How do MTHFR and fibromyalgia connect with each other? The MTHFR gene is responsible for the enzyme that supports glutathione production. Fibromyalgia, meanwhile, is a painful and chronic condition sometimes associated with genetics. Find out more about MTHFR and fibromyalgia below.
In This Article:
- What Is MTHFR?
- What Is Fibromyalgia?
- How Are MTHFR and Fibromyalgia Linked?
- Is There a Way to Address Fibromyalgia?
The Link Between MTHFR and Fibromyalgia
What Is MTHFR?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, "The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme plays a role in processing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins."
"What this enzyme does is work on the path called methylation. This is the conversion basically from B12 into the active form of B12 and various other components made from it. This includes glutathione," Dr. Stephen Smith explained in the video.
MTHFR Gene Defect
When there's an MTHFR mutation or deficiency, it leads to poor methylation cycle and enzyme production. Dr. Smith said there are about 50 variations in this anomaly. The two most common are C677T and A1298C, which are also the variants he usually measures.
He said, "667 and 1298 caused quite a bit of a problem. They're fairly common. Thirty percent of the population has a double anomaly, meaning both 667 and 1298. And about forty percent has a single [anomaly]."
Note: The number refers to the base of the DNA.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Before delving into its relationship with MTHFR, you need to understand fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a chronic, painful, and sometimes disabling condition that affects the muscles and tissues.
The main symptom is widespread musculoskeletal pain, felt above and below the waist, including both sides of the body. Patients may also feel other symptoms, including:
- Chronic fatigue, despite having slept for hours
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory and concentration problems or brain fog
- Numbness and tingling hands and feet
Although no one knows exactly what causes fibromyalgia, you should still consider these risk factors:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Injury and trauma
- Psychological and emotional stress
How Are MTHFR and Fibromyalgia Linked?
Again, mutation or deficiency in the MTHFR affects methylation and enzyme production. When these function poorly, it negatively affects your glutathione levels and the whole detoxification process. This leads to many problems in your body like causing chronic diseases. Moreover, a leaky gut, exposure to heavy metals, and too much folic acid aggravate the mutation.
Dr. Smith stated, "If you have fibromyalgia, autism, and ADD, you probably have a glutathione deficiency."
"Glutathione, as the primary antioxidant, removes toxins. It also helps reduce oxidative stress which is like 'rusting' in the body," according to Dr. Smith.
He said, "When our bodies make energy, they produce byproducts and some of these are toxic and they need to be reduced. Glutathione's job is to do this. So, it's the primary protectant in our body. If you don't have enough of it, then you are more susceptible to chronic diseases."
Is There a Way to Address Fibromyalgia?
There are many approaches to addressing fibromyalgia, but in this article, we discuss only one. With the close relation to MTHFR, Dr. Smith suggests improving glutathione levels to help manage fibromyalgia. Following this MTHFR gene mutation treatment can help manage fibromyalgia genetic mutation symptoms.
He said, "If you have issues with fibromyalgia, one of the first things you want to do is see if you can get your glutathione levels measured. This is not an easy test to get done. You have to go to a third-party lab like Lab-Corp, or the one we use."
"The other thing you want to do is get your MTHFR status."
You need the information to determine the supplements that can raise your glutathione levels. A supplement with a combination of methyl B12 and l-methylfolate may help boost cognitive function, energy, and memory. Fibromyalgia affects these functions.
Learn more about MTHFR and fibromyalgia from Dr. Smith in this video:
The relationship between MTHFR and fibromyalgia is not all too complicated. Understand that MTHFR deficiency causes methylation block. It also affects glutathione production. Furthermore, when glutathione levels are low, you become susceptible to chronic conditions like fibromyalgia.
What are your thoughts on glutathione boost? Let us know in the comments section.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.
Editor’s Note - This post was originally published on February 28, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.