The Lyme community is all abuzz about genetic testing through 23andMe. Everyone is anxious to know if they have the MTHFR gene mutation. This mutation affects how well you detox among other things. Here’s a great article in layman’s terms that explains MTHFR. Click here.
What is 23andMe?
23andMe is a simple saliva test that you send away to the lab to discover your specific genetic mutations. You don’t need a Dr. to order this test, just call them or request it on their website. They will send you everything you need to do the test. After you fill the bottle, with your spit, you box it up and send it FedEx to the lab. Approximately 3 weeks later an email will arrive with your “raw data”. At this point, unless you’re a geneticist you need help.
Raw Data- Now What?
Now that you have your raw data you need to get it interpreted. There are several websites that do this for you. They range in price, some being free or donation, others charging a set fee. I used GeneticGenie.com and MTHFRSupport.com. Even then I couldn’t make heads of tails of what the results meant. The functional MD didn’t really understand them either but was willing to research for me.
Several lymies mentioned that they had contacted Tree of Life Health Institute and were happy with them. I emailed and set up and appointment with a naturopath named Bob Miller. For $60 he will run your raw data through a program that is easy to understand and will walk you through the variants that you need to address. He will call or Skype with you. At last! I was very happy to pay them for this service. He spent nearly an hour on Skype with me explaining all my lab work. He said this is pretty much all he does now, and he travels training Dr.’s so they can help their patients.
One of the biggest issues for me personally was my bodies inability to break down proteins or fats. This will be lifelong supplementation. The other was my ability to detox pesticides. I had every variant they tested for. Time to cough up the $$ to eat organic as much as possible. The thing to remember about this testing is that it’s not a certainty, but tell you what genetically you are predisposed for. The third biggie was my detox/SOD which again, I tested for every variant. It’s so nice to know where my body needs help.
Dr. Miller did say that everyone is looking for the MTHFR defect and he feels it’s really not that important. He said there were others that were more crucial. Is it worth the cost and time spent to get genetic testing? I think so. Fighting Lyme is a full time job for my body and if there is a way with food, detox or supplements that I can relieve some of that burden I am happy to do so. Please don’t think that just because you have a mutation or two you will get the associated disease. This is merely one more tool in our toolbox for fighting Lyme.