One in three people carry a variant of the MTHFR gene mutation which can be linked to anxiety, depression, autoimmune issues, gut and dental problems, and even miscarriage.

Still, many GPs are unaware of the condition leaving women in the dark.

When Stacey Turner discovered she had MTHFR-gene mutation, she made the necessary diet and lifestyle changes to not 0nly manage the condition but as she says, to also have a child.

This is Stacey’s story.

Before I found out about my MTHFR gene mutation I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and depression. I was highly strung and would get angry easily.

I would regularly get sick with colds and viruses, and had already been diagnosed with a few autoimmune conditions.

I wasn’t dealing with stress, I went through bouts of adrenal fatigue, and suffered from digestive issues despite being a dietitian and being really on point with my nutrition.

About seven years ago, I found a naturopath who had me take a genetic test. We found I had two MTHFR gene mutations. She supported me in starting to supplement to better understand how to look after myself now that I knew what was going on.

“If I hadn’t found out about the mutation and put a number of diet and lifestyle steps in place prior to conception, I possibly would not have a child now.”

One in three people carry at least one gene mutation in one of the MTHFR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The two most common cause issues in the body’s methylation cycle which is involved in detoxifying the body.

The gene mutation is hereditary. I am homozygous for the A1298C SNP meaning I have two copies of this mutation. One mutation came from my mother and the other from my father. I can only detox 20% of toxins that go into my body, leaving 80% to clog up the system.

Epigenetics is the idea that the genes we’re born with can be switched on and off. When we make positive changes in our diet and lifestyle choices, we can turn off genes that have negative outcomes.

For example; eating organic food, decreasing or swapping out coffee, not smoking or consuming alcohol, and using more natural cleaning and beauty products can support our bodies in detoxing better.

Although it is not widely known, there are a number of ways to find out about your MTHFR status. You can get a full DNA saliva test through 23andMe and have the data analysed by a geneticist or via an online service. Or, testing can be ordered through a medical professional.

“We did have one miscarriage prior to successfully falling pregnant with our daughter, which can be associated with people who have MTHFR gene mutations.”

Synthetic folic acid is a key ingredient in many prenatal supplements. This, and the fake folate found in processed foods, such as bread and cereals, clog up the system and stop us from being able to properly use folate or convert it into the active usable form our bodies need.

I highly recommend checking your prenatal supplement and finding one with an active or bioavailable form of folate instead of folic acid.

Another benefit of folic acid is its support of neural tube development in your baby during pregnancy. But, research suggests that up to one in three people struggle to metabolise it in its synthetic form due to genetic mutations.

Kin Fertility has created a prenatal supplement that contains bioavailable ingredients and all of the essential nutrients required for an optimal conception and pregnancy journey. Instead of using folic acid, Kin’s prenatal supplement contains a Methylated Folate, which all women can easily absorb.

If I hadn’t found out about the mutation and put a number of diet and lifestyle steps in place prior to conception, I possibly would not have a child now.

We did have one miscarriage prior to successfully falling pregnant with our daughter, which can be associated with people who have MTHFR gene mutations. I believe if I wasn’t doing many of the things I was, I may have had more.

A number of my friends and clients also unknowingly carrying variations of the mutation have had multiple miscarriages. When they find out and make the appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, they have gone on to have a successful full term pregnancy and have given birth to happy, healthy children.

Now that I know what my genetic road map is, I can work with it rather than against it. I have never been in better health despite still breastfeeding and not getting much sleep with a teething toddler.

I still get days with low level anxiety and random dips of sadness from extra stress but I now know how to manage it and have the tools to support myself.

 By Stacey Turner, BSc (Nutr) Hons, Dietitian, Co-founder of The Chief Life and Mother.

For more information visit Kin Fertility.