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Are Your Genes Speaking to You?

Deborah Schrameck, NC, PT

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you when you eat garlic, onions, eggs or cruciferous vegetables: gas, bloating, acid reflux, headaches, dry skin, muscle cramps, joint pain, anxiety, depression, chronic bronchitis, or fatigue?

Personally, I had all of the above symptoms and suffered whenever I ate these or any other foods high in sulfur. This was extremely frustrating because the literature touts sulfur compounds as wonderful natural health remedies. The health benefits of garlic include lower blood pressure and cholesterol, an anti-inflammatory effect, a reduced risk of cancer, and a stronger immune system according to ConsumerReports.1 In the July/August (2018) edition of Desert Health, Tiffany Dalton outlines the many benefits of sulfur foods, and for most people they are indeed beneficial.2

But we are all genetically individual and utilizing DNA testing can give us some valuable insights into our health blueprint to better guide us in nutrition and lifestyle choices.

Genetic testing uses a lab test to look at your genes which are the DNA instructions, or blueprint, you inherit from your mother and your father. A great resource for additional information on genetic testing is the article Genetic Testing: Is It For You? available at DesertHealthNews.com.3 This simple test can be obtained through a medical office or by utilizing direct-to-consumer testing, which I found to provide additional insight and strongly recommend.

In his article A CBS Mutation Could Be Causing Your Health Problems, Michael Lam, MD, goes into great detail to explain CBS genetic mutations and the role they play in causing a negative reaction to sulfur foods.4 This specific genetic mutation was a part of my story which I discovered through genetic testing. When synthesized with other mutation discoveries, an individualized program of beneficial foods and nutrients for optimizing my own personal health was revealed. The CBS mutation is just one of many genetic variants found when you utilize direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

When discussing the pros and cons of genetic testing, I commonly hear concerns about discrimination based on your genetic test results. In 2008, Congress enacted the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) to protect people from discrimination by their health insurance providers or employers. Unfortunately, GINA does not apply to long-term care, disability, or life insurance providers. This is a very real concern and there are some simple strategies you can use, like anonymity, when you are doing direct-to-consumer testing. For more information about genetic discrimination and GINA, visit genome.gov.5

I strongly believe there is power in knowledge: it allows you to be proactive about your health. In the May/June 2012 issue of Desert Health, John Dixon, DC, IFMCP, states, “The most important factor influencing your gene expression throughout the day is your diet.”6 We should all feel empowered with genetic information, not destined to any specific health outcome – especially with so much control over our lifestyle choices.

Like any testing, utilizing a qualified health practitioner to guide you in the process of reading your personal blueprint is recommended.

Deborah Schrameck is a wholistic kinesiologist, health coach, nutritional counselor and owner of Body Alive. She can be reached at (760) 238.0625 or happyfit@mac.com. For more information visit www.BodyAlive.us.

References: 1) https://www.consumerreports.org/diet-nutrition/the-health-benefits-of-garlic; 2) https://deserthealthnews.com/stories/sulfur-based-foods-to-the-rescue; 3) https://deserthealthnews.com/stories/genetic-testing-is-it-for-you; 4) https://www.drlam.com/a-cbs-mutation-could-be-causing-your-health-problems; 5) http://www.genome.gov/10002328/genetic-discrimination-fact-sheet; 6) https://deserthealthnews.com/stories/genetic-make-up-plays-key-role-in-health-care-of-the-future/

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