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My very own little GNA strands have finally proven what I’ve known all along: SSRI’s will not work for me.

About a month ago, I saw my psychiatrist, who asked me if I’d yet taken my pill.  No, I said, not surprisingly.  I want to, but no.  She then suggested a new test:  a DNA saliva test that would tell me what liver enzymes I had, and what genetic markers I might have, which would in turn tell the doctor what medications would work for me, and which would not.  Something about metabolism and how fast my body would metabolize certain drugs.  I did the test there in the office and was told I’d need to come back to discuss the results with the doctor.

Today, I finally got my results.

Let me refresh your memory on how I feel about prescription drugs and the pharmaceutical industry in general:  I hate them.  I loathe them.  I think pills in general (SSRI’s in specific) are evil and I am reluctant, to put it mildly, to take them.  When I took the GNA test, I hoped that it would show some reason for my aversion.  And I was not disappointed.

In regards to serotonin transmitters, I have a gene that causes ultra-rapid metabolism.  In plain terms, this means that any SSRI’s I take will go straight through my system, not staying long enough to produce positive effects, but long enough to cause nasty side effects.  Basically, all these years, doctors have been throwing SSRI’s at me (the new and improved treatment for depression/anxiety!) promising me that they would work, they would help.  Wrong.

Second, there is an indication that I have impaired folic acid metabolism.  Folic acid is turned into methylfolate in the body; methylfolate is a precursor to neurotransmitter synthesis (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine).  I was given a prescription for a ‘prescription food’ pill (more like a supplement).  I was given some pamphlets to peruse.

So what does all of this mean?  That for years– nay, decades– doctors have been winging it.  They’ve thrown pills at every problem and hoped for the best.  They’ve gambled to see what pill would work for each person, not having the slightest indication if that particular version or brand would work, what side effects might be, what other complications would arise.  It’s been a complete and total guessing game.  Trial and error performed on humans.  But with this new testing, the age of ‘personalized medicine’ has been born.

Another important implication from all of this is that what was recommended for me isn’t an actual drug.  It’s more like a supplement, which isn’t a far cry from an actual supplement… or from food.  The next step for me may well just be upping my nutritional game and investing in good organic foods that can be used medicinally.

Personalized medicine will be huge, I think.  But with results such as mine, will doctors start leaning more towards natural and nutritional based remedies over chemical ones?  Let’s hope so.

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