Do you have a Sulfur (MSM) Sensitivity?
Sulfur (also known as “MSM” or “methylSulphonylMethane”) is an important mineral and element typically found in food that enables the transport of oxygen across cell membranes. Oxygen is necessary for healthy cellular regeneration in mammals. However, starting in 1954, the sulfur cycle was disrupted when chemical fertilizers such as ammonium nitrates and sulfates were mandated by our government. The lack of much needed sulfur in our food supply appears to have contributed to the decline of our health, mental acuity and quality of life over the years. Since the majority of our food now lacks sulfur, it appears that we actually need to supplement with sulfur! Most people are quite deficient!
Now my interest in sulfur began a few years back when my good friend handed me a container of organic sulfur and told me that it cures cancer! My friend actually received the sulfur from his lady friend who had battled breast cancer twice. This lady was so convinced that sulfur had cured her cancer and brought her back to good health, that she was giving away free containers of sulfur to her friends. At least the first container was free! After that first free container, you could purchase sulfur from her. She always seemed to have a bunch of containers available. I was fascinated with this sulfur and so I immediately started taking it!
On the sulfur container it states, “If flu symptoms or headaches occur, take with food or INCREASE amount now. Do not STOP! Symptoms may be detoxification, increase dosage with flu or migraines.” Well, every time I took the sulfur I would immediately get a 3 day migraine. I thought this was normal. Then my stomach would start getting upset and my digestion would get worse. A few times I ended up getting anxiety and had to stop taking the sulfur. But every time I experienced these symptoms I thought it was just a normal detox reaction. I was convinced that I just had to get used to taking the sulfur!
I was even more convinced about the greatness of taking sulfur after it helped my mother's boyfriend get rid of some crazy lumps he had all over his neck. His doctor had no idea what they were or how to get rid of them. I told my mother that I would send her some organic sulfur to give to her boyfriend. He started taking the sulfur and sure enough all his lumps shrunk away. Sulfur had become a miracle cure! My mother started telling everyone the story about the amazing sulfur! I was absolutely convinced that sulfur was one of the most important supplements a person could take.
However, when I tried taking sulfur this last time, I decided that something was quite amiss! Perhaps sulfur is not as great as I had perceived it to be. I had the 3 day headache as usual. My stomach and digestion started to suffer as it always does when taking sulfur. My skin broke out a bit but I managed to subdue that symptom... I became hypomanic and started spending way too much money, my period started 4 days early (hormonal imbalance).... and I finally noticed that when my dosage of sulfur went up to 1 teaspoon I was experiencing shortness of breath (which turns out to be a symptom of hyperammonemia- but we'll get to that in a moment!) Something told me to do a little more research on sulfur this time!
The first thing I decided to look up was whether sulfur was yang/ hot in nature or yin/ cold in nature. According to traditional chinese medicine I happen to have liver yang rising and liver fire which means that I should only ingest yin or cooling herbs or foods. Well, I wasn't sure if sulfur could even be considered yin or yang, but sure enough sulfur just happens to be yang which is not good for me! I was surprised because I really truly believed that we are all deficient in sulfur. I thought I needed sulfur regardless of the horrible reactions I had experienced over and over again. But it gets deeper!
I have a gene mutation called the MTHFR gene mutation. I am homozygous (a1298c) which means I inherited this mutation from both of my parents. This gene mutation can cause a long list of negative health problems such as mood disorder, autism, migraines, pain and so forth. About 40% of the population has this mutation! That's a pretty high percentage! Those with the MTHFR gene mutation may have difficulties absorbing certain vitamins and may also have significant issues with detoxing toxins out of their body... specifically ammonia! Also, there is another gene mutation, called the CBS gene mutation, which seems to be prevalent with many people who have the MTHFR gene mutation. And those with the CBS gene mutation are extremely sensitive to sulfur and must keep a low sulfur diet! There is an important reason for this...
When it come to sulfur, most people do need more of it, not less! However, when the body metabolizes sulfur compounds it produces ammonia as a byproduct. Ammonia is toxic to the body but most people are able to excrete it out through their urine. Then there are people like myself with the MTHFR gene mutation, or the CBS gene mutation, who cannot effectively metabolize or eliminate ammonia. And such people should NOT be taking a sulfur supplement! In fact, there's a whole list of great supplements that are actually not good for people with sulfur sensitivities! I had to eliminate some of my supplements (NAC and lipsomal glutathione) because they are on this list. There's also a list of high sulfur foods that are not good as well. In fact, most of the foods on the high sulfur list are foods I actually do not eat because they've always given me problems. I just didn't realize that sulfur was the problem until now! Or ammonia for that matter!
It's important to note that a healthy liver detoxifies ammonia and converts it into urea, which then goes to the kidneys and out through the urine. When the liver is malfunctioning, the ammonia is unmetabolized and may enter into the bloodstream. Elevated ammonia levels reduce the production of cellular ATP which is key for energy production. This is why individuals with elevated ammonia experience fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, back pain and accelerated aging. Ammonia is also extremely damaging to the brain and can lead too mood disturbances, insomnia, loss of coordination and dexterity, clumsiness, confusion and inability to concentrate. Elevations in ammonia also cause an increased urinary excretion of magnesium, calcium and phosphate. It also disrupts normal glucose metabolism and can lead to instability in blood sugar.
There are certain supplements that one can take to help the liver do its job better and excrete the toxic ammonia out of the body. I've already been taking some of these supplements! The trace mineral molybdenum is one of them. Dandelion root is another! Supposedly the best way to address sulfur sensitivities is with high dosages of buffered vitamin c w/ bioflavanoids, dandelion and parsley. These are low-sulfur supplements that support the liver’s detoxification processes and glutathione recycling. I take lipsomal vitamin c daily, however I may be switching to the buffered c with bioflavanoids very soon! Increasing chlorophyll content is also very helpful as it neutralizes ammonia and carbon monoxide. Once again, I take a bunch of superfood powders daily that are high in chlorophyll. So I'm on the right track here! The amino acids L-arginine, L-ornithine and L-citrulline also helps to remove ammonia from the body. I've taken L-ornithine on quite a few occasions myself. I've read that L-ornithine may be the most important amino acid as it works to remove ammonia from the brain.
Finally, my research led me to a promising supplement called Yucca root! It not only helps remove ammonia from the body but also helps with pain. Unfortunately I deal with pain on a daily basis. It's not horrible pain, although in the past it has been. Since changing my diet and adding certain supplements and superfoods I've experienced vast improvements, but I still feel achey in my back and neck daily and it often turns into a migraine. My joints can also be quite crackly at times. Turns out that yucca root (yucca glauca or yucca schidigera- there's several species) may fix this problem! I really hope so! I ordered a yucca root tincture on amazon. I started taking it a day or so ago and my energy seems to have settled down a bit. We shall see if I can finally rid myself of the physical pain that I've been experiencing for most of my life... I've already fixed my mood disorder issues (depression, anxiety and hypomania- as long as I don't ingest sulfur! Ha Ha!)... so all that's left is physical pain. That's excellent progress in my opinion!
In the meantime, I think I shall pass on the organic sulfur supplement! What's good for one person is not always good for the next! One person's cure can be another person's poison! So it's important to listen to your body and do what's right for you! Do you think you may have a sulfur sensitivity? Or an MTHFR or CBS gene mutation? Are you struggling with a mood disorder and/or chronic pain? Perhaps try implementing a low sulfur diet, removing sulfur containing supplements from your regimen and adding supplements to help excrete toxic ammonia out of your body! It could make a world of difference for your health and well-being! Life! What a crazy experiment!
UPDATE December 24th, 2019: The Yucca root didn't work out too well for me so I had to stop taking it! I purchased the buffered C vitamins with bioflavanoids but still ended up getting a headache! So my plight continues...I'm about to start listening to a hypnotism mp3 for migraines...so we shall see!
UPDATE January 8, 2020: So I listened to the hypnotism mp3 for migraines a few times, purchased another energy device to wear to protect myself from negative energy...and on the very first night that I wore this protective pendant I had a dream! It was a dream about supplements! My dream told me to take choline and Zinc Picolinate. I woke up thinking about the zinc but as it turns out, it's the choline that I really needed. Ofcourse I started taking both. But choline, which has recently become an essential B vitamin, appears to be quite important indeed! It helps the liver detox and as I finally found out from taking it... choline appears to have eliminated my headaches! I've been taking an organic sunflower lecithin powder from amazon. The recommended does was way too high for me. It made me very sleepy and irritable during the day. Come to find out, choline can worsen depressive symptoms in people with bi-polar disorder. However, as soon as I lowered the dose to 1/2 teaspoon with food and/or before bed...well, that's when the magic began! Twice now I've almost had a migraine but the sunflower lecithin/ choline took it away! Wow! What a find! I sure hope this stuff continues working. I'll write an update if anything changes...but for now, choline appears to be the answer I was searching for. I suppose the big test would be to take sulfur along with choline...Well, I'm not so sure I'm ready for that experiment yet! But knowing me... I will probably try that combo eventually! Til next time... Peace and Blessings!
UPDATE January 15, 2020: The sunflower lecithin powder stopped working! I did a 24 hour liquid fast and a cleansing bath for the full moon in cancer and I developed the worst 3 day migraine! I tried acupuncture, herbs, (ofcourse extra sunflower lecithin), l-ornithine, a whole bunch of random supplements, and even .4 grams of magic mushrooms (1.4 grams worked in the recent past for a migraine I had on December 25th, however I wanted to get rid of the headache without getting high and losing my ability to function)...Finally 10 drops of copaiba oil taken internally (along with copaiba, hemp and lavender oils topically) took my head pain away but not without some other side effects that I won't go into right now. Copaiba is not correct for me... and I knew this...but I was desperate to stop the pain! My next plan of action is to try an asparagus root tincture for people who have sulfur sensitivities and the cbs mutation. The reviews on amazon are pretty good! I hope I can figure this out soon! Til next time!
UPDATE February 19, 2020: It appears that I may have taken a wrong turn or two in my sulfur sensitivity experimentation! I started to get worse health wise until I reintroduced my NAC supplement. Very interesting! L-glutathione was added back in as well with no problem. These are two supplements that supposedly may pose problems for those with sulfur sensitivities. However, I also recently stumbled upon some information to help clear up the sulfite pathways to reduce sensitivities so the body can use glutathione. FYI NAC is a precursor to glutathione. Supposedly the trace mineral molybdenum taken with vitamin B1 will clear up these pathways. So I did start taking both of these supplements together. Perhaps I was deficient in vitamin B1? Now I take a B complex that contains B1. In the past I only took Methyl Guard Plus, which is a methylated B supplement for those with the MTHFR gene mutation, but it doesn't contain B1. Fascinating stuff! So are my sulfur sensitivities gone yet? I won't know for sure until I take my sulfur supplement... and I really don't know if I'm ready to try that again anytime soon. If I have anymore revelations I will post another update! Hope this information has been helpful! Blessings!
Jennie Haiman is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!