The human body is made up of several genes including the MTHFR gene, a gene responsible for folic acid and folate metabolism.
Unfortunately, about 40 percent of the world’s population suffers from MTHFR mutation which leads to increased levels of homocysteine in the blood and low levels of vitamins B and folate. These abnormal variants are passed down from parent to child.
If left untreated, this gene mutation can cause adverse health problems including colon cancer, preventable heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and more. Be sure to do your research and read on MTHFR gene mutation and vaccines for more insight. In this article, we will discuss common symptoms, testing, and the best treatment methods available.
MTHFR mutation symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms associated with MTHFR mutations include blood clots, seizures, poor coordination, developmental delays, microcephaly, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, migraines, chronic fatigue, and ADH among others.
However, these symptoms vary from one person to another depending on the type of mutation they have. Individuals with multiple mutations tend to experience more adverse effects.
At times you might not even know you have an MTHFR mutation until you undergo a genetic test or experience severe symptoms. As such, it’s important to stay updated on your health status.
Testing for an MTHFR mutation
A genetic test can be done to establish whether you suffer from an MTHFR gene mutation or any other genetic disorder. This is commonly done in the presence of a doctor.
Individuals with substantially high levels of homocysteine are at a higher risk of getting this disorder. Homocysteine is a type of amino acid commonly found in meat.
Excessive production of this amino acid may lead to several health issues including heart diseases. Other tests that can be done include microbiome labs and hormone level testing.
Various treatments for MTHFR mutation symptoms
You should understand that not everyone who suffers from these disorders experiences the health issue or symptoms explained above. The intensity of the symptoms is determined by the type of mutation variant you have. Here are some of the ways to treat these symptoms.
1. Support detoxification
Poor detoxification results from reduced methylation. Supporting your body’s excretory system can help eliminate some of these symptoms. Eating food rich in fiber is one way to improve detoxification.
You can also increase the intake of supplements like phytonutrients, fiber, and antioxidants that support detoxification. Also, exercise regularly, stay hydrated and keep your bowels moving.
Toxins are like chemical house cleaners and prevent methylation, so avoid them at all costs. Finally, avoid all refined sugars, and eat anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and well-sourced proteins.
2. Minimize alcohol intake
Excessive consumption of alcohol can inhibit DNA methylation, therefore, worsening the symptoms. We recommend taking alcohol in moderation or avoiding it completely to reduce interference in already stunted methylation processes.
3. Check your supplements
MTHFR mutations may worsen if your body fails to convert folic acid into usable forms. As such, avoid taking any supplements that contain folic acid. Ask your doctor to prescribe supplements that contain methyl-folate instead.
Folates are known to support the efficient absorption of vitamins in the body. Other supplements that can help alleviate these symptoms include vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
4.Consume more folate and vitamin B12
As mentioned, increasing the levels of folate in your body can help reduce homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. This is why it is important to include folate in your diet. Whole foods like avocado, lentils, and dark leafy greens are a good source of folate. Individuals with this genetic mutation also tend to be low on Vitamin B12.
Taking vitamin B12 supplements whether as multivitamins or isolate B12 can help reduce vitamin B12 deficiency. One can also consume foods rich in vitamin B12 like beans, eggs, nutritional yeast, and nuts.
5.Manage your stress with lifestyle changes
Stress is another key aggravator of MTHFR mutation symptoms. Those with these variations are advised to make changes in their lifestyle as a way to improve their mood. Some of the most important ways to manage stress include exercising regularly, journaling, meditation, and nature walking, among others. Click here to read more.
The MTHFR gene plays a significant role in preventing various chronic diseases by maintaining proper levels of homocysteine. It also ensures the body can process folate and folic acid which are key elements in maintaining homocysteine levels. It is important to understand that your genetics may impact your overall health therefore taking a DNA test can help you identify whether you have the mutation or not. Note that, having the mutation doesn’t mean you are doomed. Somewhat it’s an opportunity to start optimizing your overall health, improving your diet and lifestyle, and managing symptoms. Also, check on your alcohol and supplement intake.