Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Causes of High Histamine and Some Effects

An interesting description of histadelia causes and effects at Roo's Clues: http://roosclues.blogspot.com/2010/03/overview-of-high-histamine-also-called.html

Aside from under-methylation [a critical factor, determining how well histamine can be eliminated], Roo lists the following
conditions which can increase histamine:
  Adrenal fatigue.
  Damage to mast cells, e.g., by mercury.
  Chronic and excess exposure to allergens.
  Auto-immune conditions and chronic inflammation.
  Gut flora imbalances. Yeast overgrowth (especially with sensitivity to the body's own yeast).
  Deficient amylase, diamine oxidase or certain other enzymes 

The site also notes that high histamine can increase blood brain barrier permeability, heightening vulnerability to toxic injury, and facilitating viral infection of the brain.

For more information on histadelia, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Insomnia Chemistry II: Low Melatonin in the Histadelic

Chemistry underlying histadelic insomnia
Due to the poor methylation, histadelics* rarely have enough SAMe (or serotonin) to create sufficient melatonin.**
Which would explain the chronic and often severe insomnia in histadelia, contribute to the general stimulation, and may, in somes cases, help trigger mania (despite the prevailing depression).
Ideally, such nutrients as magnesium and melatonin*** (and perhaps kava, inositol, B1, B3, B5, B6, C, zinc, etc.) will permit enough sleep, and reduce stimulation enough, so that methylation therapies can proceed, eventually enabling the body to create sufficient melatonin on its own.

Cautions about the degree of methylation support during histadelic mania 
As discussed in the previous post, SAMe is contraindicated for most bipolars, as it can trigger mania, and worsen cycling. Dr. Walsh, however, finds that for bipolars whose methylation activity is chronically low (histadelics), SAMe is often important in bringing methylation up to a more normal level. And that this more normal status of methylation function will generally go towards resolving the prevailing histadelic depression, rather than triggering mania. That is, as long as started conservatively enough, and gradually increased to relevant levels for the individual. 

However, with histadelic mania, further caution is imperative. For example, you don't want SAMe (or too much of other methylators)  increasing or overactivating promanic neurotransmitters.
So the histadelic regimen may be modified some, until symptoms permit stronger support toward a reasonable level of methylation.

Note: The sedative and stimulant actions of SAMe
Odd isn't it, that SAMe, a major antidepressant, is also critical in creating melatonin and sleep. (May be one of the reasons so many depressions are accompanied by insomnia.) 

Reminder: This information is presented for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis or treatment recommendations for the individual. Even within the histadelic subgroup, each person's biochemical requirements tend to be unique. So if you need treatment for insomnia, mania, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician. 

* Note: We have switched our discussion to histadelia, which entails a very different chemistry than that of histapenics (discussed in recent posts). For more on histadelia, see entries from Dec 3 to Jan 27, 2011.

** The hormone responsible for initiation and maintenance of sleep. As per my previous post, methylation must occur to turn serotonin into melatonin:
       1. Methionine is created using  B1, B6, zinc, folate, methyl-B12, glutathione, + protein
       2. SAMe is created  from the methionine + magnesium
       3. B5 is used to acetylate serotonin; SAMe then methylates N-acetyl-serotonin into N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, otherwise known as melatonin.

*** If indicated, melatonin supplements, themselves, will bring more methyl into the system.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Insomnia chemistry: Producing melatonin from vitamins, minerals, and aminos.

Our bodies should be creating serotonin in the morning to keep us happy, converting it to melatonin at night, so we can sleep. 
With serotonin/melatonin related insomnia, anxiety or depression, one might want to analyze what part of the cycle is not working, and then consider supportive vitamins, etc. targeting that particular step. Some of the nutrients involved:

To create tryptophan you use:
     vitamins B1 and B6, zinc, and protein
         (with enough stomach hydrochloric acid (HCl), zinc, B1, B6 to break down the protein).
     Complex carbs help foster tryptophan uptake into the brain.

To turn tryptophan into 5HTP:
     folic acid, B3 (niacin), calcium, iron
To turn 5HTP into  serotonin:
     vitamins C and B6, zinc, magnesium
     Serotonin production is fostered by sunlight, exercise and kindness

To turn serotonin into melatonin:
       1. Create methionine* using  B1, B6, zinc, folate, methyl-B12, glutathione, and protein (+ HCl)
       2. Create SAMe from the methionine + magnesium
       3. SAMe* + B5 + serotonin are then used to create melatonin.

* Warnings: Many bipolars get manic on SAMe, even on methionine, especially if already overmethylated, (histapenic).  Some authors suggest SAMe is always contraindicated for bipolars.

Note: Excess copper will block vitamins B1, C, folate, zinc and magnesium.
For the diagram of tryptophan to melatonin biochemistry which inspired this post, see:

Influence of exercise, light, protein...

Continued in the following post.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Histapenia in bipolars: Vitamins

The focus in histapenia treatment  is reducing brain overmethylation, increasing folate and histamine, and addressing high copper and metal metabolism problems, if present.
Treatment must reflect individual biochemical requirements.

Doctors Pfeiffer, Hoffer, Walsh and other orthomolecular physicians have, over tens of thousands of histapenic patients, have found these vitamins almost always beneficial, roughly grouped around the following symptoms:

Voices and other psychotic symptoms.
Vitamin B3 — Critical to brain circulation and metabolism, histamine production, metal metabolism, copper elimination. Antioxidant. May create a flush.
Vitamin C — Counters overstimulation, voices, and paranoia. Promotes copper excretion, protects brain tissue from oxidation.
Vitamin B6 — May be even more important than B3 for psychosis in children. Helps form GABA, glutathione, CoQ10. Antioxidant. Supports B12 absorption, zinc metabolism. May decrease available methyl.
Zinc — Inhibits absorption and promotes copper excretion. Facilitates histamine storage. Antioxidant. Helps maintain GABA levels.

Vitamin C, Zinc (above)

Stress, overstimulation, hypomania, mania:
Vitamins B3, C, B6, Zinc, Magnesium. Plus:
B complex — Supports neural function; helps prevent deficits due to high doses of specific B vitamins.
Pantothenic acid (B5) — Supports adrenals. Helps keep copper low.
Manganese — Lowers dopamine. Supports metal metabolism and copper elimination. Makes choline available to form acetylcholine.
Choline or DMAE — Counters dopamine  and norepinephrine.
GABA — Counterbalances norepinephrine. But may interact with meds.
ValerianOnly if needed. Check for drug interactions.

Vitamins B3, C, B6, B5, omega 3,  L-carnitine.
Folic acid and B12 — Counterbalance and trap methyl.   Helps produce histamine (via BH4).

High copper and poor metabolism of divalent metals:
Zinc, C, B6, B3. manganese.
Molybdenum — Important to copper metabolism. Especially suggested by pronounced allergies and high urinary sulfite.
NAC — Critical in decreasing copper. Introduced slowly, and only after at least three months of zinc, etc. Can cause severe symptoms if given too early. For a discussion on decreasing copper see: Copper Tox Doc.

Neural support
B complex, zinc, magnesium. 
Vitamin C and E, selenium, other antioxidants — Helps protect against peroxidation due to overstimulation and to elevated copper.
Omega 3 — Supports neural receptor function.  

Chronic lack of physical energy,  but not indicated if voices or overstimulation worsen:
 L-carnitine — Brings fuel (fats) to the mitochondria (cellular energy factories) and protects mitochondria from oxidative stress.
Irononly if deficient.

Isoleucine — Helps retain B3. While usually not needed, Hoffer finds it rapidly effective in some acute low-B3, high-leucine patients.

Diet — Fresh whole foods (organic, if possible), omega 3 fish, abundant folic acid-rich vegetables. Avoid allergens, fried or hydrogenated fat, sugar, alcohol, refined carbs.
Intake of meat depends on individual reactions and chemistry.*

* Meat is rich in B3, B6, B12, zinc and carnitine, and benefits hypoglycemia. However, as Walsh points out, meat can markedly increase methionine and methylation.

Methionine and SAMe increase methylation.
Copper worsens voices, paranoia, overstimulation and hypomania.
SSRI’s, and St Johnswort may produce adverse reactions.

Reminder: This information is presented for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis or treatment recommendations for the individual. Even within the histapenic subgroup, everyone's biochemical requirements are unique. So if you need treatment for mania, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Symptoms in Histapenic Bipolars

The histamine imbalance biotypes were initially introduced by Dr. Pfeiffer, who found extremes in blood histamine in many of his schizophrenic patients, with improvement occurring as nutrients brought histamine toward normal (as indicated by biochemical tests).
Dr. Walsh later suggested that the primary imbalance in low histamine (histapenic) patients was actually brain overmethylation accompanied by insufficient folate. Blood histamine is still the best test for this condition.

Symptoms of histapenia in bipolars
Common symptoms in histapenic bipolars can include anxiety, panic, hyperactivity, racing thoughts, hypomania or mania, and general overstimulation. And, especially with low niacin and zinc, and high copper: paranoia, and psychotic mania. Manic or hypomanic periods may be more prevalent than in other biotypes, though depression also occurs.

Descriptions of both mental and physical symptoms of histapenia can be viewed online in the sample pages from my schizophrenic book (though note, these pages focus more on schizophrenic manifestations of histapenia)  on the boragebooks.com website at:


For further details see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.

Reminder: This information is presented for educational purposes only, and is not intended for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you need treatment for mania, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bipolar Mania and Histapenia

Approximately 25% of bipolars are histapenic (indicated by low blood histamine). Bipolars with this biotype are often overstimulated, prone to psychosis, and generally tend to spend more time in mania or hypomania than other biotypes. Here is Dr, Walsh, with a short overview of histapenia:

Dr. William J Walsh,  introducing histapenia
(biochemically, brain overmethylation with low folate)
Video produced by http://www.biobalance.org.au/


Warning: This video ends with a comment about patients being able to reduce meds. Remember that the support of a knowledgeable physician, along with a cautious (and almost always, gradual) approach is imperative when decreasing or changing medication.  See my previous post: http://naturalhealingforbipolardisorder.blogspot.com/2010/04/nutrient-approaches-for-bipolar-and.html

For more information on histapenia, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mania Vitamins: Attention to Potency of Therapy

Thoughts on mania
Our brains feed on stimulation. New experiences, and ideas, and learning in general, are exciting.
But with mania, excitement comes without the counterbalance. So one cannot distinguish whether one idea is more relevant than another. And information can come so fast, that it cannot be integrated with past knowledge. Eventually, neurotransmitter pathways can be so overloaded that neurons do not have time to recover between messages.
Essentially, excitatory messaging and/or second-messaging predominate, excluding inhibitory activity needed to maintain useful function.

A severe enough mania can elude an arsenal of potent meds (even the more powerful herbs).
And even when you are able to suppress the mania, research is beginning to suggest that by attacking aggressively (perhaps, especially with substances not intrinsic to brain biochemistry) you may have set the stage for bipolar deterioration longterm.

Acute manias and vitamins
On the other hand, orthomolecular physicians are finding that nutrient therapies which nourish inhibitory mechanisms and normalize excitatory systems tend to work increasingly well with time, while usually proceeding gradually enough* to sidestep the above mania escalation and chronic repercussions.

See my posts here on inhibitory aminos, from June 21 to Aug 24, 2010, and also the outline of Mania and Stabilization info at the top of the Borage Books Nutrient Summary page.

* Nonetheless, in some cases, e.g., with violence or heart problems, a more rapid improvement may be necessary. See previous post on IV therapies.

Addressing root causes
Aside from resolving acute episodes,  ferreting out and addressing root causes (e.g., methylation imbalances, hormonal issues, pyroluria, problems with metal metabolism, etc.) is particularly important to long-term mood stability. See Ongoing Mood Stability, Biotypes, Toxicity, and Health at the bottom of the Borage Books Nutrient Summary page.

For further details, including contraindications, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.

Reminder: This information is presented for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as treatment recommendations. Treatments should be fine-tuned to individual biochemical requirements. Also note: sudden changes in medications can be disastrous. See:
If you have concerns about meds, or if you need treatment for mania, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bipolar Vitamins and Mood Stability

In general vitamins work gradually. The right nutrients, tailored to unique individual needs, will steadily promote and build brain health (and support body health as well), because, along with oxygen, nutrients are the main constituents of brain biochemistry.
Most of the time, for bipolars, the gradual improvement that vitamins provide is ideal, as the alternative, rapid change, tends to increase cycling and ultimately destabilize mood. After all, in the abstract sense, we probably all intuit that the cure for bipolar disorder is moderation.  

Even so, rapid change is sometimes needed during life-threatening mood states. This is the point at which people are usually taken to the hospital. Wouldn't it be great if the hospital had IV orthomolecular treatment available (i.e., intravenous nutrients as per unique need)? So a person could stabilize while supporting brain function and vitality?

For some of the work now being done with IV vitamins, see:
Dr. Joan Larson's site

For a general overview of  the nutrients now being studied for bipolar, see:

or, to learn more, check out my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Videos: Histadelia: Depression, OCD, SAMe and Serotonin

Some great histadelia (neurotransmitter undermethylation) videos by Dr. William J. Walsh, a pioneering researcher of the effects of brain methylation imbalances on mental symptoms:

Dr. Walsh explains symptoms  of undermethylation (histadelia) including OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and depression, the relevance of SAMe and serotonin and other vitamin therapies, and the prevalence of histadelia in people of high accomplishment and drive (athletes, scientists, CEOs). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ7ZakljZu8

Dr Walsh on histamine tests, brain methylation, histapenia and histadelia symptoms and vitamins, and epigenetics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CRTL0-kDmI

For more info, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bipolar Vitamins: Histadelia and Folic Acid

Folic acid is a critical vitamin for both mood and neurological health in general.
So why should histadelics restrict it?

1 They are already overloaded in folic acid.
2 Histadelics do not readily turn folic acid into methyl folate, which is needed to support  neurotransmitter methylation. Instead folic acid accumulates, worsening histadelic depression.

So the focus of therapy becomes: restrict folate, and support brain methylation (see previous posts).

Note: We are talking here only of histadelics, that is, people with undermethylation of brain neurotransmitters, and already elevated folate. For almost everyone else with mood problems, folic acid tends to be essential.

For more information, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.

Reminder: This information is presented for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as treatment recommendations. If you need treatment for histadelia, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bipolar Depression: Histadelia Vitamins II

Nutrients commonly used for histadelic bipolars include:
SAMe, methionine, vitamin B6, magnesium and TMG, as per individual requirements. See:  the sample histadelia page from Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder (as per my previous post).

Further histadelia nutrients can include:
Calcium — often depleted. Calcium decreases histamine and supports release of antidepressant neurotransmitters.
Inositol — may reduce anxiety, promote sleep. Critical to signalling. Counterbalances choline and supports folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, betaine and methionine.  Too much may promote anxiety or panic in some bipolars, but not usually histadelics.
Methyl  B12 — Needed to turn homocysteine to methionine. Especially critical if oxidative stress is prevalent.
Omega 3 — supports methylation.
Niacinamide — modest amounts, introduced gradually, with attention to reactions. If voices occur,  B3 tends to be crucial. Anxiety may also signal greater need.
Zinc — Counters overstimulation. Supports homocysteine metabolism to cysteine or methionine.

Antioxidant support. With undermethylation, oxidative stress increases, and further compromises methylation pathways and depletes neurotransmitter precursors. Consider the following antioxidants:
Glutathione — of prime importantce. Needed to support formation of methyl B12.
Selenium and E — works with glutathione.
Vitamin C — decreases histamine; moderates stimulation; antidepressant.
Vitamin A — helps counter the seasonal allergies.
Vitamin D — supports calcium absorption and helps counter depression. 
Acetyl-L-carnitine — a great mitochondrial antioxidant; need may be suggested by low mental energy. However, may overstimulated.
Other antioxidants, as relevant.

Other nutrients, sometimes indicated 
Serotonin support (e.g, St Johnswort, tryptophan, 5HTP) — modest intake may help balance mood, especially if depleted.
Kava — calms limbic activation, but overstimulating for some.
Tyrosine — may  temporarily help counter the depression, especially if depleted, at least until methylation increases.
Copper — supports dopamine and norepinephrine formation, decreases histamine. In histadelics, metal metabolism disorders tends toward overactivity, decreasing copper. If so, small doses,  in some cases, may become useful (but not if it worsens oxidative stress).

Plentiful quality animal proteins (preferably fish from mercury-free waters; organic meats, free-range poultry) provide methionine. A good whole foods diet is recommended, with lots of complex carbohydrates and vegetables (though intake of greens, in some cases where folate is too high, needs to be moderated), healthy fats, and some fresh fruit. Minimize/avoid immunoreactive foods. Dairy provides calcium, which the histadelic needs, but is commonly an allergen (if so, consider goat milk products and a possible need for more zinc). Avoid sugar, white flour, fried and hydrogenated fat.

Folic acid, is typically excessive relative to methylation status, so often must be significantly restricted.
Choline (which counterbalances norepinephrine) may worsen histadelic depression, so may need to be limited. DMAE, especially, tends to be detrimental,
GABA often is less than helpful during low-catecholamine histadelic depression.

This material reflects approaches developed by Doctors: Walsh, Hoffer, Pfeiffer, Jaffe, Kruesi, Bibus, and others.  See Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder for further info, including contraindications and references

Reminder: These are general summaries presented to educate the public and are not treatment recommendations. Treatment depends on the individual's unique biochemistry and response pattern. Attention to contraindications is essential.  If you need treatment for histadelia, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bipolar Depression: Histadelia Nutrients

Additional histadelia nutrients next post. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, for a more complete overview, see my site and my book Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bipolar depression: Histadelia treatment

Again, histadelia can look like bipolar, bipolar depression, psychotic depression, obsessive compulsive, schizoaffective, dual diagnosis, or (especially if also pyroluric) conduct disorders.

For an overview of symptoms and therapeutic nutrients, see these concise descriptions of the biotypes by Dr. William Walsh. Histadelia is first:

For histadelia subgroups and more details on the approach of Dr. Walsh,
see this page from Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.

Note: Histadelics do better if isolation and loneliness can be reduced, and if they can be effectively supported in continuing to take vitamins and avoid addictions.

For more info, see boragebooks.com

Reminder: These are general summaries presented to educate the public and are not treatment recommendations. Treatment depends on the individual's unique biochemistry and response pattern. Attention to contraindications is essential.  If you need treatment for histadelia, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bipolar Depression and Histadelia Symptoms

Histadelia signs and symptoms can be generally broken down as follows:

Effects on the mind: Chronic profound depression, suicidality, episodes of blank mind, obsessions, compulsions (e.g., gambling, shopping, pulling out hair), delusions and phobias. Strong will, perfectionism, perhaps hypomania.

May have been diagnosed with: Psychotic depression, bipolar, unipolar, mixed state, schizoaffective, dual diagnosis, OCD, delusional or oppositional defiant disorder.

High metabolism effects: Elevated body temperature, insomnia, lean body, good appetite, severe inner tension.
Elevated body fluids: Mucous, saliva, semen, digestive fluids, sweat.

Prone to: Seasonal allergies,  frequent colds, asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, headaches, body pain, automimmune disorders, addictions. 

Lab: High blood histamine remains the clearest indication. 

For more, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.