What is Epigenetics?
It is amazing to think that our bodies are made of 50 trillion cells. We have cells that make up our bones, blood vessels, immune system, retina, brain, kidneys and just about every part of your body. Each of these cells contains your genetic code which is a lot like a blueprint from which the cell produces all of its moving parts (ie its biochemistry). The human genome project taught us that we can look at your genetic blueprint and figure out what parts of the cell (ie its biochemistry) are not perfect and using our knowledge of biochemistry we can take corrective action – naturally – by giving the right nutraceuticals.
Let us define nutraceuticals. First of all nutraceuticals are not drugs. Drugs are foreign to human biochemistry. Nutraceuticals are already part of normal human biochemistry. Genetic testing tells us which nutraceuticals are in short supply and must be taken in order for the cell’s biochemistry to function properly. Amazingly this can be determined at birth which is why all children should be tested.
Cells can also become unhealthy if they are not stimulated properly by hormones. Therefore in adults we recommend that we check hormone levels. This idea of hormone balancing may be valuable in young adults and children as well. Think of hormone balancing as checking to see if you are down a few quarts of oil in your car and replenishing your car to the manufacturers specifications.
Finally we need to be sure you have the right gasoline fueling your cells and this is where nutrition comes in. Using 2 fascinating tests we can determine which foods are causing problems based either on genetics OR if the food is causing inflammation in the body. Furthermore we provide probiotics to be sure the bacteria in the gut are the right ones. This is be a powerful tool to complement any weight loss program.
Epigenetics is all about looking for fixable problems that will make cells sick, whether it be abnormalities in your genetic code, hormonal levels or telling you what foods are not right for your cells. Everyone is different so everyone gets a different care plan based upon their own unique findings. Think of epigenetics as a tune-up of your car. The goal is to find everything we can fix so that the the patient can get back on the highway of life.
Epigenetics has a lot to do with gene expression. Here is a picture of a strand of DNA being read by RNA and converted into a strand of amino acids which folds upon itself to make a protein or enzyme. Whether or not this gene is allowed to make its protein is determined by Epigenetics. Epigenetics is a big part of the control of all of our genes. And, it effects all 50 trillion cells in our body.
Epigenetics has one UNIQUE attribute which is that it is consistent with the great Hippocrates who said, “First Do No Harm”. Epigenetics does not do any harm because the nutraceuticals are already part of normal human biochemistry. Epigenetics looks for what is causing disease and fixes it in a logical and physiologic matter. Drugs on the other hand can cause harm. We recommend that epigenetic testing be done on everyone because we all need to know if we have a few misspellings in our genetic code that need to be managed and we all need to know what foods are not right for our genetics or which cause inflammation.
Epigenetics is customized to you and it is multidimensional in that we must find the right combinations of “recommendations” to help you based upon a very clear and logical evaluation. Drugs on the other hand tend to be unidimensional. Traditional medicine uses one drug for one symptom (or disease) with the possibility of side effects. Epigenetics on the other hand can improve many symptoms simultaneously without sides effects.
There is a great deal of medical literature which supports Epigenetics and each of the recommendations that we make. The literature is consistent with the amazing results we achieve in migraine patients and other medical conditions who have been failed by conventional therapies.
We believe that parents should be tested before they embark upon having children so as to lower the risk of autism. We believe all children and adults should be tested. We strongly believe children should be tested because if we can find genetic abnormalities early on in life and start a treatment plan we can prevent illness and improve performance scholastically and in sports.
Having said all of the above, it is 2015 and epigenetics is NEW to clinical medicine and NEW to you. And, it is not covered by insurance. The last thing we wish to do is have you pay for care that does not provide value. If you are healthy there is still a high probability that will will find treatable concerns when we test. But, when faced with clinical conditions and especially clinical conditions that are not improving with drug therapies or when the drug therapies have side effects, we offer Epigenetics. Ultimately the decision is YOURS. We believe that testing and treatment is valuable in patients with autism, ADHD, diabetes, migraine, eczema, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, and depression. We hope it proves to have value in the management of other medical conditions including asthma, and childhood obesity.
One clue that Epigenetics will be helpful is if there is a family history of Alzheimer’s, autism, migraine, autoimmune diseases such as lupus or arthritis, breast cancer, cancer early age cardiovascular disease, depression and other conditions.
We look forward to sharing with you our experience with epigenetics and our knowledge of the clinical literature. The more you understand Epigenetics the more you will realize that we live in an age where we can finally start thinking about how to prevent disease by taking corrective action at the root causes of disease.