If you are suffering with a chronic health problem, from gastro-intestinal problems, adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, auto-immunities, migraine headaches, neurological disorders, heavy metal toxicities, peripheral neuropathy, chronic pain, fibromaylgia (and many others), it’s very important that you understand the importance of methylation, and what it has to do with your chronic problem.
In fact, I would even go as far as saying, IF you have never heard the term “methylation testing” before, or have never had any methylation testing performed, then you have not been properly managed.
Furthermore, and more importantly, you are missing out on a major contributing factor to the expression of your chronic health problem.
Until you start focusing on how well the methylation processes are occurring in your body, chances are you will continue to suffer, and restrict how much you can improve.
So let’s talk about what does methylation mean, what are the symptoms of methylation problems, what are the methylation tests, and what you can do when you have methylation problems.
The Importance of Methylation:
Ever wonder why certain traits or diseases “run in the family”?
So many patients that I work with tell me when I inquire about their family history, “my mother suffered with GI problems as well” or “my uncle has Chron’s disease”, or “my grandfather had Parkinson’s”.
This information is very important to the you, the clinician, and your current health status. But very often, it is never really incorporated into your treatment plan.
The thing you have to realize is that these genetic traits or predispositions, didn’t just “drop out of the sky and hit you on your head”.
Meaning, when certain characteristics run in the family, and you start suffering with a chronic health problem, the link to your family background shouldn’t be a mystery.
What happened was that you most probably expressed a “mutated gene”.
No that doesn’t mean you are a “mutant”.
What it means is that the depletion of “methyl groups” in your body, resulted in the expression mutated genes, leading to the expression of very common autoimmunities (and your pain and suffering). Conditions like:
- Type 1 Diabetes,
- Rheumatoid Arthritis,
- Celiac’s, Chrons, Ulcerative Colitis,
- Heart Disease,
- and many more.
So the next question becomes: How are methyl groups depleted?
Well, that is where the “environment” meets our genetics. Both “nature” and “nurture” contribute to a chronic condition. I like the phrase “opportunity meets circumstance”.
Firstly, methyl groups are depleted by consuming a poor diet. What I call “white death” is one of the most offending factors in a poor diet.
White sugar, white flour, and white salt. All three, when consumed regularly, in your daily food intake, well certainly cause inflammation, which in turn, decrease methyl groups in your body.
Bad oils is the next most offending factor in a poor diet. Trans-fatty acids, hydrogenated oil, and rancid, oxidized oils that have been exposed to light, or heated to a high temperature. All leading to decreased methyl groups.
Then we have environmental toxins that lead to depleted methyl groups. Processed foods, food additives, natural flavors, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, hybridized foods, food colorings, junk foods, drinks loaded with caffeine, high-fructose corn syrup.
ALL, will deplete methyl groups in your body.
Next, physical, mental and emotional stress, that you experience on a daily basis will also deplete methyl groups. From financial stressors, family members, divorces, in-laws, bosses, teachers, mortgages, loans, employees, to-do lists, deadlines, and the endless demands of life.
I don’t want to get into the biochemistry of what a “methyl-group” actually is. But, the process of methylation is very important for the following processes to occur in our body:
- Production of Energy
- Brain chemical production
- DNA/RNA synthesis (turning on/off genes)
- Hormonal breakdown,
- Creation of immune cells (NK cells and T-cells) to fight off infection
- Creation of protective coating on nerves (i.e. myelin formation)
- over 250 biochemical processes that occur in the body
Do you see how importance of proper methylation can lead to your chronic problem? If you want to learn more about methylation testing click here.
Think of it this way, when poor methylation occurs in the body, the following can and will happen:
- Thyroid disorders
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Neurological Disorders (Parkinsons, MS, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Tremor Disorders)
- Peripheral Neuropathy,
- Migraine/Cluster Headaches
- Hormonal Problems (PMS, Ovarian Cysts, Fibroid, PCOS, Low Testosterone
- Autoimmune disorders and Immune Deficiency
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Gut Issues (IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Chron’s, Chronic Diarrhea, Constipation, Food Sensitivities, Leaky Gut, Parasites, Candida)
- ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, Dyslexia, and Learning Disabilities,
- Chemical Sensitivities and Allergies
Genetic/Methylation Testing and What It Can Mean To Your Recovery:
Let’s try to understand the basics. We have two copies of most genes that we are born with- one from our mother, and one from our father.
When getting a genetic test performed (we order all our testings from 23andme.com), the report is going to assess a term called a “SNPs” or “Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms”.
The test is a saliva sample test, that will generate a report from your unique DNA sequence to determine if one or both copies of your genes have a mutation, and at what specific location in a specific gene.
If no mutations (SNPs) are present, your result will be displaced as a (-/-). If one gene is mutated, the result will read (+/-). If both copies have a mutation, the result will read (+/+).
If you have a (-/-) this mean you are negative for that gene mutation.
A (+/-) resut is known as a heterozygous mutation, while a (+/+) is known as a Homozygous mutation.
Because you may only have a heterozygous mutation, your associated disease risk is less then someone that has a homozygous mutation for that gene, because the heterozygous individual still has one fully functioning copy of the gene.
Keep in mind, that having a gene with a SNP mutation (with heterozygous or homozygous), does not mean that the gene is defective or nonfunctioning, it just means that the gene is working with an altered efficiency.
Sometimes this means that the gene is working at a decreased level, but it may also mean that is is functioning at a higher than normal efficiency, or that the gene is lacking regulatory mechanisms normally involved in its expression.
These inherited mutations have been passed down to us from our parents and grandparents, and may be passed to our children and our children’s children.
But as mentioned earlier, research has revealed that our gene expression is not determined solely by hereditary factors. Remember, our environment, and exposures to different to the exhaustive list of toxins in it, may cause the genes to express itself.
Heavy metal toxicities, mercury amalgams, dissimilar metals in the mouth, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and aluminum are very common. Again, poor diet, white death and processed foods, poor drinking water, hormone laden foods, and all the physical, mental and emotional stressors that we experience daily.
This phenomenon has ben termed “epigenetics”. Researchers have learned that certain genes can be over or under expressed with certain disease processes.
The also learned that expressed genes can be tuned off. This is how we can help you with your chronic condition.
Using epigenetic concepts, along with a good understanding of the methylation cycle, researchers have begun to make recommendations to optimize genetic expression and to help restore you back to optimal health.
BOCA HEALTH CENTER AND YOUR METHYLATION TESTING AND GENETIC PROFILE:
When we order your genetic test from 23andme.com, or if you have already had that test performed, the next step is to interpret and evaluate your SNP or Single Nucleotide Polymorphism profile.
Remember, these are variants that naturally occur on genes causing changes in their function. Some SNPS determine characteristics such as hair, skin, and eye color. While other SNPs have functional effects on one genes, and will give you insight on how well your body performs key functions that can affect your health and wellness.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say we have a patient that comes in with an autoimmunity. Something like Hashimoto’s disease.
As you may be aware, Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid, that results in an attack of the thyroid gland, so that you may suffer with fatigue, brain fog, GI disturbances, insomnia, hair loss, weight gain, feeling cold all the time, and the sensation of just not feeling well.
Genetically, you may have a relative or relative that have suffered with an autoimmune condition as well. They have passed down a mutated gene or mutated genes to you.
Then, the environmental factors caused that mutated gene or genes to express itself. The environmental factors could be a combination of viral exposure (hepatitis, Epstein-Barr, CMV, Herpes), heavy metal exposures (mercury, lead, arsenic), a parasite, a bacteria (H pylori is the most common), Lyme, toxic mold exposure, unsteady blood sugar, too much inflammation from a poor diet, and the list is really endless.
Opportunity met circumstance.
Here is the interesting thing, those that do NOT have the mutated gene, even though they have the environmental exposures, may not express any chronic problems. That’s because they are methylating more effectively.
When you methylate more effectively, you can make cells to fight off infection, you can make cells to detoxify, you can make cells to create anti-oxidants to put out inflammation, you can get clear and get rid of hormones, you can make neurotransmitters.
Basically you can heal more effectively. So that is why it is important to have genetic testing performed.
The report reviews the genes within your complete genetic profile. These genes are a starting point in supporting your chronic neurological and metabolic conditions
Key points to remember:
- It is not necessary to worry about all of the mutations on a report, but certain mutations may cause problems in certain individuals, and we need to determine your specific profile
If you are homozygous or heterozygous for a certain mutation, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem with the functioning of that gene.
- The problem may not be the SNP/gene, but rather a cofactor or substrate. Lifestyle and dietary changes are necessary, which vary from individual, and it is our job at Boca Health Care Center to determine what are your unique influences.
- The majority of the time, other issues need to be addressed, prior to supporting genetic mutations/SNPs from the genetic testing. That is, inflammation, oxidative stress, Nitric oxide pathways, dietary changes, food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, anemias, heavy metals, toxins, and infections.
- Just because a gene is mutated, does not mean that you have a disease or pathology.
Many of the genes in the complete report are still being research and we have limited clinical insight on some the genes.
- The goal is not to put support in for every genetic mutations/SNP in that we determine in your genetic testing.
In summary, Genetic testing, methylation, and methylation testing is a necessary ingredient for the identification, support, and removal, of your chronic condition, that if you are not doing or addressing, you can not expect a full and optimal recovery from.
To find out if you are suffering with methylation issues, give us a call 561-883-0090, we’re offering 2 consultations for only $295.00.