Having a chronic infection can lead to many complications, especially if one's body is sensitive to toxins, medications chemicals, etc and becomes overloaded easily. Many people do not know this about their own system unless something impacts their body in such a way that they can not recover easily. In many benign ways, this can be seen as a low tolerance to alcohol or high propensity for hangovers, or it could be a history of being sensitive to medications or even having an adverse reaction to drugs. Scientists have found the gene mutations MTHFR 677 and 1298 and say these speak to why this may happen in adults and children alike.
Why is this important with people who have chronic infection? Many Lyme and PANDAS literate doctors are now looking for the MTHFR gene mutations in their patients. When one has Lyme disease or PANDAS the body is working hard to kill off infection and then help it and the toxins produced, exit the body. If a patient has one or two of these mutations, the body has to work that much harder to clean out the infection and often can not do it without specific targeted help that aid the methylation pathways to work more efficiently.
I read a study that Dr Jones posted on his website about children on the autistic spectrum. This study noted that 98% of the children they studied, who were on the spectrum, had both of these gene mutations. This is interesting to me, especially because many mothers will say their child was fine until immunizations. It is curious how important efficient methylation pathways can be.
Recently I saw a teenage boy who in addition to physical symptoms (joint pain, fatigue, insomnia), was cutting, socially isolated and depressed. He began dabbling in pot and started skipping school. After a Lyme assessment, the doctor found this and other co-infections. The treatment helped his physical symptoms, but did not seem to touch any of the depression. In fact, the depression seemed to be worsening AND he developed paranoia and suicidal thoughts. This teen seemed to be on the path for self destruction. One day, as if spontaneously, the darkness lifted and he seemed like a happy adjusted adolescent. Curious, I asked mom what treatment protocol changed. The only change was the discovery of the MTHFR gene mutation. After a month of liposomal methyl B 12, liposomal methyl folate and B6, he was worlds different. In fact, shortly after this, he was able to cut back on therapy sessions and graduate!
This gene mutation is not only important in chronic infection, but also in those without disease. Countless clients of mine have found relief from depression, isolation, sensitivity to alcohol or medication, miscarriages and more. If a loved one's symptoms do not make sense, research and see if asking your doctor to test for the MTHFR gene mutations may be a good idea. A simple lab test can help you determine whether or not MTHFR is effecting you or someone you love.
Please feel free to comment or post questions to this blog. We welcome your ideas and perspectives.
Unless specified, Gabrielle Anderson, lmft is the author of these posts. Gabrielle is a Therapist and the Director at FTC. She is a married mother of 2 and has experienced chronic infection in the practice, herself and in her family.
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