The Mad Hatter: Have I gone Mad? Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret all the best people are.”
MY GENES ARE BONKERS
We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139: 14). In fact my genes are fearful of the synthetic form of folate: folic acid. Yes ladies I have a mutant gene that has taken up residence in my body by the name of MTHFR. To be specific it even has its own prison identification number A1298C and he’s greedy because he has this twice. Inherited from both my parents.
I just found out this week what has been the source of my troubles with infertility. MTHFR stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase. It’s a bit of a tongue twister isn’t it? According to the MTHFR Australia support ‘it’s an enzyme that converts folate you eat into the active form (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate).’
Folic Acid, the synthetic version found in pre-pregnancy vitamins are actually detrimental to my body. So for the past twenty months I have been taking a vitamin that has been storing up toxins in my system! No wonder I can’t get pregnant.
I’ve provided some information below from the MTHFR Australia support website. I’m only a week into learning about MTHFR and this site summarises it clearly.
SO WHAT DO WE NEED FOLATE FOR?
• Synthesis of DNA, RNA and SAMe. Proper cellular function is critical for our good health.
• Single carbon metabolism or methylation. Various critical reactions in the body require the donation of methyl groups to become active.
• Amino acid metabolism (for neurotransmitter, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine production and detoxification).
• Formation and maturation of RBC (red blood cells), WBC (white blood cells) and platelet production.
• Essential for detoxification of homocysteine. For all the above functions to happen the body needs to convert folate to the active 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate) with the help of co-factors. Methyl groups (made up of one carbon and 3 hydrogen atoms) are required for a huge range of functions in the body. Methylation is the addition of this methyl group to another molecule.
• They are the on/off switches for many cells activities. They turn genes on and off.
• Turn enzymes on and off.
• Turn neurotransmitters on and off.
• Turn on tissue repair.
• Turn off inflammation.
• Turn on and off the stress response.
• Reduce the aging process because they protect telomeres.
• Detoxify chemicals and importantly help supply glutathione which is the body’s most important anti-oxidant helping to break down xeno-oestrogens and assisting with your phase-2 liver detoxification.
• Give us our energy because we need methyl groups to help our energy cycle create carnitine, Co Q10 and ATP and support mitochondrial energy.
If you are short of methyl groups your body cannot respond to whatever nutrients, vitamins, minerals or herbs you put in your body. (MTHFR AUSTRALIA SUPPORT WEBSITE). This would explain why I have had other health issues such as Psoriasis, sleep problems, tiredness, anxiety and depression. This news is empowering. Last week I talked about being connected with your body. I feel now I can wire in wise choices to ensure that I can have a healthier future.
WHAT TO DO?
I’m going back to the Naturopath this week to learn more about MTHFR. For now I am taking some Activated B Complex vitamins and trying to eat Vitamin B nutrient rich fruit and vegies as much as I can. That means I’ve been making organic kale, spinach, lime, avocado and raspberry smoothies.
I’ve also been looking into buying a cold pressed juicer. The cold pressed juicer uses a slow pressed action rather than a blending or grinding action. This means the juice does not oxidise and helps keep the nutrients and enzymes intact. I need to be able to process Folate more efficiently and the best way is to keep it as raw as possible. In the mean time I have bought a week’s worth from the “Pressed Juices” company. They all sound so delicious! I’m also going to continue singing the theme song to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” around the house. Why? Just because I feel like I’m a mutant with this mutant gene.
These past few weeks I have been made so aware about 1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.” The unseen parts of my body, the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in my knee and now the MTHFR gene/enzyme have been having a fair bit of attention. I love what Christine Caine says in this article ‘Every Part of the Body is Vital.’
‘I have encountered firsthand the truth “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty.” (1 Corinthians 12:22-23) It is imperative that we value and esteem every single part of the Body, and not only the visible and more known parts. I think in our celebrity-obsessed culture, we must ensure that we do not think that if someone is better known, visible, or being used in a unique way by God at a particular time, that it makes them in any way better than any other part of the body. We need to inspire people to take their place in the Body that God has assigned, and not devalue that place and aspire to a more prominent place. Prominence and significance are not the same thing. The liver is not prominent in the human body…but it is extremely significant. We should not aspire to be the biggest and the best, but rather to be all that God has called us to be, and to do all that God has called us to do.’
I’m really looking forward to going on this healing journey. How about you?
What have you been doing to deal with the health struggles you are having?
love this post!!! so glad you found out!
i have the mutant gene too 🙁
Thanks Renee. I only just saw this comment. What part of the gene do you have?
Curious how things are going since this is a year old? My son has the double 1298 mutation and I was tested last fall and found out they didn’t test the 1298, only the 677. Curious if you have started on 5MTHF supplements and what has transpired since you wrote this!
Hi Anita. Well since then I fell pregnant and focussed a lot more on just general health stuff. (I guess I forget sometimes I have mthfr). My naturopath did help me with some supplements and ideas. We swapped out my prenatal vitamins for ones that had activated b’s in them rather than folic acid and I also use Thorne Methylguard twice daily. You do need to work your way up with the Thorne Methylguard as you can have some side effects. I buy them from iHerb as it’s cheaper than at my naturopath’s office. I also do things like dry brushing and I use the sauna at the gym (helps with detoxification). I purchased a cold press juicer (slow pressed) so I can also get my activated b’s in that way. I still probably need to up my greens. I’m actually looking into it more. I also plan on interviewing a naturopath who is an expert in this field as I have had heaps of people ask me about MTHFR of late. How are you going with the diagnosis?
Congratulations on your pregnancy!! Did this happen after
uou started supplements for mthrr?? My son is 22 and not interested in supplements but I’m pretty convinced if he has the double 1298 gene that my husband and I likely have it as well. Am getting retested now after discovering the lab error last fall. I am curious what symptoms of mine could be from this. I’ve used homeopathic care for 25+ years and it has really helped with life and anxiety but I still feel there is something else I’m missing. I’ve done a ton of healing work and diet modification over the years. Yet I still feel so disorganized in my mind and feel I lack ability to accomplish what I need to. Guess we will see. I’ve found a doctor not too far away that speciliaizes in this as well so may check her out. And am considering removing amalgams as my teeth are needing repair. Have you heard much about
that in regards to mthfr? Again congrats on this new journey! God bless!
Hi Anita, yes I managed to fall pregnant after I swapped out the old pre natal tablet for ones with the activated b’s. The naturopath mentioned to me if you have the double 1298 gene that it means each of your parents have one copy of it so it would be worth getting it checked out Anita. I’ve heard about getting the amalgams out but they are super expensive to get done here in Australia. At the moment I’m just concentrating on healing through nutrition and herbal support. Remember little steps at a time help when it comes to that feeling of overwhelm and disorganised mind. You can do this. Ground yourself with some really good self care routines at this time. Thanks for your congrats 🙂 Flynn is now 9 weeks old.
Hi Diana, so glad I stumbled across your blog. I was told to research
MTHFR gene as I have many symptoms of a dysfunctional Nervous system and
getting sick of medical professionals telling me its all in my head and
I need to just breath slower. I mean after 9 years of therapy,
relaxation and meditation techniques daily, writing a blog myself on
self-awareness and faith, https://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/
Also a strict No sugar, No wheat, No caffeine, No Lactose, Organic diet,
Plus obedience to every supplement and exercise advice given by my
Nutritionist and Naturopath, I have ample tools to fix my ‘mind’ and
I know God can too, but the physical ailments keep changing as I conquer treatment for the last. The thing is my system still runs extremely fast every now and then and applying opposing techniques becomes a true internal fight. One which usually ends up with me being too self-critical which only compounds the stress of it. I have
been told to get tested for this MTHFR gene and have been put on 5HTP serotonin
enhancer. I’m hoping this has the answers I have been searching for.
It’s nice to find a familiar soul. Congrats on the pregnancy! Hope all
is going well. Blessings to you!
Hi lovely thanks for commenting and sharing. I will definitely head on over to your blog for a read 🙂 It’s such a journey isn’t it. I need to be a lot more diligent with my MTHFR stuff. I’ve been a bit relaxed but I know I need to tidy it up because I just don’t feel right. I often forget I have it. I’m back to the naturopath and accupuncturist in the new year and I’m also getting my dietician friend to help me out and come up with a nutrition plan (I can fill you in when it happens if you’d love to know – feel free to go on my mailing list. I won’t spam you I promise). My little boy Flynn is now 8 months old and is such a blessing and answer to prayer. I’m using Thorne Methylguard to help. We’re a little behind the 8 ball here in Australia when it comes to MTHFR, a lot of doctors don’t even think it exists (SIGH). And mindset…I am so working on that still. I see a counsellor for the deep rooted stuff and a coach for stuff I really want to move forward on. I pray that God will cover you with his protection as you go on this journey of health and may He give you wisdom with what treatments to do next. Let me know if I can be of any help to you 🙂
I am too a fellow Aussie and I completely agree about us being behind the 8 ball..It is so hard to find a healthy balance between Medical practitioners and Alternative health. No ‘functional practitioners’ anywhere it seems. We all the know the damage of taking never ending prescription drugs to alleviate the symptoms without finding out the true cause of the problem, so I went alternative. Then I found I was being torn in three ways, by my GP, my Naturopath and my Nutritionist all opposing each other and none with an entire answer for me. Get on the same page people!!!
At least I am having a bit more success since I began juggling all three and using my own research and faith to guide me to the answers, one of which brought me here! God is so good! Hahaha… I am very happy with my healthy diet and can definitely give you some info of what I have found works well, for example using Xylitol as a sugar substitute, and some amazing recipes for spelt (wheat free) muffins and bread etc. Avoiding food which stimulate the nervous system and send those neuro-transmitters haywire. I thought it would be a nightmare finding food to make when I first began my 3 months detox, but 6 months on and that was so untrue. I have found a new found love of creating everything from scratch and it even inspired my hubby to grow our own veges. The only thing I find a little tough is going out for dinner, (we all need a night off right!) because there is nothing within 30mins of our house that caters for varying diets and organic produce. I simply lose myself in excitement when I’m out and about and find a place with food I can’t wait to eat! 🙂 So if you find yourself overwhelmed please let me know. Glad to hear things are well with your little guy, awww 8 months fabulous age! I did join your mailing list today but under my personal email (Claire) not my Blogger one. Thank you so much for your understanding, your compassion, and your prayers. I also pray God wraps you in His all capable, all loving hands to aid you in the war of minds, and reaches into your life to bring about all the potential and purpose He sees in you. Looking forward to sharing more in future. Blessings to you!
Thanks for sharing and signing onto the email list. I saw your name! Yay. Welcome to the sisterhood lovely. Yeah my dietician friend mentioned about the stimulants that can effect the neurotransmitters so we will be onto that soon. I have to say though xylitol makes me run to the toilet! I know. Weird huh. That and stevia. Sounds gross but I have some weird symptoms I’m trying to get under control. Love that you’re growing your own vegies. I have a black thumb. lol. Everything dies that I try to grow. We have all sorts in our garden that still thrive despite that. I have rosemary growing like crazy and my lemon and lime trees are starting to flourish. Will have to share more on this throughout the year. I’m going to ask someone who specialises in this if I can interview them on this topic so stay tuned.
Yes God is so gracious. I am so imperfect but my hope is in sharing so transparently that people can connect + feel loved + know that God oh so loves us despite all of that. That we can come before Him in whatever state and He is there.
Thank you for loving on me and will definitely be in touch. You are a valued part of the community here. 🙂