Optimal levels of folic acid are essential for women in the reproductive period, especially if they are planning a pregnancy. The body produces this compound, but the daily needs increase during pregnancy. So, women must take additional B vitamins, especially B9, before pregnancy and during the first trimester through additional supplementation.
The human body has a 5-MTHF enzyme. It’s an active, bioavailable form of folic acid – folate. It’s crucial for fetal development, a healthy brain, nervous system, and heart. But why folate levels may be lower than optimal. One of the reasons for that is a genetic mutation in the MTHFR gene.
You might wonder what is MTHFR gene mutation, especially if you know the effects of folate deficiency. When this gene mutates, it can further cause difficulties with conceiving. Besides, you can experience symptoms such as low energy, poor memory, etc. Other signs of this condition are fatigue, anemia, eczema, cracked lips, and appetite loss.
Is MTHFR a Disease?
Genetic tests can identify whether you have the MTHFR mutation, but these may be expensive if you don’t have insurance. You can try with at-home kits, but these are not always reliable. Instead, your doctor can order DNA tests to see if your genes have defects. These examinations may include hormone level testing and microbiome analysis.
When diagnosed with MTHFR mutation, you may wonder how to improve things and deal with its symptoms. This condition is not a health risk, so it usually doesn’t need medical treatment. In most cases, doctors agree that simple things, like improving nutrition and changing some bad habits, can be of great help.
If you have the MTHFR gene mutation, you may notice that you aren’t getting the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. Eating foods high in antioxidants is an excellent way to deal with the symptoms of MTHFR. But be aware that antioxidants are easily damaged by heat and are most effective when consumed in brightly colored fruit and vegetables.
Focus on foods rich in natural folates, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, avocados, lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes. Making smoothies can help you incorporate more of these foods into your diet. But you should never start any diet without first consulting with your practitioner.
Underlying gastrointestinal issues can also worsen your symptoms. Probiotics and anti-inflammatory foods, such as organic vegetables, flaxseeds, and fresh vegetable juices, can improve gut health. A nutritionist can give you a customized meal plan based on your needs.
On the link below, find more foods rich in B vitamins and folates:
Diet changes can address the particular MTHFR mutation. Still, a good supplementation can bring even better results, especially in women before and during pregnancy. For example, an excellent prenatal vitamin enriched with B9 will ensure the proper neural development of the baby.
Taking the right supplements can help you cope with the symptoms of MTHFR. For example, B9 and vitamin B complex supplements are an excellent choice for people with a genetic defect. Yet, synthetic products can cause side effects, including gasses, appetite disorder, and fatigue. So never take them without prior consultation with your doctor.
Not every person with MTHFR mutation will experience health problems. But drinking alcohol is a sure way to worsen this condition. Alcohol inhibits DNA methylation, which is essential for making folates. It also places more demands on your liver. So in order to minimize this interference, you should limit your alcohol intake. Instead of wine and beer, drink fresh juices and smoothies.
Physical activities can help you cope with your MTHFR gene mutation. Exercise three to four times a week to improve your condition if possible. These should be workouts adapted to your shape and general health condition.
When exercising, you sweat. And sweating is probably the best natural way to detoxify your body and eliminate toxins. Also, whenever possible, use sauna therapy or Epsom salt baths. These activities will improve sweating and toxin elimination.
Manage Stress Levels
In order to effectively deal with MTHFR symptoms, people with the mutation must manage their stress levels. As seen here, stress has been associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also a factor in the buildup of homocysteine. And what is a better stress relief than physical activity? Simply put, regular workouts can help people with MTHFR symptoms reduce stress.
You can start meditating or practicing yoga if going to the gym is too much for you. Whenever you can, spend time in the fresh air and nature. Do whatever you need to unwind and release the body tension. Symptoms of MTHFR mutation will start subsiding as you manage your stress level.
Many people have some form of MTHFR mutation. It’s not a real disease, but it can bring many difficulties. So proper lifestyle and following your doctor’s advice are the keys to managing this condition successfully.