What is Epigenetics?
Epigenetics, simply defined, is the study an organism’s reaction to lifestyle modifications that influence gene expression. In other words, it is adapting changes that will “turn on or off” specific genes.
For example, a person may be predisposed to an autoimmune condition because his or her parents or grandparents also had a history of autoimmune disorders. Yet, he or she decides to practice a healthier lifestyle by adequately managing stress, exercising, eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet, gets plenty of sleep, stays well hydrated, and maintaining a happy gut. In turn, the autoimmune gene may never be triggered. Is this possible?
Most certainly! Just because an individual carries a specific gene does not indicate that he or she will develop a disease in the future. Numerous studies have demonstrated that lifestyle is a significant factor in developing disease.
This is why it is important for individuals to focus on more personalized treatments and/or lifestyle rather than following one-size-fits-all plans. We are all uniquely made and with different needs. Not to mention, not everyone is affected by the same root cause or trigger that affects our overall health.
And, most importantly, we all have the same opportunity to improve our genetic expression by adapting simple habits such as:
consuming a wide variety of nutrient dense foods...eat the rainbow; select organic and free-range meats and wild-caught fish; and avoid processed foods and inflammatory foods.
practicing a stress management method of preference...journaling, coloring, or meditation are great examples, even taking 5-10 minutes a day to unwind can go a long way.
engaging in physical activity daily...10 minute walks, yoga, tai chi, or rebounding are easy on the body and can provide results just as good as other vigorous workout routines.
work on mindset training...what we think REALLY matters, it is what we are telling our bodies to do and feel.
Predisposition does not guarantee disease and a diagnosis does not indicate a death sentence. Be that statistic that stands out and allow your body to do what it knows how to do...heal!