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Why genes are not your (mental health) destiny

Updated: Mar 19

It is commonly known these days that many health conditions, including mental health, can run in families, either because we know our family history, or because research is beginning to identify certain genes risk factors. With mental health this includes depression, addiction, bipolar, autism and ADHD. Even eating disorders may have a possible genetic component.

Why genes are not your mental health destiny

What we do know about our genes when it comes to mental health

  • Certain genes have been identified that may influence the chances of someone developing depression or anxiety

  • As yet, there is no one single test that you can take to determine if you carry ‘the gene’ or genes that would make you more likely to develop a particular mental health concern.

  • Whilst some of us may have certain genes that are linked to certain mental health conditions, you can influence your genes by the way you live your life.

  • There are some genetic panels that can really help you to understand your own unique individual gene expression, but also what factors or nutrients are needed to support those pathways

  • Other factors such as gut health, hormones, stress and sleep play a vital role in mental health and you don't have to test your genes in order to better manage your mental health.

Knowing your genes, for some, can be an emotional weight as is not for everyone but for others it can be empowering as it enables an individual to make the appropriate changes to their diet and lifestyle to make sure they reduce their risk and perhaps change, for example, their familial pattern.

What are our genes influence by?

You don't have to live with the genetic card you've been handed. The modifiable factors that can help (or hinder) your genes include:

  • Your diet

  • Life stress

  • Your environment, e.g. pollution, chemicals, etc

  • Movement and exercise levels

In fact, there is a whole science behind this call epigenetics which is the study of how your behaviours and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work.

Here are Urban Wellness, we look at nutrigenomics ...

Nutrigenomics is the the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially with regard to the prevention or treatment of disease.

We work with individuals to understand their own unique genetic profile but also help them understand what modifiable diet and lifestyle changes they can make to. Some of the genetic testing we can offer includes:

  • DNA Resilience - this genetic test can help you understand how to lead more effectively in life and business, how to cope better under stress and also how you can enhance your mental, emotional and physical health.

  • DNA Mind - this test looks at 30 genes which have been shown to have significant associations with key mental health disorders including: neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, mood disorders including depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder & PTSD, and addictive behaviours.

  • DNA Health - this test looks for genetic variations that are known to have a significant effects on health and susceptibility to chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

We then use the results, as part of an overall functional medicine plan, to create personalised recommendations to help optimise health, and specifically mental health.

If you'd like to find out more, please book a call with one of the team today.





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