone is a little different so I hope I can offer some help/encouragement.
      First, the methylation problem. This is genetic and I am guessing that you are heterozygous to the MTHFR gene. This is genetic and you cant change your deficiency. You may find some benefit in taking methylated folic acid and methyl-B12 vitamins since your body cant absorb the folic acid or vitamin B12 in the natural form (non MTFHR mutants will methylate these so the body can absorb them). Ortho Molecular makes some quality products in this category. Eat well, stay off the simple sugars and try to remove corn syrup from your diet. A good omega-3 fish oil supplement can help too (I use Borleans). Remember, if a fish oil supplement leaves a fishy aftertaste or has a fishy smell, it has gone bad and dont take it.
      Second, the ADHD. Make sure you work with your psychiatrist on appropriate dosing for the Adderall. Give your body breaks from the medication when you do not require the focus and attention. Find what lower doses and higher doses (very carefully) do to you. Sometimes a lower dose or skipping a few days can help with the OCD.
      Third, the OCD. I have been through SSRI, SNRI, antipsychotics, benzodiazepienes etc. I just dont tolerate them well. I have been working with a great ERP Therapist (Exposure Response Prevention) for my OCD. I have made more progress in 1 year than I ever did on medication for the OCD.
      Good luck on your adventure.

    • #125219

      I too deal with add and methylation issues due to MTHFR (a mutated gene that an alarming number of people have). Do look into methylation! I’ve started taking bioavailable b vitamins from Thorne and their Methyguard plus. for me, my body doesn’t process synthesized folic acid because it is missing a compound that helps methylation. While discovering this, I thought it was going to be the magic pill to all of my problems. LOL> it was not. BUT, i really do think it is a piece to the puzzle. Adderall worked really well when I combined it with counselling from a specialist, but then my doses kept having to get higher, and I had to take it all of the time. I really didn’t like having to rely on it.. just to survive…I was able to come off of the adderall and just knowing how productivity felt helped carry me through. I am now having huge problems again affecting my work, which is why i came here.. for HELP! if you get some methylation tests, and you think about me, please provide an update! I’d love to know how things are working for you and what the doctor suggests.

    • #125250
      Penny Williams

      Dr. Amen makes some supplement recommendations for over-focused ADHD in this article:

      The Amen Approach to ADHD

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #125435

      Thank you so much for all the replies ! It is definately making me feel less alone. I felt “odd” having “both”. I will look into all the things suggested.
      Re undermethyation, I am not clear re if that means an impaired ability to absorb folate from vegetables as well as artificial folic acid ? Can you “fix it” by just eating more foods that contain folate ? I realized I have not had a lot in my diet.
      Also, I started taking daily one (under the tongue) methyl-folate 500 mcg and one methyl B12 500 mcg. I plan to double that. Not sure if this simple plan will backfire or not.
      Thank you everyone. I don’t want to make this “too long”.
      One note re the vitamin Inositol (re Dr Amen’s article). I took it when younger with positive results re anxiety. They need to tell people though that it could interfere with birth control. It made me so fertile that I ovulated/cycled every two weeks. It is commonly used to increase fertility…

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