Having low energy is one of the primary reasons that patients seek help from health care practitioners, especially from natural health care providers. Having a lack of energy seems rampant in our modern world. Ask just about anyone if they have all the energy they want and very few of us will answer in the affirmative. Low energy is one very important sign that there might be a methylation problem. This fatigue can result from glitches at a number of places along the pathway, which can result in low energy production.
Low B12 and folic acid status are notorious for leading to low energy. These deficiencies lead to pernicious anemia, which is a well-known cause of fatigue. In addition, the inability to eliminate excess toxins and metals can lead to fatigue. Impaired ability to eliminate infectious agents due to low immune function, increased fat deposition, and inability to send fuel to the energy-producing Krebs cycle can also lead to fatigued states.
Folate is also required in the production of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These molecules are called catecholamines, and they are our stress hormones. Decreased production of these hormones leads to low energy and adrenal fatigue. Natural health care professionals have long recognized that a large percentage of our patients suffer from adrenal fatigue. For quite some time, we attributed this fatigued state to excess stress and inadequate rest. We considered other factors that contributed to this state to be poor diet and emotional issues, consumption of excess caffeine, and alcohol. We never dreamed that our genetic inability to make these hormones in the first place was largely responsible for the adrenal dysfunction we were seeing clinically.
Issues with mitochondria, the energy-producing centers within each cell, also can factor into fatigue. Decreased mitochondrial energy has been implicated in chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, dementia, and mitochondrial disease. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in ATP production along the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Again, as mentioned above, the methylation pathway function is necessary for the synthesis of CoQ10 in the body.
In addition, carnitine is another nutrient produced by the body that is involved in mitochondrial energy production. Mitochondria fatty acid oxidation provides the primary energy source for heart and skeletal muscle. Carnitine is also involved in the transport of these fatty acids into the mitochondrial energy production centers. As with CoQ10, the synthesis of carnitine by the body requires the methylation pathway to function correctly. Synthesis of carnitine begins with the methylation of the amino acid L-lysine by SAM, so once again we have a connection to the methionine/homocysteine pathways.
In her book, Dr. J. Dunn explores issues into why you are the way you are and how you can make changes. It’s a whole new paradigm in understanding what causes disease and mental health issues. The basis of the book talks about how to bypass your genetic makeup to help change destructive behaviors such as overeating, substance abuse, and anger.
Energy Production and Your Genes
Dr. J. Dunn explains how her research was motivated because of her personal struggles to feel healthy. She had a case of mono when she was sixteen years old and suffered from lifelong depression. Since then she has battled chronic fatigue syndrome caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Looking into the history of the virus she found that 90 percent or more people have antibodies to the virus and yet don’t necessarily have an issue with it for the rest of their lives. She was also looking for true answers to her own depression. These were missing pieces in the puzzle of health, and she began her quest to search for why and how to fix them. She approached her research with a compassionate point of view, knowing that some types of behavior and health problems are caused by inherited biochemical imbalances and are not personal failings. Things such as:
- Focusing Issues such as ADD and ADHD
- Chronic Fatigue
Genetic testing can identify potential health problems and give you another tool to make informed decisions about managing your health care. Dr. J. Dunn explores how to obtain correct results and what to do with the results. She also talks about compassion for yourself and others when it comes to problems beyond our control. Her book – Genetic Compassion – will help you to understand how genes play a very important role in how we feel.
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