The lab test every doctor should be performing

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Every Doctor Should Do This Lab Test(NaturalHealth365) A genetic test your doctor may not be performing could prevent thyroid cancer and help stave off depression according to recent studies.

Are you concerned about autoimmune disease, liver health or depression?

You may want to consider ‘MTHFR’ – the genetic test every doctor should be performing that could help save millions of dollars in healthcare costs by educating individuals, about serious health issues, BEFORE symptoms arise.  For example, recent studies show that discovering mutations in the MTHFR gene can predict depression – even in early childhood.

Another genetic testing and biological marking study, just released this July, showed a strong correlation between MTHFR mutations and early thyroid cancer detection.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a medical test that could alert you to the importance of making significant changes in your lifestyle – before it’s too late?

While many studies show that MTHFR gene mutations play a significant role in explaining certain disease states, has your doctor suggested this test yet? The good news is performing this simple and inexpensive test could save you and your children from battling health concerns that may be preventable by altering your epigenetic landscape or, as some may describe it, biological terrain.

Why your doctor isn’t performing this test

It’s no secret we live in the land of band-aid medicine. To date, no well-funded, large-scale studies exist to guide conventional healthcare providers toward preventive treatment options – when MTHFR gene mutations are discovered.  In reality, most healthcare providers only perform tests they can match up well with pharmaceutical ‘therapies’.  It’s the only thing they know.

The fact remains, conventionally-trained physicians are not well-educated about the value of diet and lifestyle changes – as a frontline intervention strategy for disease prevention.  This lack of education leaves millions of people wondering, for years, how to fix health issues – especially when drug therapies don’t seem to work. 

So, what does MTFHR mean to you?

The MTHFR gene produces the MTHFR enzyme which enables methylation – the essential process responsible for using folate (B9) to break down 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrafolate to 5-methyltetrahydrafolate. This is vital because 5-methyltetrahydrafolate helps convert the amino acid homocysteine down into another crucial amino acid, methionine.

Why should you care about methionine?

Methionine is used to make proteins, assist the liver in breaking down fats and improve efficiency of antioxidants in the body. Methionine is then converted by the liver to SAM-e, a compound that helps produce then breakdown serotonin, dopamine and melatonin.

A faulty MTHFR gene that goes unchecked could:

  • Increase the likelihood of developing depression
  • Complicate thyroid issues
  • Influence fertility
  • Reduce the body’s capacity to eliminate inflammation related to autoimmune disease and other illnesses

Once you “de-code” MTFHR – diet, nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes can be prescribed to help optimize health, if a mutation is detected. Discovering a mutation isn’t necessarily negative, but leaving it unchecked could be problematic.  Be sure to enlist a practitioner qualified to support integrative intervention strategies designed to improve your epigenetic status.

So, if you’re interested – the next step is to get tested.

Ask your healthcare provider to perform this simple test. While the test is available online, it may be covered by your insurance when ordered by your doctor..

If your provider isn’t familiar with the test or won’t perform it, ask yourself if it’s time to create a team of providers who have your preventive healthcare needs in mind.  And remember, this is just one of the many health-promoting tests you can perform to ensure optimal wellness – all the years of your life.

About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731792
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25007377
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265

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  • Janet

    Christine, where do I start other than it seems criminal that this test isn’t used. I also wonder if the regular medical practitioners are knowledgeable enough.

    MTHFR is serious and a neglected field, though there are specialist in this field most people are unaware of this fact. Even homocysteine levels aren’t usually checked, which would give a hint that something is off. The mutations can affect homocysteine levels, but not always.

    It seems both of these neglected test can be very useful since the MTHFR mutation is fairly common in the general population.

    People who have this mutation have a higher risk of thrombosis, Alzheimer’s, heart problems, fibromyalgia and “Aura” migranes. This article is an eye-opener,

    • 7LibertyForAll

      My chiropractors do functional medicine with labs that test for this issue. They’re much more knowledgable than the white coats because they care to continue educating themselves. They give their patients great care by looking at the whole person. They do not accept insurance–if you want real care you have to pay for it and people gladly do.

      Insurance is one of the big reasons for the sky-high costs in health and disease care. For most people, insurance seems to encourage a lack of self-responsibility for one’s own health.

  • Andrea Winship

    Very well explained. Most articles on these mutations are far too complex. She really made this easy to understand.

  • Desiree Barreto

    Great Article! My Mother has one of each MTHFR mutations and we are struggling with her health. We’ve read most of Dr. Lynch’s and Dr. Yasko’s studies and protocols. Yet we cannot locate any providers accepting insurance and remotely knowledgeable with this mutation. Therefore, she is self detoxing, supplementing, eliminating sensitivities and trying to convince her practitioners to script relevant tests for her specific abnormalities. Could you please recommend a site to locate insurance based providers for MTHFR? She lives in SE FL, is 73 years old and has one Functional Dr. And one Integrative Dr. Who are trying yet unfamiliar. I would be eternally grateful! Thank you:) D.

  • Janis Abrams

    Just had this test completed and I was asked to supplement with Sam-e. I chose to use Pure Encapsulations because it was a clean product without the extra excipients.

  • judith fenton

    I had the MTFHR gene test for the lark of it and came up T/T positive. I am 75 and in great health. One has to be careful about genetic testing as it is not an exact science because of the unknown intricacies. This MTHFR gene polymorphism came about from our ancestors who probably survived because of it. It may not be all bad. There are doctors out there making a lot of money on supplements after scaring the public. You are doing the same thing. I have read paper after paper on the subject, and the real research concludes that the gene snyp. actually protects some folks from colon cancer. This is just another hysteria ridden article. There is no real reason to test for this gene polymorphism other than. perhaps, higher than normal homocysteine levels. Then check levels of the B vitamins. Italians have the MTHFR gene variation more than other groups.

  • Rebecca

    Judith, I also am not a fan of genetic testing. However, I think it is a good idea to have the MTFHR test if you are having any problems that can be associated with it.

    I also read their are advantages to this mutation. In some people the mutation means nothing, but not in everyone. Since there are ways to mitigate the negative effects it may be a test worth taking for some people. It is also worth while looking at the homocysteine levels.

    You can’t change the gene, but you can improve your diet and help alleviate the symptoms. This is why perhaps people who have this mutation are fine, they are doing things without being aware of, which are helping them.

    One of the most important things is to have a healthy digestive system. By optimizing the intestinal flora you are taking an important step. Candida toxins inhibit proper methylation. This is why eating a clean diet is more important than any supplements.

    I have learned over the years one size doesn’t fit all. I think articles such as this bring about an awareness, which is lacking in medicine and press coverage of health in America.

    • Nancy

      Rebecca, it seems a clean diet can mean different things to different folks. I am sure it is a good philosophy, to follow, but the variations are something to consider.

      The one point most everyone may agree on , it is a diet devoid of processed foods. It also implies fresh and natural, with all the goodness intact.

      Many times clean eaters check the food label and expect it to reveal everything that’s in the product. We know this isn’t a reliable method.

      It should be organic, but that’s not always true when people think of a clean diet. There are limitations to the phase clean diet. You can just do the best you can.

  • Barbara Logan

    Recently Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, have demonstrated how DNA methylation in the brain is implicated in Alzheimer’s.

    Christine, this is a most timely article since the rates of Alzheimer’s is reaching epidemic proportions.