When you go to the doctor for the first time, usually they will ask an array of questions regarding certain diseases and cancers that may run in your family and how closely related you are to that family member. There are many possible causes for diseases, but family history is one of the strongest indicators of disease. We all have bad genes passed down, but knowing how to “turn them off” is the key. Knowing where we come from is important, but have you considered how important it is to know your genes?
Functional medicine paired with knowledge of a patient’s genetics can help doctors understand where the sources of health problems come from. This study is known as Epigenetics. Epigenetics is a new type of science that has become popular within the last 15 years. It is the study of cellular and physiological traits, or the external and environmental factors that turn genes on or off. Epigenetics has the potential to change your life by making you healthier and happier.
Genetics load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger. If we put toxic food into our body, we are pulling the trigger on those bad genes. If your genes show that diabetes, obesity, or heart disease run in your family, then with functional medicine, doctors know which foods need to be included in the diet, which foods to avoid, and which supplementation needs to be taken. The chances of these diseases occurring would dramatically decrease using this method. It is important to take early steps in prevention such as making exercise a habit, reducing levels of sodium intake, not smoking, and eating the proper amount of fruits and vegetables.
Genetic tests are surprisingly simple. With a small amount of blood or saliva, genetics are able to tell if you are susceptible to certain diseases. The DNA sent to testing is compared to “normal” DNA. Specialists are then able to decipher which bad genes may already be susceptible to being turned on and which bad genes may already be turned on.
Doctors know that we need to detox and fuel the cells with foods that keep them healthy and strong, not the toxins that drugs and bad food can bring. Our bodies are organic, so in turn we need to put organic foods into our body, not toxic processed foods.
At Valhalla Wellness and Medical Centers, we know how important it is to use all the tools we can to heal our patients from the inside out. You need a functional medicine team to help put these pieces together, don’t go at it alone!