Extra Chromosome & Absent Enzyme; A look at Down Syndrome and MTHFR

Down Syndrome is a genetic mutation identified by an extra 21st chromosome. MTHFR is a genetic mutation identified by the absence of a vital enzyme essential for folate metabolism. There is an intimate connection between these 2 conditions, and by identifying MTHFR in children with Down Syndrome risks for many co-morbid conditions can be reduced or eliminated.
Contributing Factors
Environmental and Maternal Disposition. There has been recent research showing there is a higher incidence of children with Down syndrome born to mothers that are positive for MTHFR. Multiple polymorphisms were identified in this study which simply correlates the association. Practically speaking MTHFR mutations are seen in elevated levels in autism, spina bifida, fetal cardiac defects and Down syndrome. However, to solely implicate genetics in any medical condition is bad medicine. The environment plays such a large role in influencing our genes. Because of the role that MTHFR plays in folate metabolism and Homocysteine metabolism this association bears regard and acknowledgement.
It has been well researched that Children with Down Syndrome have higher incidences of:
Midline Development Issues
Heart defects. Almost one-half of babies with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease, the most common type of birth defect. MTHFR mutations are associated with a higher incidence of Heart Defects. MTHFR effects “midline development” the heart is an organ that develops form the midline in utero.
Hypothyroidism. Occurs more often in children with Down syndrome than in children without Down syndrome. Close evaluation of thyroid health, diet, supplements and possibly medication can assist in balancing this condition. Again, the thyroid is developed from the “midline” embryonic tissue. The same layer that is effected by the presence of MTHFR mutations. Research shows us children with Down syndrome are born to mothers with MTHFR mutations themselves. Genetics, and an extra chromosome leads to a much higher incidence of hypothyroidism.
Dental problems. Children with Down syndrome generally have a higher palate. This changes the landscape of the mouth and jaw and can cause teeth and speech development that differs from what is expected. Gum disease, is also very common. Gum Disease is well studied as a problem with digestion, bacteria imbalance and nutrient deficiency. MTHFR mutations are closely correlated with dental problems. Again, the gums and teeth develop from the “midline” during pregnancy. MTHFR mutations cause an “inefficiency” of folate metabolism. When this system is impaired the body uses additional vitamins and minerals (stored in the teeth and bones) to properly run its cycles. If nutrient levels are lower that the body’s demand the teeth and gums will suffer.
Sense Organs Issues
Vision problems. More than 60% of children with Down syndrome have vision problems. MTHFR defects can affect the eye. The vessels of the eye are so small that any kind of inflammation or excessive toxicity can “get stuck” in the small vessels of the eye and effect vision.
Hearing loss. About 75% of children with Down syndrome have some hearing loss, sometimes because of problems with ear structures. Children with Down syndrome also tend to get a lot of ear infections, due to narrow canals and anatomic variation which should be watched closely. MTHFR is more highly associated with sensory issues associated with hearing impairments.

Immunity and Blood Issue>s
Infections. Kids with Down syndrome are 12 times more likely to die from untreated and unmonitored infections compared to kids without Down syndrome. The Immune system develops differently in kids with Down Syndrome, which can cause problem with immunity. This poses challenges with children and the current immunization schedule. In children with impaired immunity, vaccines can cause unanticipated reactions, which can lead to further health concerns. MTHFR and its ability to metabolize folate plays an intimate role in the immune system. These mutations can cause reduced immune function, bone marrow suppression and the inability to produce proper components of the immune system.
Blood disorders. Are common in children with Down syndrome. There is a 10 to 15 higher incidence of developing leukemia. Kids with Down Syndrome are at higher risk for a diagnosis of anemias of all kinds (low iron, low B12, high red blood cells, etc.). MTHFR is the enzyme that controls folate (B9) metabolism, however proper signaling of methylation, the pathway signaled by the MTHFR enzyme also requires proper interface with B!2 and B6, without these other B vitamins the pathway operates ineffectively and can further problems with anemias of all kinds.
Structural Issues
Hypotonia (poor muscle tone). Poor muscle tone and low strength is a common contributor to “delayed” milestones in Children with Down Syndrome. Low Tone can also effect nursing, swallowing, speech development, constipation and coordination.

Many of these problems can be addressed with skilled providers educated in the specificity of Down Syndrome Concerns. MTHFR pathways assist to eliminate toxins in the body. The benefit of an efficient elimination system means the body reduces its exposure to toxins and therefore reduces its potential for disease. Keeping MTHFR in good working order helps the body better balance muscle and strength development as well as reduce the problems associated with low tone.
Atlantoaxial Instability. Is present in 20% of children with Down syndrome. This is associated with an increased incidence of spinal cord injury and should be evaluated by a skilled provider for the best course of treatment. MTHFR is not associated with Atlantoaxial instability, however it is well reported that individuals with MTHFR have a higher incidence of damage to ligaments and tendons when ingesting “floxin” antibiotics. This should be thoroughly researched by any provider prescribing antibiotics to children with Down syndrome.
Digestion Absorption and Elimination
Digestive problems. Digestive problems in kids with Down syndrome, range from structural defects in the digestive system, food sensitivity or food allergy, and food aversions or addictions. Due to the metabolic and genetic components with Down syndrome very specific diets can be recommended and useful for a lifetime of healthy digestion, assimilation and weight balance. The research shows that approximately 80% of individuals with MTHFR have food allergy or food sensitivity. Remember that individuals with MTHFR have a harder time with detoxification where as individuals with Down syndrome have an impaired immune system.
Celiac disease. Is very common with Down syndrome. Celiac is an immune and gastrointestinal inability to digest the protein found in wheat and other grains containing gluten. Gluten should be completely avoided throughout a lifetime, this can be of benefit for a host of conditions that are associated and co-diagnosed along with Down syndrome. Individuals diagnoses with MTHFR have a 60% incidence of having Celiac disease as well. This is an important screening for all kids with any sort of immune dysregulation. Kids with Down syndrome can be susceptible earlier and with more severe symptoms.
Mental & Emotional
Mental health and emotional problems. There is a very high incidence of anxiety, depression, perseveration, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder associated with Down syndrome. Individuals with MTHFR have higher incidence of anxiety, and depression. In some cases, the proper balance of specific B vitamins can improve symptoms in a very short timeframe avoiding medication and its problematic side effects.
Sleep disorders. Many children with Down syndrome have disordered sleep. This can be due in part to obstructive sleep apnea, narrow structures in the head and neck, food sensitivities or side effects of medication. MTHFR mutations can certainly cause issues with sleep. When folate metabolism is impaired a dysregulation in the body occurs. Also, effecting sleep can be B12 levels which can cause bedwetting, anxiety and restlessness

In conclusion Down syndrome and MTHFR are closely related and treating and supporting proper functioning of the MTHFR enzyme can dramatically improve outcomes or assist to avoid complications kids with Down syndrome may occur in their lifetime.
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1. Bull, M. J., & the Committee on Genetics. (2011). Health supervision for children with Down syndrome. Pediatrics, 128, 393–406. [top]
2. So, S. A., Urbano, R. C., & Hodapp, R. M. (2007) Hospitalizations of infants and young children with Down syndrome: Evidence from inpatient person-records from a statewide administrative database. Journal of Intelle
3. Hardy, O., Worley, G., Lee, M. M., Chaing, S., Mackey, J., Crissman, B., et al. (2004). Hypothyroidism in Down syndrome: screening guidelines and testing methodology. American Journal of Medical Gen
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078648/pdf/nihms-259545.pdf
5. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110863015000889
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11807890
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168164/
8. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/4/429.long

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Antibiotics and The Gut…again.

In society today antibiotics are overly prescribed. Most patients receive the advice to “take all medication as prescribed” however, in some cases that not be the case. It is ALWAYS imperative to discuss with the prescriber when changing a treatment plan but there may be more occasions than not, to discontinue antibiotics before the “last pill was taken”.

The failure of the medical community to appropriately utilize antibiotics in the 20th century has left us with many antibiotic resistant microbes plaguing patients at younger and younger ages.  Many prescribers prescribe to a “quick fix medicine” and in many cases abused and misused antibiotics in the name of “protocol”.  Of course this comes back to the fundamental disconnect between pharma and health. So it is imperative patients and parents advocate for themselves in these sorts of situations.

Antibiotics, like food are broken down and digested by the body. Long term or frequent use of antibiotics alter the proper digestive bacteria in the gut and reduce the digestion and assimilation of these pharmaceuticals. This means that active and Un-Metabolized antibiotic by-products, which retain antimicrobial activity, will be excreted into the environment compounding our issues with antibiotic resistance.  Even though an antibiotic is prescribed an for 7 days, does not mean that “bad bacteria” are only exposed to it for 7 days; normal gut flora (and potentially the pathogen) will continue to be exposed to the antibiotic and it’s by- products for some time after completion of therapy. The US contributes more than 17,000 tons of antibiotics into the environment every year in the United States alone (80% for agriculture, 20% for human use).

Compounding this issue is the antibiotics found in our food. This too builds resistance to microbes and accelerates the problems with prescribing. Be a savvy consumer and choose with your dollars. Buy local, organic and avoid processed or packaged products. Ultimately your gut and the rest of your body will thank you for it.

There is a time and place for all things medical, however the research over and over has shown that antibiotics as a first line of treatment may not be as effective or useful as previously revealed. Any and all pharmaceuticals will disrupt normal function of the gut, temporarily or permanently. Be sure to utilize them wisely and replete the gut with beneficial probiotics after use, discuss with your provider the shortest most optimal course of action for your condition and your lifestyle.

For more information and healthy recipes to heal the gut check out my book

 

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/871856?src=WNL_infoc_161120_MSCPEDIT_TEMP2&uac=127670EJ&impID=1238355&faf=1

http://dhs.unr.edu/Documents/dhs/chs/NVPHTC/The%20New%20Antibiotic%20Mantra%E2%80%94%E2%80%9CShorter%20Is%20Better%E2%80%9D.pdf

Stay on track with your healing diet during the Holidays!!

 

The holidays can be a stressful time, both financial and emotional. Added to that is your new regimen of a healing diet to improve your lifelong health. Remember there gazillion foods that don’t contain any of your triggers! Focus on those and remember keeping with your healing diet will be worth it in the end.

Here is a list of pitfalls to avoid!

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  • Plain turkey is gluten free! Be sure it has not been seasoned or marinated with something that contains an allergen or trigger.
  • There are plenty of stuffing’s and gravies that can be made allergy free too!
  • Even though ham is usually gluten free, it can be very inflammatory and should be avoided during times of stress.
  • Try a beautiful slow cooked brisket. There are many traditional recipes that avoid many of the typical allergens.
  • Traditional mashed and roasted potato, turnip or sweet potato recipes are well tolerated on most healing diets.
  • Avoid or modify some traditional holiday recipes that contain allergens. Many wonderful substitutions are available to fool your family “not yet diagnosed”.
  • Potato, onion and egg (or egg replacer), salt and pepper to taste make an amazing allergy free potato pancake for anyone on a healing diet.
  • A great egg replacer is chia seeds or flax seeds mixed with water.
  • Just a reminder most Vegetables and Fruit are safe for healing diets and should be plentiful on your holiday table.
  • Be mindful about cross-contamination issues. Remember when healing the body can be more sensitive to allergens or “offenders”. Gently remind your family chefs to be cautious with cooking and utensils.
  • Always plan to bring something to eat to the party. It’s an opportunity to point out “healthy food” can be delicious (and you are sure to have something to eat).
  • Better yet! You host the dinner and be sure to tell your party goers exactly what to bring, most people appreciate the direction and organization tips!
  • Include “new and improved” tradition, a mild veer away from the typical but still about family, food and fun! It takes the focus off “your healing diet).
  • To simplify holiday baking, use simple mixes or no bake style desserts, most of your dinner guests will be too full to eat dessert anyway.
  • Remember food is for nourishment and eat until you are full not stuffed.

If all else fails remember

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  • Walnuts are a good antidepressant
  • Oatmeal contains natural calming properties
  • Almonds balance blood sugar
  • Blueberries strengthen your immune system in times of stress
  • Dark Chocolate protects your heart, and stabilizes your mood

Holidays are a temporary experience, staying on track to healing leaves you with a lifetime of benefit!

for more recipes check out my blog or book!

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Can’t conceive? Check out this before feeling like all hope is lost

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Inability to conceive can stem from a number of causes:

  • Poor nutritional status
  • Genetic mutations
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Hormone imbalances

 

If a mother’s nutritional stores are depleted she will not have enough “supplies” to conceive and grow a healthy baby. Vital nutrients like Magnesium and b vitamins are necessary for proper development of a fetus and proper signaling of hormones from the mother to stimulate cell signaling and growth. Proper hormone balance between estrogen and progesterone is a must. Abnormal levels of either of these can create problems with conception. Be sure to check for low levels of progesterone or estrogen dominance.

Remember almost all pharmaceutical medication deplete some nutrient, this includes anything put on your skin topically too, like steroid creams or even sunblock. Be sure whichever depletions are being caused that they are RE-pleated properly.

 

If there is a genetic mutation present then, the interruption in signaling will not allow for proper conception, impanation or development of a growing fetus. MTHFR and homocysteine levels play an integral part in the conception and development of your baby. Be sure you are speaking with a qualified provider about your nutritional needs or get tested for the MTHFR mutation and treat it before trying to get pregnant. Avoiding all forms of synthetic folic acid and un-methylated B vitamins like cyanoB12 is a good place to start! Always remember Folic acid does NOT equal Folate; Folic Acid a synthetic type of Folate. Folic acid is not found in nature. Folic acid must undergo various transformations prior to utilization and with or without a MTHFR mutation, folic acid can cause problems with fertility. Always look for methylated or activated forms of folate in supplements.

 

Autoimmune diseases affect 30% of our population and repeatedly studied in the correlation with fertility challenges. Autoimmune conditions are often made worse with the above mentioned nutrition and genetic problems. Proper management of autoimmune conditions will maximize fertility and also improve rates of artificial insemination or conventional fertility management. Consider having some lab work done specific to autoimmune markers. Supplements like Zinc, probiotics, and Vitamin D are very helpful in supporting proper immune function. If a mom is struggling with fertility its always beneficial to avoid gluten as 20% of patients with MTHFR, and (estimated) 50% of patients with positive autoimmune markers have gluten sensitivity and gluten is inflammatory.  To that end, reducing inflammation on any level is beneficial to the body pre and post baby! Healing always begins in the gut, and a healthy gut improves fertility!

Common MTHFR Mutations and General Health

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What is a MTHFR Mutation? An abnormal change in gene structure/mutation, of the MTHFR gene can cause a disruption of the MTHFR enzyme’s normal function of breaking down homocysteine.

MTHFR mutations are common. The mutations can be “heterozygous” meaning they occur only on one strand or “allele” of the chromosome, or they can be “homozygous”, occurring on both alleles. The frequency of a mutation is common, occurring in about 60% of the population. MTHFR gene is directly related to hyperhomocysteinemia (high or elevated levels of homocysteine).

High levels of homocysteine can be attributed to many conditions seen in midwifery such as

  • Decrease in vitamin B-12 levels. Higher incidence of anemia
  • Complications in Pregnancy Due To Neural Tube Defects, posterior Tongue tie, lip tie
  • Anencephaly
  • Other neural tube defects
  • Spina bifida
  • Autism
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares
  • Down Syndrome
  • PEs
  • Altered drug metabolism
  • Low vitamin d levels/ osteoporosis
  • Neuropsychiatric Disorders
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Early Pregnancy Loss/ SAB (viable fetus)
  • Placental Abruption, Low Birth Weight

The most common MTHFR gene mutations are found at position 677 and/or position 1298 on the MTHFR gene.

Typical amino acids are replaced by others rendering the enzyme defective or inactive

  • MTHFR 677CC = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 677CT = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 677TT = a homozygous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 1298AA = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 1298AC = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 1298CC = a homozygous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 677CT + MTHFR 1298AC = a compound heterozygous mutation which is one mutation from two different parts of the gene

MTHFR 677TT + MTHFR 1298CC= DOUBLE Compound Heterozygus

folate-vs-folic-acid-1

Treatment: (of course always speak with a knowledgeable provider)

May or may not include.

  • Getting you or your family members tested (blood, saliva)
  • Avoiding all forms of synthetic folic acid and un-methlyated B vitamins like cyanoB12
  • Folic acid does NOT equal Folate.
    • Folic Acid a synthetic type of Folate. Folic acid is not found in nature. Folic acid must undergo various transformations prior to utilization.
  • Being mindful of all pharmacology and vaccines
    • Antacids (deplete B12)
    • Cholestyramine (deplete cobalamin and folate absorption) – common in gallbladder issues during pregnancy!
    • Colestipol (decrease cobalamin and folate absorption)
    • Methotrexate (inhibits DHFR)
    • Nitrous Oxide (inactivates MS)
    • High Dose Niacin (depletes SAMe and limits pyridoxal kinase = active B6)
    • Theophylline (limits pyridoxal kinase = active B6)
    • Cyclosporin A (decreases renal function and increases Hcy)
    • Metformin (decreases cobalamin absorption)
    • Phenytoin (folate antagonist)
    • Carbamazepine (folate antagonist)
    • Oral Contraceptives (deplete folate)
    • Antimalarials JPC-2056, Pyrimethamine, Proguanil (inhibits DHFR)
    • Antibiotic Trimethoprim (inhibits DHFR)
    • Ethanol
    • Bactrim (inhibits DHFR)
    • Sulfasalazine (inhibits DHFR)
    • Triamterene (inhibits DHFR)
  • Involving yourself with providers who are educated on MTHFR
  • Take supplements that are methylation supportive
    • L-5-MTHF
    • Riboflavin (B2)
    • Methylcobalamin or Hydroxocobalamin
    • Zinc
    • DHA
    • Choline
    • TMG (must be avoided in pregnancy)
    • Magnesium
    • Methyl- B6
    • NAC
    • Vitamin E (natural forms only)
    • Selenium
    • Glutathione
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D
    • Potassium
    • Probiotics
    • Molybdenum
    • Milk Thistle
    • *****Avoid gluten as 20% of patients with MTHFR have gluten sensitivity and gluten is inflammatory

 

B12…not always created equally

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B12 is important to build red blood cells and nerves. It also supports proper DNA development. Most individuals who are vitamin B12 deficient on lab work, have  some preexisting condition, such as gastritis, auto immune disease, take multiple medications that deplete b12 stores or are malnourished.  Vitamin B12 tests are not the most accurate way of telling how the cells are utilizing b12, or if they are utilizing it at all. So, in fact individuals with adequate numbers on lab work could actually be deficient.  In the presence of MTHFR, B12 can look adequate or even elevated on lab work but be completely depleted inside the cell where the B12 is needed most.

Experiencing any of the symptoms on this list could mean there is a B12 deficiency in the body

  • Light-headedness, tiredness and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath and elevated heart rate
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Tingling and numbness of the feet and hands
  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Diagnosis of persistent anemia
  • Excessively pale skin
  • Sore tongue
  • Rash around the mouth
  • Bleeding gums and easy bruising
  • Upset stomach
  • Abnormal weight loss or gain
  • Hallucinations, depression, mania and irritability

 

Adequately Inadequate vitamin B12 intake

For individuals with a MTHFR mutation, B12 absorption and utilization is faulty. Individuals with any issue with digestion B12 absorption are impaired. In order to make the proper amounts of stomach acid, B12 is needed as a cofactor. Without this digestion IS impaired. Vegan and vegetarian diets are deficient in B12, posing a greater risk of deficiency in individuals with MTHFR, this can lead to other nutrient deficiencies and health problems.

The best foods for boosting B12 are

  • Clams and beef liver
  • Eggs, fish, poultry, meat, milk and other dairy products
  • Nutritional yeasts, some cereals and other fortified foods

 

Suspect B12 deficiency with any of the conditions listed

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  • Anemia with elevated mean corpuscular volume or Pernicious anemia
  • Balance issue, numbness, difficulty with walking, tingling and other neurological symptoms
  • Gastritis, Celiac Disease
  • Food sensitivities
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Any chronic inflammatory bowel disorder
  • Vegetarians and vegans
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Developmental delay and autism
  • Use of “poly pharmacy” drugs such as SSRIs, Metformin and PPIs
  • Vascular disorders such as blood clots, stroke or heart attack

 

B12 deficiency…all B12s are not created equal

It is important to understand that treatment is not a “one size fits all” approach. Not all B12 will react the same in each body depending on SNP expression; there are the 4 Types of B12. Of course its optimal to get the bulk of B12 from the diet, however in cases of deficiency or unrelenting symptoms proper supplementation can help.

Adenosylcobalamin is naturally occurring, but, it is the least stable of the four types of B12 outside the human body and does not translate well into a tablet-based supplement. This is best for individuals who are sensitive to other forms of B12 and require a highly absorbable form of supplementation.

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic, pharmaceutical version of vitamin B12 is created in a lab. It’s cheap and utilized most often by prescribers, who prescribe B12 for a deficiency. When it metabolizes in the body it breaks the cyano- molecule (cyanide, yes cyanide) off to be absorbed by the body.  Although the amount of cyanide is not dangerous, it does require extra energy of the body to eliminate it from the cells. Extra toxin elimination is not optimal for anyone with methylation challenges.

Hydroxocobalamin is naturally created by bacteria. Hydroxyocobalamin is the form of vitamin B12 most likely found in food; it easily converts into methylcobalamin in the body. Hydroxocobalamin is commonly used in individuals who do not tolerate methylcobalamin supplementation and as a treatment for cyanide (yes, cyanide) poisoning.

Methylcobalamin  is the most active form of B12 in the human body. It converts homocysteine into methionine, which helps protect the cardiovascular system. Methylcobalamin also offers overall protection to the nervous system. Methylcobalamin can cross the blood-brain barrier, this helps to protect and heal the brain. Methylcobalamin is essential for detoxification and as a catalyst for many of the body’s biochemical reactions.

With nearly 40% of Americans having trouble absorbing B12; selecting the proper form of B12 can be tricky business. Absorption of B12 is heavily reliant of digestive health, get digestion working properly and find a provider savvy enough to assess and prescribe the right B12 for your body.

This information is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem.  Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own primary care physician or other healthcare provider.

First Foods for Babies with MTHFR

 

In conventional medicine there is a gross disconnect between our health and our food.  It is always important to remember each and every thing we consume affects us in some way. This is ever so apparent in our babies, who have immature detoxification systems and immune systems. So why is the “general consensus” to offer complex nutrient poor foods, often times before the baby is even ready to digest them?

First foods are so important for baby! But “offering food before age one is just for fun” which means that the bulk of nutrients for babies under 1 year of age should be from breast milk (The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then concomitantly with nutrient dense food until the age of 2). Formula in many cases poses a problem for families affected by MTHFR, as most formulas are fortified with folic acid. Folic acid should be avoided in all individuals with MTHFR, since individuals with MTHFR lack the proper functioning of their enzyme to properly convert the synthetic folic acid into usable folate for the cells.  

Always look for signs of readiness in a baby to be sure their digestive system is ready for food.

A-Baby-Sitting

Be sure baby is:

        • sitting up nearly unassisted
        • Has teeth or is actively teething
        • Shows an interest in food or chewing
        • Has begun to develop a pincer grasp

Some of the best recommendations for first food are avocado and sweet potato. Avocado is a folate rich food, which helps the body methylate properly. Generally parents will alternate these foods for up to 3 months before introducing other foods. When a baby is teething or gets a cold they may lose interest in food and prefer to just nurse for a while. If baby is voracious and very interested in food then parents may consider advancing the diet slowly.

General rules of thumb for food introduction include:

  • Introduce one food at a time with at least a week in between new foods.
  • Be an example for your baby by also choosing these foods or offering them off your plate so baby feels included.
  • Start with Orange veggies followed by Yellow veggies followed by green veggies; fruits can be introduced as well after this time, avoiding the most acidic fruits such as oranges.
  • Of course, when the time is right lots of green, folate rich veggies can be delicious and nutritious for baby, Folate stores help the body methylate properly, reducing the complications with MTHFR.                                                                                                                 squash

Most babies tolerate high quality meats and fish with scales by around a year of age, which is perfect timing as iron stores drop as baby lays down muscle and brain tissue quickly during development; This can lead to a diagnosis of anemia.

With MTHFR food introduction may be a bit more complicated if a tongue tie has gone undiagnosed. These babies may show little interest in food or eat a lot and then appear to be in distress. It is always wise to have a tongue tie issue assessed and addressed as early as possible. Remember, tongue tie and lip ties are midline defects, defects that should be “prevented” with proper folate dosing, however in individuals with MTHFR, or who have been counselled that folic acid and folate “are the same” may experience these issues with a higher incidence; people with MTHFR have trouble converting their folate into a useable form.

In general supplements are not recommended for babies under the age of 2, however speak with your provider about individual needs.

What foods to avoid?

  1. Avoid offering any processed foods, many of which have added synthetic folic acid.  Instead eat  and offer whole foods to your baby with no added chemicals or preservatives.
  2. Avoid using plastics if possible, BPA is banned in baby products but that doesn’t mean it disappeared. It has been found in breast milk in multiple scientific studies.
  3. Babies with MTHFR often get diagnosed with reflux and are prescribed proton pump inhibitors, this depletes minerals, vitamin d and essential Vitamin B12 absorption. Visit your local chiropractor to get adjusted or visit your local holistic provider to have baby evaluated.
  4. If you do not have a MTHFR mutation but your baby does, parents should avoid synthetic folic acid and processed foods too. Folic acid can functionally cause you to have all the same problems as someone with a MTHFR mutation.

In closing, our genes (or mutations) do not define us; nothing beats a good diet, exercise, quality sleep and kindness, show this to your kids and your parenting investment will be returned in spades….

this information is never to replace the advise of a qualified medical provider. Consult your physician before making any changes to your healing regime 

 

Migraine Headaches & MTHFR

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If you or your family member sufferers from migraines it is important to look at the triggers and links for optimal treatment.

A headache can come on at any time and for a number of reasons. However, People who suffer from migraines experience much more complicated symptoms that are often debilitating. Aside from pain, migraines often bring on nausea, vomiting, visual, light and sound sensitivity. Migraines can start as early as 5 years old and can be triggered by foods, stress, hormone changes, chemicals and the environment.  A number of studies have implicated genes such as MTHFR in migraine headaches.

MTHFR also affects the characteristics of migraine symptoms. One study found that having 2 copies of c677T was associated with migraine with aura and one-sided headache, yet, one copy of c677T was associated with “physical activity and stress as a migraine trigger.” The researchers also found there is tremendous difference in symptoms between men and women. Males with 2 copies of c677T, for example, were more prone to bilateral headaches while the females with one copy of c677T experienced symptoms of nausea and odor aversion more frequently. These studies conclude that there is an overwhelmingly higher incidence of migraine in patients with a MTHFR mutation than without one.

Other gene SNPs associated with migraine headaches includes MTHFR, KCNK, TRPV, and HCRTR. Yet, MTHFR C677T is the most studied in relation to migraines. When an individual is diagnosed with a vascular type of migraine it is highly correlates with c677T and elevated homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine, can inflame the inner lining of the nerves and blood vessels, which can contribute to migraines.  Another other concern with migraine and MTHFR is the increased incidence of stroke and cardiovascular compilations. Carrying a MTHFR mutation can also predispose the brain to being more sensitive to changes in weather, neurochemical production and have impaired detox capability, all of these can make a brain more sensitive and prone to migraine.

Some easy tips to treat migraine include:

  • Avoid any food triggers such as preservatives, chemicals, dyes, aged foods (with mold or fungus), gluten and dairy proteins; all of these can be neurotoxic to the brain. The diet should be followed for 3 months before any result is evaluated.
  • Get tested for MTHFR and manage the mutation properly with a qualified provider, individuals with MTHFR OR Migraine are not candidates for hormonal contraception or treatment and should avoid this trigger.
  • Individuals with MTHFR may have elevated homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is also found in individuals with migraine. One study proved lowering homocysteine levels through vitamin supplementation reduced migraine disability. Speak to your provider about testing and management.
  • Check your blood sugar, highs and lows with blood sugar can trigger a migraine, keep your eating consistent and check out my book for more recipes.
  • Make sure sleep is adequate, the body needs rest and relaxation; avoid TV, blue lights or screens in the bedroom.
  • Consider chiropractic the research is overwhelming in success of treatment of migraine.
  • Detox the house, be sure there aren’t chemical triggers or chemicals triggering the migraine in your home. Consider natural cleaners, natural products and testing on water and paint for toxicity or chemicals.
  • Fix the gut. Using quality probiotic and fish oil can be very helpful in reducing triggers, inflammation and increasing oxygen to the brain. Ask your provider about the highest quality supplements and be sure they come from a reputable source or they could do the opposite in your body.
  • For children, allow them to be a part of their healing, talk to them about health and nutrition, and model healthy choices for them, explain the disease process and how to reduce the incidence.

Remember healing takes time, migraine can feel very isolating, get help, get support and get better!!

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10714533

 

The New normal is SICK—start with the gut for your better health

art.eczema.baby.face.aad

One of the most amazing life experiences is the witnessing of a natural birth. However, as awesome as the experience is, as a witness or active participant, necessary biologic processes are happening to supply this new human with a proper balanced immune system. Immunity begins to develop during the 14th week of gestation, as undifferentiated developing immune cells, which later become major cells of a human’s immune system, with specific and necessary function. The placenta, provides nourishment for the baby, also secretes hormones, primarily progesterone, which shifts mom’s chemical profile away from Th1 (offers protection to pathogens that pose a threat to get inside of cells) and towards Th2 (response offers protection against pathogens outside of cells).  The baby then will trigger his/her increase in Th1 when travelling through the birth canal and swallowing, sitting and slipping through on its earth side voyage. The development of the Th1 mechanism is continued during breastfeeding, for which the “World Health Organization” recommends at least 2 years, to glean all the necessary immunologic benefits for the baby.  Continued, through childhood with encounters from viruses and bacteria help build this individualized Th1 response to properly enhance the child’s immune system. If at birth immunity is skewed toward Th2, for such reasons as a c- section, multiple exposures to antibiotics in utero or mother receiving passive immunity exposure, breastfeeding is interrupted or cut short; Th2 is accelerated and can predispose a baby toward eczema.  If the baby is prone toward a Th2 response, as they were unable to develop a proper microbiome, allergies and asthma may also develop.

The answer to the triggers for these conditions may be found in the gut bacteria that babies are gifted on their way down the birth canal. Since we know, One third of all antibiotic prescriptions given to children are unnecessary (according to medical research). Antibiotics are well reported to disrupt a child’s gut microbiome in ways that a growing amount of evidence suggests may have long-term consequences, including asthma, allergies, and eczema.

gut bacteria.jpg

Balancing gut bacteria with proper diet free of chemicals, processed foods, irritants and GMOs help balance the biome. Identifying triggers and reducing or eliminating passive immunity can also help improve these conditions. When a body is inclined toward a Th2 response, the cells will “over react”, with an inflammation response. Passive immunity such as vaccination bypasses the Gut and triggers this over response in the blood stream. This compounds the “inflammation” cascade and revs up the immune system in an “autoimmune” fashion creating a global multi-faceted reaction that will prone the body toward constant “reaction” as seen in eczema, allergies and asthma.

Common treatment for these conditions usually includes antibiotics and steroids. Both modalities cause “stress” in the body, and since stress and stress hormones can elevate inflammation, they are intimately related.

It is so important to get VERY far away from “the new ‘NORMAL’ IS ‘SICK’” and get back to Health for our kids’ sake!!

Some easy tips to get started on healing the gut and rebuilding your microbiome are:

  • Eliminate inflammatory chemicals in your environment; start with anything with a scent and replace them with non-toxic bio degradable choices
  • Eliminate inflammatory foods such as Dairy, Wheat, Corn, Soy; these are the most common food triggers associated with asthma, allergies, and eczema Jump Start Healing Diet’s here
  • Eliminate GMOs; these chemicals are not digested or assimilated well in a healthy gut, worse for one that needs healing
  • Use only products you can eat on your skin, like coconut oil, avocado or shea butter for example
  • Make sure Lab work is normal, check immune markers, MTHFR status, stress hormones, vitamin and mineral levels; all of which play into the inflammation cycle.
  • Remember there is no one size fits all approach; every child is different and every healing process is different

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.006

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684040/

this information is never to replace the advise of a qualified medical provider. Consult your physician before making any changes to your healing regime 

Gluten-free its easy!!.Why must we eliminate gluten?

 

gf

THE GUT

  • The gut does more than absorb food
  • It is the first line of defense in the immune system.
  • Mis-education can cause autoimmune diseases
  • Gluten filled grains should be avoided like Wheat, rye, barley and their cross contaminating cousins corn, and sorghum may all play a role in triggering these dynamic gut changes.
  • There also may be Cross-reactivity and stimulation of allergens by other foods like dairy, soy, corn, and pork.
  • Immune activation causes changes in gut permeability and blood brain permeability. This allows for the passage of toxins into areas that are not equipped to eliminate them and may play a significant role in depression.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • Once gluten has reached the gut mucosa, it can stimulate production of antibodies.
  • TTG (Tissue trans-glutaminase) is an enzyme that plays an important role in the immune system of the gut. And a Marker for Celiac Disease.
  • TTG is active in the central nervous system, and high levels can cause a host of symptoms  including depression, seizures, headaches, multiple sclerosis/demyelination, anxiety, ADHD, and ataxia.
  • 51% of the Celiac population develops neurologic or psychiatric dysfunction, as well as neuropathy which has been found to be resolved by reducing gluten exposure.
  • There is a high incidence of positive antibodies in schizophrenics.
  • An important note is Neurological Symptoms usually present in the absence of any reportable gastrointestinal symptoms.

THE THYROID

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease occurs in high rates among Celiac and gluten sensitive individuals.
  • Researchers have identified shared pathology to these two conditions.
  • The inflammatory cytokines cause immune reactivity in Celiac disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

CONCERNS with INGESTION

* Gluten can travel through the blood stream can stimulate opiate receptors in the brain resulting in GLUTA-mophone.

* The effects of this stimulation may have wide-ranging psychiatric manifestations, including addiction potential of these foods.

* Those eating high gluten diets can expect to undergo 1-3 weeks of withdrawal.

* Gluten containing foods contain high levels of lectin. Lectin is used in pesticides.

* Lectin promotes intestinal inflammation and permeability, which then can cause wide-spread and varied organ damage by binding with sugars in body tissues.

GMO Concerns

  • Bt-toxin and glyphosate are two poisons heavily employed in the production of genetically modified crops.  Bt-toxin causes perforating effects on insect digestive tracts and has been found in fetal circulation
  • RoundUp, weed killer, has active bacteria-killing and inflammatory effects in our guts, over use has allowed this in the ground water supply, further polluting the crops.
  • Vegetable oils, soy, corn, and animals consuming corn products are everywhere in the standard American diet, which likely perpetuates gut dysfunction and accelerated gluten sensitivity.

KNOWLEDGE AND HEALING

  • Lab testing called “Celiac panel” are only test for alpha gliadin, tissue transglutaminase 2, and endomesial antibody.
  • IgG allergy testing tests gut reaction to wheat/gluten
  • 23andme tests metabolic markers and defects

CONCLUSION

Some degree of gluten reactivity is thought to occur in up to 80% of the population.

Response to gluten free diets and reduction of inflammation is remarkable and extraordinarily beneficial.

Celiac incidence has increased by more than 400% in the past 50 years; likely as an adaptive mechanism to decrease environmental toxicity.