Heavy Metals Part 1
After my diagnosis of neurogenic bladder I was offered the opportunity to be in a Pathway Genomics study through Harvard University partnering with Bingham Young University. It was a personalized DNA test. The goal of the test was to study what patients did with the knowledge of their genetic predisposition. Would they make healthy eating or exercise choices ? Would they work to keep healthy knowing that in some areas they needed to work a little harder that others? I found the information very beneficial. Because of this test I learned a new thing about myself. I have a double MTHFR mutation. So, as I am counting down causes of my neurogenic bladder, I have another one to add to the list. A person gets two copies of each gene, one from their mother and one from their father. So, I won the big grand prize: two mutated genes. Reading through explanations of this genetic condition helps me to understand how it actually affects my body in It is important for me to understand the physiology of heavy metal metabolism so I can be careful day to day and alert my doctors of this otherwise “hidden” condition. For example, if I were to get cancer, I could not want to take some chemotherapy drugs or at least look at other options because they if they contain heavy metals it would lead to the added burden of heavy metal toxicity on my body.
A MTHFR double mutation opens me up for needing to consider heavy metals as a possible culprit of the damage sustained to my sacral nerve. Glutathione is the body’s primary natural antioxidant and detoxifier; it is key to helping the body rid itself of toxins. A MTHFR gene mutation can make you susceptible to illness by affecting your ability to make glutathione. “People with MTHFR anomalies usually have low glutathione9,” making them more susceptible to stress and less tolerant to toxic exposures. I actually knew I was extremely sensitive to various consumer products long before my DNA test. Over the years, many cleaning solvents have made me sick. I use vinegar and water to clean my house. This was something my mother used as well at times. I think it is interesting how we as humans have so many choices of products and at the time we do not understand why we can react so pointedly to one product over the other. If your body lacks adequate glutathione, consider adding it along with methylated B vitamins to your daily diet, since they help fight toxins your body encounters daily. Consider incorporating antioxidants into your diet to fight oxidation products, which are by-products of naturally occurring chemical reactions occurring within the cells of your body that can build up and contribute to cell death and aging. Many foods contain high levels of antioxidants, including blueberries, strawberries and certain kinds of apples. Consider increasing these foods in your diet, as they have numerous health benefits, including preventing or delaying cell damage. Because of space I will have a continuation of this article next week. Next week I will offer some examples of how easily we can be exposed to heavy metals.