Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Caffeine and coming down off methyl donors

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Coming down off methyl donors is hell.

When I used to drink caffeine I felt the same way. Sometimes caffeine hits me like speed. Withdrawal gives me the shakes, brain fog, headaches and back pain. I feel like my head is full of wool. Memory completely shot. Misspellings. Malapropisms. Inability to speak sentences, get words out. This is what it feels like to be a nonverbal autistic. Like my brain is one big stutter.

Once in the brain, the principal mode of action of caffeine is as an antagonist of adenosine receptors found in the brain. The caffeine molecule is structurally similar to adenosine, and binds to adenosine receptors on the surface of cells without activating them (an “antagonist” mechanism of action). Therefore, caffeine acts as a competitive inhibitor. The reduction in adenosine activity results in increased activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine, largely accounting for the stimulatory effects of caffeine. Caffeine can also increase levels of epinephrine/adrenaline, possibly via a different mechanism. Acute usage of caffeine also increases levels of serotonin, causing positive changes in mood. Caffeine Mechanisms of Action

On top of inhibiting adenosine, caffeine – trimethylxanthine – is a methyl donor. The liver detoxifies caffeine by stripping off the methyl groups and using them for other tasks. During the first pass through the liver, one methyl group is stripped away, and this has the effect of changing the shape of the caffeine into dimethylxanthine so it becomes physiologically more active. This is why caffeine usually hits you about an hour or two after you’ve drunk it.

The half-life of caffeine—the time required for the body to eliminate one-half of the total amount of caffeine consumed at a given time—varies widely among individuals according to such factors as age, liver function, pregnancy, some concurrent medications, and the level of enzymes in the liver needed for caffeine metabolism. In healthy adults, caffeine’s half-life is approximately 3–4 hours. In women taking oral contraceptives this is increased to 5–10 hours, and in pregnant women the half-life is roughly 9–11 hours. Caffeine can accumulate in individuals with severe liver disease when its half-life can increase to 96 hours. Caffeine Metabolism

I wonder what the half-life of salicylate is in my body?

Funny story. I went to the supermarket earlier and I decided to buy some pesticide. Much as I would love to be totally organic, I have a small yucca that is infested with black fly and I can’t seem to shift them just by physical removal.

I am coming down off methyl donors and inevitably I have brain fog today.

I sprayed the pesticide on my yucca. I held my breath, but I got a good whiff of the stuff anyway. It smelled like moth balls. Within seconds of smelling this stuff my brain fog cleared. I looked to see what the active ingredient was: bifenthrin. What’s in it?

(2-methyl-1,1-biphenyl-3-y1)-methyl-3-(2-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-2,2-dimethyl cyclopropanecarboxylate

Methyl donor?

Shame the effect only lasted ten minutes.


Written by alienrobotgirl

18 September, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Methyl Donors

2 Responses

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  1. […] three weeks ago, I’m still paying for it with rebound depression and very slow skin healing. Caffeine and folate have the same side […]

  2. […] and some fairly awful experiences taking other methyl donors like folate, especially when trying to come down off them, I’ve been meaning to get round to doing another isolated B12 trial for a while. Earlier this […]

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