The power of Moms is amazing. You can read dozens of books, but some of the most important advice I have ever gotten was from a Mom during a playdate. And, I’m not just talking about parenting. I’m talking about life, and my own personal health.
Several months ago, I was talking to a Mom-friend I know as an acquaintance. We don’t see each other a lot, but she shared something very personal with me. She had been on bed rest for a year, and was finally diagnosed with a gene mutation called MTHFR. The MTHFR gene mutation causes the body to not produce an enzyme which helps it absorb B-Vitamins, Folic Acid and Iron as well as others. Without this enzyme, the body cannot adequately process Iron or Folic Acid. So, taking it won’t help people with MTHFR. You have to get it processed in a special way.
Well, guess what? The list of illnesses the MTHFR gene mutation causes was like reading my family tree: Thyroid Disorder, fibromyalgia, miscarriage, addiction, depression and cancer jumped out at me. Near the bottom was Endometriosis, which I was finally diagnosed with last February. And, I’ve tried many alternative methods for curing it (even though the medical community says there is no cure). While I have found improvement with my symptoms, I feel like I’ve hit a wall that my body can’t get beyond. So, learning about the MTHFR left me hopeful.
My Naturopath was hesitant to test me for it, because it is a $400 test, and Insurance won’t cover it unless you have dire symptoms like fibromyalgia and dementia and thyroid disorder or something crazy like that triple combo. So, after trying various things religiously for months, I finally got the test. While I had to wait for the results, I was nervous. On the one hand, if I tested positive, then I would know what is broken in my body and have the power of knowledge. On the other hand, it would mean that I am really broken. As I’ve shared before, having Endometriosis makes me feel like my womanhood is broken and it’s not fun.
Well, my test came back positive! On the bright side, I have only one of the over 50 markers for MTHFR (aka C677T). And, since I was getting blood taken, I also had a vitamin absorption test done: my results showed a 30% rate of absorption of B-Vitamins, magnesium and calcium! No wonder I have also be suffering muscle spasms (despite taking magnesium supplements). So, not only did the MTHFR test say I have a gene mutation, but the vitamin absorption one showed it more clearly where the problems areas are.
Guess what? Lack of certain B-vitamin enzymes affect how your body is able to absorb magnesium and calcium. I have so much more to learn about this whole thing. But, I am happy to report that after taking a methylated B vitamin complex and Zinc supplement for 3 weeks, I am feeling much better. I have energy to get through the whole day.
A friend of mine is visiting right now, and after watching me go through my routine of daily life for a few days said, “You’re like Superman.” No, I told her, I am not. I just finally have energy to get through the day without 5 cups of coffee (which I weaned myself off of, painfully). So, now you know. And, knowledge is power!
Here’s the best description I’ve found of the MTHFR mutation:
Most of my research has been through the MTHFR.net site. It is written from a doctor for what seems like medical professionals. So, it’s a little challenging to read. But, here are my favorite pages:
Endometriosis and MTHFR – Guess which marker is linked, yes the one I have: C677T
I have read some folks get their MTHFR checked through 23andme.com for only $99, but I don’t know from personal experience.
That’s all I have to share for now! I’ll update on my personal health in a few months. For now, I hope this helps someone like me who is struggling. And, if you have a MTHFR mutation, please share your story.
UPDATE: In the 3 years since I share this post with the world, the costs for testing and insurance coverage has changed. Some insurance companies now cover it like other blood work. Thanks to a comment from Victoria, for sharing!