MTHFR is such a strange journey, and it seems like no two people’s experiences are the same. I kind of backed into MTHFR by accident. I found a multivitamin that I then told all of my clients about because it was the only multivitamin that had ever worked for me, ever. Turns out, I felt such a difference because it happened to have 5-LMTHF in it, as opposed to lesser forms of folate. I didn’t know that at the time. It was a few years after that that I heard about MTHFR and discovered my own polymorphism. Others find out about MTHFR as a part of their search for symptom relief and tackle it that way.
The weirdest part about it, as we’re finding in the MTHFR community Genetic Rockstars, is that small experiences often overlap, but big overarching patterns can vary widely.
This week, we’re tidying up some unfinished business. A few of you have been kind enough to leave questions for me on the website. Let’s get to those!
Does Amy Still Take Appointments?
First, we’ve got one from Sandy. She writes, ” I would like to know if Amy sees patients. I have an interesting combination of issues, one being severe folic acid/folate/B12 intolerance. Such great information on these pages, but I wonder if she takes appointments. Thanks very much, Sandy.”
In good news, we have so many options, Sandy! First off, it sounds like you’ve got a definite challenge on your hands, which is always fun. Secondly, here are the options. There are three ways to work with me, Amy.
- Join the MTHFR community, Genetic Rockstars: I know a lot of people consider this to be less of a therapeutic option and more of a social one. I can honestly say, it’s much more than that. The community is a place to connect with other people who have the same challenges, talk as a group and get questions answered – including by me. The goal is for the community to be both joyful and real-life helpful.
- Join the MTHFR Academy: This is an in-depth group coaching circle. We are all MTHFR folks and three weeks out of four we’ll be having coaching talks about specific topics and/or classes as a group. We also have office hours, which is group zooms with Amy to ask any and all questions, especially questions about where or when you get stuck on your MTHFR journey. As a part of this, you’ll have free access to the 10 week MTHFR 101 class and every other course, workshop, or masterclass that Amy puts out during your membership.
- Get one-on-one coaching: I do still see some one-on-one clients. I actually think group coaching is more effective long-term because the amount of time together and the focus on learning is so much greater, but having some one-on-one visits can be really helpful if you’re deeply stuck or have concerns that you don’t feel comfortable talking about about in a group setting. If you’re interested in this option, the first visit is always an hour and a half and you can find out more about scheduling and frequently asked questions at tohealthwiththat.com/about/ or click the Amy + Coaching link at the top of the page.
Thanks so much for your question, Sandy.
Contrast in MRIs
The second question comes from Sam. She writes, ” I am a mama of boys with the homo 677T mutation. I’m curious about contrast in MRIs when you have this mutation and also if I the mom should avoid a contrast MRI when nursing a baby with the homo 677 mutation?”
This is a great question and not one that is easy to answer. First, there are a number of contrast mediums for MRIs and the selection of those depends partly on the area, organ, or body part that is being studied. There are other factors as well.
Each different contrast medium has to include a magnetic component (it is magnetic resonance imaging, after all). Often the magnetic component is some kind of metal atom. Generally, many of the heavy metals do need to be methylated in the detoxification process, so this has the potential to be more difficult for MTHFR folks.
Many MRI mediums also contain what is called a chelating agent, which is something that helps your body to enhance excretion of the substance, reduces storage in body tissues, and reduces toxicity. Some, however, do not.
To make the conversation a bit more complicated, there isn’t actually any research that I am able to find that addresses MRI contrast mediums and genetic polymorphisms of any kind.
I would say, find out everything you can about the specific contrast agent your doctor plans on using, including the pharmacokinetics and any information they have about how the substance is cleared from your body. Also, the average rate of clearance if that data is available.
In terms of having an MRI while you’re nursing, there are several factors to consider. Certainly, nursing mamas can pass toxins, especially fat-soluble toxins, down to their kiddos through breast milk. If the MRI is potentially life-saving or treatment-altering (as it could be in tumor-related MRIs) then it is probably worth the risk. If it can be delayed without major health consequences, then that would be the most prudent option.
If you do choose to have an MRI while breastfeeding, see if you can pump and store milk before the procedure enough to feed your baby for a while after the procedure and pump and dump any potentially contaminated milk during that time. Work with your doctor to find the most critical period of time after the procedure in which excretion via breast milk is most likely.
Thanks for the great questions, and if anyone who is listening right now happens to have a question, go to tohealthwiththat.com and about half-way down the page you’ll see me asking for your questions in a video – you can ask your questions there in video, audio, or written form.