30 Aug Genetic Testing to Help You Make Everyday Health Decisions
Genetic Testing to Help You Make Everyday Health Decisions
In this day and age everyone has had some blood work or lab testing done. These are valuable tools for insight into our health. Mostly showing us issues that may be happening right now, and some which have become chronic. Obviously, getting this information is critical for diagnosis and treatment options. A question I always have is, “well, how did I get here? What is causing this problem? Where did it come from?” Most medical testing doesn’t exactly tell us why we ended up where we are at. Just that we are now having this or that symptom from this or that disease process.
DNA Testing to Discover the Root Cause
The reason I love genetic testing for nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle strategies, is because our genes will always be the same. Well, that is partially true. Our genes can turn on and off depending on our choices of environment (sunlight, clean air, nature, access to quality water, etc), lifestyle, food, exercise etc. Depending on the choices we make, our genetics adapt and are activated or deactivated.
I always hear people say, “My family has a history of heart disease so I will develop that as well.” Well, the good news is that doesn’t have to be true. If you make the same health choices they did, then it is definitely likely you will also develop the same diseases. That is what we call a genetic predisposition. You have a higher genetic likelihood to develop certain disease based on your genes. But, what if you made choices to support your genetics and health rather than playing right into the hand of those diseases. That is exactly what DNA testing is all about. Lets find the weak points in your genetics, change your choices to support them, resulting in reducing your disease chances.
Our genes affect the way we absorb and use nutrients in the foods we eat. Our diet also influences whether genes are being turned on or off! New research has been suggesting that not only can we change the expression of our genes, for better or for worse, but these changes can be inherited by our children and grandchildren. So if you don’t care about your health, perhaps the future health of your children and grandchildren is enough to change your mind!!
Epigenentics is the study of different genes turning on and off, and what causes the switch to flip. As mentioned before, your genetics/epigenetics are influenced by every choice you can make. Seriously. Where you live, what you eat, how you handle stress, when you go to sleep, who your friends are, how you exercise, watching TV late at night, etc, can influence your genes.
Luckily epigenetics are reversible. If your genes are producing negative health affects because of your current environment, you can change the environment and change the story. Change your choices to support your genes and health.
Genetics and Disease
“Today, a wide variety of illnesses, behaviors, and other health indicators already have some level of evidence linking them with epigenetic mechanisms, including cancers of almost all types, cognitive dysfunction, and respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, autoimmune, and neurobehavioral illnesses. Known or suspected drivers behind epigenetic processes include many agents, including heavy metals, pesticides, diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, hormones, radioactivity, viruses, bacteria, and basic nutrients.”1
Genetics research in cancer research has become one of the most important considerations doctors make for those at risk. “Among all the epigenetics research conducted so far, the most extensively studied disease is cancer, and the evidence linking epigenetic processes with cancer is becoming “extremely compelling,”...”epigenetic mechanisms are one of the five most important considerations in the cancer field, and they account for one-third to one-half of known genetic alterations.”1
Fortunately, just because we may carry a genetic predisposition, doesn’t mean we can’t change our genes. The decisions we make and the environment around us play a critical role.
Do you suffer from an autoimmune disease, or long standing inflammation? By supporting genetic expression we can give a helpful boost to the immune system!! “Epigenetic immune system effects occur, and can be reversed, according to research published in the November–December 2005 issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.”1
When doing genetic testing to compare twin siblings later in life, the research says “especially those who had different lifestyles and had spent fewer years of their lives together, had much different patterns in many different tissues, such as lymphocytes, epithelial mouth cells, intra-abdominal fat, and selected muscles.“1
Simply stated. Our lifestyle, nutrition, environment, and daily health choices directly influence our DNA and long term expression of health or disease. You get to choose which twin you become.
DNA Lifestyle and Nutrition Testing at Optimal Movement
Thankfully, we do genetic testing at OM. We want to help you develop a Health Action Plan that you can rely on the rest of your life as a foundation. Supporting the true core of who you are, at the genetic level.
To see all the specific panels and individual genetic testing we have available, check out our recent post.
Feel free to reach out to us or schedule a nutrition consult with Dr. Carter to discuss your health history, goals, and which testing may be appropriate for you.
If you feel passionate about this topic I have included a reading list of articles and books below:
- Check out Rhonda Patrick and her website for endless genetic information
- Genetics and Microbiome affect individualized responses to food -Elissa Epel
- The Telomere Effect – A Revolutionary approach to living younger, healthier, longer – Elizabeth Blackburn, Elissa Epel
- The Biology of Belief – Dr. Bruce Lipton
- Change your Genes, Change your Life – Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, Dr. Andrew Weil
- Molecules of Emotion – Dr. Candace Pert
- Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself – Dr. Joe Dispenza
- Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge – Jeremy Narby
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