Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress


Dr. Andrew July 31, 2023

The issue of stress and how we react to it is greatly influenced by our genes. Many people are suffering in our culture with stress-related illnesses, and we need to do a better job of taking care of them. The problem with the COMT gene is how it alters the level of dopamine in the brain. The genetic root of depression, anxiety, pain, and insomnia lies in the COMT pathway because it determines how much dopamine and catecholamines are inside the nervous system.

The problem isn’t that COMT +/+ people produce too much dopamine; the problem is that they don’t detoxify dopamine and catecholamines very quickly. If your body makes something at a normal rate, but gets rid of it at a slowed rate, you’ll likely end up with a high amount of that something in your body. In other words, if you have a problem detoxifying dopamine because of COMT +/+ genes, then you are going to struggle with the side effects of high dopamine. When you are under excessive stress, you are very likely going to have a problem with sleeping, pain, anxiety, panic, and worry.

The way to help people with COMT issues is to apply many of the concepts we have already discussed. Optimizing stomach function, removing phenols and aldehydes from the gut, treating oxalate issues, and other protocols all reduce the burden on the COMT system. Since we can’t rearrange our genes, we need to take as much stress off our genetics as possible. In addition to the protocols for killing bugs, improving digestion, and supporting COMT pathways, COMT +/+ people need to avoid multiple stressors at the same time. This is the most important lifestyle recommendation I can make to people with COMT issues. If we follow the advice we’ve seen so far, we can change the environment inside the brain and dramatically improve quality of life. In the next and final chapter, I will discuss the last piece of this genius body puzzle: how our hormones influence the COMT system and cause stress and anxiety all by themselves.