Every year some event or mishap happens to close friends or relatives and chances of that being related to general well being is high; that leaves us wondering how susceptible we are to communicable and non-communicable diseases. How or what do I screen? The typical yearly screening you do consists of your full blood count, your cholesterol level which you will blame it on familial hypercholesterolemia (more on myths about cholesterol on our next blog) and your kidney and liver function, for an added fee you can do the tumour marker screening.
Chances are most of the results are going to show a normal parameter, except for your cholesterol which may show a high ldl (the bad cholesterol you may want to keep in check). But the question is are we screened well? Is cholesterol the only sole marker for a healthy heart? Are my workouts helping me? Should I do more weights or cardio? Are my multivitamins helping me?
With all these questions buzzing and honestly these are the questions I get on a daily basis from my patients.
Our concept here is based more on preventive medicine and epigenetic screenings are leading the list at the moment. What is epigenetic screening? Here’s an analogy that might further help you to understand epigenetics. Think of the human life span as a very long movie. The cells would be the actors and actresses, essential units that make up the movie. DNA, in turn, would be the script — instructions for all the participants of the movie to perform their roles. Subsequently, the DNA sequence would be the words on the script, and certain blocks of these words that instruct key actions or events to take place would be the genes. The concept of genetics would be like screenwriting. Follow the analogy so far? Good. The concept of epigenetics, then, would be like directing. The script can be the same, but the director can choose to eliminate certain scenes or dialogue, altering the movie for better or worse.
So what it means is that some fundamental genetic codes cannot be changed but you can alter or change some lifestyle habits to your benefit. It could be as simple as the effect of your daily cup of coffee on your metabolism as opposed to how it affects your partner or friend. Basically this means everyone is wired in a different way and you should know our epigenetic map.
What do we need for this? A single strand of hair, covers a wide range of parameters that include vitamins, minerals, exposure to chemical, radiation, amino acids deficiency and a 90 food avoidance list specifically for a certain individual. It also gives a list of food based on deficiencies of the person screened.
Apart from epigenetics, we also use genetic marker screening which could cater for drug efficiency, susceptibility to certain diseases and even types of exercise best suited for you. Another thing that you might be hearing from the medical fraternity as of late would be functional medicine, which basically means a combination of epigenetic, genetic screening and hormonal balancing. Now we’ve come across so many patients who complain of lethargy and fatigue despite not doing much physical activity or we would simply call it the ‘sitting disease’ a condition which is scientifically proven but not medically established yet. We would talk more on this in our future blog.
There are 50 something different types of hormones regulated and secreted by the human body. So how do hormones work? In brief hormones are produced in glands located in any part of the body and each hormone has a specific target and specific function (ex: thyroid hormone produced in the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism). In short hormones are messengers controlling and co ordinating activities in the body.
We now go back to the starting of this post where the question was the importance and how useful your yearly screening which are mostly organ function and how these organs are performing? Well now you know the importance of knowing how your ‘messengers’ aka hormones are in balance and how you are different from anyone else thru the epigenetic screening and genetic screening. Imagine drawing a map of your lifestyle based on your screening and optimizing the way you live! Well now you can!
article written by The KL Sky Clinic
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