Have You Heard About MTHFR?

Trigger warning. This may be difficult for some people to read, especially if you’ve experienced pregnancy loss. This is also written from my personal experience and perspective. I am not a medical professional. A pregnant woman holding her belly.

Do you know about the MTHFR variant? Approximately 40% of women carry one (or two!) copies of the genetic variant, MTHFR C677T.

My goal is to promote awareness. I have written about this topic before on my personal blog. It was written from an emotional standpoint, sharing how I found out and how it affected my pregnancies.

My friends have read my first article, and it gets talked about often when the girls and I have serious chats about motherhood, aging, and health. Many people were grateful for me bringing light to this often unheard topic.

MTHFR stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase. It is an enzyme in the body that helps regulate the metabolizing of folate. When you have this genetic mutation/variant, your body cannot process folic acid as efficiently. A person would need to take methylfolate, which can be broken down in the body more efficiently and responsively.

The topic is also very debatable and semi-controversial, with some doctors saying that folic acid is sufficient for any person, even those who carry the variant. I will state that I am not a doctor, but this was told to me by my doctors, and I have also done my research. My midwife at the time strongly suggested that I only take methylfolate vitamins and that folic acid would not be sufficient for me. Always talk to your doctor before deciding what vitamins and supplements to take.

I was told through a simple blood test that I had two copies of the variant, which is, of course, worse than having just one copy, according to my doctor. I plan on having my kids tested, as my primary doctor and midwife suggested.

According to Healthline.com,  MTHFR can cause a lot of different symptoms which include:

I suffer from nerve pain and anxiety, and I have had four miscarriages. Could this all be a coincidence? One could say yes, but I have always liked to dig deeper.

My doctor also told me to make sure I stretch before sitting for long periods, such as when I am flying, as I can be prone to blood clots. Luckily, my homocysteine levels were in the normal range, which was good news, being that these levels can cause problems due to the variant if they are too high or too low. He also told me that due to my two copies of the gene variant, I should be careful what I put into my body when I eventually go through menopause.

I now take a daily supplement of methylfolate as recommended by my doctor, and it gives me peace of mind. I was also told that vitamin B12 could be beneficial. I did take them after suffering through my multiple miscarriages, in addition to other supplements, before I was even aware of the topic of MTHFR.

Have you heard about MTHFR? Please comment below or ask any questions you may have!


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