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Homocysteine (Blood Test)

Question:

Please share your experience with high homocysteine levels in the blood. Why you were tested, do you have any risk factors, etc. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Roxann, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

After a pulmonary embolism (PE), heart attack, and 3 TIAs (transient ischemic attacks), hematologist tested for elevated homocysteine levels. They were 20. I was given vitamins B6, B12 and B9. Levels dropped to 14. It was always covered by insurance, now they have stopped covering. I am fearful I will have more PE, heart attack and strokes. I am too poor to afford the vitamins consistently.

Comment from: Billypil, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 31

I was found to have serum homocysteine levels above the norm (over 20.0) many years ago. Most doctors just said forget it as it doesn't mean anything. After many years I did convince a general physician (GP) to request a homocysteine check again and following that a genetic test for the MTHFR c677T gene which showed I was homozygous for this gene. This, I was advised by a pathology lab, indicated that I had a greatly increased possibility of cardiac problems and CAD (coronary artery disease) plus much more. I have had two CABGs (coronary artery bypass grafting) and a stent as well as congestive heart failure, even though my LDL cholesterol and triglycerides have always been well below the required levels and my HDL has always been at a healthy level. It seems rather strange to me that this is not publicized much more and that GPs are ignorant of this problem and continue to demand that I take statins to treat my already good cholesterol levels. I have had official letters explaining the effects of high homocysteine and the genetic problems responsible for this. The main result it appears is the loss of ability to process folate by about 70 percent, especially folic acid, which I have been told can become a danger if taken as a supplement. Also I have been advised to take the methylated versions of the B vitamins.

Comment from: Rohoff, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 14

I had 2 incidents of pulmonary embolism (PE), the 1st in 2007 following a surgery, and the 2nd in 2015, without obvious trigger. At the 2nd incident, serum homocysteine (Hcy) was tested, and it was elevated. No other obvious blood markers were found. I began a personal investigation; which disclosed polymorphisms in two F11 gene locations involved in the clotting cascade; and also in methylation-related genes, specifically related to the folate pathway. Some of these predispose to elevated Hcy. Methylation pathway aberrations (and the gene polymorphisms with which they are associated) are also associated with both elevated Hcy and various neural tube (developmental) defects, such as spina bifida; and (if I recall correctly) Marfan syndrome. Coincidentally, I have a few of the signs of Marfan (i.e. vaulted palate, crowded upper teeth, some skeletal anomalies, very strong myopia). However, as I have none of the most visible markers like elongated limbs, sunken chest, etc., and only fairly recently connected the dots with those I do have, I have not been diagnosed with Marfan. I now suspect that genetics related to such folate-pathway regulation produced the subset of developmental anomalies that I do have. Based on all this information, my doctor (a functional medicine practitioner) suggested daily supplementation with methylfolate 800 mcg; bioavailable B6 (P5P) 40mg; and B12 (hydroxocobalamin) 1000 to 2000 mcg, which I have continued on a daily basis. Plasma Hcy has, since supplementation with the above, dropped from 13umol/L to 8.6 and, 5 months later, 6.8, though the most recent test 6 months later showed an increase to 10.8; which, although in the reference range suggests the need to continue monitoring to determine if the B-complex supplementation will keep it within range. Because of the 2nd incident of PE I was prescribed warfarin (Coumadin) with the expectation that I would be on it for the remainder of my life. However, I've since learned that warfarin will likely lead to arterial calcification which makes me keen to find and address any root causes for the blood clotting anomaly, so that I might stop the warfarin. I also supplement with vitamin K2, (100 mcg/day) and there has been no visible impact on anti-coagulant efficacy as measured by INR. In the future I hope also to learn whether there are connections between various heavy metals and Hcy, as a heavy metals urine screen done many years back disclosed very high levels of lead and mercury. The source of the latter was most likely from dental amalgams; while the source of the lead is uncertain but likely from exposure to lead paint.

Comment from: Charles Smith, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 30

I am 61 years old, in relatively good shape. I have had mitral valve prolapse all my life , cardiomyopathy since I was 40, and 3 different doctors have told me that I have all the physical symptoms of Marfan syndrome. Everything started changing 11 months ago. When I ran my 23 and Me results through Promethease I found I not only was homozygous for C677T I also had the rs1021737(T;T) gene which is also associated with significantly higher levels of homocysteine. Because I had 2 mutations associated with high levels of homocysteine, I went to my doctor and had a complete blood test done. Sure enough my folate levels were low, and vitamin B was low. And my homocysteine was very high. After research online which included your website I started taking a supplement specifically designed for the MTHFR defect that included 2 grams methylfolate daily and high levels of the vitamin B. And since my vitamin D was also low, a 50,000 IU vitamin D once a week. Three months after I started taking the MTHFR supplement, the doctor did a blood test on me and all my B vitamins, my methylfolate and my homocysteine levels were normal. I have had 3 doctors say I have all the physical symptoms of Marfan syndrome. A long slender build, arm span 3 inches longer than my height, high palate, mitral valve prolapse, aortic dilation, etc. I found a research paper online that claims that high levels of homocysteine cause the exact same development issues as Marfan syndrome. It struck me, with 2 genes that cause high homocysteine levels, and with the symptoms of Marfan, it is possible I don't have Marfan syndrome at all, that all my life I just had high homocysteine levels.

Comment from: Caretaker, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 26

My brother recently died due to a heart attack at the age of 33. The doctor recommended to me to test for homocysteine. Surprising, everyone who tested this has same pattern. Almost everyone has high risk range of 30 to 70.

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Comment from: Anemache, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I was tested for homocysteine levels when I went to have my left eye checked out by an ophthalmologist. For no reason, I started having blurry vision. He discovered the artery in the back of my left eye was blocked from draining the fluids, by a blood clot. I filled him in on an incident at home where our home filled with carbon monoxide. He said there must be another reason for the blood clot.

Comment from: Mohandas, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I was tested for homocysteine and the result is 14.86. Interpretation is, increased levels are seen in deranged vitamin B12 metabolism and form an independent marker for risk of thromboembolic episodes in coronary artery disease. Levels are also increased in homocystinuria, various neoplastic diseases like cancers of ovary or breast and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic liver or renal failure, post-menopausal state, drug usage and cigarette smoking.

Comment from: 30Sucks, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 24

I am a 34 year old male. Recently, I have done my health checkup as being in my 30s. It brought surprise to me that my homocysteine levels are 49.2. So I consulted with the doctor and he asked me to do regular exercise and control my diet.

Comment from: Mr Health, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 30

The normal level of homocysteine is 2 to 5, and maximum 6 to 8. With 15 you have advanced atherosclerotic processes already. If you want to reduce homocysteine level you have to take 3 cheap things, vitamin B 6, B 12 and folic acid (B 9). Eat minimum 5 yolks daily, raw or soft, not hard boiled; this is very important. After 4 to 7 months your veins will be clear. All I have written here is proved by practice.

QUESTION

In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer
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