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I have a family history of various diseases. Would my DNA show me if I'm at risk?

Asked 1/8/2021 15:36 by Allison Chandler
Dr. Val Prahl, DC

Dr. Val Prahl, DC

Answered 1/8/2021 15:38

It was once believed that once you grew to adulthood it was impossible to change your brain or your body. You were dealt the genetic cards you were given and there was nothing you could do about it. If Mom had breast cancer or Dad had heart disease then you were just hoping and praying that you were not the unlucky one who got the “bad genes.” We all have genetic variants, inherited traits that impact our health. However, recent research in the field of epigenetics, the study of the changes caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself, shows that it is how we treat our genes that makes the difference We can modify how our genes express. What does that mean for you? It means you don’t have to develop the same diseases as your parents! It also means that you can influence the DNA in your body by how you think, how you move, and by what you eat. Using the latest research into our genetic make-up has given great insight into the true causes of chronic diseases. Armed with this information, we can begin to help our bodies work like they are supposed to. I do that by giving support where it may be lacking nutrients due to these genetic variants. This simple concept has dramatic effects on overall health. Unfortunately, in this world of processed foods and factory farms we often don’t eat enough of the right foods to get all of the nutrients that we need. Others of us have these genetic variants that create a lack of specific nutrients. This is where testing comes in. I look at your genetics, the individual SNP’s, single nucleotide polymorphisms, that represent the strengths or weaknesses of your genetic expression. If there is a weakness that you inherited from one of your parents, it is possible to plug-in specific nutrients to make your body work better. The method of determining genetic variants is now more affordable and easier than ever. I begin by doing a saliva test. Results generally take 4 to 6 weeks to return. Once I have your “raw data”, we put that through a filter and pull out the information that can help us design a nutritional program specifically for you. This technique of holistic methylation is being taught to professionals around the country and I have taken extensive coursework to understand and apply this information. I am not looking to see if you are going to develop a specific disease. I am looking to see if there are ways, working together, that we can get your body to function better for a lifetime. I admit, this testing does not look at every bit of your DNA. Science is continuing to explore and expand this field of information. This testing does look at multiple processes that occur in the body including: How efficiently you make energy Whether you have a tendency for inflammation How well you sleep How happy you are How well you prevent diseases; such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer Your ability to eliminate environmental toxins If you have chronic problems of your own, have a family tendency that you want to avoid, or you just want to have more energy and age more gracefully then this testing is for you.