Are you genetically predisposed to chronic, lifestyle-associated conditions like type 2 diabetes? Do you have autoimmune disease in your family – type 1 diabetes perhaps? Have you discovered through genetic testing that you have specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (if you don’t know what these are, don’t worry about it)? Genetic predisposition is only a part of what goes into creating most diseases today, and it is usually not the largest part. Genes Load Gun, Environment Pulls Trigger
Genes give you information in terms of helping you know where to look for potential problems, and perhaps helping you to tailor treatment, but the environment in which you live and move – past, present and future – is far more important. In fact, it is estimated that in most diseases, genetics only contributes about 10% toward actual disease expression and progression. The other 90% is contributed by your “exposome,” which Dr. Christopher Wild says “encompasses life-course environmental exposures (including all lifestyle factors), from the prenatal period onwards.”
G.W. Miller and D. P. Jones proposed a revised definition of the exposome that explicitly incorporates the body’s response to environmental influences and also includes the endogenous metabolic processes that can alter or process the chemicals to which humans are exposed.
The concept of exposome contributes to a new paradigm in disease phenotype. A phenotype results from the expression of an organism’s genes as well as the influence of environmental factors and the interactions between the two. Essentially, each individual has a unique disease process different from any other individual (“the unique disease principle”), considering the uniqueness of the exposome and its unique influence on molecular pathologic processes in each individual.
The majority of people will develop the diseases mentioned above only in the presence of a combination of environmental exposures, each being a unique combination. Lifestyle, diet, environment, gut flora, sleep, stress, and mental outlook play the largest role in genetic expression of most chronic disease states. You need to consider your internal and external environment in addition to your genetic predisposition to understand more fully your health.
The good news is that the majority of important factors affecting your health are largely under your control!
Of course, poor diet is going to impair thriving health. If you are eating a typical western diet, or a diet that includes a lot of processed and refined foods, it is going to contribute to inflammation. You are probably going to have inadequate vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients, all of which are important cofactors in supporting thriving health and well-being. Stress and lack of quality sleep are going to make any health problem worse. And then there is lack of exercise, which contributes to so many metabolic processes and impacts gene expression.
Don’t be deceived by those who tell you there is nothing you can do if disease is written in your genes. In most cases, genes can only load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.
Put your body in a position of strength by promoting, supporting and creating health. Poor health feeds poor health in a vicious cycle, or negative feedback loop that is increasingly difficult to break the longer it runs. Improving health creates a positive feedback loop instead. Get tools and solutions to help minimize consequences and maximize benefits for nutrition, environment, exercise, sleep and stress management. These five health components make up the five pillars of health and nutrition in the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle. We’ll teach you how to improve each of these areas to help you master diabetes in the healthiest way possible