©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Homocysteine (Blood Test)

Question:

Please share your experience with lowering homocysteine levels and lowering your risk of heart disease and blood clots? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Dommers, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 21

Nine months ago, I tested my homocysteine level and found it was 18. I had been misdiagnosed 11 years previously with primary cardiac valvular regurgitation. This was purely secondary to iron deficiency anemia (IDA), which was undiagnosed for at least 8 years, mainly from uterine fibroids, also undiagnosed. Diagnosis of IDA followed pre-operation blood sampling preceding incidental fracture fixation. I was losing blood from uterus and occultly from small intestine. Folate and B12 levels were falling, and low in the so-called normal range. I have had mild-moderate cervical dysplasia, an ascending colon adenomatous polyp, and a small precancerous IPMN (Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm) cyst found in the tail of the pancreas in last few years. My lifestyle, weight etc. have been healthy; my problems stem from IDA and blood/ micronutrient loss. My symptoms were fatigue, somnolence, deteriorating memory (with IQ of 120). Cardiovascular fitness has always been high, yet I had chest pressure during mild daily activities, whilst sport was asymptomatic. This was microvascular angina, responding to glycerol trinitrate. My coronary arteries are not blocked. I had a likely small pulmonary embolism after hysterectomy, but recovered after exercising. I've reduced the homocysteine, firstly to 14 after 3 months, then 6 after a further 4 months, supplementing with 50 mg B vitamin complex (folic acid limited to 200 ug owing to history of colon polyp), 1 g methylcobalamin, 1.5 g TMG, 600 mg NAC, and zinc 20 mg, daily. I no longer have fatigue nor sleepiness, and I can focus better once more. This has restored my quality of life considerably. I'm now addressing the microvascular angina with supplements to help endothelial healing, plus have increased exercise and improved diet, increasing omega 3, green leafy vegetables and pulses. I'm continuing to improve. The iron deficiency anemia and low ferritin have been addressed at root cause level. All my conditions relate to iron and blood loss, then fall in micronutrients, leading to oxidative damage to blood vessels and DNA via both iron imbalance and rising homocysteine. Resolution has been patient, not physician, led. I'm a vet and read the internet. I thank the great medics that have assisted me by listening to my theories and investigating/ treating me. Those that understand homocysteine and its role in integrated medicine seem to be in the minority. I hope this helps another patient, or several.

Comment from: KMarie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

My homocysteine level was 17 about 20 years ago, and my B12 blood level was down around 250. I've been a vegan all my life and didn't always take a supplement, so I began to take Shaklee Vita-Lea (multivitamin) once or twice a day (for about 6 mcg to 24 mcg of B12 a day). I took also a 1,000 mcg B12 lozenge from Whole Foods that I sucked under my tongue to start with for 2 weeks. My homocysteine level has at first been very low, and now at the normal range. Vegans need to be sure to get their B12 levels tested at their annual exam and supplement if needed by mouth. My B12 level now is about 450. Vegans who take no oral B12 daily at all sometimes consistently have high homocysteine levels noted on clinical studies. Eating algae and plant based B12 analogues don't raise blood B12 levels, or lower homocysteine levels. Many dry cereals are supplemented with B12 (see the box) and nutritional yeast is supposed to be vitamin supplemented also I think. I am not anemic at all and have high hematocrit levels, so this was not any pernicious anemia. There are 3 tests for low B12 levels: B12, folic acid, methylmalonic acid, that all need to be performed to determine the correct B12 level. Now my CRP and homocysteine levels are always normal too.

Comment from: Billypil, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 02

I am a male 82 years of age. I developed a range of cardiac problems from approximately age 22. I had lots more problems, as doctors didn't know about homocysteine or the MTHFR gene. I had coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs) at age 44 and 62, 2 radiofrequency ablations, pacemaker, and stent. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, had numerous bouts of pneumonia, spinal stenosis and discs collapsing. I was told I had immune system problems. In earlier days professors at major hospitals thought I had arteritis in my legs. I kept myself dosed with B, C and E vitamins. I had heaps of pain and fatigue, but kept myself working and studying. Sixty years later I have found out about homocysteine and the MTHFR C677T gene anomaly, which I have after one son died at 42, and one suffered a stroke at 50.

REFERENCES:

Haque WM. Homocysteine and Pregnancy. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Jun;17(3):459-69

Saposnik G; Ray JG; Sheridan P; McQueen M; Lonn E. Homocysteine-lowering therapy and stroke risk, severity, and disability: additional findings from the HOPE 2 trial. Stroke. 2009; 40(4):1365-72

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors