Functional medicine, as you have seen or heard, encompasses pretty much everything pertaining to a person's physical and emotional wellbeing. We do a lot of testing (blood, urine, stool, hair etc.) and interviewing, focusing on time lines and cause and effect. The one area that is frequently overlooked, and an area that I feel is imperative, is a person's genetics. Our genetic profile is literally an umbrella that helps to define what may be going on with us both physically and emotionally. The recent interest in genetics has resulted in new genetic terminology. So, we have pharmacogenetics which is looking at how our genetics determines how we metabolize drugs, metabolic genomics which looks how our metabolism works, genetics specific to our ability to handle toxins etc. and of course genealogy. The one term that mandates a more comprehensive explanation is the term epigenetics. Epigenetics has been around for as long as we have. It has played a very crucial role in our evolution (or our need to balance, also known as homeostasis) as a species, and all species for that matter. In the grand scheme of things it has allowed us to adapt to environmental extremes, i.e. temperate weather to ice ages. We have assumed that we are born with a phenotype (how we look) understanding that does not change much, and a genotype which really does not change much. Turns out that epigenetics is a contributor to many of our modern day emotional and physical pathologies. Here is how it works: When we are exposed to processed food, Round Up, organic solvents, pesticides, gluten GMO foods, phytoestrogens (list goes on and on and on) epigenetics changes how our genes present/express themselves (does not change the structure of the chromosomes (23). Unfortunately, for the most part, this becomes permanent and our kids (just like the couple of generations prior to us), get to inherit the "mutations" (if only one from a parent-heterozygous) or both (homozygous: thanks mom and dad!). I do a lot of genetics testing using "23 and me" and another website called methylsupport.com, getting back about 60 pages of potential homozygous mutations, addressing numerous areas including our ability to detox, methylation, neurotransmitters, cognitive function, eye health, immunology, thyroid and others. What is appalling, is the trends. Everyone has an impaired ability to detox, our immune systems are compromised, our neurotransmitters are a disaster, etc. I found a website that gives me population percentages for a particular mutation (SNP). One of them (cyp1b1) is present in 100% of the population and sets us up for breast cancer (men and women). Recently, I read that by the year 2050 around 60% of the kids born are going to have some form of autism (supported by the genetics I am seeing). If you are interested in finding out about your genetics, I have you send off for the "23 and me" kit with health. When it comes back, I send you the instructions for getting into mthfrsupport. It comes back as a pdf which you then forward to me. Both websites cost around 230.00 and my fee is 150.00 to review and put together a report that we go over.
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