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Hi,

I've come across talk of MTHFR mutations in the news and I'd like to know more about this. I'm type 2 diabetic and diabetes has popped up as one of the many conditions that can be related to MTHFR mutations. I am now curious whether I have a MTHFR mutation and, if so, whether there are any signs an symptoms I can use to determine if I'd benefit from a MTHFR test or not.

Are there any diabetics here who found out that they had this gene mutation? If so, can you tell me how the process went?

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First off, note that most people who have an MTHFR mutation will not have any symptoms or experience any adverse effects from it at all. 

If you do have symptoms of an MTHFR gene mutation, these may include high levels of homocysteine, a folate deficiency, repeated miscarriages (in women), autoimmune diseases including fibromyalgia and lupus, depression or anxiety, or irritable bowel syndrome and other issues. 

These things do not tell you that you have an MTHFR mutation, they just let you know that you are a possible candidate for MTHFR testing. If you are wondering whether you should be tested, it is probably better to ask a doctor than to just go ahead and do it. 

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There's certainly people out there who say that if you already have a MTHFR mutation and are also diabetic, you're at a higher risk of negative consequences of diabetes which sometimes occur, the likes of heart disease, kidney issues and neuropathy. Popular diabetes medications like Metformin can also reduce levels of B vitamins including B9 from your body. I'm not sure about this either. A lot of the time, it's all anecdotal evidence and no actual scientific studies have proven anything said. Caution is probably advised. If in doubt, consult your GP always seems like sound advice. Change GP's if you're not sure you're getting what you need.
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Hi, 

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and just found out that I'm positive for a copy of the C677T mutation and a copy of the A1298C. Though it is all taking a while to sink in, not to mention tons of reading, I am thinking about trying the Yasko protocol, which more experienced people say helps them with the symptoms of an MTHFR mutation. It is a lot to process, however, and there is also a lot of contradictory advice out there. I am wondering if anyone here has any experience with the Yasko protocol for MTHFR mutations? If you're here, I would like to hear from you!

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Hello,

Medical conditions related to an MTHFR mutation include:

  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Dementia
  • Prostate and bladder cancer
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic and unexplained pain
  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome

And many more. Since this genetic mutation is very common, with different sources citing that between 30 and 50 percent of the world's population is affected (and there are different mutations, not all of which have the same effects), it is important to look into this if you recognize yourself in these symptoms at all. That is because while you are stuck with your genetics, you can change your diet and avoid many of the complications.

Rosie

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Hello there,

You're right that there is a connection between MTHFR and type 2 diabetes. Research conducted in 2014 showed that people with 677TT and 1298AA mutations are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. What's more, they are also more likely to suffer from diabetic neuropathy. 

If you want to explore this further, and find out whether you have one of the MTHFR mutations, you can either ask your doctor who can order the test for you, or you can do so privately through 23 and me, among other places. You will most likely end up paying for it yourself in either case since MTHFR testing is still considered experimental. 

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I have type 2 diabetes and a compound heterozgous A1298C and C677T MTHFR mutation. I got tested as soon as I found out about the link, which my doctor told me about and said it would be best to get tested to figure out what my dietary needs are. Whether you want to is obviously up to you, but it has the potential to save you a lot of trouble later down the line, which is worth it for a $200 test. If you decide to test and it turns out you have a mutation, you'll have a lot of reading to do and hopefully a supportive doctor. 

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I know that MTHFR mutations exist and can, in some cases, cause very serious problems such as neural tube defects. Based on what reputable scientific sources say, I am also not sure it is all that it's cracked up to be (by some), but I am indeed sure that it's not all that some people say it is.

Type 2 diabetes wouldn't be treated differently if you did have an MTHFR mutation. The mutation is common, and most people who have it do not experience any negative effects from it. I'm no scientist but my common sense advice would be to ask your doctor if you need an MTHFR test and not to get one if you trust their judgment and they say no.

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Oh, and as far as "signs and symptoms of an MTHFR mutation" are concerned, I don't think there are any obvious ones at all, in terms of "if you feel tired a lot and you're depressed, you probably have an MTHFR mutation". High homocysteine levels can point you in the general direction of having an MTHFR mutation, however, and you'll find doctors who think that (rather than an MTHFR test) is all you need to change your dietary habits and start with supplementation.

MTHFR has been something of a hype in recent years, and it's just not justified. Don't fall into the trap of chasing tests you do not need.

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Hello,

I've said it before and I'll say it again — just because research hasn't been conducted or completed or doctors don't know everything about something yet doesn't mean that X doesn't cause Y. It's possible to be too medically conservative, in my opinion, by saying that because something hasn't been proven without a doubt (and is such a thing even possible in science?) it definitely isn't happening.

What medical conditions are associated with MTHFR is still up for debate. If you had a mutation though, why would you not want to adjust your life in such a way that it will benefit your health?

Rosie

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