After years of unexplainable health events, you found out you have an MTHFR variant. Now, you want to take steps towards restored health. I'm sure you've heard it before, but I'll say it again...detox, detox, detox. So much of what it means to struggle with having an MTHFR variant is to struggle to detox effectively. This post is all about how to detox like a MTHFR.
There are two types of detox - medical grade and gentle, every day detox. Both serve their own purposes, but must be conducted differently.
Medical Grade Detox
Medical grade detox is intense and requires medical supervision. Attempting to deeply detox the body of toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic would fall under this category. This type of detox must be conducted under the supervision of a naturopathic doctor or functional physician. The reason you should never attempt to do an intense detox, particularly when it comes to heavy metals, on your own is safety.
A binder is substance that attaches to the toxin, and basically escorts it out of your body. Some examples are chlorella, zeolite, and activated charcoal. Without the use of a proper binder, your detox program may stir up extremely dangerous heavy metals and other toxins without giving them the necessary way of exit. This could actually leave you even more ill than before attempting to detox! It could lead to very dangerous side effects in a worst case scenario. Even when done safely, an intense detox can involve some unpleasant side effects. Proper supervision is key.
A medical grade detox may use herbal supplements to clear the body of toxins. In more severe cases, chelation therapy may be necessary. This is when a powerful chemical binder, such as EDTA, is used intravenously to escort heavy metals out of the system. If you feel that an intense detox is what you or your child needs, please set up an appointment with your naturopathic doctor or functional physician. He or she will create an effective and safe program suitable to your needs.
Gentle, Every Day Detox
Gentle detox is for someone who has either already gone through an intense detox program and is now looking for ways to continue to support their body's natural detoxification abilities, or someone whose health complications are mild enough to warrant skipping the intense detox altogether and focus solely on gentle methods. Think of gentle detox as anything that supports your body's natural ability to flush toxins and heal itself.
Below are some tips that will help you to detox like a MTHFR:
Avoid Folic Acid - Avoid folic acid in supplements and fortified food.
Folate-Rich Foods - Consume lots of folate-rich foods, such as leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, avocado, cauliflower, oranges, papaya, nuts, and seeds.
Minimize Processed Foods - Try to minimize processed food and stick with whole, clean options as much as possible.
Minimize Sugar - Cut back on sugary foods and simple carbs as much as possible. Opt for stevia or monk fruit as a sweetener whenever necessary.
Organic & Non-GMO - Try to eat organic and non-GMO as much as possible. Refer to the EWG's Dirty Dozen to understand which produce especially needs to be purchased organic.
Juice Vegetables - Try juicing vegetables on a regular basis to get a mega dose of nutrients.
Detox Teas - Drink teas that support detoxification, such as green, oolong, dandelion root, and milk thistle.
Lemon Water - Add some lemon to your daily drinking water for extra detoxification benefits.
Support Glutathione - Minimize medications that deplete the body of its master antioxidant, especially acetaminophen (Tylenol). When you must use it, be sure to counter it with a quality liposomal glutathione supplement. NAC also boosts glutathione production.
Eat the Rainbow - Consume lots of antioxidants by eating a wide variety of colorful veggies and fruits on a regular basis.
Store Food in Glass - Plastic food storage often contains BPA (bisphenol A), an endocrine disruptor. Avoid this by using glass food storage containers.
Drink From Stainless Steel - Likewise, plastic water bottles can leak BPA into your drinking water. Use a stainless steel reusable water bottle to avoid this possibility.
Go Non-Toxic - Switch to non-toxic products. It's important to evaluate everything you use, including cleaning products, personal care products, and cosmetics.
Medicinal Mushrooms - Medicinal mushrooms are rich in glutathione and beta glucans, which support immune system function. Try Chaga, Lion's Mane, Shiitake, Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Cordyceps.
Rebounding - Try rebounding for exercise, which is bouncing on a mini-trampoline. Rebounding is the best form of exercise for your lymphatic system, which supports detoxification.
Sleep - Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Your best detox efforts will be derailed by not getting enough rest.
Bowel Movements - Keep your bowels open. Otherwise, you will not be able to detox efficiently. Eating fibrous vegetables helps, but magnesium supplements, prunes, and coconut oil can further assist.
Infrared Sauna - Try an infrared sauna to supercharge detox.
Epsom Salt Baths - Epsom salt baths will also help to draw toxins out of the body.
There are so many more ways that you can gently detox your body on a regular basis, but these are some solid suggestions to get you started in your journey!
To take a deeper, guided dive into how to thrive with an MTHFR variant, check out Hey MTHFR Academy. This 16-week online course will give you the tools you need to harness the power of epigenetics and befriend your MTHFR gene.