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MTHFR & Autoimmune Diseases: Nature Vs. Nurture


Research indicates that those with the MTHFR variant (especially those who are homozygous) are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases. However, does that mean that having the MTHFR mutation is basically a death sentence? Does it guarantee that you will develop an autoimmune disease? Or, if you've already developed an autoimmune disease, does it mean that trying to manage it through a healthy lifestyle is futile due to genetics? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO!


I won't sugarcoat it - having the MTHFR variant certainly puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to health. Having an impaired ability to detoxify is a real problem and can lead to serious consequences. That's the nature part. There's nothing that can be done about it. However, it's not at all that simple...


Nurture accounts for a great deal of our health journeys. In fact, some research indicates it can account for up to 75% of our health status! That's great news! Thanks to epigenetics, which basically means that nurture can change the way a gene is expressed, the gene variant can be "turned off" and not cause symptoms. The problem is that so many people who have the MTHFR mutation have no idea and spend years or decades making decisions that, due to their genetics, are especially damaging. With greater MTHFR awareness, some of these mistakes can be avoided.


For instance, many people with the MTHFR variant unknowingly overload their bodies with heavy metals and chemicals from vaccines, food, cleaning products, etc. The average person can flush these damaging substances from their bodies without a problem. That is not the case for us. Many people with the mutation also take wrong form of B vitamins for years, not knowing that we need methylated B vitamins that our bodies can process. The synthetic B vitamins commonly sold are toxic to someone with this mutation.


If you have already developed an autoimmune disease, all is not lost! By removing toxins from your lifestyle, taking the right form of supplements, and developing a healthy diet, the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Many people have enjoyed great results from doing a heavy metal detox as well. Even if you must remain on medication, it is possible to live an overall healthy and fulfilling life with this condition.


As a personal aside, I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I was told by an endocrinologist that even if I went on medication, my thyroid would always produce antibodies. I began and am still on a compounded thyroid medication through an integrative physician. The medication did improve my thyroid hormone and energy levels, but I continued to produce antibodies. It turned out that once I cut gluten from my diet (along with other healthy lifestyle changes), I am no longer producing these antibodies!


Nature certainly contributed to my developing this autoimmune disease, as did my poor nurture choices before I understood my body. I accept that my health will always be more delicate than the average person, but I am empowered through knowledge to work with my genetics. Nurture decisions have become more powerful than nature! The same can be true for you.


Has anyone else developed an autoimmune disease as a result of having the MTHFR gene mutation? Has anyone had success in treating it through lifestyle changes?


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