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S2E18: What is the MTHFR Lifestyle?

I mention the MTHFR Lifestyle a lot, but don’t always clarify what I’m talking about, and at this phase of the journey, it matters a lot. If you’re following along with the process in this podcast series, then you have done a number of remarkable things. You’ve:

  • Taken folic acid out of your diet and supplements
  • Added a good foundation of other B vitamins
  • Started 5-LMTHF, folinic acid, or SAMe – whichever of those options is the most easily tolerated for you.

Chances are you’re feeling better – clearer, more energetic, happier, less anxious, and generally like you’re on the right track. And you are. You are doing amazing and I am so proud of you for coming this far.

When I talk about the MTHFR Lifestyle, it’s really to remind people that our genes are for life. We will always have them, and when we happen to have MTHFR it can stand as a great reminder that we will thrive the best when we actually make health a priority.

Many people ignore their health until the wheels fall off the cart. That usually looks like a heart attack or a big diagnosis, or hitting some kind of health and functioning wall. Some of us may have done the same. The thing is, with MTHFR we will always do the best when we are making space in our lives to take care of our bodies. We will always do the best when we’re living the MTHFR Lifestyle.

What Is the MTHFR Lifestyle?

Put simply, it’s a life that puts physical health, mental health, and even spiritual or soul health on your radar every day. This isn’t something that we have the dubious luxury of forgetting – when we have something like MTHFR, it matters to make health a priority. To always be mindful of how we are treating ourselves and how we are caring for ourselves. It’s easy to rail against it and think that it’s unfair we have to pay so much attention to this when other people seem to be able to do whatever they want, but it’s also a blessing in disguise.

Feel amazing every day with the MTHFR lifestyle
Feel amazing every day with the MTHFR lifestyle

Living the MTHFR lifestyle gives us permission to make our own self-care a priority every day. That is actually kind of huge, when you think about it. It’s a good reason to take the best possible care of yourself.

What is the MTHFR Lifestyle in concrete terms?

This lifestyle involves making health a priority without getting too extreme. It focuses on things like:

  • Discovering and avoiding your food sensitivities.
  • Clearing as many toxins and chemicals out of your diet, home, and water as you can.
  • Keeping healthy fruits, veggies, beans, and pulses in your diet.
  • Making good sleep a priority.
  • Mindfulness meditation or some other mind-taming activity.
  • Moderate exercise (not too much and not too little).
  • Moderate protein (not too much because it can raise homocysteine).
  • Good hydration.
  • Gentle detox support like hot baths, saunas, dry skin brushing and castor oil.
  • Taking time for rest, relaxation, and joy.

When you look at it like this, it sounds sort of idyllic. Good sleep, relaxation, joy, some exercise, great food. This is the MTHFR lifestyle we’re striving for.

MTHFR lifestyle will help you feel amazing every day
Living an MTHFR lifestyle will make you feel amazing every day

I know, being a realist, that it’s hard to maintain this kind of lifestyle in a busy, overstressed, modern world. I also know, that taking small steps towards it can have a huge impact on your wellbeing and quality of life. When you think about it, who do you know who doesn’t need a bit more self-care?

I feel like it’s especially important now, in this time of global pandemic and the related stress because even if you don’t consciously feel like it’s a stressful time, there is an underlying chunk of mental burden related to covid that we don’t normally carry. For everyone this is new, and for everyone it adds another weight. All we can do is take better care of ourselves so we can support that weight more gracefully.

Now, please be clear that I’m not the type of health cheerleader to ever tell you your life/diet/self-care or routine all need to be perfect. Sometimes the thing you need most for your wellbeing is a churro. Or a Christmas cookie, or a gin and tonic. A healthy lifestyle has lots of wiggle room for treats. Also, if your foundation is solid, then small treats bring benefits rather than harm. I am never going to be the one to preach to 100% clean. If you can get to 90% then you’re doing amazing.

Also, be gentle with yourself. I’ve been doing this for years, have a doctoral level education in how to take care of myself, and I still go through ups and downs. It’s human nature. Sometimes my self-care is rocking – I’m doing everything right and I”m on fire and it’s amazing. Sometimes, it isn’t. I go through periods where I’m just not as motivated to do it all, or I don’t have the bandwidth, or the rest of my life has eaten my self-care. That’s ok too. This is all a process of continuing to make the choice, every day, to make caring for yourself a priority. There isn’t any judgment, there isn’t any winning or losing, it’s just a process that allows you to take steps toward a richer life.

Thank you so much for listening today, and I really hope this inspires you to give yourself just a little more care. Also, I”d love it if you’d take the time to sign up for the mailing list -there are so many great things coming up this year and I want you to be the first to know.

How does MTHFR gene mutation affect the body’s ability to produce glutamine?

The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, which plays a crucial role in the body’s process of converting folate (a type of B-vitamin) into a usable form called methylfolate. Methylfolate is important for many processes in the body, including the production of glutamine.

Glutamine is an amino acid that is important for a variety of processes in the body, including the synthesis of proteins, the regulation of acid-base balance, and the support of immune function. A mutation in the MTHFR gene can affect the body’s ability to produce enough methylfolate, which in turn can impact the production of glutamine.

However, it’s important to note that while MTHFR mutations may impact the body’s ability to produce glutamine, other genetic and environmental factors can also play a role in the production and regulation of this important amino acid. Therefore, the relationship between MTHFR mutations and glutamine production is complex and not fully understood.

Can MTHFR gene mutation lead to glutamine deficiency?

A mutation in the MTHFR gene can affect the body’s ability to produce enough methylfolate, which is important for many processes in the body, including the production of glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid that is important for a variety of processes in the body, including the synthesis of proteins, the regulation of acid-base balance, and the support of immune function.

While MTHFR mutations may impact the body’s ability to produce enough methylfolate, it’s important to note that other genetic and environmental factors can also impact the production and regulation of glutamine. Therefore, while MTHFR mutations may contribute to a functional deficiency of glutamine, they do not necessarily cause a deficiency of this amino acid on their own.

In addition, it’s important to note that the symptoms of a glutamine deficiency can be varied and nonspecific, and a range of factors can contribute to low levels of this amino acid in the body. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms of a glutamine deficiency, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to identify the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

What is the connection between MTHFR gene mutation and chronic fatigue syndrome?

There is some evidence to suggest a possible connection between MTHFR gene mutations and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). CFS is a complex disorder characterized by severe fatigue that is not alleviated by rest and is often accompanied by a range of other symptoms, including muscle pain, cognitive difficulties, and sleep disturbances.

MTHFR mutations can impact the body’s ability to produce enough methylfolate, which is important for many processes in the body, including the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are involved in regulating mood, energy levels, and cognitive function, and imbalances in these neurotransmitters have been implicated in the development of CFS.

In addition, some studies have found a higher frequency of MTHFR mutations in people with CFS compared to the general population. However, other studies have not found a significant association between MTHFR mutations and CFS.

Overall, while there may be some association between MTHFR mutations and CFS, the evidence is not yet conclusive and further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between these factors.

How does MTHFR gene mutation affect the body’s ability to produce carnitine?

MTHFR gene mutation can affect the body’s ability to produce enough L-methylfolate, which is a form of folate that is essential for the production of carnitine. Carnitine is an amino acid that plays an important role in energy metabolism, particularly in the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria, which are the energy-producing structures in cells.

Carnitine is produced in the liver and kidneys, and its production requires the presence of specific enzymes that depend on folate. MTHFR gene mutations can lead to reduced folate levels, which in turn can affect the production of carnitine.

Low carnitine levels can lead to a range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, fatigue, and heart problems. Carnitine deficiency has also been associated with several health conditions, such as metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease.

If you have an MTHFR mutation and are experiencing symptoms of carnitine deficiency, it is important to work with a healthcare provider to identify the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan, which may include supplements or dietary changes.

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MTHFR is a common genetic mutation that can contribute to anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, infertility, and more serious conditions like breast implant illness, heart attack, stroke, chronic fatigue syndrome, and some types of cancer. If you know or suspect you have an MTHFR variant, schedule a free 15-minute meet-and-greet appointment with MTHFR expert Dr. Amy today.

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Amy Neuzil
Amy Neuzil

Dr. Amy Neuzil, N.D. is a leading expert in MTHFR and epigenetics, and she is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellness for their genetic picture. She has helped thousands of people overcome health challenges using a simple, step-by-step approach that starts with where they are today. Dr. Neuzil's unique approach to wellness has helped countless people improve their energy levels, lose weight, and feel better mentally and emotionally. If you're looking for a way to feel your best, Dr. Amy Neuzil can help. Contact her today to learn more about how she can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

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