I was desperately looking for answers as to what was wrong with me. Finally, one confusing appointment after another, I finally stumbled upon a diagnosis of sorts. But even that is a mystery for the doctors in my area. Now let me clarify, there are a few that are familiar with the cardiovascular side of MTHFR. (Thankfully I caught that early.) It’s the other side that evades the local doctors. It can cause anxiety, depression, neurological disorders, food intolerance, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, (yes I’ve had all of these), in addition to autism (two daughters with Autism Spectrum Disorder), and a host of others. Now when no one in the medical profession can help you, its downright upsetting.
So as I said, I began studying, and researching, listening to podcasts, and gathering all the information I could. It was exhausting. And you know what I found? I can’t convert folic acid/folate into its active form, which is necessary to metabolize B12. And as I pointed out in What Is MTHFR just about every system in your body needs these two nutrients to operate correctly. As a matter a fact, I also had low iron stores. And no matter how much iron I took, it didn’t raise my storage levels. Until I learned about methylated folate and methylated B12. It took a while, but these two vitamins saved my life. I learned that the absolute best place to get B-12 and iron is in my food, making green, clean, whole food choices.
When battling an illness like this it is vital to understand: DIET IS EVERYTHING to get our health back. So to begin with I went on a three-week elimination diet. I chose the one from the “Institute of Functional Medicine”. This diet is designed to remove all allergens from your system. It helps to detox and to heal our liver and leaky gut. (And yes, if you’re reading this, it’s possible you have leaky gut. But that’s a whole other post.) The down side is for the first week or two there are some nasty symptoms from the detox. Just ride it out. Its part of the cleansing process. My worse symptom was the migraine. Ooh. But once it’s over you feel so much better.
After going through all that, I decided to stick to a whole-foods, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. However I was still having issues. So I cut out all corn, eggs, and peanuts. (Sound familiar? These are allergy related foods. Perhaps what we think is an allergy is actually a food intolerance.) Unfortunately, I also had to cut all refined oils which are in our favorite fried foods, such as chips and french fries. And I had to let go of my beloved breads, even if they were gluten-free. It was very difficult, but I had some serious healing to do.
It’s been about a year since I first launched my new way of eating. I am still on a whole food, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. However now I can eat most corn products, pasture raised eggs, peanuts, and gluten-free breads with no side effects. However the refined oils in some foods continue to be an issue for me. So we do a lot of baking. And when we do use oils, we use coconut and olive oil. Also key is to look for non-GMO products. The less food is processed or refined the less problems on the digestive tract.
It’s important to remember, this isn’t just a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Diets come and go. We use them and leave them, as we get the urge. But to truly be healthy, and to recover to the extent our bodies can, we really need to eat this way for the rest of our lives. Oh you can have treat days occasionally. But they must be limited. For me, its once or twice a month. Anything I want. But beware, there may be consequences to the allowances you make. For example, cheese kills me. So when I want a “real” order out pizza or some yummy fried chicken, I’m ready for migraine or joint pain, or cystic acne break-out that is bound to occur. And then its right back on my life saving, whole foods diet.
So, do you suffer from daily migraines? Do you have unexplained neurological issues? Do you have a host of food intolerances? Or autoimmune disorders? If so, you may have MTHFR. The best place to begin your journey towards a better, healthier you, is in the way you eat.
I hope this article was eye-opening, if not encouraging. If you are going through what I am, as many out there are, remember as you begin your journey, you are not alone.
***for more information on mthfr and B12 issues see
my article on What Is MTHFR***
Do you have a story to share or questions you would like to ask? Click here and go to my contact page. http://my-mthfr-illness.com/contact-us/