The Mother F’er Gene

MTHFR. It’s a scary mother…well you know! I first learned I had this autoimmune disorder about 12 years ago. I still can’t spell it, but I figure that my definition is best. My doctor was way ahead of his time when he told me I should be tested for this before being put on birth control. My family history is nothing to ignore. And MTHFR causes a more likely hood of strokes and blood clots. So those warnings on birth control pill labels? Yeah. I need to take those very seriously. Here’s my family history…grandfather died of a stroke at 56, grandma diagnosed with breast cancer at 31. Cousin died of a heart attack at 24. Mom has MS. Sister has Down Syndrome. All symptoms of MTHFR.

Twelve years later I have learned that there is way more to this disorder than just strokes. Even though a few doctors up to 5 years ago told me it was no big deal. Turns out. It is! The list of things this gene can cause is quite long. High risk of miscarriage, depression and anxiety (I have both), Multiple Sclerosis, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc., etc.

Now. I think it’s really important for everyone to know…just because you are told you have the gene? It doesn’t mean you are going to get any of the above! But if you are told you have this gene? You need to decide if you will become proactive or sit idly by and see if you might get anything. It’s amazing how much I have learned over the years that we can control. If we make the choice to take action. Sometimes things cannot be avoided. But if you have the choice to take action by changing your diet? What do you decide? Do you still want that cinnamon roll? Do you still want to avoid that food panel that might prove that your body is trying to fight certain types of food?

It is just being discovered that many diseases begin in the gut. This has been known for thousands and thousands of years in the Eastern medicine world. Western medicine is just beginning to discover this and are giving credit to Eastern medicine. Much deserved! That’s why you have begun to see diets that call for clean eating becoming much more popular. Diets that are filled with fruits and veggies, good fats, nuts, lean protein and little to no dairy. Diets with limited grains. Did you know that we are the only creature in existence that continues to consume dairy past infancy? That’s weird! But research it on your own. I’m not making this stuff up!

Since March I have not been able to get rid of my right ear feeling like I’m in a plane and it will not pop. Or getting out of water and it won’t clear. I started off in urgent care with an ear infection, was put on steroids and antibiotics and when it didn’t clear? I went to an ENT. The ENT looked in my ear. “Well I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?”

Of course I wanted the bad news first. Nowhere to go but up from there!

“Bad news is there’s nothing blocking your ear. The good news is. There’s nothing blocking your ear. Now we have to figure out what else could be wrong. I’m sending you in for a hearing test.”

Literally my heart began to race like crazy! “Am I losing my hearing?” I’m not dumb.

“It’s a possibility. Don’t panic!”

Don’t panic?!?! My mother is deaf in one ear and it’s always been an issue! Don’t panic!?!?! I have always had beyond super hero hearing! What the hell! Don’t panic!?!?!? I’m panicking!

I get out of the booth? Perfect hearing. Sooooo WTF!?!? The ENT officially has no idea what’s happening to me. What’s going on with my hearing. So we are stuck. It’s definitely sinus related, we’ve decided. I go on the normal Flonase and Sudafed. And option of steroids.

I get my first sinus infection two months ago. Worst pain I’ve felt in a while! And today? Now I’m dealing with clogged up sinuses, mucus I cannot even fathom where it’s coming from, bloody nose and still my ear is congested. So we’ve tried everything else. Except my diet.

In 2004 I did a skin panel to discover my allergies. In 2004 my back lit up on fire, the nurse coming in quick to put the salve on me. I was incredibly inflamed. And itchy as hell. My panel included a ton of outside allergies, along with things like bananas, white grapes, mushrooms, and my favorite…beef.

And if you know me…I love beef! The idea of giving it up was horrifying! But with everything I’ve been going through? Tonight I pulled my allergy papers to look into everything a little closer. Fifteen years later? It’s been found that all red meat is linked to something called Alpha Gal. That sounds like an alpha woman but it’s not!

So this has been discovered by scientists, including Mayo clinic, to be a legit thing. And for those of us with highly susceptible immune systems? We have to take it seriously.

Look it up! More symptoms are…. those of us who are always filled with ridiculous amounts of mucus, snort a lot and have a lot of boogers in our noses. Which need to go away. Oh! And you don’t even want to know what’s going on below the stomach. It’s gross.  I have had three sinus surgeries (none have worked), take Musinex and sinus meds with religion to no avail, and cannot rid myself of my mucus. I’m tired! And willing to try anything at this point! But I pray I’m not allergic to red wine! Fingers crossed!!!!

Anyway. I have tried all the diets out there. I have come to find we each need to actually be tested and learn what exactly our bodies need. We are so unique! Which is awesome! But just because one thing works for you does not mean it will work for someone else. I always encourage others to get their blood work done. Find out if you are truly allergic to certain foods. Learn what diets work best for you. Be proactive in making changes! We don’t all need to be gluten free. We don’t all need to be dairy free! Learn exactly what your body needs! Because just like you, your body is totally unique. Which is awesome! So why not learn how to better nurture it. You’ll thank yourself later!

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