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So, why are we even talking about DNA testing here? Why is DNA testing even A Thing?
Watch my talk in June of this year and you’ll see. DNA testing changed my life.
If I had a buck for every time I’ve been asked in the last 3 years how I solved my BiPolar II Disorder I’d have enough dosh to pay someone to assist me in answering the never-ending stream of emails, messages, texts, and calls asking for this information. Since I don’t, and I have learned that I simply no longer scale to answering this question to everyone individually, I have decided to write a post that we can all send everyone to every time someone asks and everyone asking will get the info they need a whole lot faster than waiting on me. I don’t want people waiting on me.
The first thing I discovered when I got my DNA test back was that I have a genetic mutation on the gene known as MTHFR. And MTHFR is related, directly or indirectly, to basically all human symptoms, conditions, syndromes, diseases and signs.
This is list of all the functions that methylation is directly related to:
- immune function
- neurological function
- cardiovascular function
- respiratory function
- dermatological function
- gastrointestinal function
- endocrinological function
In short, methylation is related to our body’s ability to function. So if you have a mutation on this gene, the list of symptoms and diseases it could play a part in is huge. And from all the fine folks I have talked to about their health in the last 3 years it has become clear to me that anyone suffering from any kind of brain / mental health issue would be wise to check into their MTHFR gene status.
So if that’s you or someone you know, here’s the steps you take:
1. Order a DNA Kit from 23andMe. You only NEED the Ancestry version, but you can get the Ancestry + Health version if you want. The extra health reports from 23andMe have been interesting but not especially useful in my search for answers to my health concerns. The Ancestry version gives you the raw DNA data that you need.
2. Spit in the kit and return it to 23andMe per the instructions.
4. Upload your raw DNA file to one of these online tools:
- Genetic Genie which will look at your methylation genetics just by reading your 23andMe raw data (FREE)
- Promethease (COST)
- Sterling Hill (COST) (or you can contact her and pay for a call to help with interpretation of your genetics)
- Live Wello which gives a great deal of information to you based on 23andMe, plus links to learn more about each gene’s potential problem. Do use the Search bar to see if you have other mutations you hear about.
5. Once you have your Genetic Genie reports, find the MTHFR gene and if you have RED or YELLOW against it then I highly recommend doing the following:
6. Buy the Report from Dr. Ben Lynch called Strategene which is $45.
7. Find a Functional Medicine Doctor or Naturopath from this directory.
8. Take your Strategene report to your new practitioner who will help you determine what supplements you need and work out a treatment plan.
NOTE: I *highly* recommend working with a practitioner who knows about MTHFR and other genetic mutations as opposed to trying to self-medicate. However, if for whatever reason you simply cannot get with a practitioner right now, then these are the supplements I take to help with my methylation issues:
- Thorne Basic Bs
- Thorne Methyl-Guard (Think of this as equivalent to 2 Basic Bs)
- Thorne Methyl-Guard Plus (Think of this as equivalent to 3 Basic Bs)
- Thorne 5-MTHF 5 mg Folate
Start by taking 1 Basic B a day. After a week take 2 a day. Continue adding 1 extra one every week. If you start to feel worse, back down one to the last dose you felt good on. Then switch to Methyl-Guard or Methyl-Guard Plus depending on how many Basic Bs you are taking per day. Example: if you feel best taking 4 Basic Bs per day, switch to 2 Methyl-Guard. If you feel best taking 3 Basic Bs per day, switch to 1 Methyl-Guard Plus. AGAIN: I cannot recommend highly enough that the best way to do this is work with a practitioner. Over-methylation is also a thing, and has it’s own set of problems. But until you can get to a practitioner, you may well find that taking these supplements helps you.