As you may know by now, I have several autoimmune disorders. (That I know of, anyway!)
As far as symptoms, there’s pretty much something every day for any of these disorders.
Trying to wrap my brains around these disorders and symptoms has been overwhelming, to say the least. I want to know. Why did they happen? How did they begin? Could I have done something differently? Did my doctors neglect proper treatment? Did one cause the other? Will I continue to develop more disorders?
I look at my mom who is 30 years ahead of me. These days, she is often plagued with symptoms, from additional disorders, far more debilitating than what I have right now.
This tells me a few things.
1.) These issues are multiplying.
2.) Medications and/or surgeries are only treating or postponing symptoms.
3.) I NEED A CHANGE IN DIRECTION
Several weeks ago, I began a relentless search for answers. I learned about a very serious genetic mutation that affects our body’s ability to methylate (detox). In typical fashion, I jumped hurdles to get tested for this. And, sure enough. BAM!
I tested positive for the MTHFR mutation. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I also thought it was a swear word! MTHFR stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It is an enzyme in the methyl cycle encoded by the gene MTHFR. Don’t get lost, yet. Stay with me…
(In layman’s terms) We have over 20,000 genes in our bodies. All genes have a job to do. The MTHFR gene is very VERY important. (Think of like the mayor in the community.) It’s job is to help our bodies methylate. (Or detox.) Variations in this gene are common, however there are certain defects that can be extremely critical.
I found out that I have two copies of the C677T gene. This is the worst case scenario. (Thanks mom. Thanks dad. lol)
MTHFR mutations are linked to dozens and dozens of disorders and medical issues from Diabetes 1 to Bipolar to frequent miscarriages! Many in the PMDD community feel that it is the culprit to PMDD, as well. Not to mention, it is common to have high levels of homocysteine in the blood. This can lead to a heart attack and/or stroke.
So, this hit me like a brick wall. I need to address this mutation. If I could go back in time to Rachel back in high school, I would have addressed this mutation. But, instead, I went through a lot of health issues, lifestyle issues as a result of poor health issues, and infertility issues. Thankfully, God works all things together for good to those who love him. I look at my life now, and how the good Lord orchestrated all of those awful pieces into where I am today, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Still, I can change my health right now and possibly help others in the process.
Your genes aren’t your destiny. If genes are the gun, your environment is the trigger. Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac
Would you like to join me on a Journey to Healing? Maybe you know someone who would?
Here’s a good place to start:
1.) Take action! Stop treating symptoms. Make a plan to treat the problem, and stick to it. Consider seeing a naturopath who will take a holistic approach in helping you achieve better health. (You may end up using natural remedies in lieu of antibiotics/SSRIs, etc.) KEEP YOUR DOCTORS IN THE LOOP before stopping and/or changing medications!
3.) EAT CLEAN. It’s really not rocket science. Just choose the most basic and primitive foods possible or available. Omit processed foods, sugar, gluten-containing products, Milk/Cheese, Trans Fat, etc. I believe Paleo and Dr. Rostenberg’s Modified Elimination Diet are two of the better frameworks out there.
4.) Switch out your household and personal products to natural/organic! This may require more homework on your part and a trip over to the EWG website.
5.) ELIMINATE THE STRESSORS!! Such a big one that I was embarrassed to address and admit. It’s true, though. If you have an autoimmune disorder (or multiple disorders), your body is maxed out. Prioritize! You can’t quit being a wife and a mom, but you can certainly quit being the PTO president!
6.) SWEAT. Yes, sweat. I say this because some of us don’t like the word exercise. But, even Scott can testify that when I don’t work-out, I am miserable. Any form of getting your heart rate up and sweating out those toxins is a win, win! Find your favorite activity and get to it.
7.) Take a 30+ minute detox bath every week. My recipe for a detox bath is 1 cup of Epsom salt, a few Tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of an essential oil. Ahhhhhhhhhh. You can also dry brush the toxins out of your body.
Well, this is a good start. If you want, I can keep you posted on my journey in treating my health problems and not just the symptoms. I’ve already started writing a meal plan and some great recipes that are delicious and healthy. Of course, I’ll be sharing!
Stay tuned. And, stay well. xo