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Homocysteine: The link to miscarriage

If you have had a miscarriage or you are considered at high risk of miscarriage, it may be beneficial to learn what your Homocysteine levels are.

High Homocysteine levels can cause blood clotting

Homocysteine is a common amino acid found in your body. While it is not harmful in normal levels, when those levels get too high it can cause blood clots that can prevent the foetus from developing and lead to miscarriage. People with higher Homocysteine leevls also have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke due to their blood clotting more easily than usual. Doctor takes blood on the analysisWith no real test blood test to check for blood clots, prevention is a better option. Homocysteine levels can be tested in your blood and any reading over 10 is considered significant. Researchers in Bergen/Osb Norway studied several thousand patients and reported that Homocysteine levels higher than 10-10.7 increased a woman’s chance of a miscarriage by a whopping 38%

High Homocysteine levels in pregnancy have also been associated with:

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Neural tube defects
  • Stillbirths
  • Abruptio placenta
  • Preeclampsia
Deficiencies in B vitamins (B6, B12), folic acid and a gene mutation in the MTHFR enzyme can cause high Homocysteine levels. I generally test all my fertility patients for high Homocysteine levels especially if there have been recurrent miscarriages, a history of strokes/cardiovasculardisease or mood disorders.

How can I reduce my Homocysteine levels?

  • Supplement with B12, B6 and folic acid
  • Test for the MTHFR gene mutation, which can be a blood or cheek swab
  • Find a practitioner that is educated and aware of the negative impacts of Homocysteine so they can provide a treatment protocol
These specific B vitamins help convert Homocysteine back to other harmless amino acids in your body. Be aware however that you will need a specific activated form of folic acid if you have a MTHFR gene mutation as the standard folic acid will not be as effective at decreasing Homocysteine.

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