We often hear the phrase, “It runs in my family” when it comes to illness, but do genetics really determine our destiny? When looking at my family history, I see a TON of illness. Cancer, autoimmune disease, and alzheimer’s disease are all prevalent in my family and I was curious to learn more about why this is.
The results of this test showed me the genetic mutations or SNP’s I inherited from my mom, my dad, or both. When I received my results, I ran them through a third party website to get all of the genetic mutation information. I used MTHFR Support. When I received my results, the information was extremely OVERWHELMING. The results look like a bunch of letter and number combinations with red and green attached and very little explanation as to what any of it means. I highly recommend buying the book Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch when looking at your results. Also, if you can find a functional medicine doctor in your area that specializes in epigenetics, even better! (I am still looking for someone locally that does this)
So what did I learn as a result of this test? As expected, I’m a genetic MESS! (I still love you mom and dad!) Here are some of the main genetic mutations that I tested homozygous for (meaning I inherited a copy from both of my parents):
- MTHFR (difficulty detoxing, infertility, miscarriage, insomnia, depression, anxiety, thyroid disorders, digestive issues, chemical sensitivity, and much more)
- COMT (anxiety, insomnia, inability to focus, ADD, PMS, and more)
So does all of this mean that getting an autoimmune disease was pre-determined for me? The research shows that when it comes to autoimmunity, genetics only determine about 14% of illness and 86% is environmental. The saying, “GENETICS LOAD THE GUN, ENVIRONMENT PULLS THE TRIGGER.” has always helped me better understand how genetics influences autoimmunity and other illnesses. Some of my personal environmental triggers were chronic stress, mold exposure, birth control, and repeated use of antibiotics.
Although we may have genetic factors that predispose us to illness, it does not always predetermine that we will become sick. I am currently working on reducing my stress while working to detox my body from mold and everyday environmental toxin exposure (more on detox methods in a different post). I have already seen a dramatic improvement in my health from focusing in these areas.
Research regarding epigenetics is still evolving and I am excited to see the new information that has yet to come out.