MTHFR can explain many illnesses
Today, we continue our tour of your body’s machinery. Your cells contain DNA organized into genes. Genes contain very precise, organized information your body uses as blueprints for building your muscles, bones, nerves, everything. These blueprints also determine how we process food in order to supply the necessary ingredients for health.
“Methylation” is something your body does to produce energy, clear toxins and support good health. You don’t need to know all the details, but a few facts can help you make healthier choices.
Methylation is important to cardiovascular health, cancer risk, healthy pregnancy, neurologic and psychiatric health, dementia, autism and ADHD to name a few conditions. If your body doesn’t perform methylation well, your health will suffer and no surgery or drug can fix it. An effective treatment is possible, though, and must include an understanding of what the body needs to get healthier. A holistic supportive approach works best.
Testing for genetic glitches or mutations is the best place to start, according to experts. Testing will tell you what to address and what to forget about. This genetic question may be the answer to your chronic fatigue, or other conditions. If the test is positive for mutation, then we know where to start. If the test is negative for mutation, then we can look elsewhere for the root cause of your illness. Test results will guide treatment. There are several testing options available. Labs measure from 2 to 100 different genes, cost $100 to $600, and can take two days to two months to get back to you.
The 677 and 1,298 sites are only two of many thousands, but appear to be the most common and important mutations. Mutation at the 677 site affects cardiovascular health, antioxidant status and DNA regulation. The 1298 site affects brain and nerve health. You can have zero, one or two mutations at each site.
Test results will help determine what treatment if any you need. Other important factors include your health history, present health, nutritional status and many other factors.
There are several safe, effective treatments available if used carefully.
Remember, having the MTHFR mutation may explain many chronic illnesses. Finding you have a MTHFR mutation can be a blessing. Finding the underlying cause can guide your choices toward improving health.
Next time we will explore treatment options. In the meantime eat well, get plenty of rest and water, take vitamin D3 and exercise most days.
Dr. John Winters is a naturopathic doctor and owns Winters Naturopathic Clinic in La Grande.