Improve Mental Health without Drugs
Are all cases of depression the same? Dr. William Walsh Ph.D. thinks this is unlikely. After working with more than 30,000 patients, Dr. Walsh has identified specific chemical imbalances that lead to emotional and mental problems.
Out of his experiences, he identified five distinct biotypes from what was once lumped together as ‘clinical depression:’ undermethylation; overmethylation; folate deficiency; copper overload; pyrrole disorder; and toxic metals.
Methylation is a vital foundational biochemical process in the body, involved with the detoxification of heavy metals, regulation of gene expression and protein function, and central to the synthesis of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers which mediate mental and emotional states.
Imbalances in methylation status result from genetic defects in the enzymes which regulate the process of methylation. In the past few years there has been a great deal of interest in genetic testing, and in particular, the role of the MTHFR gene.
A genetic defect of the MTHFR gene can result in a malfunctioning MTHFR enzyme, which can affect methylation.
Methylation relates to a biochemical process (involving methyl and folate). It is pivotal in the functioning of detoxification pathways, the repair of DNA, the breakdown of histamine, epigenetic expression (“the turning on and off of genes), and neurotransmitter activity.
Families with methylation imbalances have a higher incidence of psychiatric conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks.
The understanding of the relationship between methylation and brain related symptoms comes out of the work of Dr. William Walsh, PhD and the Walsh Research Institute.
By treating whole blood histamine with nutrients, serotonin and dopamine levels may be corrected.
Treating mood disorders and symptoms associated with histamine imbalance within the red blood cells.
Because these cells rely on the “methyl” containing enzyme (HNMT), a whole blood histamine level is useful in establishing one’s “methylation status.” High whole blood histamine indicates undermethylation whereas low blood histamine indicated overmethylation.
Presenting his findings at the American Psychiatric Association Conference in 2015, Dr William Walsh, PhD. describes the mood related disorders of high blood histamine and low blood histamine, referring to them as undermethylation and overmethylation respectively.
Dr Walsh published at great book on using nutrients titled “Nutrient Power”
In managing depression and other symptoms affected by conditions associated with histamine levels we are not specifically treating histamine. Whole blood histamine blood levels are used to measure the over or under methylation status.
Because undermethylators have low functioning levels of serotonin and dopamine, supplementing with methionine and SAMe we can increase the activity of key neurotransmitters.
In addition to reducing whole blood levels of histamine, they are important regulators of enzymes involved in serotonin and dopamine reuptake.
Overmethylators who, with low whole blood histamine are typically high serotonin depressives. They more frequently benefit from supplements that reduce neurotransmitter activity.
In order to determine the actual functional methylation status in the body, whole blood histamine must be measured. Histamine levels correlate with the functionality of the methylation process. Histamine and methyl are inversely related to one another.
That is to say, if whole blood histamine is low, the individual will be overmethylated and if it is high (histadelia), they will be undermethylated. The protocols to treat the two conditions are different.
Do You Have High Histamine?
Do you tend to sneeze in bright sunlight?
Were you a shy and over-sensitive teenager?
Can you make tears easily and are never bothered by a lack of saliva or dry mouth?
Do you hear your pulse in your head on the pillow at night?
Do you have frequent muscle cramps?
Do you have a high sensitivity to pain?
Do you have easy orgasms with sex, and hi libido?
Do you get headaches regularly?
At times does your mind go blank?
Do you have seasonal allergies, such as hay fever?
Do you tend to be a light sleeper?
Do you need only 5 to 7 hours sleep nightly?
Do you burn up foods rapidly?
Have you thought seriously of suicide?
Can you tolerate high doses of medication or drugs?
Do you have large ears and long fingers or toes? (Is your second to as long as your big toe.)
Are you addicted to drugs, alcohol, or sugar?
Are you an obsessive, Type A person who feels driven or a perfectionist?
Are you impulsive?
Do boys predominate among your siblings?
Don’t expect to have all of these symptoms. Ten or more will warrant confirmation of histadelia by a blood test.
Undermethylated depression arises from low activity at serotonin receptors due to rapid re-absorption after serotonin is released into a synapse.
This occurred in 38 percent of the patients he studied and is not serotonin deficiency, but an inability to retain the serotonin in the synapse for a necessary amount of time.
Patients usually report excellent improvement in mood with SSRIs, but for some, serious side effects such as headache or loss of libido can occur.
Nutrient therapy should avoid folates, but use SAMe- methionine. Other nutrients such as zinc, serine, inositol, calcium-magnesium and vitamins A, B6, C, D and E can be supplemented as needed.
Undermethylation induced depression suffers should avoid folic acid as it can further reduce serotonin levels even though it can assist with methylation. Manganese, copper and choline may also worsen depression symptoms and thus should also be avoided in depressive cases.
Symptoms and traits:
Strong willed (always right), tendency toward obsessive-compulsive disorder, high accomplishment, calm exterior with high inner tension, competitive and perfectionistic, addictive tendencies, high libido, excessive tears or saliva, and more than 75 percent exhibit seasonal allergies, good response to antihistamines, frequent headaches.
Undermethylated people are the “classic depressives,” according to Walsh. Highly depressed, but typically able to hide it; undermethylation tends to run in families. About 20 percent of babies are undermethylated at birth.
Some of the nutrients used to treat Undermethylation include:
SAM-e or Methionine
Methyl B12 (also known as Vitamin B12)
Along with antioxidant vitamins and other minerals
Elevated homocysteine level should be lowered before working on the undermethylation in order to avoid increased inflammation.
People with undermethylation benefit from a diet higher in protein.
High copper depression is marked by extreme levels of copper in the blood and brain, causing a dopamine deficiency and norepinephrine overload. Increased copper retention is necessary to rapidly produce capillaries and blood vessels for the growing fetus, and some mothers are unable to eliminate the excess copper.
Walsh suspects that postpartum depression is usually caused by copper overload. Seventeen percent of the depression patients in the study fit this category. Most reported little effect from taking SSRIs, but gained relief from embarking on nutrient therapy to normalize levels of copper.
Symptoms and traits: More than 95 percent female with onset during hormonal event, high anxiety, tendency to panic, estrogen intolerance, tinnitus, hyperactivity, ADHD, Skin sensitivity (tags, rough fabrics, seams), intolerance to estrogen or birth control pills, onset during puberty, pregnancy or menopause, postpartum depression or psychosis, skin intolerance of cheap metals, emotional breakdowns/frequent anger, ringing in ears, high anxiety, sleep problems, poor concentration, poor immune function.
Testing for high copper: Get Serum copper and Ceruloplasmin levels
Copper/Zinc Imbalance – both copper and zinc are important minerals for proper functioning of biochemical processes; however, they must be in proper amounts relative to one another. Copper and zinc levels are regulated by metallothionine, a short linear protein composed of 61 amino acid units.
When this protein fails to perform its necessary functions, abnormal levels of nutrient metals (such as copper, zinc, and manganese) and toxic metals (such as cadmium, mercury, and lead) can result. Nutrient treatment to eliminate these overloads must be cautious and gradual to avoid worsening of symptoms and kidney damage.
Zinc enhances resistance to stress and help maintain intellectual function, memory and mood levels. More than 90% of persons diagnosed with depression, behavior disorder, ADHD, autism and schizophrenia exhibit depleted zinc levels.
Zinc deficiency has been associated with delayed growth, temper control problems, poor immune function, depression, poor wound healing, epilepsy, anxiety, neurodegenerative disorders, hormone imbalances and learning problems.
Laboratory testing adds a plasma Zinc level to the above copper and ceruloplasmin levels to determine the relationship between these metals.
Nutrient Treatment similar to that of Copper Excess.
Pyroluric depression occurs when serotonin production is impaired and there is a high level of oxidative stress. The production of pyrroles/ hydroxyhemopyrrolin can increase with stress, which in turn decreases zinc and B6 – nutrients that are essential for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin, GABA, and acetylcholine. SSRIs were advantageous for the 15 percent of the patients with pyroluric depression.
Pyroluria is a biochemical imbalance that many anxious people have been living with for years. Although identified and studied since the 1950s, chances are your doctor has never heard of it.
Pyroluria requires an understanding of biochemical processes that make life possible, along with orthomolecular knowledge to keep these processes functioning properly… and as Dr. Hugh Riordan once noted, “Orthomolecular medicine is not the answer to any question posed in medical school.”
Pyroluria is a genetic, chemical imbalance, involving abnormal hemoglobin synthesis. People with this disorder over-synthesize a chemical byproduct called kryptopyrroles (KP or pyrroles) which appears in the bloodstream. This chemical has little or no function in the body and is efficiently excreted in urine.
The problem with pyrroles is their strong affinity for pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and zinc. Pyrroles take these essential nutrients with them when they are excreted, and this brings on many metabolic imbalances that the brain expresses as anxiety.
A quick overview of what those nutrients do for us explains why:
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) acts as a coenzyme for over fifty different enzymes. It is essential in the metabolism of all amino acids for their conversion into neurotransmitters. It also supports the immune system. Deficiency symptoms include anxiety, nervousness, and depression. Severe deficiency cause convulsions, heightened anxiety, and extreme nervous exhaustion
Zinc is a mineral that often works together with B6 to affect numerous functions in the body. It aids in the formation of insulin and is essential for protein synthesis. It helps the body maintain acid/alkaline (Ph) balance, works to normalize prostate function (even reverses some cases of impotence), helps to normalize all reproductive organs, accelerates the healing of wounds, revives our taste for foods, promotes mental alertness, decreases cholesterol, and aids in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Serious zinc deficiency affects brain function, creating severe mental problems, including learning and behavioral disorders, and the inability to handle stress. Zinc is essential for hormonal activity, reproductive health, and normal physiological function.
Nutrient therapy includes normalizing B6 and zinc, adding antioxidants, and augmenting with biotin and primrose oil.
Symptoms and traits: Severe mood swings, extreme anxiety and fears, poor short-term memory and reading disorders, little to no dream recall, sensitivity to light and noise, abnormal fat distribution, episodic explosive anger, poor stress control, severe inner tension.
Pyroluria is a stress disorder based on the abnormal production of kryptopyrroles. Pyrrole levels can be measured with a chemical analysis of urine. Normally, people (non-pyrolurics) have pyrrole levels of 0-10 micrograms per deciliter. People with levels above 20 are considered to have pyroluria, especially when the aforementioned symptoms are present.
For testing, samples need to be carefully handled, due to kryptopyrrole’s tendency to decompose quickly. Urine samples should be frozen and overnighted on dry ice to a reputable lab.
Sometimes it is necessary to repeat the test to properly identify KP levels. The test will not be accurate if the patient has been taking B6 and zinc prior to giving a sample.
Mild and moderate pyroluria usually responds rapidly to treatment, provided there are no other chemical imbalances.
Severe pyroluria may take several weeks before progress begins with gradual improvement over 3-12 months. If the nutritional treatment is stopped, symptoms usually reoccur within two to four weeks. Pyroluria is treated by loading high levels of vitamin B6 and zinc so both deficiencies get corrected.
Zinc must be provided in an efficiently absorbed form. Vitamin B6 is given as both pyridoxine hydrochloride (Start at 50mg up 400 mg a day) and pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) 50 mg.
Typical Treatment for Pyrrole Disorder generally includes doses of the following vitamins and minerals, often in higher amounts than taken by the general population and individualized based on the person’s symptoms and lab test results:
Zinc Picolinate 50 – 100 mg
Vitamin B6 200- 400 mg and Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P) 50 mg
Vitamin C 3000 mg per day
Evening Primrose Oil
This condition often responds within several weeks to treatment, but the full benefits may take a few months to be obtained.
Low-folate depression is of critical importance, in that most of the shooters in some 50 school shootings over the past five decades likely had this type of depression, according to Walsh. For these patients, taking SSRIs can lead to suicidal or homicidal ideation.
Nutrient therapy using folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements helped patients in the study. For some, anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin and Ativan were also beneficial. Twenty percent of the patients in Walsh’s study fell into this category.
(i.e. excessive methylation occurring in the cells); in these people there is increased activity at serotonin
and dopamine receptors. there is a tendency for:
Symptoms and traits: High tendency for anxiety and panic, non-competitive in sports and games, food and chemical sensitivities, high musical or artistic ability, underachievement, sleep disorders, absence of inhalant allergies, low libido, tend to be “people persons,” constantly talking. High, labile anxiety; Sleep disorders; Non-competitive;
Can’t stop talking; Moving body more/in motion; Hyperactive (especially with Benadryl); Intermittent explosive disorder; High energy/verbosity; Artistic/musical ability; Sensitive to food/chemicals; Low libido; Dry eyes/mouth; ; Like extreme sports, Piercings & Tattoos;
Cutters; Eeyore males: “I can’t…”; Eczema; Estrogen intolerant; Hairy (men); Tend to be copper intolerant; High pain threshold; Improve with benzos & lithium Caring, generous; History of volunteer work; Good neighbors 42% of people with schizophrenia have overmethylation, and 20% of depressives. Other associated diagnoses include Mania, Intrusive thoughts, Obsessions without rituals or compulsions and stuttering.
Beneficial Nutrients for Overmethylation include:
Folate or Folinic Acid
Hydroxy or Adenosyl B12
As well as other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Overmethylated people benefit from Vegetables or Vegetarian Diet
Toxic metal depression is caused by toxic-metal overload—usually lead poisoning. The removal of lead from paint and gasoline has lowered the frequency of these cases. Walsh estimates that about 5 percent of depressed patients fall into this category.
Nutrient therapy concentrates on zinc, glutathione, selenium and other antioxidants – and calcium in the special case of lead poisoning. In severe cases, hospitalization and chelation may be necessary.
Symptoms and traits: Unrelenting depression, abdominal distress, tendency toward irritability and/or anger, absence of trauma or emotional triggers, food sensitivities, metallic taste in mouth, bad breath.
LAB TESTING FOR NUTRIENT DISORDERS
CLICK THE NAME OF EACH TEST TO ORDER
Includes Kryptopyrrole Urinary Quantitative, Copper Serum, Zinc Plasma and Whole Blood Histamine
Includes Kryptopyrrole Urinary Quantitative, Copper Serum, Zinc Plasma, Whole Blood Histamine and Ceruloplasmin.
Includes Kryptopyrrole Urinary Quantitative, Copper Serum, Zinc Plasma, Whole Blood Histamine, Ceruloplasmin, Vitamin D, TSH, and CMP14. The Advanced Metabolic Panel aids the practitioner in assessing levels of nutrients that are critical to brain health and in calculating free copper/oxidative stress.
The Advanced Metabolic Panel identifies imbalances that have been associated with Autism, Aspergers syndrome, ADD/HD, anxiety, Bipolar disorder, assaultive/aggressive/violent behavior, other mental and emotional conditions and schizophrenia. The Kryptopyrrole Urinary Quantitative is an at-home collection kit.
The at-home Kryptopyrrole collection kit includes all collection materials shipped to you, overnight return shipping back to our laboratory, running the test, reporting the results, and a receipt for services rendered that you can submit for insurance reimbursement.
The Whole Blood Histamine, Copper Serum, Zinc plasma, Ceruloplasmin, Vitamin D, TSH, and CMP14 will require a blood draw. We will provide the patient with several patient service centers centrally located around the shipping address, instructions, and a laboratory requisition.
The patient service center will handle the specimen collection to the requirements of our laboratory. These specimen collection requirements and methodologies are unique. They were modeled by the Original Pfeiffer Treatment Center, Founded by Dr. William J. Walsh.
Performing specimen collections to these specifications will allow doctors and patients to have more accurate result that can be placed into personalized optimal functional ranges. We demand only the best specimen collection and transportation available. All of our orders include extensive and award winning customer service.
Includes Kryptopyrrole Urinary Quantitative, Copper Serum, Zinc Plasma, Whole Blood Histamine, Ceruloplasmin, Vitamin D, TSH, CMP14, and Homocysteine.
The General Wellness Panel is a low cost comprehensive series of laboratory tests. This panel was developed by working hand in hand with medical practitioners who practice preventative care and promote overall well-being for their patients.
CMP14, CBC, Lipid Panel, LDH, GGT, Iron, Uric Acid, Glucose
6) Copper Serum
Copper serum is a highly reliable blood test that directly relates to brain chemistry. Elevated copper levels can alter the brains function, specifically the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine. Copper plays a large role in the metabolism of dopamine and the synthesis of norepinephrine.
In turn, elevated copper levels lower dopamine levels and raise levels of norepinephrine. Imbalances in these essential brain chemicals have been related to paranoid schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, postpartum depression, ADD, ADHD, autism, and violent aggressive behavior or rage.
Copper serum levels can single handedly be the root cause of an individual condition, but elevated copper serum levels are also known to cause zinc levels to deplete and oxidative stress to rise.
7) Zinc Plasma
William J. Walsh PhD., Nutrient Power: Heal your Biochemistry and Heal your Brain
- Zinc is a trace metal essential to all forms of life.
- Zinc Plasma is the gold standard of zinc Measure
- Enhances resistance to stress and helps maintain intellectual function, memory and mood levels.
- More than 90% of persons diagnosed with depression, behavioral disorder, ADHD, autism and schizophrenia exhibit depleted zinc levels.
- Zinc deficiency has been associated with delayed growth, temper control problems, poor immune function, depression, poor wound healing, epilepsy, anxiety, neurodegenerative disorders, hormone imbalances and learning problems.
- Zinc plasma and pyrrole levels coordinate. It has been clinically documented that low zinc levels can cause pyrrole levels to appear underrepresented.
Whole Blood histamine levels are used as a marker for methylation status, and to determine the presence of histadelia, or histapenia. Histamine, in its whole blood form, is utilized as an accurate marker for under methylation or over methylation.
Elevated whole blood histamine levels indicate under-methylation. Review of symptoms and medical history can bolster the diagnosis. For example, most under-methylated persons exhibit seasonal allergies, perfectionism, strong wills, slenderness, OCD tendencies, high libido, depression.
Low whole blood histamine levels indicate over-methylation. Persons who are over-methylated generally exhibit high anxiety, panic disorders, absence of seasonal allergies, presence of food/chemical sensitivities, dry eyes, low perspiration, artistic/music interests/abilities, intolerance to Prozac and other SSRI’s, etc.
Conditions associated with under-methylation are: Anorexia, Bulimia, shopping/gambling disorders, depression, schizo-affective disorder, delusions, oppositional-defiant disorder, OCD.
Conditions associated with over-methylation are: Anxiety/Panic disorders, anxious depression, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, low motivation, paranoid schizophrenia, hallucinations. (Oct 3, 2003)
Most persons with depression, oppositional defiant disorder, OCD, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia exhibit a genetic abnormality in methylation which appears to be central to their illness. Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD of Princeton, NJ was a pioneer in this field. (Oct 3, 2003)
Trained physicians will often order the Methylation Profile (SAM/SAH ratio) test to reinforce whole blood histamine results.
Ceruloplasmin is used in the evaluation of oxidative stress. When paired with copper, it is used to calculate free copper. When paired with other blood or urine copper tests, ceruloplasmin is used to help diagnose Wilson’s disease.
This is due to a decreased ability to incorporate copper into apoceruloplasmin. In turn, free copper levels in plasma and tissue are greatly increased, especially in the liver and brain.
An estimated 95% of copper in the blood is bound to ceruloplasmin. As a result, only a very small amount of copper is found in the blood in an unbound or free state.
Ordered due to:
- Difficulty walking or swallowing
- Abdominal pain
- Calculation of free copper
Ceruloplasmin levels are not diagnostic, therefore they are commonly ordered and evaluated with copper tests. Often elevated when an individual has a severe infection, tissue damage, inflammation, or certain forms of cancer.
Other causes for an elevated result are:
- Use of estrogen
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Medications such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and valproic acid
High levels are linked to a variety of neoplastic and inflammatory states. Increases are found with carcinomas, leukemias, Hodgkin’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Low levels are found with protein loss including nephrotic syndromes, malabsorption, and certain forms of liver disease.
10) Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy
Highly important for your immune health.
Homocysteine is ordered for a variety of clinical purposes including heart conditions, and vitamin b12 or folate deficiency. Testing homocysteine can be effective in identifying abnormal levels of B12 and folate before symptoms are present. Practitioners will order this test on patients who may be malnourished or with poor nutrition. This includes the elderly, drug addicts, and alcohol addicts.
Individuals who are at risk of, or have a family history of heart disease or stroke are also strong candidates for the this test. Practitioners will also order this test on patients with a family history of coronary artery disease. Young children and babies are tested for homocysteine if they test positive for homocystinuria (high levels of methionine) during routine screenings.
Symptoms that qualify a patient to have a homocysteine test include but are not limited to:
- Rapid heart rate
- Sore mouth/tongue
- Discomfort in the arms, feet, hands, or legs
- Loss of appetite
Practitioners order this test on patients who have recently experienced a stroke or heart attack in order to guide treatment. This is due to the test’s ability to assess an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
Practitioners can also order the homocysteine test on patients over the age of 30 who are going through supplemental treatment. This allows for the practitioner to assess whether or not certain supplements will have a negative impact on the patient’s heart.
12) Vitamin B12
Detect B12 deficiency as in pernicious anemia; diagnose folic acid deficiency; evaluate hypersegmentation of granulocyte nuclei; follow up MCV >100; diagnose macrocytic anemia; diagnose megaloblastic anemia; evaluate alcoholism, prenatal care; evaluate malabsorption, neurological disorders, or the elevation of B12 as seen in liver cell damage or myeloid leukemia.
Pyroluria is characterized by elevated urine Kryptopyrrole levels, which result in a dramatic deficiency of zinc and vitamin B6. A high Kryptopyrrole result is also known as pyroluria, pyrrole disorder, or elevated pyrroles. If you do not have a practitioner that will order this testing for you, you can order this test directly through our website.
Our laboratory will provide you with the most accurate Kryptopyrrole result on the market. We are the only laboratory in the U.S.A. that provides a corrected Kryptopyrrole result. Our corrected result accounts for the concentration or dilution of the urine specimen.
For example, if the patient has consumed a large amount of water prior to collection, the pyrrole levels will be lower in the initial result. This is due to the fact that the specimen is diluted. DHA Laboratory performs a validated procedure that calculates the level of dilution.
Our procedure allows us to compensate for dilution (or concentration) in the corrected result. This allows our patients to have an accurate pyrrole result regardless of the concentration of the urine specimen. Due to the calculation we perform, patients only need to collect a one-time urine collection.
Symptoms Relating to Pyroluria Include:
- Poor tolerance to physical / emotional stress
- Poor anger control
- Emotional mood swings
- Poor short-term memory
- Frequent infections
- Inability to tan
- Poor dream recall
- Abnormal fat distribution
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Tactile sensitivities
Pyroluria is Frequently Identified in:
- Behavior disorders
- Assaultive / Aggressive / Violent Behavior
The Kryptopyrrole test kit is an at home urine collection kit. Our kit contains a stabilizing agent used to stop the deterioration of pyrroles, also known as HPL. The specimen must be frozen and shipped according to our directions. Specimen quality is extremely important for the Kryptopyrrole test. DHA Laboratory takes every measure necessary to ensure the integrity of each Kryptopyrrole specimen.
Treatment of Pyroluria:
Treatment consists of a replacement of zinc and vitamin B6. Because treatment is metabolic rather than pharmacologic, it needs to be focused towards each patient’s individual requirements. Age, weight, symptoms, test results, along with several other factors are always taken into consideration when developing a treatment protocol.
Both zinc and vitamin B6 supplementation needs to be directed by a trained physician. Too high of a supplement dosage can be toxic to the body, the wrong form will be ineffective, and certain competing minerals and supplements may have to be avoided.
What’s Included in Your Test Kit Price:
- Test kit instructions
- All collection materials
- Overnight FedEx return shipping label with shipping bag
- Running of the test
- Reporting of the results
- A final receipt for services rendered to submit for insurance reimbursement
Do not collect the first morning urine specimen. A second morning urine collection is preferred, but not required. Supplements containing vitamins or minerals should be stopped 12-24 hours prior to your urine collection. Antibiotics may cause an interfering substance and create a result that cannot be reported. However, do not go off any prescription medications unless advised by your ordering physician.