MTHFR

This is not the license plate form of Mother Fucker, but when I first saw MTHFR that is what I thought. At my Doctor’s today I found out I have MTHFR, which is a genetic mutation that means I don’t process Folic Acid.

Folic Acid is the man made form of folate. I am all good with naturally occurring folate, just not the man made version. The first thing that sprung to my mind is “I took a ton of folic acid in my child rearing years.” Having a high level of folate helps prevent spina bifida in babies.

To help prevent these birth defects the FDA regulated flour, requiring it to be enriched with folic acid. It helped with birth defects, but no one considered it hurt people with MTHFR.

Apparently something like 30-40% of people have MTHFR and most don’t know it. It’s not hard to find out, but you need your Doctor to request a blood test for it. The list of things that could be signs of MTHER is so long from Anaemia, Eczema, anxiety, poor memory, stomach pains, headaches to depression. I am lucky I don’t have most of the symptoms now of what having folic acid can do, but now I do need to try and keep it out of my system.

All enriched foods have folic acids, breads, pastas, enriched rice, cereals. It’s a lot. Thankfully most organic versions of those foods do not as well as most gluten free foods.

I took to my cabinets to look at labels. Thankfully Trader Joe’s has many Folic Acid free foods, but going out to eat is going to be fun.

I write this because I have never had one person say MTHFR out loud to me, or even in a whisper. If 30-40% of people have this genetic mutation they probably don’t know it. I can think of many people who have anxiety or stomach issues. Never has anyone said they needed to stay away from folic acid. Lots of people have turned gluten free and started feeling better. It might not be the lack of gluten that is making them feel better, but actually the lack of folic acid in gluten free foods.

As I learn more about this I will share any enlightening information. If you have MTHFR and want to share anything with me I would love to know it.



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