What is MTHFR and what is the MTHFR gene mutation treatment?
MTHFR is an enzyme that adds a methyl group to folic acid to make it usable by the body.
The process of methylation also involves the enzyme from the MTHFR gene. Those with a mutation may have trouble eliminating toxins from the body.
Folate and MTHFR
Due to the MTHFR gene mutation the conversion of folic acid or folate to the usable form is highly impaired.
Those who have a MTHFR gene mutation have significant less folate available for the body to use.
Consequences Due to Lack of Folate
Lack of folate can lead to this MTHFR symptoms list:
- heart disease
- recurrent miscarriages
- difficult pregnancies
- poor detoxification
- sleep problems and so on
Folate is an absolutely crucial nutrient for the body. When the body is not able to use it sufficiently, an array of problems occur.
This gene mutation can cause many issues for people… the risks are amplified for pregnant woman.
Consequences for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of blood clots. The higher homocysteine levels can cause pre-eclampsia, miscarriage and postnatal depression.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women.
The condition usually takes affect during the second half of pregnancy… or immediately after delivery of their baby.
Women with pre-eclampsia have:
- high blood pressure
- fluid retention
- protein in the urine
Consequences for the Baby
The MTHFR gene can be inherited and the baby may develop it’s own DNA problems.
The new born may also inherit nutritional deficiencies that the mother already has.
MTHFR symptoms in children include:
- neural tube defects
- Down Syndrome
- low birth weight
- premature birth
- congenital heart problems etc
For diagnosed women they may also display hormonal imbalances and egg quality issues.
A Chinese Medicine MTHF Treatment Approach
Here’s a brief overview of Chinese Medicine (CM)… a snapshot of what this ancient medical system can provide and its take on healthy life and bodies.
Chinese Medicine treats the person as a whole, hence holistic treatment. Health in Chinese Medicine is a balanced state of energetic flow within the body.
This energy is in constant circulation. Motion sometimes causes positive or negative responses.
When energy flows smoothly and without obstruction, optimal health is achieved.
If there are blockages or stagnation, disease and illness will arise.
The mind and body are inherently linked. The health or balance of one will directly affect the other. In other words, all organs/systems within our body are interdependent on each other.
So you could say that Chinese Medicine aims to find the imbalance within an individual. To correct the imbalance CM uses tools such as acupuncture and herbal medicine. Thus all systems within the body function better. Ultimately disease and illness will stop.
Some people are born with certain constitutional deficiencies. MTHFR gene mutation is one example.
We cannot change our genes… so our emphasis should be on maintenance of health. We can prevent illnesses that mutations or deficiencies can bring about.
Taking supplements is important to achieve a healthy pregnancy… although there still remains other issues that need to be addressed.
To achieve balance Chinese Medicine looks at:
- blood flow
- blood levels or yin
- inflammation within the body
- disharmony between certain organs such as liver, spleen…
- hormonal balance
- and of course the state of the reproductive organs
We look at the whole and how to achieve optimal function of all the processes/systems within the body.
In my clinical experience, there are two main issues to address. In Chinese Medicine terms these are kidney decline or deficiency and blood stagnation.
‘Kidney’ in Chinese Medicine refers to the foundation or constitution… present from birth.
This ‘Kidney’ system governs the reproductive functions of the person… as well as other functions including urination, water metabolism, and the detoxification process.
When the kidney declines, the overall constitution starts to weaken. We become prone to aging.
A weakened kidney manifests these problems:
- weak muscles/bones/joints
- poor detoxification
- urination problems
- poor brain function
- poor eyesight
- sleep issues
- mood problems
- hormonal imbalance
- period problems
- poor libido and sexual functions
As a result the uterus, the house for the baby, becomes frail. It is not robust enough to shelter the foetus for the whole length of time… thus miscarriages will occur.
Blood flows throughout the entire body delivering oxygen and nutrients. When blood flow alters and slows down, the body becomes less nourished.
The person may experience pains within the body, such as:
- joint aches
- chest pains
- abdominal pains
- back pains
- period pains
They may also experience:
- an aversion to cold
- poor focus and stamina
- period irregularities
- clotting period
- dark periods
- heavy or light periods
- and premenstrual symptoms
These two aspects are also of vital importance to achieving a healthy pregnancy.
We can now see the link between MTHFR gene mutation and recurrent miscarriages.
Treatment may also focus on any other underlying issues. But it is essential to treat all the areas that may be contributing to this health condition.
As a general rule of thumb, I recommend 3 months of treatment before beginning to conceive again.
For other health concerns included a 6-8 month treatment period may be necessary.