MTHFR, weight loss, gallbladder sludge, PCOS and more. Oh my!

To Health With That!

If you want to get healthier, feel better and enjoy increased vitality and zest for life, then you’re in the right place. Especially if you’re struggling with mthfr mutation, gallbladder sludge, pcos or another complex women’s hormone issue, or weight loss. Even when you’re working with a team of doctors and experts, good health comes down to you making decisions about what you eat, drink and do with your body. My goal, is to help you to make those decisions in the best possible way for YOUR body and your happiness.

MTHFR, gallbladder sludge, PCOS and hormone balance and weight loss are areas of special interest and focus.




In the To Health With That! Blog, you will find health lifehacks about MTHFR, gallbladder sludge, weight loss, PCOS, and plenty more.  The blog,  articles, and downloads are filled with as much information as I could pack into them to help you get and stay healthy in a way that actually works in real life.  There are hundreds of ideas about simple changes to push your life in a better direction.  Also there is some random information thrown in about living a little more on the earth each day and getting closer to the things that really matter. If this isn’t quite enough, then check out the book, DIY Health: For Women.

Be someone who loves the gift - belly laugh and dance joy - here's to making life sizzle and pop. Also learn about mthfr, gallbladder sludge, PCOS and weight loss

Naturopathic doctor* Amy Neuzil helps you to be someone who loves the gift – belly laugh and find pure freaking joy – here’s to making life sizzle and pop the way only great health can.

If you have questions about something I write – especially about MTHFR, gallbladder sludge, PCOS or weight loss, leave them as comments and I’ll get back to you with an answer! A real-live answer from a real-live naturopathic doctor*, although please be clear that for legal reasons I can’t give individual health advice this way.

Written by Naturopathic Doctor* Amy Neuzil, who in addition to being a natural health practitioners is also an author, blogger, teacher, speaker and total freaking goofball.

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47 thoughts on “MTHFR, weight loss, gallbladder sludge, PCOS and more. Oh my!

  1. susanna brook

    Hey Amy,
    Just wondered if you had any thoughts on this….Ive been seed cycling for 5 months (i think) after suffering from amenorrhea. I have put on weight and have been experiencing hormonal fluctuations (i used to get spots on my neck before my period which have come back). On the second phase of my cycle, when I’m taking sunflower and EPO(1000mg), my mood swings are quite bad and I’m quite emotional/tearful. I also suffer from bad oedema, swelling from waist down. It does settle, but I’m wondering if this co-incides with my cycle/moon pull. Have you experienced this before?
    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Susanna,
      It sounds like your progesterone could be getting too high. Are you using the sesame seeds or just the sunflower? The sesame seeds have a reasonably dose of lignans in them, it could be helpful to keep balance a little. If you’re using both seeds and the EPO it could just be that your body is in an awkward re-starting phase where it’s trying to figure things out before your cycle actually gets started and balanced. When your cycle has been stopped for a while sometimes it takes your body a while to sort things out. Because you’re having symptoms that you used to associate with parts of your cycle it sounds like your hormone levels are coming up and that your body is trying to get back to normal, but it also sounds like you’re in the messy phase between not having a cycle and having a good cycle. My guess would bet that it’s just awkward and will take a few more months to sort out. The symptoms you describe sound like high estrogen symptoms, so if you go a few months and it’s still happening you could try carrying through a half-portion of the flax seeds in the second half of the cycle in addition to the sunflower and sesame. Just to try to manage any excess. Also make sure you’re working with a good gynaecologist because there are many causes for amenorrhea and it’s important to make sure there isn’t anything serious happening. Keep me posted – I’d love to hear how it all goes!

      Reply
      1. susanna brook

        Thank you Amy for your interesting comments. I will persevere and hopefully it’ll settle. I have not been taking sesame as i have an allergy to this. Would you recommend cutting back on some of the sunflower and EPO? Many thanks 🙂

        Reply
        1. amyneuzil Post author

          I think if you add the flax (for the lignans that would normally be in sesame) then it should balance out and hopefully no need to cut the dose. Worth a try anyway!

          Reply
  2. Charles Cavanaugh

    Hi Dr. Neuzil,
    I have a persistent, mild anxiety disorder that causes problems with fatigue, insomnia, and irritability. Even though I’ve cultivated healthy practices with food, exercise, and meditation, the problem seems intractable and disruptive. I’ve recently become intrigued with the idea that the stresses throughout my life (starting with severe and extensive bullying when I was a child) have kind of “hard-wired” the chemistry of my body to have those excesses and/or deficiencies that contribute to anxiety.
    Cut to the chase: I had a checkup with my doctor yesterday and I asked him if I could have the MTHFR genetic test to determine if I have the defect that could cause folate deficiencies. He was unfamiliar with the test and seemed skeptical, particularly with regard to the high cost of genetic tests. But he did think it was fine to try out the L-Methylfolate to see if it had any beneficial effects for me.
    Do you think this is advisable, to try this without actually determining if I have the defect? If so, what kind of dosage would you recommend? I’ve also heard that there was research into another type of blood test that measure acetylcholinesterase levels (of which high amounts might contribute to a state of anxiety).
    Sorry for the length, and I appreciate any advice that you can provide.

    Charlie

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Charlie,
      I think it’s completely worth it to test if you can (have you looked into 23andme.com? It’s a lot cheaper than a lot of the medical testing and actually gives you more information). If you can’t test then it is okay to start supplementing, but just like you would with a confirmed MTHFR mutation, start supplementing at a low dose. Most people start around 200 mcg and increase from there. Most people without the mutation don’t notice any adjustment reaction, but often people with the mutation will feel a little weird those first few days of supplementation (and I’ve seen one person with no mutation who couldn’t tolerate 5-MTHF at all, so having a reaction doesn’t confirm a mutation). I think it’s completely worth a try, just remember that this is re-nourishing your body and also slowly starting to clear through any backlog of detoxifying so it can be a slow process, but so worth it. I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

      Reply
  3. savika

    Hi Dr. Amy….
    Am glad I came across your blog.
    Will be trying your inputs at sludge cleanse.
    Thank you…

    Reply
  4. Kath

    I’ve just come across your information on seed cycling. This looks fascinating. Can you provide information/direction on how to do this post-menopause, specifically, how does one know when to begin?

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kath,
      Great question! After your natural cycles have stopped, I typically revert to the lunar rhythm. So start the flax and pumpkin seeds from new moon to full moon and the sunflower and sesame seeds from full moon to new moon as in this article. I hope this helps – if you get a chance let me know what you notice after a few months!

      Reply
      1. Kath

        Thanks! I will begin with the next new moon and get back to you in the fall. Love your site, glad I stumbled across it.
        Kath

        Reply
  5. Ashley crist

    Hello dr. I am 30 years old in generally good health and in the last 9 months after dropping 80 lbs and keeping it off for almoat 2 years have balooned back up 70lbs my feet are constantly swollen despite the rubbing soaking elevation and water pills….i dont sleep very well EVER and i am at my wits end. I have had blood tests that rules out hearr kidneys and lungs for the edema and to add the no sleep and huge and sudden weight gain…i believe it it stress levels and hormones….please help or let me know what you would suggest! I just want to be beautiful and happy and normal again.

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Ashley,
      Wow – first off, congratulations on dropping the 80 lbs! That is such a huge accomplishment. My first suggestion would be to stop the water pills (if they’re over-the-counter. If they’re prescription then don’t stop them, just add lots and lots of water) – I know it sounds counter-intuitive but often taking diuretics can cause your body to hold more water because it’s protecting itself against dehydration. Also increase your water intake and make sure you’re getting 10 8 oz glasses every day for a couple of weeks. Often people will say that all of a sudden their body starts letting go of water and the swelling goes down. Another thing you might want to try is a food allergy elimination diet – it’s not easy, but it’s SO worth it! If you’re eating a food that is causing inflammation then it causes your body to hold water and also to hold weight. These food sensitivities can develop suddenly as an adult so it could be something that you’ve been eating your whole life without problems. Here’s some more information about that. The stress levels and sleep is a huge issue too and that could be the culprit – and if that’s it I suggest working with a good practitioner because this one isn’t one-size-fit-all. You need someone who can work with you in real life and find ways that work for you. Great luck Ashley and keep me posted!

      Reply
  6. Corinne DeMaagd

    Hi Amy,

    I had my gall bladder removed about 14 months ago and it really hasn’t helped that much. My gall bladder was functioning at 20% but I wish I would have looked at alternatives to surgery. After it was removed, I just have diarrhea all the time. And about two weeks ago, I had white stools again. I went right to my doctor who did both blood tests and ultrasound, everything coming back normal. ??? My stools have gone back to brown but I’m still very bloated, gassy and shift from constipation to diarrhea. Lovely. After the white stools, I really kicked in gear a liver supporting diet – beet root, carrots, dark greens, lemon, low fat protein, whole grains, but still things doing feel “right” down there and I wonder if anything you have suggested to others might help settle things down a bit. Still, it’s a worry to have white stools even after the GB came out!
    Thank you in advance!
    CD

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Corinne,
      Ugh. Yes I hear that so often – that people have had their gallbladder removed and still have the same problems they came in with in the first place. It sounds like you’re on the right track, but for more information I wrote a post about it here. I hope this helps!

      Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Abigail,
      I’m not sure, but I’m pretty into “zest” myself so maybe so! Start with this one – I know a lot of us MTHFR folks are finding we don’t have as much zest as we’d like but fixing your MTHFR can really help. If that doesn’t seem like you then take a peek around and see what might fit. Let me know what you find!

      Reply
  7. Catherine ramos

    Hi, are you in the Austin area? If you are I was just wondering if you might know about getting rid of cysts on kidneys? How to naturally cleanse and get kidneys cleared up. They were found on an mri of my back. Thanks

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Catherine,
      I used to be in the Austin area but I’ve moved to Canada and now see clients from there remotely. I don’t have experience with cysts on Kidneys as a separate issue, only as a part of the complex that can happen with PCOS. There are a lot of great docs in the area though – I think John Finnell might be able to help – he is the director of the doctoral program at AOMA (the school for acupuncture and holistic medicine) and sees patients in their professional clinic.

      Reply
  8. JoAnna Rollings

    Hi Dr Amy, I love all the data helps on your site! And welcome to Texas. I am heterozygous T677 and was started on liposomal MTHF 3 pumps daily plus supplements. Doing well, but could you please give some guidance for transition dosing to tablets a for a place to start. Thank you. The specification approximates per pump are:
    4mg – 5-MTHF
    1mg – Hydroxycobalamin (B12)
    1mg – Methylcobolamin (B12)
    1mg – P5P (B6)
    1,000 IUs – Vitamin D3

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi JoAnna,
      Hmmm. So – it seems like some people absorb the topicals really well and some don’t. Because of that I’d start you on a WAY lower oral dose than you’ve been taking topically. Even down to 400 mcg of the MTHF. You could probably start with 1 mg of the hydroxycobalamin sublingual, but listen to your body. Start each one individually and watch for adjustment reactions and side effects before you add in the other. The P5P and Vitamin D3 shouldn’t cause too many problems, those you could convert dose for dose. I’d love to hear how it goes for you if you get a chance!

      Reply
  9. Bonnie Pun

    I started to have itchy skin about 2 years ago and I thought it was a menopause symptom. My nutritionist asked me to do the genetic test which discovered my MTHFR mutation. My homocysteine and B12 in blood were over the roof. The methylfolate I take seems to bring the homocysteine down but B12 is still high after 6 months. My itchy skin is better but not totally gone. Is there a reason for the high b12 in blood? I eat mostly vege and carbs, rarely eat meat.

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Bonnie,
      The itching can also be if you’re body is trying to detoxify and can’t quite keep up, or if your liver is struggling a little bit. Hmmm. So are you still taking any B12? It’s water soluble and usually flushes out reasonably quickly, but if it isn’t flushing out then I’d talk with your doctor about further testing. There are some liver diseases that will cause high B12 in the blood, and it’s sometimes seen with diabetes so it’s certainly worth investigating – especially since both the itching and the high B12 point to liver. Talk with your doctor and if you don’t mind, let me know what they tell you – I’d love to hear about it.

      Reply
  10. Alex P

    Hello,
    My son is 6 y/o and has autism. He has the MTHFR mutation.
    I’ve read of some success stories of children on the spectrum who started taking b12 and methyl folate
    Can you recommend a good product that can come in a chewable form? Any suggestions on what dose to start on?

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Alex,
      B12 and methyl folate can be incredibly helpful for kiddos with autism, but typically they are also more sensitive to side effects so start with the lowest dose you can find and work up slowly (S.L.O.W.L.Y!!) The first few days you try it there can be a bit of an adjustment reaction even for adults, so that is normal, it’s only abnormal if it persists. I am not the autism expert – I’d point you to Dr. Amy Yasko for that, she’s amazing. In terms of chewables the only one I’m familiar with is from Dr. Ben Lynch – Seeking Health Chewable Active B12 lozynge with 5-MTHF. For a kiddo (especially a little kiddo) you’ll have to cut them as small as possible. You could even start just shaving off a corner and giving that. I know it sounds crazy, but I’d rather be conservative and not overdo it! Good luck!

      Reply
    2. Alex P

      Dear Amy-
      Thank you so much for your answer. I plan on being very, very conservative.
      I appreciate the recommendation so much. I will let you know how it goes!

      Thank you again =)

      Alex

      Reply
  11. Heather Williams

    I have heterogenous genotype for MTHFR 677T and A1298c polymorphisms.
    I Have been taking fish oil, “pure” alpha hydroxy b12, phytocalm and iron supplements. I took my first coenzyme b-complex (with methyfolate 400mcg) yesterday and woke up in the night with full on anxiety attack. I took it at 10am. Does this mean it was too much too soon? The brand was Country Life. I don’t know what to do or where to start. Thank you

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Heather,
      No way to tell for sure, but my guess would be that it’s too much too soon (at least I’m guessing that resting on the assumtion that middle-of-the-night panic-attacks aren’t your normal). Amazing how even a small amount can be too much, right? Can you cut the tablets or take a portion of the powder out of the capsule? Give it a try!

      Reply
  12. Kathy

    Hi,
    Thank you for the post regarding gall stones/gall bladder pain! I have the typical symptoms of gall bladder issues (pain in upper right quadrant, sometimes radiates to right shoulder blade). The pain started about 10 days ago. It is not as severe as it was during the first few days. I am avoiding most fat in my diet, drinking lots of lemon water, and water mixed with lemon/ginger/cucumber/mint.

    After reading your blog yesterday, I started the Phosfood Liquid, Livaplex, and Milk Thistle. I have been eating lots of fiber, but will add the Fiber Plus today as well.

    I understand from what I have read that one can wait an episode like this out, unless of course there is fever, vomiting or jaundice. I have none of those, and the discomfort is more annoying that actual pain.

    My question regards how long does such an episode usually last? When I read about this elsewhere online, most “attacks” are over in an hour or less. Since this isn’t exactly an “attack”, what should I expect? How soon should I start to see this fade?

    Second question – once these symptoms subside, are most people able to go back to regular diet (i.e., include a bit more fat) while continuing with the supplements?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kathy,
      Great question! So symptoms like you’re having don’t really sound like an “attack” per se – it’s more like your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. It may even be sludge dilating one of your ducts a little bit or dilating the gallbladder itself. Honestly this can last quite a while – I’ve had clients come in (untreated) who have been feeling that for months. My experience clinically is that it usually responds fairly well once you start the supplements, but if it doesn’t start getting better soon (within a week) or starts to get worse then it’s a good idea to see your doctor or practitioner. Once the symptoms subside and have been gone for a while then most people can add healthy fats back into their diet (olive oil, avocado, coconut oils, etc…) but often the less healthy oils like trans-fats, deep-fry oil etc… are never really well tolerated. Which is actually kind of a good thing for your health long-term, but really a bad thing if you’re addicted to french fries. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Kathy

        Wow – !!!! You hit it right on the head.
        After I sent my question to you I ended up meeting with a naturopathic doctor at the People’s Pharmacy in north Austin. We are awaiting blood test results and making a plan to improve my digestive system

        I also saw my primary care physician. She completely agreed with your assessment and suggestions. She doesn’t think this is gall stones, but she did order an ultrasound just to rule them out and/or to get a baseline on the number and size if there are any. I have that scheduled for tomorrow.

        Meanwhile I am continuing with the supplements you recommended in your blog post (minus the Beta A-F because the naturopath and I agreed that since we don’t know about any possible stones, we might not want to encourage any flushing of the gall bladder in case one might be too big to pass through the duct). Also, I am allergic to Milk Thistle, so I had to discontinue that. She added Chelidonium Plex (10 drops twice/day).

        I am totally amazed that you assessed my situation so perfectly without even having the chance to physically see me. It’s comforting to know that you and my primary care doctor both see this the same way.

        Thanks for what you do! (and do so well!)

        Reply
        1. amyneuzil Post author

          So glad to hear it Kathy and thanks for letting me know! Also I’m SO glad you talked with your doctor and ND about it – that is great news! Keep me posted on how it all goes. 🙂

          Reply
  13. Jim Kimbrell

    HI I saw your web site, I had gallbladder pain, I went out and got sweedish bitters The next day I felt better, after a week now. I still feel good. The gallbladder pain is gone. I have been using the sweedish biitters once a day, one teaspoon. Your web site sent me out for sweedish bitters Thank you

    Reply
  14. jimkim

    The doctor sent me for ultra sound and that told us my gallbladder wall was getting thicker, my doctor used a special name for the condition, Now 4 months later, I have more discomfort than before. Not pain, but discomfort. My problem is I am 2000 miles from home. I wonder if I should go to an ER ?

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      That is a question I sadly can’t answer because I have no idea how severe your symptoms are. Take care of yourself though and certainly talk to someone locally!

      Reply
  15. Greg Thomas

    I read in one of your posts that you recommended Pure Encapsulations B Complex, but later added that hydroxocobalamin is the preferred choice for people who are sensitive to methylcobalamin. Can you also recommend a quality B Complex that contains hydroxocobalamin?

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Greg,
      Great point and great question! I actually prefer the hydroxycobalamin (or any B12) is taken separately as a sublingual (or under-the-tongue) formula, simply because the absorption of any B12 is much higher that way than it is when you swallow a capsule. So typically some combo of a B complex with whatever B12 in it and a sublingual hydroxycobalamin. Perque makes a great quick-dissolve tab and there are a couple of companies who make liquid forms that I’ve seen. No real preference between different products, it’s more the route of administration (sublingual) that’s important.

      Reply
      1. Greg Thomas

        Thanks Amy. I recently learned that I’m homozygous C677T, but experience side effects when taking methylfolate/cobalamin. Specifically, I get anxious after one or two dosages so I stop taking immediately; I probably just need to take longer so my system can adjust. This was the reason for my question regarding hydroxycobalamin. By the way, I have no side effects when taking cyanocobalamin within your average, mass market multivitamins. Today, I purchased the Pure Encapsulations on Amazon so I’ll see how I respond to them. Thanks again!

        Reply
  16. Bonney Hughes

    Hi Dr. Neuzil. I recently was tested and found out I am a/c for MTHFR A1298C. I have been seen some mood improvement with 400-500 mcg methylfolate daily. I think I need a new multivitamin and/or B vitamin supplement as my old one has what it calls “Folic Acid (Folate)” in it. I tried to order the Pure Encapsulation B vitamin, but I have to have a practitioner’s name or fulfillment code to order. Can you provide me with a code? I have a practitioner here in Santa Fe, but her name doesn’t come up when I search on their website. I can’t find another supplement that looks decent.
    Thank you.
    Bonney Hughes

    Reply
    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Bonney,
      Sadly I can’t – all of the websites require practitioner accounts, but give amazon a try. Seems like you can get anything at all without restriction (just a little scary actually!) Let me know if it doesn’t work and we’ll figure something else out because I agree – you shouldn’t be on the multi with folic acid.

      Reply

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