"Genetics load the gun, but it's the environment that pulls the trigger"
Did your grandma have diabetes? Did your dad have a heart condition? Does a cousin have high blood pressure?
Just because something "runs in the family" doesn't mean you are doomed.
Many MD's or specialists will tell you that your cholesterol, auto-immune, or thyroid issues are "just genetic" and that there's nothing you can do about it. Well, except for "take this prescription medicine and have a nice day".
Genetics DO matter...but lifestyle factors play a critical role in whether those inherited issues flair up. There are three triggers that can create sickness and disease. Let's go through them!
First Trigger: Genetics
We each have a genetic code that we inherited from our parents, grandparents, and so on. Your code might leave you susceptible to Hashimoto's, Lupus, or Alopecia. Your friend's code might leave her susceptible to gut dysfunction. The code is written, but it's hidden away inside and will stay there until the next trigger goes haywire.
Second Trigger: Environment
You may think of environment as things you can see...your yard, your home, your workspace. There is an environment you can't see, and this is internal. The environment inside of you is affected by toxins over time due to pesticides, heavy metals, GMO foods, etc. These poisons in the body end up affecting our cortisol levels, our neurotransmitters, and our ability to regulate many of the systems in the body. .
Increased intestinal permeability, also know as leaky gut, can happen due to a poor internal environment. Leaky gut is problematic because the foods you eat as well as bacteria and yeast can move directly into your bloodstream. When this occurs, your immune system turns on, ready to fight the foreign invaders in your body. Your body is under attack, but there is still more to come until you can get your environment to be more hospitable.
Third Trigger: The "Event"
This is "the straw that broke the camel's back". Your body was already under attack due to the internal environment, and it's burdened with more issues. What was nagging symptoms before (join pain, headaches, low energy, etc.) is now in a full-blown disease state. Here are some ways this can happen:
Massive Stressful Event (death in the family, divorce, etc)
Virus or Infection (Herpes, Epstein Barr, possible COVID-19)
Food Poisoning (you were exposed to foreign bacteria)
Heavy Metal Exposure (dental work, polluted water, vaccines)
Pesticides (golf course recently sprayed, your yard)
Your body just couldn't keep up any more, and now that genetic code you inherited is activated. The heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol that your relatives had is now your disease.
You have the power to be proactive with your health. Doing the following will help your internal environment be a balanced, nourished place to be:
Functional Medicine Detox—ideally you should do a detox once every three months. I use a detox kit from Equilife. More info can be found here: https://equi.life/products/dr-cabral-detox?irad=909134&irmp=2507547
Functional Medicine Lab Testing— will show what vitamins/minerals in which you are deficient, and if the ratios are correct, the state of your microbiome, your exposure to heavy metals, your hormone levels, thyroid function, and Omega 3 to 6 ratio. I encourage all of my clients to lab test so that they have the data they need to get these ratios back to the proper levels.
Stress management— you MUST figure out a way to work on reducing stress. Whether it's daily breathing exercises, gentle yoga or stretching, getting out in nature... you need to do it regularly. Stress is the biggest cause of disease, and your body can be stressed internally without you being aware of it.
Do you need a good book to read?
I highly recommend "The Rain Barrel Effect" by Dr. Stephen Cabral. Dr. Cabral is who I studied under to become an Integrative Health Practitioner. He has a fascinating story about his struggle with his own health and how he overcame his illnesses. The book is easy to read and not too "sciencey" (not sure if that is a real word).
Taking care of yourself is a full time job...but rewarding because by taking care of yourself, you are able to take care of others.
The world is opening up from the pandemic, and many of us want to get our health back on track. Let me know how I can help you with your health goals.
Tasha Mixon, Integrative Health Practitioner