MTHFR mutations act as warning signs.
We may never know why MTHFR mutations exist but they occur in over 40% of the population so it stands to reason that they might actually serve a useful purpose. As Scientific Director in a busy clinic where we see a lot of people with MTHFR mutations, it’s been my experience that these mutations trigger some pretty useful warning signals. So, what does that mean? When discussing MTHFR mutations, I like to explain that they are similar to a canary bird used by coal miners. Technology has advanced, and miners use all kinds of air quality sensors now, but before that, they would simply bring a canary who would stop chirping if oxygen levels became dangerously low telling the miners that they should evacuate before suffocating.
MTHFR may be one of the body’s best “canaries”. If you have an MTHFR mutation, well, first of all, that puts you in good company since approximately 4 in every 10 people do too, but it also gives you a “superpower” of sorts. Let’s say you and a friend are abandoned on an island without food, you have an MTHFR mutation and your friend doesn’t. Do you realize that you’ll be able to distinguish edible plants from poisonous ones faster while your MTHFR-negative-island-mate eats toxic berries until they keel over?
Of course, as you already know, your powers come at a price…after eating, breathing-in or absorbing anything toxic, your mutation, or shall we say your adaptation, is going to make you feel lousy (a.k.a. headache, moody, low-energy, anxious and even joint pain and constipation can occur) which means it did exactly what you needed it to….made you feel bad so you’ll stop doing the thing that was going to make you sick.
Symptoms point towards the problem.
MTHFR symptoms routinely show up with-in 24 hours after coming in contact with noxious chemicals, toxic pesticides, food additives, preservatives, fluoride and chlorine in water, GMO’s and xenoestrogens…..you just have to listen to your body because here’s the thing, those agents don’t just make us sick, over time, they accumulate and cause disease. People with MTHFR mutations have ‘smart” bodies that trigger symptoms to warn us when they detect disease-causing exposures.
In other words, your MTHFR symptoms make “chemically burdened” environments so uncomfortable that you don’t want to stick around in rooms that have recently been cleaned with strong disinfectants, offices that use air fresheners, places with new carpets or fresh paint, perfume stores, just to name a few. When it comes to what you eat: coloring, preservatives, additives, GMO’s, folic acid or other “enriched” vitamins, can trigger such a distasteful reaction including fatigue, achiness, anxiety, bloating and often a few pounds of inflammatory-related water weight gain that you stop putting those toxins into your body!
Perhaps it’s time we find a more empowering way to look at MTHFR mutations. Clearly, they can and should be treated. Symptoms improve substantially when properly controlled, and if left untreated, these mutations can lead to serious problems – but that is a topic we’ll discuss in future articles. The topic of this article, however, is that MTHFR mutations may be one of the most powerful tools in navigating a toxic world. Interpreting symptoms as the “warning signs” they were probably intended as will help guide us towards safe environments and away from toxic ones. After all, if the canary stops chirping, do you want to be the miner that stays in the cave or the one that gets out to safety??
About the Author:
Amy Jaramillo, Scientific Director at BodyScience, (www.bodyscience.life) a company that routinely diagnoses and treats conditions of autoimmunity, inflammation and genetic mutations including MTHFR. “It’s not uncommon for us to have a handful of new patients that come into clinic and are diagnosed weekly with MTHFR or those that we meet online and treat. A lot of people have been researching online and read plenty of information that’s very negative; it may be time to actually take a look at the MTHFR mutations from a different angle.”
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