Methylation is confusing, to say the least. With global implications that affect just about every cell, organ, and system in the body, there’s no doubt that this biochemical process is important–but how can we tell if our methylation cycle is operating as it should?
It turns out that even folks with an MTHFR gene variant who are more prone to methylation challenges, aka inefficiencies, can go decades (or even a lifetime) without realizing they have an MTHFR enzyme that operates suboptimally.
Functional medicine doctor Jill Carnahan, M.D., IFMCP, says that folks with MTHFR gene variants can have 30 to 60% reduction in their MTHFR enzyme function and not notice because the signs are so subtle and our bodies are so resilient.
“We can go a lot of years and not notice a lot of effects or issues. We might notice, ‘Oh, I have trouble with this,’ or ‘I feel down sometimes’–but who doesn’t, right? The signs are vague enough because they affect so many systems that it would be hard to say [suboptimal methylation] is the one cause–it’s usually multifactorial,” Carnahan explains.
While it can be tough to pin down evidence that your methylation isn’t optimized, there are a few key factors that indicate your methylation cycle needs a little TLC. If you’re experiencing a handful of these signs, it could be time to discuss methylation status with your health care provider.