By Dr. Krystosik

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Until recently, doctors and patients alike believed the state of our well- being was determined by our genetic background. If your maternal grandfather died suddenly from a heart attack, you were at high-risk for a similar fate. You could eat healthy, stay active, have your heart checked every few years, but you were pretty much limited to “watch, wait and see what nature had in store for you.” In other words, most people believe our genes doom us to the health disorders that run in our families. Our genes were considered king and each one of us were pawns waiting for nature to deal out the cards. But the good news is, we now have a trump card that can beat the odds against us. It is a burgeoning new science called epigenetics and I will dive into this subject over the next several weeks. 

Epigenetics is at the forefront of modern medicine. Most importantly, it opens the door for personalized medicine. Epigenetics literally means “above” or “on top of” genes. In a nutshell, the epigenes sit on top of the genes we inherited from our family members. Think of epigenes like antennas sitting on top of the genes in the body. These antennas are receiving information from the personal world we live in. What we eat, are we happy or angry when we eat, our exercise habits, our community of friends, our mindset (positive or negative), our stress levels, etc. 

Epigenes provide information to the genes and will either turn on or turn off the expression of the genes we inherited. The bottom line is, our genes are hard wired like the hard drive on a computer, but our epigenes are plastic and changeable like the software in a computer. So whatever food you put into your mouth, every thought you have, your exercise and sleep habits, your literally giving information and directions to your DNA. 

Take Home Message: The lifestyle choices you make everyday determine your health outcome. It’s like putting your hand on a dimmer light switch—harm or heal, inflame or restore, you get to choose your well-being, minute by minute. If your suffering with a chronic disease, call my office and let me help you turn on the genes to restore your body back to good health. 

Dr. Krystosik is a board-certified chiropractic physician with an undergraduate degree in clinical nutrition and is northeast Ohio’s leading expert in functional medicine. Dr. Krystosik is the author of 5 books on nutrition and natural medicine and is a nationally known speaker. For an appointment with Dr. Krystosik in Northfield, call 330-908-0094 or