Tag Archives: MTHFR

MTHFR Update & More.

13015311_10153721255778860_8741326124086611100_nLike the rest of us, I’ve been crazy busy. The end-of-year (school) rush has begun. I’m shocked that my escaped mental patient, who is now 5 years old, has only two weeks left of school. Whoa! I’m already on the verge of tears any time I think about it. In two days, we have his end-of-year celebration. I wasn’t prepared for it when my girl did it two years ago and I cried sobbed my way through the whole thing. Think the ugly cry. Think 65 4- & 5-year old children up on a stage, singing “I’m ready to go!” at the top of their lungs with the biggest smiles, so proud of themselves, and their staggered dancing that reminds you how incredibly precious this time is. I couldn’t even type that sentence without getting weepy. Damn, I’m in trouble.

I thought that perhaps knowing what it’s going to entail would make it better for me this time round but I’m already a mess. I almost burst into hysterics last week just on a random morning drop-off because it hit me that his time at this particular school is ending. How we’ve loved his school and teachers so much.  I am truly, truly grateful both my kids got to have their first year of school at such an amazing place, with such amazing people. He’s growing and it’s so bittersweet.

Enough about that. I’ve already had to break out the tissues.

I told you all about the MTHFR testing we had done on my 7-year old. It showed she has a genetic mutation of the MTHFR gene. Essentially, her body doesn’t process artificial folic acid. What I didn’t know is that any time you read the words “folic acid” on any food label, that means it’s artificial folic acid. She had become very lethargic, down on herself. She was saying very odd things that were completely out of character for her. Her teacher was also extremely concerned. The action needed wasn’t much. It meant a change in diet – cutting out all “enriched” products. At first, it seemed a little daunting – it’s pretty hard to find bread that isn’t enriched. Or cereal, or snacks, or pasta. But our go-to now is whole wheat pasta, organic cereal and a French brioche bread (oh I love Aldi). I also ditched their multivitamin for a specific vitamin that not only doesn’t have artificial folic acid, but has the correct methylfolate she needs. That not only helps her biological processes, but also helps her body get rid of the build up of the unprocessed folic acid.

13177185_10153767687158860_7897199150378930011_nAlmost two months into it, and the results are pretty amazing. Her lethargy is gone and her sparkle is back. Her teacher has commented that the change in her has been significant at school. It feels like a little gate has been unlocked in her mentally. This is hard for me to describe but she’s definitely processing things differently. Faster. Clearer. The potential has been unleashed. She’s not bogged down anymore. I see her whisking through homework that used to take hours.

Another interesting tidbit is that my girl still needed pull-ups at night. Absolutely, without fail, every single night she would soak a pull-up. It never mattered how much water she did or didn’t drink, or if she peed before going to bed, or whatever. All the little tricks or pieces of advice never worked. I just figured her body would start working that way when it was ready and we made no issue of her using pull-ups. She, though, wanted to be out of them. When we did the MTHFR testing, I did my usual flurry of research and was astonished to find that there may be a link between MTHFR genetic mutation and bed-wetting.  Two studies are specifically cited:

Simply put, her central nervous system hadn’t caught up to where it should be. One night just a month ago, she asked me was it her fault that she soaked a pull-up every night. Thankfully, armed with my new research, I told her it has nothing to do with her, and her body may just not be ready because of the folic acid. She was so relieved because no matter how much I underplay the pull-ups, she wanted out of them.

With her new multivitamin, I started her on a lower dose than initially recommended because they didn’t taste great and I didn’t want to bombard her all at once. Her dietary changes, which now seem quite insignificant even though it felt daunting at first, weren’t hard at all to implement. She can’t tell the difference between organic and non-organic cereal, whole wheat pasta or honey whole wheat bread was a breeze, and the brioche bread is just to die for. She knows to avoid folic acid and because she is feeling better, she wants to avoid it. For a solid month, we continued on our track. She had more energy, she was doing better in school. However two weeks ago, I switched out the last of the bottle of multivitamin to another one and began giving her the recommended amount (for a child). It’s a prenatal gummy with omega 3 fish oil in it and the kids love it. WIN!!! One week after starting it, it’s like a light switch was turned on in her head. Without any warning, she was dry, every single night.  We had told her previously that she needed to be dry for 7 nights in a row before we’d ditch the pull-ups and she blew through that mark (first time ever!) and is now done with pull-ups.  If I wasn’t paying attention, I’d chalk it down to coincidence, but I know better. She’s not doing anything different other than the multivitamin and some dietary changes. Remember this, I’ve been giving the kids a multivitamin for years, so for years I’ve been feeding her the *wrong* folic acid. The type she can’t process. It’s no wonder she had such a build up in her system.That wrong one is gone, she’s getting the right type of folate for her body and the differences are remarkable.

Truthfully, I am so, so grateful that we have a pediatrician who recommended this testing to us. It’s not covered by insurance and cost us about $200, but to see the differences we have now makes it worth every.single.penny. Every single one.

Here’s some reference information for you to look:

MTHFR!!! (No, I’m not cursing)

Several weeks ago, I noticed my 7-year old acting a little out of character. Forgetting things easily, strange sentences coming out of her mouth, exhausted. Most of it, I put down to school – at this point, she’s trudged through almost all of 1st grade and is tackling schedules and workloads that rival a 12-yr old just a decade ago. When I asked her how a test was one day, she told me it was terrible “because the windows of my brain were open and I couldn’t remember anything.” It was the oddest thing. There were enough weird things going on for a few weeks that my husband and I began talking about it, and on a whim, I emailed her teacher to see if she’d noticed anything. She responded with gratitude that I had contacted her because she’d become quite worried about my girl, that my daughter was extremely low on motivation and seemed to have “checked out” of school.

Sleep was the first item on our agenda. Making sure she was well rested. A few days later, as Spring Break began, I took her to the doc because my next line of questioning would be to check if there was any nutritional deficiency. After all, fruits were relegated to the horror house several years ago and it’s only lately that vegetables have reappeared on her horizon. There, her pediatrician asked me if I was interesting in getting some genetic testing done, specifically, to check the MTHFR gene.  What? As I learned, the MTHFR gene is responsible for the absorption of folic acid in the body and not only is this critical to just about everything, any gene mutation can cause the absorption of regular folic acid to be a very bad idea!  Currently, over 40 point mutations of this gene have been identified. Of these mutations, C677T and A1298C seem to have the most clinical significance, and a defect in these genes can lead to abnormal hormonal metabolism, higher rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, dementia, migranes, miscarriages, difficulty getting pregnant, and abnormal production of the dopamine neurotransmitter. It can also increase the risk of developing ADD/ADHD.

Guess what? My girl has one mutation of C677T. It’s not a difficult or hard-pressing reveal. The treatment is lifelong but simple. It’s also quite common. Up to 60% of the general population has some form of mutation.  She now cannot take any unnatural form of folic acid and must supplement with the correct form of folate. Methylfolate to be precise, and needs to avoid any artificial folic acid. That could bring me onto another tangent of all the crap that’s added into our foods these days, but specifically, she now must avoid anything “fortified” (e.g. pasta, breads, most cereals, etc) as it will do the opposite of what you’d think it would do. I find it stunning how something so simple can be so wide-reaching, and it really does have me wondering if this is the cause of her mental malaise. This gene discovery is recent in scientific circles (within the past decade) but we are learning more and more how vital it is.

I’m actually dying to get this genetic testing done myself. My daughter can’t have the gene mutation without it coming from either/or my husband and I. So one of us has it. So for now, new vitamins are on the way and hopefully my girl will get back to being herself.

Extra info can be found here: