Today’s chronic disease crisis are undeniable. The good news is that new evidence-based research is proving that while our DNA may be our ancestry,
it is not necessarily our destiny.
Health is influenced in part by access to social and economic opportunities and "our gene expression is altered by numerous influences including environment, lifestyle, diet, activity patterns, psycho-social-spiritual factors and stress! These lifestyle choices and environmental exposures can push us toward (or away from) disease by turning on- or off – certain genes."
Since the advent of the Human Genome Project in 2000, we are learning that our
DNA is important in influencing our health; however, our DNA does not mean
inevitable genetic inheritance of disease. Genes encode our uniqueness in how we
respond to the circumstances of our environment and to our own individual behaviors.
“Individual genes are stimulated by and respond to what is going on around us and the kinds of lifestyle behaviors we practice. If we change our environment and our lifestyle behaviors – we can change the way our genes get fueled and the way they respond and since genes regulate or direct our biological functions, that can also change the shape of our health.”
Dr. Jeffery Bland, The Disease Delusion © 2014
“Although individual genes may make you more susceptible to some diseases, your DNA is not an unchangeable blueprint of your life. Emerging research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, as well as your experiences, attitudes and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are activated or expressed.” IFM.org
Environmental Exposure Factors
The air you breath, the water you drink, the quality of the food available to you, toxic exposures, what you ingest, inhale and inject, and the products you come in contact with and put on your body all affect your health.
The mind-body connection is real. Psychological, social and spiritual factors, the level of physical activity and stress, the amount and quality of sleep and relaxation, as well as the traumas that you have experienced all have a significant influence on your health and well-being.
Causes, Symptom Precursors and Triggers of Dysfunction
According to The Institute of Functional Medicine, these environmental and lifestyle factors when combined with your unique genetic make-up influence individual body processes and systems. When these processes are disturbed, they may create core imbalances at the cellular level and impact how cells function, repair and maintain themselves. They lead to symptoms, which can lead to disease if effective interventions are not applied. These imbalances and the affected body processes and functions include:
· Microbiota/Gastro-Intestinal Tract
Defense and Repair Imbalances
· Immune System
· Inflammatory Processes
· Infection and Microbiota
· Energy Regulation
· Mitochondrial Function
Biotransformation and Elimination Imbalances
· Immune Messengers
Structural Integrity Imbalances
· From sub-cellular membranes to the musculoskeletal system
Psychological and Spiritual Imbalances
· Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Influences
Social and Environmental Determinants of Health
Health is influenced in part by: access to social and economic opportunities; the resources and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities; the quality of our schooling; the safety of our workplaces; the cleanliness of our water, food, and air; and the nature of our social interactions and relationships. The conditions in which we live explain in part why some Americans are healthier than others and why Americans more generally are not as healthy as they could be. Higher levels of socioeconomic deprivation are associated with
increased risks of adverse health and health care outcomes.