Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 16 November 2021
The simple answer is yes. We all have dirty genes. The more helpful question is, are your dirty genes keeping you unhealthy?
Many of us believe our genes doom us to the disorders that run in our families. But Dr. Lynch reveals that with the right plan in place, you can eliminate symptoms and optimize your physical and mental health - and ultimately rewrite your genetic destiny.
In order to do this you need to clean up those dirty genes by making the right choices in your environment, diet, and lifestyle.
So where do you start?
Find out which genes might be dirty for you.
Here is a sneak preview from the book of the profiles and personalities of seven key genes when they're dirty:
1. MTHFR - this gene supports methylation, a crucial process the enables more than two hundred of your body's vital functions, including genetic expression.
Some days you're blue and depressed, while other days you're anxious. On good days, your focus is great and you get stuff done. On bad days, you have performance anxiety, a hair-trigger temper, and/or headaches - or maybe you just feel grumpy. After eating a salad you tend to feel great, but you've never paid attention to that because, after all, it's just a salad.
2. COMT - this gene affects the metabolism of dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, affecting your mood, energy level, ability to calm down, ability to sleep, and ability to focus; it also affects estrogen metabolism, which governs your body's estrogen levels and hormonal balance, affecting your experience of the menstrual cycle and menopause, and increasing your vulnerability to female cancers.
Slow COMT - Man, you're on fire! ADHD? - not in this house. You're cranking away on several projects and already eager for the next one to five. As you lie down to sleep, you're still cranking away. After tossing and turning, you finally doze off, dreaming of tomorrow's tasks. Tomorrow arrives. Coffee is needed. Once again, you're off and running. You put pressure on yourself, and if you're not accomplishing what you need to, anxiety sets in, so you focus harder to get everything done. And you do get it done. Your colleague makes fun of you for working overtime on a particular project, and you snap at her. As usual, you're quick to be irritated. In addition, sometimes you have an extreme sensitivity to pain and can be plagued with headaches.
Fast COMT - Look at that blinking light! Did you see that dog over there? Man, I wish I could read a book, but I just can't focus. You're always jumping from one task to another, and it's hard to get much done. Friends have suggested that you might have ADHD. You also love shopping and buying new things! The problem is, you feel great buying them, but the next day the "shopping high" wears off, and you find that you need to buy something else or you start feeling blue. It's getting expensive and time-consuming. Oh - and hugs! They're awesome! The more hugs you get, the better you feel.
3. DAO - this gene affects your body's response to histamine from food and bacteria, which in turn affects your vulnerability to allergy symptoms and food intolerance.
You are so tired of not knowing what you can and can't eat. One meal you're good, and the next you feel awful: throbbing headache, irritable mood, sweaty body, racing heart, itchy skin, bleeding nose. Perhaps you've even spent a ton of money on food allergy testing - and found nothing! So frustrating. You keep limiting your foods one by one in the hopes of identifying the culprit, but it's a never-ending battle.
4. GST/GSX - this gene enables detoxification, your body's ability to rid itself of harmful chemicals from the environment and to expel harmful biochemicals produced by your own body.
Ever since you figured out that chemicals and smells make you feel sick, you've been on a mission to get rid of such stuff from your home. That neighbour of yours is using scented dryer sheets - again! Those give you a headache within seconds. Your friends wonder why you're such a clean freak. But you know that you're tuned in and sensitive to these things because you have to be.
5. MAOA - this gene affects your relationship to dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, governing your mood, energy level, and ability to sleep, as well as sugar and carb cravings.
Slow MAOA - You're easily startled and quick to become anxious or irritated. You can become aggressive and later feel bad for overreacting. You just can't seem to help it. You always have to watch out fo headaches, especially when you eat cheese or chocolate and drink wine. Falling asleep at night is tough, but once you do, at least you sleep soundly through the night.
Fast MAOA - Carbs. CARBS! Please, get me some of those! Your grocery cart looks like you work for the grain and chocolate industry! You feel so great eating carb-laden foods. You know you shouldn't, but when you don't, you feel blue. The problem is, eating carbs picks you up only for a moment or two; then you crash. So what do you do then? You eat more carbs. You try diet after diet, but they just make you feel depressed. You're sick of gaining weight, but you feel stuck in that pattern. You don't want to be an antidepressants, but you feel like you can't keep going this way.
6. NOS3 - this gene affects circulation, which helps determine your cardiovascular health and your vulnerability to heart attack, circulatory issues, and stroke.
You're freaking out. Your dad, uncle, grandma, and grandpa all had significant heart problems when they were around fifty years old, and now you're getting there. Your doctor checks your heart and says it looks okay - but are they checking everything they need to, or are they missing something? Your hands and feet are constantly cold, but your doctors say that's nothing to worry about. You need answers, because this family history is weighing on you.
7. PEMT - this gene affects your cell walls, brain, and liver, determining a wide range of health issues including pregnancy problems, gallstones, fatty liver, digestive problems, SIBO, attention problems, and menopause.
Ever since you switched to a vegan or vegetarian diet, you've felt just a bit off. Your mind isn't as sharp, you're forgetting things, and you've got aches and pains all over your body. As an omnivore, you felt good overall, though you did have some aches and pains. Your liver felt heavy then, and it still does - just under your right-side ribcage. Fatty foods just don't sit right with you either. Now your doctor has said that you have gallstones and need to have your gallbladder removed. No! There must be a way to save it.
Don't worry if you think you have more than one of these. I have at least 3, maybe 4. But most of them don't cause me any major problems because of my environment, diet, lifestyle, and supplement choices. I'm working with my genes, not against them.
Now I would love to hear from you! What dirty genes do you think you have? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!
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