Is your depression genetic?
What is MTHFR depression?
MTHFR depression refers to having one or more of the mthfr gene mutations that affects your ability to make and use your anti depressant neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) properly which leads to the symptoms associated to depression, often it’s also caused by nutritional imbalances that are responsible for supporting good mental health. MTHFR depression in not unlike any other type of depression, symptoms of depression include as:
- Low mood
- Feeling sad
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Emotional upset
- Low stress tolerance
- Feelings of guilt
- Feeling sad
- Lack of confidence
- Feeling miserable
- Feeling worthless
- Thoughts of suicide
- Physical pain that gets you down mentally
- Excessive worry
Many people who experience depression often have no idea that their genes are responsible, if you have not been tested for mthfr gene mutations and you have been diagnosed with depression and or you have a family history of depression, its best to get tested for mthfr.
Does MTHFR cause depression?
The short answer is yes, mthfr can cause depression but it may not. Each person who has mthfr gene mutations responds differently depending on their own personal symptoms of the condition.
Some people have physical symptoms, others have mental symptoms such as depression and many have both physical and mental symptoms of mthfr gene mutations. MTHFR gene mutations are more often than not associated with mental health problems, this is because the gene defects causes imbalances in methylation, this goes on to push your methylation cycle into over methylation or under methylation, when this happens common symptoms of mental health problems can occur such as:
- Mood swings
- Bipolar disorder
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Additive behavior
- Memory problems
How does MTHFR cause depression?
MTHFR depression can be caused in several ways depending on the genes that you have been diagnosed with, each of the gene mutations has its own affect in contributing to depression and each of these gene mutations works differently for each person, lets take a closer look at each gene and how it causes depression.
There are two predominate genes that affect mthfr these include the C677T gene mutation and the other is the A1298C gene mutation. Some people are diagnosed with just one of the genes and others are diagnosed with both, this can make a big difference when it comes to mthfr & depression.
C677T gene mutations and depression
Those that have the C677T gene mutation only can experience depression in several ways, this gene tends to have an indirect effect on the cause of depression through the inability to use important, essential nutrients, this is because folate metabolism is impaired and this sets up a chain reaction that leads to depression.
Reduced folate metabolism is associated to a deficiency in folate therefore you experience folate deficiency symptoms. Folate is needed for the brain and nerves to function properly as well as being needed for the utilization of certain amino acids that are needed to make neurotransmitters, this means those with C677T gene mutations can get depression.
Further the reduction in folate causing a folate deficiency affects the homocysteine cycle which is needed to support very important chemical reactions that protect and balance mental health, when this important cycle is disrupted depression can easily result.
When you have the C677T gene mutation you also have a reduced ability to use other important nutrients that support mental health. Here is some examples of the symptoms as they relate to certain nutrients and mthfr depression:
- Folate deficiency – anxiety, tension, depression
- B group vitamin deficiency – anxiety, depression, tension, irritability, migraines, headaches, nervousness poor concentration, poor memory, constipation (serotonin deficiency), physical pain
- Mineral deficiency – nervousness, constipation (serotonin deficiency), depression, confusion, irritability, addiction, neurological disorders
- Essential fats deficiency – poor memory, learning difficulties, depression
- Semi essential nutrient deficiencies – nerve degeneration, senile dementia, irritability, insomnia, nervousness.
As you can see when you have the mthfr C677T gene mutation depression can result from an inability to properly metabolize essential nutrients that causes depression. It’s important to understand that just taking additional nutritional supplements for this condition is not going solve the depression and you should seek professional mthfr treatments for this problem.
A1298C gene mutations and depression
Those that have the A1298C gene mutation only can experience depression in a different way than those with the C677T gene mutation, this is because those with the mthfr A1298C gene mutation experience a direct affect on the neurotransmitter pathway, this means that those chemicals involved in “biopterin” or brain chemical reactions are at a disadvantage and often have a reduced metabolism of important brain chemicals needed to prevent, reduce or eliminate depression.
Serotonin is one of the major brain chemicals that keeps us mentally healthy, happy and is a natural antidepressant. Those with A1298C often don’t make enough serotonin and or the serotonin that they do make gets broken down to fast, either way depression is the result.
Tryptophan, an amino acid is an important protein that is needed to make serotonin, this essential protein is also disrupted by the A1298C gene further limiting the production of serotonin. Other amino acids such as phenylalanine, tyrosine & arginine are also affected by the A1298C gene.
People with the A1298C gene mutation are often sensitive to certain chemicals that block or slow down their neurotransmitter production which results in mthfr depression. Often those with the A1298C gene are found to have amino acid imbalances that cause their depression, this is because many amino acids play important roles in the production of neurotransmitters, therefore testing for amino acid imbalances can be a great way to improve or even correct mthfr depression with this gene problem.
It’s important to understand that taking amino acid supplements such as tryptophan for this condition is not advised as this can make those with the gene defect worse, you should seek professional mthfr treatments for this problem.
Is your depression coming from the MTHFR gene mutation?
If you suffer from depression, have a family history of depression or you identify with any of the symptoms of depression you should get tested for mthfr. Often depression can result for many different reasons, you may have some of the symptoms of MTHFR that lead to depression. MTHFR gene mutations are commonly un-diagnosed in people with depression which means that the best treatments for these people who have depression are being missed.
Are you feeling depressed from your MTHFR treatments?
People who have been diagnosed with a mthfr gene mutations are often told to take active forms of folate and for many of these people it is the wrong thing to do, this is because activated folate supplements are not for everyone with the gene problem and in fact can lead a person with the condition into deep depression and even suicide through methyl trapping. There are many supplements prescribed for mthfr patients that can cause severe depression, these include:
- 5 MTHF
If you take any of these supplements and notice any depression you should contact a mthfr professional immediately.
Folic acid & MTHFR depression
Folic acid is a man made synthetic substance that is added to the food supply, it is also found in vitamin and mineral supplements. This substance can cause depression in those with mthfr gene mutations. Folic acid can build up in the body and act as an inhibitor to natural folate uptake which leads to imbalances in methylation that results in depression. People with mthfr can not tolerate folic acid as they already have a reduced ability to metabolize folate which increases the risk of depression.
MTHFR depression treatments
Getting the right treatment for depression no matter the cause is extremely important, when you have mthfr the last thing you want to be doing is getting the same treatment as everyone else for depression, this is because your genes are different and so, common depression treatments are not as likely to be as effective as a depression treatment that works with your individual gene mutation/s. Specific treatments designed to work with your gene mutation have better outcomes, work to support multiple problem areas at the same time which improves mood, increases health and helps prevent many health problems associated to mthfr gene problems.
Did you have any questions about MTHFR depression? Contact us here.