Common MTHFR Mutations and General Health

mthfr

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

 

What a post-partum mom really wants when you visit her and her baby

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Truth is visits from well-meaning family and friends are always welcome! It’s the unsolicited advice or subtle (pressured) offers to hold/ care for the newborn we could all do without. Research has shown us time and again that the first weeks of life are critical for bonding, proper milk supply and post-partum recovery of the mother.

The best things we can do for mom and her new baby is:

1) Take their other kids somewhere. Older siblings are usually under stimulated by the daily goings on of a newborn. So take the other children for as long as you can, and bring them back exhausted and fed.

2) Feed the mama! Remember she is constantly feeding another human! Be sure to check with here to see if there are particular things she is or isn’t eating. Be sure the dish is disposable or a gift. Post-partum moms do not have the best memory capacity.

3) Collect some cash or a gift card for cleaning services! Who has time for cleaning after you have just spawned a human from your loins! Find a trusted service or person to do the job! Worth every cent!

4) Offer to watch the baby while mom naps or showers. Both those items become scarce in the immediate post-partum period. A few minutes of your time are a huge gift to a tired or smelly mama!

5) Help to recognize signs of postpartum depression. “Baby Blues” can last 6 weeks, anything beyond that that could be cause for concern should be addressed and guided to the proper provider. As you all know regular chiropractic has been shown to reduce post-partum depression. Be Sure to on the lookout for tell-tell signs that mama might be struggling.

6) Invite mamma and baby to get out of the house. We all know what kind of Olympic sport it is to get a newborn fed, changed and clothed to get out; help her get a change of scenery, even if it is only a short walk around the block.

7) Offer to run errands for her, do her grocery shopping in person or online, pick up a few items at the coop, grab that homeopathic for the baby’s prickly stomach (remember #6) it is likely she will gladly accept the help.

8) Make a sign for their door that says “Baby Sleeping” or “please come in..and do some laundry” in early postpartum days sleep is precious get any and all you can! And avoid being disturbed by the UPS guy or the neighbor’s kids who want to play.

Truth is we have all been there and we all need the help. This is an amazing way as women we can support each other and grow together. When mama is recovered she will be ready to help you with your bundle of joy!

Autism healing begins in the Gut!

gut.jpg

It has been well reported that autism is intimately connected to the immune system and acts in some way as an autoimmune conditon. 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, autism can be triggered or 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.

All-Disease-Begins-in-the-Gut.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.

Conventinal Pharmecutical modalities may cause additional “stress” to the body, and since stress and stress hormones can elevate inflammation, they are intimately related.

Autism is rising at epidemic rates with some prognostication that 50% of our children will have autism in the next generation!

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 autism, asthma, allergies, and eczema
  • 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
  • Check Lab work with a qualified provider, 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/

B12…not always created equally

support

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

vitaminb12deficiency.jpg

 

  • 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

kid_migraine

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 

Bedwetting and B12

bedwetting

Bedwetting

We all diaper and clean our babies, and then at some point, almost like a switch, we decide this is no longer acceptable. “Potty Training” begins and there is a billion dollar industry that boasts “simple” and ‘quick” ways to facilitate this process.

Let’s review how we got to this point….

We diaper newborns because their nervous system is not yet fully developed. As these little beings grow, we feed them nutrient dense breast milk and foods to develop a properly functioning nervous system.  As children continue to grow and develop, the frequency of nighttime wetting decreases and continence improves. Yet some children continue bedwetting while others stop.

Methylation and bedwetting

As with many facets of development, there are numerous reasons why a single condition, such as nighttime wetting, can have multiple contributing causes.

The bulk of cases are more stubborn than the amelioration by common sense remedies such as reducing or eliminating sugar, urination just before bedtime, elimination of caffeine, and removing or reducing electronics in the sleeping space.  These cases require further evaluation. Recent research has brought to light the Methylation challenges that can cause bedwetting issues in children.

b12

We know bedwetting occurs in those with delayed central nervous system development.  We know that the body needs ample B12 and Folate to develop the nervous system properly.  Supporting with proper B12 and folate can be very helpful in these cases. Other research has shown that kids with bedwetting issues have lower folate levels (compared with the “control group”).

Upon further evaluation, assessing gene SNPs such as MTHFR, PEMT, DAO, COMT and FUT2 were common in kids with bedwetting troubles (all of the SNPs mentioned have some effect on B12 or folate metabolism). B12 and Folate are critical for proper methylation. If an individual has low folate and low B12, then their methylation system is going to function less optimally. Interestingly enough, Methylation genes are passed from parents, so it is likely there is a family history of bedwetting in many cases.

Causes of low folate and B12

Other than genetic predisposition there are a list of reasons that could predispose kids to Low Folate, and B12 levels and subsequently bedwetting such as:

  • Vegan and Vegetarian diets (low in B12)
  • Medications (antacids, and other pharmaceuticals that rob b12 and folate stores)
  • Low protein intake (fussy eaters; kids need 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight)
  • Caffeine (found in many sodas, and never recommended)
  • Limited vegetable consumption (provides folate and fiber)
  • Limited red meat intake (provides B12)
  • Limited healthy carbohydrate consumption (too much gluten containing foods and processed foods rob the body of B12 and folate)
  • High sugar consumption (a pseudo diuretic effect can occur and kids can excessively urinate)
  • Stress and fears (uses up methylation nutrients faster)
  • Food allergies (use up B12 and folate quickly)

Supplements that could help

Supplements to consider in a bedwetting child (provided all the obvious steps have been taken); to maximize proper methylation:

  • Methyl Folate
  • MethylB12
  • B6
  • B2 (supports MTHFR)
  • Zinc
  • Glycine (if children are anxious over the situation)

It’s worth noting that bedwetting can occur in adults too.

 

This article is for educational purposed and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified health professional.

 

Vaccination and Informed Choice

Vaccine-yes_no1

In my clinical practice I am not endorsing non vaccination I am supporting choice, and FULL disclosure. Because of the mandates of the AAP and the mandates put forth by the state of Connecticut, I made the decision approximately 3 years ago to discontinue offering vaccines as a “service” in my practice. Connecticut put fourth mandates under the guise of “obamacare” stating that parents must choose between  ALL vaccines or NONE. This was not a comfortable position to be put in, as a provider who has studied vaccination for nearly two decades. So, my hand was forced and I decided to offer supportive care to clients in the absence of vaccinations.  This is not a decision that had come easily and is not right for everyone but, in the absence of philosophical choice, parental judgment or personal decision to delay or avoid vaccination, I was forced to choose a side.

Here are some of the reasons why we believe parents deserve choices in healthcare decisions. Let me first point out this post is NOT Reasons Why You Should Not Vaccinate Your Child. Real pro and con discussions are rarely fairly portrayed in the media and usually twisted with fear based information that plays on the heartstrings of parents trying to protect their child; consummate unbiased research on the health and well being of vaccinated versus un-vaccinated children is not available, and when questioned many physicians dismiss parental concerns over side effects or adverse reactions.
Here are some things to think about that could be complications to vaccinations as stated on the vaccine inserts.
• The “long-term consequences of preventing natural exposure to agents covered by vaccine are not known.”
• Vaccine side effects are largely under-reported because the passive nature of the legal system puts the onus on the victim to make the connection, file extensive paperwork, and report the issue.  The medical model of care rarely correlates vaccines and reactions.

Here is just a small list of potential side effects:

  • Increased risk of respiratory infections after receiving the flu vaccine
  • seizures
  • food allergies
  • asthma
  • eczema
  • sensory integration issues
  • auto immune disorders

Parents can always choose to vaccinate…but never choose to UN-vaccinate
• No vaccine is 100% effective. Natural immunity is clearly much more effective in the body
• Fully vaccinated children (and adults) can still get the infection the vaccines are designed to prevent.  In fact, in recent outbreaks of whooping cough and measles, the majority of those affected were fully vaccinated.  Researchers have also speculated that some forms of whooping cough are becoming resistant to vaccines.
• Vaccines are the only type of “medicine” not put thru the rigors of clinical trials before being released to the public.
• Every doctor that purchases vaccines pays into a “vaccine injury fund”.  Compensation in 2013 was nearly $2.5 billion to injured parties who said their health issues were caused by vaccines.
• The mechanism of herd immunity is a myth. “You can’t expect your neighbor to wear a rain coat and you don’t get wet in the rain”

vax safe
• Being unvaccinated does not make the individual the “person Zero” because if vaccines work like the manufacturer recommends the unvaccinated would be the only one at risk.
• Most vaccines are proving to provide less durable immunity than previously thought, meaning disease can still thrive and spread in fully vaccinated populations.
• Many ingredients in vaccines are toxic, harmful and would never be allowed in levels found in vaccines in our water supply, food or medications.  (These include: Aluminum, egg protein, antibiotics, formaldehyde, MSG and thimerosal, to name a few.
The take home message is make an informed choice about the health of your child and find practitioners that will allow you to parent your individual child in the way you see to be the most beneficial. With every decision there are risks and benefits, be sure to weigh them out and make the best decision for your individual child.19905_398781900216001_1135874753_n

Contact the office for a consultation for vaccine education. 860-572-7711

Lyme Time—Summer In New England

lyme

What’s especially worrisome is that ticks’ favorite meal appears to be kids. Children between ages 5 to 14 are the most common sufferers of Lyme disease. Lyme disease can present with a wide array of symptoms such as joint pain and fatigue, as well as neurological, behavioral, and emotional disturbances.  Children can be playing in the park, a yard or even in inside your home and still get bitten by a tick. Playing outside in direct sunlight actually boosts immunity so, send those kids out (just check them for tick when they come back inside).

One CDC study of grade school aged children with Lyme disease, found that the average length of their illness was 363 days, and the mean number of school days missed because the child was too ill to attend was 103 days. 78% of the parents stated that their children experienced a fall in grade point average during the time of illness.

Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines for keeping kids safe from ticks this summer and beyond.

  • Be sure to Prune excess bushes and keep the grass short in the yard.
  • Using mulch to line your perimeter helps keep the ticks from entering your yard.
  • Also keep a close eye on your pets. Pets can carry ticks into your house and they can migrate onto your family.
  • Chickens eat all those ticks, consider tending a flock.
  • Encourage kids to wear long pants and socks; as the ticks tend to attach to their ankles and legs first.
  • The essential oils of lemon and eucalyptus are and effective tick repellent for up to 8 hours and safer for repeated use than DEET and picardin chemical tick repellant, according to the CDC (use with caution on children due to the caustic nature of Essential Oils)
  • Remember ticks are carried on small rodents like mice, squirrels and rabbits. They are also found on migratory birds, which can be found in any city or town.
  • IN THE EVENING check your kids’ bodies for ticks, and wash bodies and clothes. Ticks move around most during the cooler parts of the day and year, so be sure to do a thorough check!
  • Ticks mostly live on wood or bushes and tall grass. They’ll attach to the leg and can crawl up to  the waist, armpit, earlobe, or scalp.

IF YOU FIND A TICK

  • Use thin tweezers to catch the tick at the insert site, closest to the skin and gently jiggle the tick until it detaches.
  • IN GENERAL ticks embedded less than 36 hours DO NOT transmit Lyme Disease.
  • Holistic Doctors have long recommended the use of the herb astragalus daily if you live in an endemic area; and a one time a high dose astragalus at the time of a tick bite.
  • At the removal site apply andrographis or neem tincture to the bite area, and then cover the area with a clay pack, for preventing infection.
  • Never burn or squeeze a tick. The tick carries most of the bacteria in the stomach and by squeezing it you run a risk of injecting the contents into the person.
  • Some Labs do testing on Ticks to assess if the tick carries an illness.
  • Typical symptoms of Lyme disease are flu like symptoms, joint pains or swollen joints, sudden change in behavior, sudden development of repetitive movements, lethargy, fatigue, and headaches.
  • A classic “bulls-eye” shaped rash is present in less than 50% of cases and should not be the reason a child is NOT treated for Lyme disease.
  • Generally treatment consists of antibiotics that should be administered for AT LEAST 4 weeks. The treatment is usually well tolerated, and immunity and gut microbiome should be repleated after antibiotics.

When Lyme Turns Chronic

Current studies at John’s Hopkins University show that up to 35% of people develop chronic symptoms despite treatment for Lyme. “We do not know what the exact reasons of these chronic symptoms are,” “Scientists have postulated that it could be an autoimmune reaction that is triggered by the infection, chronic inflammation, or continued infection by the bacteria.” (Quoted by JHU scientists. However we know the association is highly correlated with MTHFR and adrenal fatigue..a discussion for another day).

Some issues with Lyme disease include poor testing “The current test misses 89% of Lyme disease cases in the first 8 weeks of infection.” IGenex Lab testing appears to be more accurate with reporting positives than any lab looking at the restricted number of bands stipulated by the CDC’s epidemiological criteria. However other issues in society with toxic overload may set the body up for an autoimmune reaction and chronic Lyme disease.

Understanding Lyme Testing

To reiterate, there are lots of false negatives (when a test is negative but the individual actually has the disease). However a “clinical” positive must meet certain criteria in order to be considered “infected with Lyme”. To review, we assess various antibodies to look for Lyme reaction in the immune system. First to appear during an infection is IgM antibodies which are produced in great quantity. IgM antibodies are large. IgM antibodies, when present in high numbers, represent a new active infection or an existing infection that has become reactivated. Over time, the number of IgM antibodies will decline as the active infection is resolved.

Following IgM antibodies, are IgG antibodies, which are produced once an infection has been going on for a while, and may be present after the infection has been resolved. Generally speaking, if IgG antibodies are present but IgM antibodies are negative, an individual has developed antibodies or re-activated a previous infection but does not have a current active infection.

igmigg

Lyme Notes

  • IgM is a sign of a current infection.
  • IgG is a sign of a current infection, or of a past exposure to or past infection by the organism.
  • Lyme Bacteria can hide in the brain and nervous system and by altering its surface proteins, can remain invisible to the immune system for a long period of time.
  • Once the immune system figures out what it is and starts making antibodies to it, it shifts is surface proteins once again, fooling the body into thinking the infection is over.
  • Lyme can turn itself into undetectable L-forms which also help it elude the immune system. When the immune system can’t see it, the immune system can’t antibodies and fights the bacteria
  • A seronegative result (false negative) does not mean the person does not have an active or latent Lyme infection. It just means that this particular test was negative.
  • Lyme Disease is called “the Great masquerader” because it causes a wide range of symptoms being presented by the patient.
  • The CDC’s criteria for what constitutes a positive result is very conservative, as a result of that underreporting, and underdiagnosing occur, minimizing the catastrophic epidemic of Lyme disease in the United States.
  • In general, a clinical positive requires at least 2 IgG and or 2 IgM bands (varies based on testing used)
IgG

IgM

Band Definition
18 kDa Not specific for lyme
22 kDa may be specific for Lyme or cross-reactive.
23-25 kDa specific for Lyme
28 kDa Specific for Lyme
30 kDa Specific for Lyme; California Strain
31 kDa May appear after vaccination
34 kDa May appear after vaccination ; Specific for Lyme
37 kDa Specific for Lyme
39 kDa Specific for Lyme; associated with Joint pain
41 kDa Other bacteria, not specific for Lyme
45 kDa appears for Ehrlichosis
58 kDa not  specific for Lyme; check viral infections
66 kDa Not specific for Lyme; Consider E.Coli
73 kDa may be specific for lyme
83 kDa Specific for Lyme
93 kDa an immunodominant protoplasmic cylinder antigen, associated with the flagellum. Specific for Lyme

remember you know your body best. Be vigilant and keep seeking answers until you find them. Knowledge id power and NoBody should suffer with this debilitating disease especially our children.