|The Methylation Cycle (click to enlarge), from ProHealth website|
The methylation cycle is a group of processes that happen in our cells to help with hormone production, detox, neurological processes, and more. Methylation is part of normal healthy functioning in any person and is extremely important for ME/CFS patients because it is usually dysfunctional (like everything else!). The best way to explain it is simply to point you to my blog post, The Methylation Cycle: Essential to ME/CFS because it's complicated, and I worked hard to explain it simply in that post, including how to treat with supplements to improve methylation, which should result in overall improvement in your condition.
One critical component of treating methylation is supplementing with vitamin B12, an essential nutrient that is difficult to get from food sources and plays a significant role in methylation. I explain it all in this post, Vitamin B12 and ME/CFS, which includes our own experiences with different types of supplements.
Glutathione is another essential component in the methylation process that people with ME/CFS don't make enough of on our own. This post on Increasing Glutathione in ME/CFS and Related Illnesses explains the role of glutathione and how to get more of it, from diet, supplements, and injections.
Dietary changes are often crucial to improving methylation and can sometimes bring immediate improvement due to food intolerances you didn't even know you had. One study showed that a full 30% of the young patients with ME/CFS studied had a dairy intolerance! This post, Eating Paleo for Immune Disorders: Our Approach explains the dietary approach we use, based on research and advice from our doctors and dietician and how it has helped us, with lots of tips on what to eat so that it doesn't feel too restrictive, including tasty treats!
Treating and improving methylation was one of several critical factors that quickly improved our son's condition and allowed him to start college on time, as I explain in the post on How My Son Went From Couchbound to College.
All of this is absolutely crucial for any ME/CFS patient, but some of it is complicated. If cognitive problems keep you from understanding any of these posts, please pass them along to a friend or family member who can help you - or a doctor or dietician.
One great thing about improving your condition by improving methylation is that you don't necessarily need a doctor (though, of course, it's always best to consult with one, if available). For many people in areas where there are no doctors even willing to listen and learn about ME/CFS, that makes this one area of treatment that you can try on your own.
I'd love to hear about your own experiences! Have you tried any treatments to help improve methylation? What was the outcome?