There’s a lot of reasons that chronic illnesses persist. I have a front row seat to finding nearly all of them (yay!) on this journey of navigating post-chronic neurological Lyme Disease fallout. One of these major components is a pre-disposition in genetics linked to autoimmune diseases called the MTHFR-gene.
Yes, it sounds like the cussword. And not too far off! Hence, the title. 😉
To preface, MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. Fancy name for something that has such drastic effects on your body.
According to the National Institute of Health, “the MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme plays a role in processing amino acids…” These conversion processes are crucial to making bodily compounds including proteins. It’s a pretty crucial need to have this working right, but more people than you’d think don’t have this properly tuned. It can affect your muscles, your brain, your hormones, your overall bodily functions and of course, your sleep and how you deal with autoimmune issues.
I’ll be writing articles about this as I research this more for my coursework in school and also as I deal more with it myself – but I’ll put down some of my personal FAQ’s in an effort to raise awareness and help you!
I have been feeling unwell for awhile and want to see if I have this. What do I do?
I recommend seeing a doctor to see if clinically, you line up with what sufferers of this mutation experience. It is commonly seen in people with long-term chronic illnesses (which makes you predisposed to having them become chronic in the first place!), and can rear its ugly head in many forms.
Symtoms commonly associated with this mutation are: weakness, hormonal imbalance, malaise, bad reactions to food, digestive issues, nausea, IBS, depression, chronic pain, fertility issues, depression, anxiety, rage, migraines… the list goes on.
The key here is not to view this issue as a curative one, but one that can be managed.
How do I test for this?
You can pay for a genetic panel at the doctor’s, but it will cost significantly more. You can order a kit from 23andMe that can find out about this for you.
What are some things I can start with now to reduce the effects?
Definitely do your research. America lives in a carbohydrate and folic acid centered society, since nearly everything in this country is processed to the last atom of its existance. Folic acid blocks the methylation process, so that would mean staying away from all processed foods including most gluten products. Keep in mind that if you don’t adhere to the diet all the way, you will not begin to feel better.
Folate is naturally what we need to calm the issue down, for lack of energy to do a scientific explanation right now (cause my body has been going crazy!)
This is found naturally in cruciferous greens, legumes and lentils, and the ever-famous anti-inflammatory bell peppers.
Where can I get more information?
I’ll be loading the resources tab with some information shortly, but here’s some places to start.
You’ll be hearing more for me on this as time goes on, but I wanted to address it in a very basic summary on this page to serve as a stepping stone.
Here’s to a healthy outcome!