Nutrigenomics. Is that a word you’ve ever heard before? Well, time to learn because I feel (hope) it will be the future of medicine and may provide answers otherwise unknown.
Nutrigenomics is all about how the foods and supplements you choose change how your genes are expressed. These changes can have a big impact on health, wellness, weight, and fitness.
I’d like to share with you my experience, but I do so because I don’t think my issues would have been improved any other way than through nutrigenomics, and I suspect there may be a lot of people out there who could find answers and health for the first time.
About 10 years ago I decided that I was tired of taking my supplements. “I shouldn’t have to live on all these supplements. What if the zombie apocalypse came along and I couldn’t get supplements to keep me functioning?” Yes, this is what I, a nutritionist even, said to myself. And so I stopped most of my supplements. The result was that I didn’t even realize how horrible I was feeling until I noticed that my mood was flat, that I had no joy. I spent an hour one day trying to relax my body, and spent much money on Rolfing, but saw not one bit of improvement in my pain and stiffness.
When I heard Dr. Kendall Stewart of the NeuroSensory Centers of America in Austin speak at a professional conference I knew I needed to become a patient. He is the founder of GX Sciences which completes genetic testing that is more targeted to health than the DNA tests highly marketed to the population. GXSciences.com has a list of trained providers and DNA tests available, as well as informative podcasts.
The answer for me was that I had a double broken GAD gene. The GAD gene takes glutamate which is an excitatory brain chemical or neurotransmitter and converts it to GABA which is a calming neurotransmitter. There were other results around inflammation and autophagy, which is the process by which the cells do their housekeeping.
A broken GAD gene and the resulting high glutamate can be responsible for many symptoms. Here are a few: ADD, pain amplification, irritability, speech delay, spasms, insomnia, depression, anxiety, dementia, teeth clenching, constipation, hypersensitivity, muscle tension, overthinking, overactive bladder, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, overwhelmed, and/or brain stuck “on”. I can tell you I hear many of these from coaching clients, though other genes may be the culprit.
The solution was some targeted supplements, which you better believe I take faithfully now (no zombie will stand in my way!). There were also some prescription medications, which I prefer not to take, but as Dr. Stewart explains he uses medications from the 1970’s when they were still based on plants and not synthetic compounds. I don’t have much patience for medications that make me feel worse than what I did before, but I have never felt bad on what that office has given me.
The reason that this is on my mind is that I recently met with the nurse practitioner from Dr. Stewart’s office. I was resistant to taking consistently some of the medications that had been suggested (are we sensing that I can be a bit non-compliant??). I am probably 80+% better than I was before, but her explanations convinced me that I could hit 100% by using the full arsenal of support that had been recommended. I still feel like my muscles won’t relax to a small degree and my foot that won’t stop moving even when relaxing watching TV – both are an indicator that my brain is still overstimulated. So, yes, I’ll be taking a few more pills, but it is worth it.
We are at a moment in time when we can see exactly where the body isn’t functioning properly based on the genetics. My mother is 106 years old and if I have that much time left I want to feel good. When I tell people how old my mother is they say, “You must have good genes”, but secretly I know my genes have a few issues :).
I know I would never have found relief had I not gone down this path and I hope this information can help some of you find answers and a path to feel your best. Nutrigenomics, the wave of the future, so hop on now and ride to your best health!
I found an article that is quite informative on how to increase GABA and balance glutamate. The article contains information about the excitotoxins (glutamate and others) found naturally in food. Many compounds including MSG and aspartame (Nutrasweet) are added to many of our foods and upset the glutamate/GABA balance resulting in over-excitation of our nervous system. If you are interested in the article, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.