Hi Emily here – you may have seen me in The Skinny Confidential team Christmas gift post but you most likely don’t know me and are already bored so I’m going to keep this short & sweet!
I met Lauryn in 2008 when I had been living in San Diego for just about a year. I was reading at Windansea Beach in La Jolla when a couple friends who I went to high school with in Carmel called me over. They were with Lauryn and her best friend Jackie who’s been mentioned on The Skinny Confidential before. Anyway, we’re all still friends and I’ve been working for her for about a year and half now & am moving to LA next week!
Now, to why I’m guest posting tonight:
A few years ago my cousin recommended I go to the naturopath she was working at and talk to the Doctor about my health concerns and to get a full lab done.
Changed. The. Game.
Gaining the knowledge of which vitamins I was depleted in and having the tools to regulate those levels has made a huge difference in my well-being. Along with vitamin intake, I also changed my diet accordingly. These two things have improved my energy, lessened anxiety, brightened my skin & has elevated my quality of life in general.
BUT there was one discovery that stuck out the most.
Before getting my blood drawn, we discussed how I was feeling day to day, and the Doctor immediately knew she wanted to have a test run to detect if I had a gene mutation called MTHFR (worked out well for the title of this post, ha).
Turns out she was right and it was what I believe to be the most important thing I needed to know about my health. I literally had 8x the average amount we want to see come up in our blood work. If only I knew all along…
My main reason for wanting to bring this to the The Skinny Confidential is because there are so many variations of MTHFR and if you have any of them (they say a lot of us do) your body isn’t breaking down Folic Acid….I do not want to say too much for the obvious reasons (not a doctor being the main), but the amount of pregnant women taking Folic Acid supplements is my concern.
If you don’t know what Folic Acid is, it’s simply the synthetic version of Folate which is the vitamin B9. The synthetic version is something that is often recommended to pregnant women to prevent birth defects. As you can imagine, if your body can’t break it down that may not be the case for you.
Summary: In genetics, hetero- and homo- refers to the two alleles (letters) on the gene. A heterozygous mutation means one copy of the mutation, homozygous means two copies.
Remember that the mutation can be re-written with both letters at the end (for example C677T = 677CT) or even just the letters with no numbers (for example CT or TT):
MTHFR C677C = normal MTHFR gene
MTHFR C677T = heterozygous mutation (one mutation)
MTHFR T677T = homozygous mutation (two mutations)
MTHFR A1298A = normal MTHFR gene
MTHFR A1298C = heterozygous mutation (one mutation)
MTHFR C1298C = homozygous mutation (two mutations)
MTHFR C677T + MTHFR A1298C = a compound heterozygous mutation(what my labs came up as, you can call me teenage mutant ninja turtle)
Remember that MTHFR mutations don’t directly make you unwell. But they may cause an exaggerated response to poor diet or lifestyle choices that others can “get away with”.
I wanted you to see the above so you know how many different variations there actually are. It can be confusing but my hope is that you will ask your doctor to order “MTHFR” on your next blood lab. (if you do test positive for MTHFR, find yourself a methylation specialist)
I believe this is really important information that everyone, especially those planning to have children should have.
Like I said, short & sweet.
Love you all
P.S. I don’t recommend Theranos, wink wink. ( see TSC podcast here, click subscribe and then search The Dropout for reference ♡ )