You may have heard of the term “MTHFR gene mutation” and may be wondering what it is. First, I’d like to say that I prefer the term “MTHFR gene variation” rather than “mutation.” The word variation is more empowering, and in my opinion, also more accurate.
While the word mutation implies an occurrence that is rare, unnatural, or flawed, the MTHFR gene variation is common. In fact, it’s present in up to 55 percent of the European population, is naturally occurring, and often has no negative health consequences – unless expressed.
I chose to use this terminology after learning that I was a carrier of two copies of the MTHFR gene. When I first saw my test results, I thought to myself, I have bad genes. I am flawed. I am broken. I am bad.
It’s quite easy to go down that path and feel victimized, and I don’t ever want you to feel victimized by knowing something about yourself.
The reason we do tests and learn about our genes is to feel empowered. While we can’t change our genes, I can tell you that we can absolutely change their expression! So if you have the MTHFR gene variation, or are thinking of testing for it, I hope that this overview empowers you.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- Symptoms and diseases related to the MTHFR gene variation
- Genetic effects on nutrient extraction and common nutrient deficiencies
- How to test for the MTHFR gene variation and check your homocysteine levels
- How to support your methylation pathways with food and supplements
Understanding the MTHFR Gene Variation
It’s important to understand what it means to have the MTHFR gene variation, in order to determine if it may be contributing to some of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
The gene involved is the MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase) gene. This gene codes for the MTHFR enzyme, the enzyme that converts the amino acid homocysteine to methionine, a building block for proteins.
We receive two copies of the MTHFR gene from each parent. This means we may end up with two copies of the “normal” MTHFR gene, one “normal” copy and one copy with the genetic variant, or both copies with the genetic variant. I’ll expand a bit about two different genes that carry MTHFR variations, and I’ll break down the different test results and what they can mean, further down in the article.
Individuals with one or two copies of the genetic variation and low activity of the MTHFR enzyme may present with elevated homocysteine levels, which have been associated with inflammation, heart disease, pregnancy complications, and even miscarriages. It has also been associated with higher rates of Down syndrome and birth defects in offspring of those with the MTHFR gene variation, as well as other issues that may manifest later on in life, such as depression, an increased risk of blood clots, and a higher risk of certain cancers.
Some of my clients with Hashimoto’s and the MTHFR gene variation have even reported having bigger blood clots during their menstrual cycles.
One of the key things to note is that this gene variation also prevents people from properly methylating, which is one of the body’s key detox processes that helps them get rid of toxins. Methylation impairment can result in an impaired ability to clear out certain toxins such as mercury and arsenic, and may lead to estrogen dominance. Symptoms like brain fog, multiple chemical sensitivities, depression, irritability, and anxiety are related to impaired methylation. As these symptoms are all too common in Hashimoto’s, I designed a Liver Support Protocol to support the methylation pathways.
Studies have shown that another possible consequence of this gene variation includes being sensitive to certain anesthetics, such as nitrous oxide, which is commonly used for dental surgeries. If you’re due for an operation and have the MTHFR gene variation, you can search for and print the following articles for your surgeon and anesthesiologist to share this information with them and seek alternative anesthetic options:
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Dr. Ben Lynch (author of the book Dirty Genes) reports that those who are born with the MTHFR gene variation may also have some advantages, such as being more alert, productive, and focused.
As the owner of two MTHFR gene variations, I can surely attest to this!
Genetic Effects on Nutrient Extraction
The genetic variation can also play a role in vitamin deficiencies. Specifically, elevated homocysteine levels often caused by the MTHFR gene variation have been associated with nutrient deficiencies in vitamins B2, B6, B9 (folate), and B12.
It may seem like common sense to take a supplement to address a deficiency in folate, but not all sources of vitamin B9 are created equally. While vitamin B9 can be found naturally in foods in the form of folate, it can also be found in the form of folic acid, a manufactured version of folate that is present in most bargain-priced multivitamins, as well as often added to processed foods.
Unfortunately, folic acid can be highly problematic for individuals with the MTHFR gene variation, as they may have a difficult time processing this form of folate. Some professionals claim that this type of synthetic folate may even cause a build-up in the body, leading to toxicity.
Studies have shown that folic acid supplements can increase one’s risk of cancer — one more reason to ditch processed foods and your multivitamin. (By the way, if you’re looking for a better multivitamin, I recommend Nutrient 950 by Pure Encapsulations, which contains the active version of folate.)
Correlation Between the Genetic Variation and Hashimoto’s
You may be wondering, “Does everyone with Hashimoto’s have this variation, and does it make Hashimoto’s worse?”
The answer is no! In fact, a recent study by Arakawa and colleagues of thyroid patients with Hashimoto’s and Graves’, found that polymorphisms – that is, gene variations that may lead to the abnormal expressions – were as common in autoimmune thyroid disease as they were in the normal population. Additionally, the authors concluded that the severity of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) did not correlate with whether one had this gene variation or not.
Here’s an excerpt from the study:
Genotype and allele frequencies of the MTHFR +677C/T and +1298A/C polymorphisms showed no significant differences between healthy controls and patients with AITD; these genotype and allele frequencies did not influence the prognosis of AITD.
In other words, the likelihood of having one or both of the MTHFR polymorphisms, as well as the frequency of variants (alleles) of the MTHFR gene, were not found to be more prevalent in those who have autoimmune thyroid disease compared to those who do not.
Nonetheless, the MTHFR gene variation does appear more commonly in those with hypothyroidism.
Testing for the MTHFR Gene and High Homocysteine Levels
You can take genetic tests to find out whether you have this gene, as well as high homocysteine levels.
It’s important to test for both homocysteine levels and the MTHFR gene variation because, while you may not have the gene that affects the methylation pathways, you may still have elevated homocysteine levels, which tells us the level of inflammation in our bodies. Elevated homocysteine levels may also indicate a deficiency in B vitamins.
While higher levels of homocysteine have been associated with numerous health complications, levels of homocysteine that are too low can also be problematic and have been associated with peripheral neuropathy (often felt as hand and arm tingling) and an impaired ability to make glutathione, an important antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body. Low levels of glutathione have been correlated with Hashimoto’s and heavy metal toxicity.
Testing for homocysteine levels is now available through many labs and can be assessed with a blood test.
There are differing parameters for what may be considered optimal reference ranges for homocysteine levels. Depending on the lab, some reference ranges may define homocysteine excess as greater than 10 or 11 µmol/L, and levels under 4, 5, or even 6 µmol/L may be considered too low.
Other reference ranges, such as the one reported by Medscape, break down homocysteine levels by age and gender. (Levels of homocysteine generally increase with age.)
- Age 0-30 years: 4.6-8.1 µmol/L
- Age 30-59 years: 6.3-11.2 µmol/L (males); 4.5-7.9 µmol/L (females)
- Age >59 years: 5.8-11.9 µmol/L
According to functional ranges, however, the optimal homocysteine levels range seems to be somewhere between 5-7 µmol/L. I imagine that, as with most labs, homocysteine levels are simply numbers to consider when looking at the big picture of overall health, and individual variations need to be considered.
As for testing for the MTHFR genetic variation, many labs also offer tests for this gene. For example, you can order a genetic saliva test kit from 23andme.com, or see if you can get a genetic test from your physician, which may be covered by insurance. You can upload your results to geneticgenie.org, which will then tell you if you have the genetic variation.
However, some may be concerned with this genetic information getting reported on insurance or to employers. There have been concerns that having the MTHFR variation or elevated homocysteine levels could potentially interfere with future insurance coverage, that may limit pre-existing conditions.
Fortunately, one can order confidential tests that will not be reported to insurance, by using online lab testing services, like the Ulta Labs test for homocysteine or the Ulta Labs MTHFR gene variation test.
There are two possible MTHFR variations that you may have. Both the 677 and 1298 genes can carry the MTHFR variations.
These are the different types of potential variations to look for:
- Homozygous variation – You have two copies of the same MTHFR variation (either two variations on 677 or 2 variations of 1298).
- Heterozygous variation – You have one copy of the MTHFR variation on either the 677 gene or the 1298 gene.
- Compound heterozygous variation – You have one normal 677 and 1298 gene, and one variation on both the 677 and 1298 genes.
Elevated homocysteine, whether you have or don’t have the MTHFR gene variation, can indicate inflammation in the body. While people with elevated homocysteine may benefit from diet and supplementation (especially if the elevation was caused by inflammatory foods and nutrient deficiencies), other reasons for inflammation should be investigated with your practitioner as well.
Clinically, I have seen that having the MTHFR variation doesn’t necessarily mean one is destined for a lot of health challenges and symptoms, and having a greater number of variations doesn’t always mean the person will have more symptoms. I personally have two copies of the MTHFR mutation and am alive and well (with some interventions), while others I have seen have just one copy of a mutated gene and a lot of symptoms.
There are various factors that determine the expression of these genes, such as the interaction of other genes, lifestyle choices, and interventions. Thus I always say that genes are not our destiny. That said, I think knowing our genes is helpful, as it can provide us with a roadmap of knowing which areas may need more attention to minimize our symptoms.
Symptoms That May Be Associated with Under- or Overmethylation
How can you tell that you may be experiencing impaired methylation? Here are some symptoms of undermethylation to look out for:
- Elevated homocysteine levels
- Multiple miscarriages
- Multiple chemical sensitivities
- Sensitivity to anaesthetics
- Red face that lasts after exercising
- Being prone to addiction
- High libido
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Low pain threshold
- Digestive problems (such as IBS)
- Brain fog (especially after protein-rich meals)
- High estrogen levels
- Low energy/fatigue
- Muscle pain
- Low levels of neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin)
Although I haven’t seen this in the research, it’s been an observation for me personally, as well as for a few clients, that difficulty fighting off viral infections as well as having a red rash under the nose, seems to correlate with poor methylation. I have found that methylation support seems to really help me with this.
Symptoms of undermethylation should improve if you follow my recommendations for methylation support below.
Although undermethylation is more common with the MTHFR gene, overmethylation may instead be the case. This can affect the thyroid and adrenals, as well as cause other health problems. Overmethylation can also occur if people start taking methylation support supplements that are too potent (see the precautions section below for more information on what to do if this happens).
Symptoms of overmethylation can include:
- Restless legs/pacing
- High pain tolerance
- Histamine intolerance
- Sleep disorders
- Panic disorders
- Low libido
- Low motivation
- High levels of neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin)
- A high copper to zinc ratio
Generally, undermethylation will result in symptoms more akin to depression and sluggishness, while overmethylation is usually linked to symptoms like hyperactivity and anxiety. But it’s not always easy to tell what is happening without testing.
This is why it’s important to follow the directions of a health professional, and to use supplements carefully.
Supporting the Methylation Pathways
Once you know that your methylation pathways are impaired (rather than in overdrive), there are many things you can do to gently support and optimize your methylation pathways, including changing your diet, addressing nutritional deficiencies, and using supplements.
Food as Medicine
First, I recommend eating a diet that will lower the overall inflammation in your body, such as the Root Cause Paleo diet. (The plan that I recommend doesn’t just eliminate processed foods, but it also focuses on a high intake of veggies.)
As for addressing high homocysteine levels, there are two main nutrient pathways for breaking down homocysteine. Nutrient deficiencies along either of the pathways may result in elevated homocysteine levels.
One of the pathways involves the use of the B vitamins, while the other one uses trimethylglycine (betaine) to help with metabolizing homocysteine. The following nutrients may support methylation and homocysteine levels:
- Riboflavin (B2) – Rich sources include lamb, eggs, liver, salmon, and mushrooms.
- Vitamin B6 – Rich sources include meats, beans, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
- Folate (B9) – You can find folate present in its activated form in real foods such as green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard greens, and romaine lettuce are some examples), asparagus, papaya, beans (especially lentils), avocados, brussels sprouts, nuts, seeds, and beets.
- Vitamin B12 – This is primarily found in meats, and may be lacking in vegan or vegetarian diets, leading to deficiency.
- Betaine AKA trimethylglycine – Betaine can be found in beets, whole grains like quinoa (which some individuals may not be able to eat), and spinach.
Interestingly, beets are a very common food eaten in Poland, and I have noticed that many of my relatives in Poland who likely have the MTHFR gene variation do not have many symptoms.
Supplements to Support Methylation
Of course, we may not be able to get enough of the needed nutrients from food alone.
Individuals with the MTHFR gene variation and high homocysteine levels may also benefit from B2 (riboflavin), as well as activated versions of folate, B6, and B12, such as methylated folate (also known as L-5-MTHF Folate, methylfolate, 5-formyltetrahydrofolate or NatureFolate), Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P), and methylcobalamin, respectively.
In my survey of 2232 patients with Hashimoto’s, 45 percent of participants said they felt better after adding methylation-supporting supplements like methylated folate, B12, and B6 to their regimen.
Another 59 percent reported feeling better with adding the digestive enzyme betaine with pepsin as well, and I suspect this may in part be due to improved methylation. The top symptoms that improved included energy, pain, and mood.
Thus, if you also happen to have low stomach acid (as many people with Hashimoto’s do), taking the protein digestive enzyme Betaine with Pepsin from Rootcology is another great way to get extra trimethylglycine. Betaine HCl and pepsin are necessary for adequate absorption of vitamin B12, as well as protein, calcium, and iron.
I developed the Rootcology MTHFR Pathways supplement, which includes betaine and B12, to contain synergistic nutrients that support homocysteine pathways, including activated forms of folate, B2, and B6.
Please note: Rootcology currently ships to the United States only.
This combination may help to facilitate the efficient metabolism of homocysteine and maintain a healthy homocysteine pathway, allowing for the normal production of its necessary and important end products, including the sulfur-containing amino acids taurine and cysteine, and the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine.
An optimally functioning homocysteine pathway provides methyl and sulfur groups for biochemical reactions such as detoxification, healthy immune function, ideal joint and cartilage structure, and brain and cardiovascular health – so it’s important to metabolize homocysteine effectively.
I recommend supplementing as follows, based on your homocysteine level test results:
|Homocysteine Test Results||Number of Capsules per Day|
In addition, many of the lifestyle interventions helpful for Hashimoto’s are also beneficial for the MTHFR variation. I discuss these interventions in more detail in my first book, Hashimoto’s: The Root Cause, as well as in my second book, Hashimoto’s Protocol.
Precautions While Taking MTHFR Pathways
While most people with Hashimoto’s tend to feel better, about eight percent of people will feel worse with MTHFR Pathways. Some individuals may feel anxious if they start high-dose methylation support too quickly. Some of the people who feel slightly worse (i.e. those who may experience more anxiety and irritability) may benefit from a dosage reduction, in the case that their pathways are moving too quickly.
However, if “feeling worse” lasts more than a few days, this could be due to overmethylation, other gene variations such as an expressed CBS gene variation that may need to be supported before adding methylation support, or a sensitivity to the supplements, and the supplements should be discontinued.
In the case that you are overmethylating, yet are still deficient in folate and B12, you may want to avoid methylated versions of folate (methylfolate) and B12 (methylcobalamin), and consider non-methylated but active versions of folate (folinic acid) and B12 (adenosylcobalamin and/or hydroxocobalamin). I like Seeking Health’s Folinic Acid capsules and Pure Encapsulations Adenosyl/Hydroxy B12 drops.
As always, listen to your body and to your knowledgeable practitioners.
MTHFR Pathways should not be used with Addison’s disease, a history of electrolyte imbalance, diuretics, blood thinners, or steroid medications. As it contains a sulfur-based amino acid, it should also be avoided by those with sulfur sensitivity.
Other Nutrients That Can Help Symptoms
Curious about other nutrient deficiencies that may be the root cause of your symptoms, and supplements that may help address them? Download my free Supplements to Subdue Symptoms eBook to discover which supplements benefit which symptoms, and more!
Some people have a genetic variation that may impair their detox abilities, affect how they absorb certain B vitamins, and contribute to their symptoms. Nonetheless, knowledge leads to empowerment. Again, while we can’t change our genes, we can absolutely change their expression!
You can support your methylation pathways with dietary interventions and supplements. To kickstart your path to wellness, I recommend testing your homocysteine levels and checking to see if you have markers for the MTHFR gene variation. If you do, supporting your methylation pathways with supplements may help reduce some of the symptoms you’re experiencing.
I’ve created a helpful graphic to help you remember how to support your methylation pathways:
And of course, I’d like to reiterate this:
Share it on Facebook to remind yourself daily that knowledge about our bodies and our health EMPOWERS us and gets us one step closer to feeling our BEST!
I hope that this information empowers you, and I wish you all the best on your healing journey!
P.S. When you sign up for my newsletter, you can also download a free Thyroid Diet Guide, 10 thyroid-friendly recipes, and the Nutrient Depletions and Digestion chapter of my first book. You will also receive occasional updates about new research, resources, giveaways, and helpful information.
For future updates, make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram!
- Dell’edera D, Tinelli A, Milazzo G, et al. Effect of multivitamins on plasma homocysteine in patients with the 5,10 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T homozygous state. Molecular Medicine Reports. 2013;8(2): 609-612. doi:10.3892/mmr.2013.1563.
- McNulty H, Pentieva K, Hoey L, Strain J, Ward M. Nutrition throughout life: folate. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012;82(5):348-354. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000130.
- Zappacosta B, Mastroiacovo P, Persichilli S, et. al. Homocysteine lowering by folate-rich diet or pharmacological supplementations in subjects with moderate hyperhomocysteinemia. Nutrients. 2013;5(5):1531-1543. doi:10.3390/nu5051531.
- Prinz-Langenohl R, Brämswig S, Tobolski O, et al. [6S]-5-methyltetrahydrofolate increases plasma folate more effectively than folic acid in women with the homozygous or wildtype 677C→T polymorphism of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2009;158(8):2014–2021. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2009.00492.x.
- Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Folate. National Institutes of Health. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/. Updated April 20, 2016. Accessed January 2, 2018.
- Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B6. National Institutes of Health. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/. Updated February 11, 2016. Accessed January 2, 2018.
- Online Lab Testing & Blood Tests for Functional Medicine. My Labs for Life. www.mylabsforlife.com. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- ZRT Laboratory – Innovative lab testing made simple. ZRT Laboratory. www.zrtlabs.com. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- Walsh N. Folic acid cancer debate continues. MedPage Today. 2013. http://www.medpagetoday.com/HematologyOncology/ColonCancer/37008. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- Lynch B. What is MTHR?. MTHFR.net. http://mthfr.net. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- Arakawa Y, Watanabe M, Inoue N, et al. Association of polymorphisms in DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B, MTHFR and MTRR genes with global DNA methylation levels and prognosis of autoimmune thyroid disease. Clinical and Experimental Immunology. 2012;170(2):194–201. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2012.04646.
- Nagele P, Zeugswetter B, Wiener C, et al. Influence of Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene Polymorphisms on Homocysteine Concentrations after Nitrous Oxide Anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 2008;109:36-43. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e318178820
- Pollak A, Mueller-Malesinska M, Lechowicz U, et al. MTHFR 677T is a strong determinant of the degree of hearing loss among Polish males with postlingual sensorineural hearing impairment. DNA Cell Biol. 2012;31(7):1267-1273. doi: 10.1089/dna.2012.1607.
- Lynch B. Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health. New York, Harper One: 2018.
- Elhomsy G. Homocysteine: Reference Ranges. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2085682-overview. Published January 18, 2013. Updated November 21, 2014. Accessed January 31, 2018.
- Pizzorno J. Homocysteine: Friend or Foe?. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2014;13(4):8-14.
- 7 Signs You Need Methylation Support. https://education.seekinghealth.com/7-signs-you-need-methylation-support/. Accessed 7 January, 2022.
- Anderson, Loy, M.D. Methylation – Thriven Functional Medicine Clinic. Jan 15, 2019 https://thrivenfunctionalmedicine.com/methylation/. Accessed 7 January 2022.
- A Look at Overmethylation. Designs for Health. Dec 6, 2018. https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/910. Accessed 7 January 2022.
Note: Originally published in May 2015, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.
Ellen Williams says
Also, look at this website
Debbie Hamilton says
Thyroid Root Cause says
According to new research, there are three things that need to be in place for autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s
1) Genetic susceptibility
3) Intestinal permeability
Everyone with Hashimoto’s has the gene for it, but it’s our environment that decides how the genes are expressed.
Sarah Roberts says
Hello, I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos and would like to do all blood test necessary. I currently take Mahfouz factor 2 tablets daily and feel good. I’ve been taking it for about 2 years now but never been tested. Can you assist me please? Thank you, Sarah Roberts
Dr. Izabella Wentz says
Sarah – thank you for reaching out. These are the recommended thyroid function tests from page 32 of my book:
¨ TPO Antibodies
¨ Thyroglobulin Antibodies
¨ Free T4
¨ Free T3
¨ Reverse T3 (optional)
¨ Thyroid Ultrasound (optional)
Here is an article with more info that I hope is helpful as well:
TOP 10 THYROID TESTS AND HOW TO INTERPRET THEM
Nice job here!
Izabella Wentz says
Christina H says
I had the testing done through 23andme. I would suggest doing it that way as it tests way more snps and is only $99. I am hetero for A1298C and have Hashimotos. They linked more snps to Hashimotos than just MTHFR. 23andme connects PTPN22 gene to Hashimotos (and Diabetes 1 and RA) marker rs2476601. Honestly I think my trigger may have been getting a bunch of amalgams out with no protection, or the Hep B series. I will never be able to know the exact trigger.
Izabella Wentz says
Susan McFadden says
Giving hep b to babies are we triggering them as well?
Dr. Izabella says
Susan – thank you for following this page. Unfortunately, vaccines and pediatrics are not my areas of expertise. I do have friends with Hashimoto’s who have vaccinated their children without any apparent problems, and also have friends who feel that their children were vaccine injured. While vaccines have saved countless lives, there’s a possibility that some people may have horrible reactions to them. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any tests that would help us predict who would have this type of response. While most studies have shown that vaccines are very safe for most people, every drug can have cause an adverse reaction, especially in those who are genetically susceptible. Ultimately, it’s up to you, your family, and pediatrician you trust that would have to decide if a vaccine is the right thing for your child. In some cases, you may have to involve legal authorities to help advocate for your rights.
Eva Vitale says
Izabella Wentz, PharmD says
Jennifer Thomas says
Amanda Egbert says
I have a question about Natural Chelotion drops. I got a small bottle from my chiropractor, it was supposed to help remove heavy metals after the immunization. Do you know if this can help?
I was diagnosed w/Hashimoto about 20 years ago. I am not getting ANY help from my doctors and I am developing more autoimmune problems. Where do I start? Does anyone know a good, open-minded doctor in Pittsburgh, PA area?
I know this is an old post. Hopefully you found someone by now. If not, and you are still in Pittsburgh, PA, try Dr. Mylynda Massart at UPMC, Mathilda Theiss Center. She has been the most knowledgeable/ helpful MD I have seen so far. (FYI – I am homozygous for MTHFR c677t, CBS, and several others.)
An excellent Naturopath who can help you with diet and supplements is Sari Cohen at UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine. Good luck!
Jennifer Ledford says
So I’m curious about your recommendations in Pittsburgh. My 19 y old daughter has Hashi, SIBO, MTHFR, and we are having a heck of a time finding a practioner who can balance all these issues. We’ve see good practioners but they aren’t familiar with all of these things and it really seems like an intricate dance that we need someone who ‘gets’ it all to put all the pieces together. How do you utilize the 2 practioners you mention? Do they work together?
Thank you –
Dr. Izabella says
Jennifer – thank you for following this page. I highly recommend that you work with a functional medicine clinician to be a part of your own health care team. It’s an entire medical specialty dedicated to finding and treating underlying root causes and prevent serious chronic disease rather than treating individual disease symptoms.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE APPROACH TO THE THYROID
FIND A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CLINICIAN
Gail David says
Amanda K. says
Marianne Wohl says
Susan Hildebran says
Linda S. says
Susan Hildebran says
I really like your writing style, fantastic information, thanks for putting up dgekkaddckgeddgk
Dr. Izabella Wentz says
Smithd143- Thank you so much for your support! Hashimoto’s is a complicated condition with many layers that need to be unraveled. While conventional medicine only looks at each body system as a separate category and is only concerned with the thyroid’s ability to produce thyroid hormone, Hashimoto’s is more than just hypothyroidism. I wanted to pass along these articles that I wrote. I hope they help 🙂
WHERE DO I START WITH HASHIMOTO’S
Dr. Wentz, I don’t know if you’ve already been asked this question, but I wanted to know whether a diet could still be considered “soy free” if you ate products which contain soy lecithin as an emulsifier, given how small is the soy protein content of lecithins. According to a study on the topic “Soy lecithin does contain trace levels of soy proteins and these have been found to include soy allergens. However, apparently, soy lecithin does not contain sufficient soy protein residues to provoke allergic reactions in the majority of soy-allergic consumers.” Thanks
Dr. Izabella Wentz says
Alberto – thank you for following this page.
The goitrogens in soy are still present after cooking; Additionally, soy is a very common allergen. Thus, people with underactive thyroid function and Hashimoto’s should avoid soy completely.
I discuss Soy & Soy Lecithin in my book The Root Cause, have you had a look?
Dr. Izabella – and what does it mean if homocysteine is too low? 4,4 (range 5-12). Is it also connected with MTHFR mutation, should i check it too? Most of people has too high homocysteine, and what to do if it is too low? Thank you for the answer!
Dr. Izabella says
Kasia – thank you so much for following this page. Here is an article you might find helpful.
TOP 10 THYROID TESTS AND HOW TO INTERPRET THEM
Thank you so much Dr. Wentz! I have recently found out I have a double copy of the MTHFR gene as well and it has been overwhelming trying to understand it’s implications and finding resources. Thank you for explaining it more thoroughly and I truly believe we can always change our genetic expressions to with the right support nutritionally and with lifestyle and supplements. I feel more empowered with the knowledge you provided and will get my homocysteine levels checked now. I have been taking your Methylation Support but, for some reason it exacerbated my dizziness I believe. So, I stopped taking it and waited a few months but, again experienced the same thing, so maybe my pathways are moving to quickly as you mention, I’m happy to have another avenue to figure it out. And, of course this helps me support my young adult daughters in the best way with their health early on to which I feel so grateful for in this learning experience of Hashimoto’s and finding my root causes with your amazing books and honesty with your own journey to.
Dr. Izabella says
Anna – you are very welcome! <3
Loved the Nutrient 950 (and other Pure Encapsulations products), and am SO very disappointed that they have been bought by Nestlé. I don’t know if the quality will change, but even if it doesn’t, I’ll have to find another good source, since boycotting Nestle began the moment I heard Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck claim that people do not have the right to water. He was filmed saying it, though since denies that’s what he meant. It is especially poignant to me now, living in Flint, Michigan, and watching Nestlé guzzle up water from the lakes and ground water for pennies, while residents can’t drink the water from their own taps.
(Not that anyone should be drinking municipal water, but the point is still a valid one.)
They own most of the bottled water brands on the market, and also just recently bought up Garden of Life and several other supplement companies. I’m still looking for a suitable replacement, and as this article outlines beautifully, finding dietary supplements that contain GOOD sources of vitamins and minerals is crucial.
Dr. Izabella says
Suzy – thank you for sharing. I’ve really enjoyed the Pure Encapsulations and Douglas lab brands from the Atrium family and was surprised to hear the news of the Nestle acquisition.
I am hoping for the best, this could be a wonderful opportunity – perhaps Nestle sees the value in high quality nutritional supplements and the marketing dollars of a big company like Nestle will bring more awareness about the value of supplements to a bigger audience.
And perhaps they’ve really cleaned up their leadership and values after the devastating impact of their earlier marketing tactics.
But I’ve also been preparing for the worst. We know that when companies are acquired, the new company will sometimes change the formulas. This usually won’t happen for at least two years.
You might be interested in my new supplement line Rootcology! Rootcology’s mission is to provide safe and effective supplement solutions for people struggling with autoimmune thyroid conditions. Rootcology supplements are composed of high-quality premium, gluten, dairy, soy, pesticide, and toxin-free ingredients and undergo third-party testing to ensure that the ingredients on the label match the ingredients inside each bottle. Because I have full control, the Rootcology line will always be high quality and free of reactive ingredients. I have been planning on adding new formulas to the Rootcology line. Are there specific supplements that you would like to see?
Here is a link to the site. https://www.rootcology.com/collections/supplements
Thank you so much for your response, and the link to your company! I will definitely check out those products, and I appreciate that you understand both the quality of ingredients, sources, and ethical practices.
Specific supplements I would like to see? I would love to see a full replacement of the Nutrient 950, as well as additional individual nutrients such as selenomethionine, combinations such as adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin (Pure Encapsulations didn’t have that!), and liquid ionic forms of trace minerals, to name a few. Thank you for asking, as well!
I appreciate the work you are doing!
Sharon Smith says
A friend who is an M.D. told me,
Thyroid hormone is essential for life and you cannot get it by eating plants, as it is a mammalian hormone.
How does that fit with this diet? Perhaps this is the case if your thyroid has been removed, but this diet is ok for Hashimoto’s. Just a brief response would be very much appreciated.
Dr. Izabella says
Sharon – thank you for following this page. Thyroid medications are considered lifelong for most cases of hypothyroidism, but spontaneous remission has been reported to occur in up to 20% of patients… however addressing root causes can help increase the rates of remission. If you do not address the underlying root causes of your condition, your own thyroid’s hormone production may deteriorate over time, meaning that you may require dose increases over time. Symptoms of worsening thyroid function can sometimes be subtle (such as gaining a little extra weight every year or being just a tad bit more tired), so you will need to test your thyroid function labs at least every 6-12 months to monitor your thyroid hormone levels. Here are some articles you might find helpful.
ARE MEDICATIONS LIFELONG?
6 DIFFERENT ROOT CAUSES
In your hashimotos protocol you recommend NAC with food. But the bottle says between meals. If I understand correctly, protein can inhibit absorption of the supplement. Is there a reason you recommend taking it with food? Thank you for your time and passion on this subject.
Dr. Izabella says
Page – thank you for following this page. For questions pertaining to the supplements please contact my team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be happy to help you. 🙂
Hi Dr. Wentz,
I just received an email announcement that NutraHacker is partnering with a vitamin company to use your raw data report to create tailored vitamins taking into consideration your gene variations. I was initially excited, but now cautious-what if these genes aren’t expressing themselves would I be doing more harm than good?
I do appreciate the individualized approach, but not sure if it’s another fad? Thoughts?
Dr. Izabella says
Leslie – thank you for reaching out. As a pharmacist I am not a big fan of combination products, and prefer to start supplements one at a time, as there is a potential of reacting to some of the ingredients. You might be interested in my new supplement line Rootcology! Rootcology’s mission is to provide safe and effective supplement solutions for people struggling with autoimmune thyroid conditions. Rootcology supplements are composed of high-quality premium, gluten, dairy, soy, pesticide, and toxin-free ingredients and undergo third-party testing to ensure that the ingredients on the label match the ingredients inside each bottle.
Here is a link to the site. https://www.rootcology.com/collections/supplements.
I am looking to do the testing through Ulta Labs you mentioned above. Where do I send the results for interpretation/translation? I’ve read Genetic Genie, but not sure if this is for 23 and Me only. Please let us know. Thank you.
Dr. Izabella says
Julie – thank you so much for reaching out. Genetic Genie would be for use with 23 and Me. If you are in the Hashimoto’s Self Mananagement Program then you would contact my team about the results. If you are not then you would need to discuss with your practitioner. <3 Here is a link to the HSMP program you might like to check out.
Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program
Sarah G-Miller says
Hi Dr. Wentz,
I am a huge follower and supporter of your work! I was diagnosed with Hashimotos at the age 17 and I will be 30 soon. I had my twins boys at 28, and I have been struggling with lethargy, dry skin and loosing weight. I check my levels often and so far they are ok. My doctor went up to 100 mcg of synthroid…but I still feel like something is off. I do not think I have ever been tested for methylation…but I was reading about your supplement in its support and went ahead and bought it…I know I probably needed to consult a doctor first but I couldn’t resist. I started feeling very anxious at night which make it hard for me to sleep and during the day I started having shortness of breath and a bit tight in my chest…is this normal? Does this mean my body does not need this supplement? I just want something to give me energy, help with my mental foginess, so I can have energy and clarity to work out and hopefully loose weight. So far I only trust your products. Do you recommend the adrenal support instead? I am also taking probiotics that I just recently started on, so far they are working great for me!
Dr. Izabella says
Sarah – thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your journey. I am so sorry to hear you had this experience. <3 I do recommend that you stop taking the supplement and discuss your symptoms with your personal doctor or pharmacist. I am not able to advise on whether this supplement or the adrenal supplement would be appropriate for you and your specific health needs. If you have more specific questions on how and when to take particular supplements under normal circumstances, please do reach out to my team by email, at email@example.com and they will be more than happy to help
Shirley McGuire says
I’ve known about my MTHFR gene mutations for years but haven’t been able to tolerate methyl folate and methylcobalamin. Bought the MTHFR Pathways and hoping it will help me. First day, today, and I’m experiencing headache and nausea. Do I need to start out more slowly? Suggestions would be appreciated. Btw thanks to your recommendation I’m taking thiamine and seeing good results.
Dr. Izabella says
Shirley – thank you so much for reaching out. I am sorry you are having these symptoms. You should start with the directions on the bottle and adjust your dosage from there. Please understand I am unable to answer specific medical questions. If you have more specific questions on how and when to take particular supplements under normal circumstances, please do reach out to my team by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be more than happy to help ?
I did my 23andme a few months ago and have also got my StrateGene Report through Dr Ben Lynch’s website. I just need to find a functional medicine Dr close to help me. I have Hashimoto’s and recently diagnosed with a blood clot in my calf. Scary to deal with every day and not getting many answers except to be put on a blood thinner that causes more problems. I see a Hematologist next week. But I do a lot of research and am taking Nattokinase and Pycnogenol instead because I don’t like the way the blood thinner makes me feel. Either way a gamble so I choose to gamble with less toxic side effects. Also Dr Ben Lynch has a book called “Dirty Genes” which is very helpful, which I have but need guidance.
Thank you for all of the helpful info you provide Dr Wentz!
Dr. Izabella says
Dot – thank you so much for sharing. <3 I hope you will keep me posted on your progress.
Debbie Earley says
Dear Dr. Wentz,
What is a person w/Addison’s Disease and MTHFR, heterogeneous C677T suppose to do? You are the first I’ve heard mention this. What is the conflict w/the supplement?
Dr. Has put me on methylfolate before and I get heart palpitations. Tried Dr. Lynch’s suggestion of taking niacin before folate. I flushed, felt bad and nervous for about 30 min. I like Dr. Lynch, but his info gets so deep it leaves your head spinning, figuratively speaking.
Dr. Izabella Wentz says
Debbie – thank you for reaching out. <3 I understand how frustrating and hard this can be. Those with severe adrenal issues, like Addison's, may also be at greater risk for electrolyte imbalance, which may be exacerbated by detoxing. I have found that Milk Thistle is the most likely ingredient in the liver support protocol to up-regulate the P450 enzyme, there are also other ingredients that have the potential to interact with the P450 enzyme. Unfortutnately, I must recommend not using these products if you have this condition. I highly recommend that you work with a functional medicine clinician to be a part of your own health care team. I believe that everyone needs to find a practitioner that will let them be a part of the healthcare team. You want someone that can guide you, that will also listen to you and your concerns. You want someone that’s open to thinking outside of the box and who understands that you may not fit in with the standard of care. It's a good idea to ask some standard questions when contacting a new doctor for the first time. Something else to consider is you can work with a functional doctor remotely, via Skype. You could also contact your local pharmacist or compounding pharmacy, who may be able to point you to a local doctor who has a natural functional approach. But I encourage you to keep looking for the right one for you! Here are some resources you might find helpful.
FIND A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CLINICIAN
Elizabeth Tillman says
Thanks for this informative article. I’ve had my genetic test done with Ancestry. What is the best way to test for the genetic mutations you speak of in this article?
Dr. Izabella Wentz says
Elizabeth – thank you for reaching out! ❤️ You should be able to find the information from your Ancestry testing as well. I generally recommend running your raw data through a program like Genetic Genie. I discuss that in the article. If you have any questions please feel free to email my team at email@example.com and they will be happy to help.