The MTHFR journey to health can be a bumpy one and there are certainly ups and downs along the way. We have talked a bit about this progression before, but I want to clarify the bumps in the road.
Moving toward health with MTHFR can feel really up and down – like you make progress for a little while and then hit a wall. But why? What are these walls and where do they come from? In my opinion, they come from two places. Your bucket, and your backlog.
We’ve talked about the bucket before – your bucket is unique to you and it represents a container for how many stressors your body can hold before it fills up and symptoms start to spill over. The goal with any form of healing, not just with MTHFR, is to empty out your bucket so that your body has more room to deal with stressors.
So your bucket really is the stuff that is coming in right now – it’s stressors that are actively having an effect on your body. This could be viruses or pathogens, it could be alcohol, it could be inhalants from the perfume aisle or your big deadline at work. It could be a night of bad sleep, food that caused inflammation, or even an injury. This is whatever is actively being dealt with by your body in this very moment.
Your backlog, on the other hand, is the stuff that needs doing that has accumulated over the years. This could be accumulated toxins that your body didn’t have the resources to process at the time they came in. It could be sleep debt, long-term hormonal imbalance, chronic inflammation, chronic oxidative stress, long-term blood sugar changes, or nutritional deficiencies. These are the big-picture things that your body isn’t quite keeping up with.
Backlog is really easy to picture as the baggage your body has to carry around with it on a day to day basis. You might not be actively adding to it right this second, but your body would like to be able to put some of it down.
It helps to think of your backlog as your body’s long-term to-do list. This is stuff that needs to be done and your body is just waiting on the resources it needs, then it will crack into this in a hurry.
So Why Do Bucket and Backlog Make Healing Bumpy?
The main thrust of working with MTHFR is working to balance your methylation, and that means adding resources, like methyl folate, that your body might not have had in a while (or, ahem… ever).
When we add these resources it suddenly allows for all of this work to start happening and your body gets really excited that it can clear up some of the junk it’s been holding on to, and there can be a bit of a flood at the gates, so to speak. Your body starts working through the to-do list but this takes both energy and resources.
If you happen to be having a full bucket day (more stressors than usual) or a busy backlog day (more processing than usual) it can feel like you’re hitting a wall or like your symptoms are worse.
Fixing the Bad Days
I know everyone wants a picture of healing that doesn’t have any bad days in it, but unless you can move to an ashram or a spa in thailand and devote yourself entirely to healing for the next year, it isn’t realistic to expect it to progress smoothly upward. There are going to be some bumps because real life happens.
Bumps are ok as long as you have a toolkit to deal with them. Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep your bucket clean – really try to limit your bad days by minimizing what is coming in right now. This means you should get rid of:
- Toxin exposure as much as possible.
- Food sensitivities
- Folic Acid (synthetic) in your diet and supplements
- Excess alcohol
- Sleep – getting good sleep gives your body that time to help clean house, recharge, and prepare for more work. If sleep is difficult, read more here
- Watch your diet – good nutrition gives your body the resources it needs to deal with the bucket and the backlog.
- Boost your antioxidants – if you’ve had a lot of stuff coming up lately or if you feel like you’re hitting a wall and having more symptoms, it can be a good idea to boost antioxidants or try different antioxidants to help your body cope with the excess.
- Rest – rest is actually a different thing than sleep and your body needs both. Take some downtime to recharge mentally and physically, especially when you’re having a low day.
- Use your gentle detox strategies – if your body is mired in the backlog, help it out with detoxification support that will move the process forward and help clear up the symptoms you’re experiencing. These include:
- Be patient. Getting through the backlog takes time, energy, and patience and you will start feeling better from day one, but it will take time to work out all of the kinks.
Bad days aren’t the most fun thing in the world, but they are a good signal that your body needs more support. If you haven’t been using a symptom tracker, I highly recommend starting today because your detoxification symptoms have a particular pattern and if you can recognize them, then you can begin to deal with them appropriately when they arise. This saves a lot of fuss and bother in the long run.
Also, you’ll begin to see patterns emerging that could give you more information about the way your body is dealing with certain foods, sleep, hormones, and other stressors. Symptom tracking makes all the difference.
If you don’t have a symptom tracker, you can download one for free by signing up for my email list (below or on the right-hand side of your screen) or you can find it in the MTHFR library in Genetic Rockstars, the entirely free MTHFR healing community.