Thursday, June 5, 2014

answers in the sunshine

So this was going to be a ranty post about how my new doctor didn't initially test me for the MTHFR mutation.  What is that you ask?  Well, the short answer is it's a genetic mutation that comes in many varieties.  It has been linked to  everything from clotting disorders to the body's inability to process folate.  REs are completely divided on whether MTHFR causes miscarriages.  Mine doesn't believe that there's a link but is willing to humor me, which I greatly appreciate.  There are some theories that some women carrying the mutation aren't processing folic acid in its synthetic form (which is the kind found in most prenatal vitamins).  Folate plays a large role in chromosomal development and neural tube defects.

When I was pregnant with Niblet I had ridiculous cravings for sugared cereals.  I'm talking cocoa pebbles and apple jacks.  I'm not proud.  It was insane, I think I ate something like 3-4 bowls of cereal a day for at least four months in a row.  I remember my brother-in-law once coming over and just looking on dumbstruck at me pouring a quarter of a box of cookie crisp into a giant bowl.  Looking back on it, my body was likely craving the folic acid that all kids' cereals are fortified with.  And who wouldn't want to dig into a bowl of this?

These days, my morning smoothies have ensured that I am getting far better levels of natural folate in my system.  I have also switched my prenatal vitamin to one that incorporates the non-sythentic version.  While I was miffed that I still had to advocate for this blood test after already having over 20 vials of blood pulled from me, I was more floored by the following information provided to me by my nurse last night:

I am Vitamin D deficient.  At first we thought my blood level was completely devoid of Vitamin D (thanks for the difficult to read fax-copy of labs Quest Diagnostics).  In fact my level is 24.  Normal is 30-100, and for those trying to procreate, 60-80 is the level you want. 

Here's what I want to know: Why didn't Dr. Cuddles test me for this simple but important piece of information?  See for yourself, a quick google search turns up hundreds of hits about the link between Vitamin D and miscarriage.  There's even a link between Vitamin D and AMH.  It's baffling to me.  I spent a good few hours angry about this seemingly basic failure, but I am past it now.  What's done is done.  I don't believe that Vitamin D is a magic bullet, but I  do feel sort of confident that it will only help my egg quality.  I plan on incorporating daily 20 minute walks sans sunblock on my legs and arms.

There's an irony here - I am downright religious about sunblock, which pays off in terms of having a barrage of "wow you look great for your age" comments throughout the week.  But there's this specific study showing the link between Vitamin D and telomeres, the actual "arms" of chromosomes (telemore length is crucial to chromosomal health).  Yes, my skin is unlined, even alabaster. But I think that three chromosomally abnormal losses points to an internal problem that maybe could be improved.

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