Limiting Toxin Exposure
It’s hard to avoid toxins in this day and age. It seems as if chemicals, preservatives, and pesticides are everywhere. For individuals living with MTHFR, who have a hard time ridding their bodies of toxins, it is especially important for toxins to be avoided in order to maintain a healthy gut and immune system. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce one’s toxic load by removing the things in one’s household and making lifestyle changes that limit toxin exposure. Let’s look at some of the top toxins someone with an MTHFR mutation should avoid.
Arsenic can be hard to avoid because it can be found in tap water, pesticides, and wood playgrounds that have been treated with a compound containing it. Unfortunately, the consequences this toxin can have on the body can be devastating and can create negative health conditions. The skin can become affected, with skin lesions and pigmentation changes. There’s a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and developmental problems. You can reduce your risk of coming in contact with Arsenic by filtering your water and buying organic foods. This toxin causes developmental problems, so if you are pregnant it’s essential to take steps to avoid arsenic and eliminate it from your environment.
Lead exposure is a nasty thing. Lead can be found in paint, sometimes found in older homes, older toys, or furniture. It can also be found in drinking water and certain batteries. Be mindful of peeling paint, and if you have young children make sure to wash their hands frequently, and create safe play areas free from lead exposure. Pregnant women need to be very cautious about lead exposure, due to the health complications it can cause the baby such as nervous system damage and cognitive delays and disorders. Health effects brought on by lead exposure:
- Digestive – abdominal pain, constipation, nausea
- Neurological – pain and tingling in hands/feet
- Cognitive – irritable, memory loss, loss of appetite, depressed, foggy brain
- Mitochondrial – Weak, tired
Mercury can be found in certain fish and shellfish, fever thermometers, and dental fillings. Avoid Mercury by avoiding fish with high mercury content and making sure that the fish you are eating is fresh and comes from a good source. There are also alternative dental fillings, so you can have healthy teeth without mercury sitting in your mouth. Mercury toxicity is dangerous and can cause many complications, such as being harmful to liver, kidneys, neurological, immune and digestive systems. Neurological, behavioral, and developmental disorders can occur after exposure. Other symptoms include: insomnia, migraines, memory loss/foggy brain, and kidney failure.
Folic acid is a toxin for individuals with MTHFR mutations. Folic acid is not properly absorbed or used by the body and methylation is affected which can cause many health conditions. Folic acid is found in bread, rice, processed foods, cereals, cookies and many more food products. If something is “enriched” it probably contains folic acid. Consuming folic acid can cause: insomnia, lack of focus, hyperactivity, allergies, constipation, nausea, poor immune function, and fatigue. One way to improve these symptoms and assist the methylation system is by eating foods with folate or taking a supplement with L-Methyl Folate. Click here for more information on BiomeIQ’s MTHFR Friendly B Complex with Methylfolate.
Toluene is found in paints, paint thinners, nail polish, and gasoline. Although it is widely used in many common household products, it can add complications to one’s health. Toluene affects the central nervous system and can cause symptoms of fatigue, exhaustion, nausea, and migraines as well as impair hearing and speech. The issue with this toxin is that although it may be safe in small amounts to individuals without an MTHFR mutation who have proper detoxification, it is not safe for individuals with an impaired detoxification and digestion system.
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