Living with MTHFR: Chronic Fatigue

Do you often feel exhausted or depleted of energy? Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with MTHFR mutations. Methylation deficiencies can create many problems such as an irregular thyroid and a toxic body, both of which create fatigue.

What is Chronic Fatigue?

Do you often feel both physically and mentally exhausted? Chronic fatigue is a condition distinguished by extreme tiredness that occurs for long bouts of time. Sleeping and relaxing don’t combat the fatigue, meaning from the time you wake up until you fall asleep at night, you feel exhausted.

Chronic fatigue is commonly associated with MTHFR mutations because of MTHFR’s effect on methylation and detoxification. Chronic fatigue can occur for a few reasons. The first being that the mitochondria are functioning irregularly and not producing enough energy to send throughout the body. Thyroid problems also need to be considered, as well as being a poor detoxifier.

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue

  • Exhaustion/Fatigue
  • Chronic Pain
  • Low Energy
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Brain Fog
  • Lack of Focus
  • Weakness

What is the mitochondria?

The mitochondria is our bodies powerhouse. Within each cell our mitochondria work hard to produce energy (Adenosine Triphosphate/ATP). This energy is transported to every part of the body allowing us to effectively think and move.

How does MTHFR affect the mitochondria?

MTHFR mutations cause both an inability to effectively methylate and reduce folate to a usable form. Methylation is required for producing energy within the body. The mitochondrial cycle relies on three co-factors to work efficiently and produce energy: Folate, Vitamin B12, and a specific form of COQ10 (ubiquinone). The mitochondrial cycle relies on Folate to produce energy, but as we know with MTHFR mutations, folate consumed naturally is hard to convert into a usable form. Without adequate co-factors, the body is unable to produce energy efficiently and fatigue starts to surface. The body must decide where to send energy, and aims to support the heart, brain, and lungs first and foremost. It starts sacrificing converting neurotransmitters and creating new ones, resulting in anxiety and depression that commonly follows fatigue.

How does poor detoxification play a role in fatigue?

Certain toxins require methylation in order to be removed from the body. When you have an MTHFR mutation, you have a reduced ability to methylate (create methyl groups). As soon as methyl groups are created they are whisked away to different areas of the body to perform actions such as breaking down neurotransmitters, protecting DNA, creating healthy cells, and protecting the body from oxidative stress. The rate at which your body gets rid of toxins depends on the specific mutation. For instance, a compound heterozygous mutation (one copy of C677T and one copy of A1298c) results in about 50-55% reduction, therefore about 50% of your toxins are being thrown away but the remaining builds up within the body.  This toxic build up creates a dirty body and fatigue like symptoms. The body becomes bogged down by these toxins and becomes sluggish. Inflammation begins to develop due to the toxic conditions inside the gut and symptoms begin to snowball.

Let’s consider the thyroid. Many individuals with MTHFR mutations have thyroid problems. This is because toxins target glands seeing that they absorb toxins very quickly. Thyroids help regulate our metabolism and when they become toxic our metabolism starts to slow. The body is lacking energy due to not having a combination of methyl groups, active folate, and toxic burden and is unable to convert our thyroid hormones effectively resulting in reduced thyroid function. When the thyroid slows the metabolism, symptoms such as low energy, chronic fatigue, and foggy brain are common. Click here for more information on healing the thyroid.

How can you combat fatigue?

  • Improve methylation and get that mitochondria pumping. Adding in the three co-factors of the mitochondrial cycle will increase energy production. Considering the body’s inability to effectively convert natural folate into a usable form, supplementing with a Methylated Folate is one way to incorporate usable folate into the cycle. Since the mitochondrial cycle and methylation also relies on B12 as a cofactor, a B complex is more effective (Folate, B12, B6). Click here for more information on improving methylation. 
  • Improve Detoxification. Before adding additional supplements such as Methylfolate or Methyl B12, it’s important to get rid of built-up toxins. Vitamins and supplements work more efficiently in a clean and healthy body. Find an MTHFR friendly detox to remove those unmethylated toxins. Detoxifying with a metabolic cleaner is the best way to drive the specific phases of Liver detox. The body needs the proper nutrients that drive these phases of detoxification. Once you are through with detoxification, then add a methylation support such as a B complex. Remember the thyroid is prone to toxicity, therefore a detox and increasing methylation, typically improves thyroid problems. For more suggestions on MTHFR Friendly detoxing, read our article here. 
  • COQ10 is an antioxidant, and an important cofactor in the mitochondrial cycle. This antioxidant has many benefits and is one of our favorites for combating fatigue. One of the first things noticed when taking COQ10 is its natural energy boost. In addition, as an antioxidant it reduces inflammation and free radicals.

 

 Looking for a medical grade version of COQ10 with the specific form needed to boost energy levels and support the mitochondria? BiomeIQ’s Pure COQ100 meets the metabolic needs of MTHFR Enzyme reduction and is MTHFR Friendly (pure, clean, quality ingredients).

Looking to detoxify? Click here to learn more about BiomeIQ’s Detox P5.0, a 2 phase liver detoxification, and metabolic formula. 

Do you have an MTHFR mutation? Take our survey to get information regarding your specific mutation.

 

 

 

 

References

Dean L. Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Deficiency. 2012 Mar 8 [Updated 2016 Oct 27]. In: Pratt V, McLeod H, Rubinstein W, et al., editors. Medical Genetics Summaries [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Center for Biotechnology Information (US); 2012-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK66131/

Tran, U. C., & Clarke, C. F. (2007). Endogenous Synthesis of Coenzyme Q in Eukaryotes. Mitochondrion7(Suppl), S62–S71. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2007.03.007

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