So, I had the doctor order me a blood test for MTHFR, despite his hesitation and questioning whether there was a diagnosis code he could use. You see, the medical world (mostly) views MTHFR only from a homocysteine perspective. Since I hadn't had any heart problems or bad blood tests, there wasn't much he could use for a diagnosis code. (Read: Fault in the system, since there are MANY things that could indicate MTHFR) He chose anxiety as a diagnosis code and time will tell whether the insurance company will pay for it.
Then I had to wait over the weekend for results. That was hard enough. I urged myself not to research because if it was negative, then where would I be? Come Monday morning my husband called me from work. I knew he wouldn't call if it was negative. Nerves shaking, I answered his call. He told me the doctor wanted to talk to me. Okay, so it's worse than I thought, I decided. Not exactly, I had to listen as the doctor talked to me about how the test isn't easy to read and the result of the test doesn't actually mean anything. (Was I hearing this correctly?) Finally, I asked, "Is there the number 1298 on the test?" When he confirmed, I asked if it was positive. He said, "Yes, but that doesn't tell us anything." On the contrary, it told me a lot. I had to wait to see the test with my own eyes that evening and figure out exactly what it meant.
There is so much to say about MTHFR, so much that is written about it and yet, so much that isn't understood. To sum it up, an enzyme needed to break down folate (a necessary B vitamin) is compromised and doesn't work efficiently. Think of all the foods that are "vitamin fortified" - they are fortified with folic acid (among others). If your body can't break down folic acid (to turn it into methyl folate), it's just another vitamin floating around unused in the body. Not only that, in its effort to turn into methyl folate, it blocks the receptors at the blood brain barrier, so real folate couldn't get through if it tried. Remember how I posted that I didn't have ANY B vitamins when I got my Organic Acids Test back? Big red flag. Since I take prenatals everyday and eat a very healthy diet, I should have had B vitamins! Too much folic acid and not enough folate (the natural version) can cause a lot of problems if your body doesn't know how to break down folic acid and convert it to methyl folate. Basically folic acid is the synthetic version of the natural folate (found in spinach, garbanzo beans and lentils). When you can't break folic acid down, it clogs the receptors in the brain, so they can't get the natural folate either.
So what do I have? I have the Heterozygous 1298 / Normal 677. This means that one parent passed down a 1298 mutation. My test literally reads: "Positive for one copy of the A1298C variant".
Check out this chart showing all the possible things that can be caused by MTHFR (images taken from : http://www.mindmeister.com/12694596/mthfr-related-health-problems )
Well, that's my first step: methyl folate. I posted this on my Facebook page last week, but will share the affiliate link again below, because it's worth knowing about:
As we all know, folic acid (or folate) is necessary when trying to conceive. The catastrophe that could've happened had I gotten pregnant with zero vitamin B in my system is something that shakes me up every time I think of it. Many women with infertility issues and a history of miscarriages have an MTHFR variant. Many women (and men) are helped greatly by the inclusion of methylated vitamin B. Methyl folate is just one methylated B vitamin, but it is a crucial one to start the journey with.
I will speak further on over-methylation symptoms and treatments as well as the absence of a "magic pill" that makes everything better. Today, I just wanted to start the conversation and inform you of your right to know about this VERY COMMON gene variant and how it could be wreaking havoc on your health. Don't let your doctor say, like mine did, that this is just something people are writing about on the Internet and we don't see any connection to anxiety (or birth defects, or chronic fatigue), because it's not true!