Your mother has allergies, your father has diabetes, and mental health issues are prevalent in your family genes. Are you wondering when one or each of these medical conditions begin to take over your own mind and body? If you are just waiting for the “bad” family genes to rear their heads – stop.
Your health is determined by many other things than your genes, most of which you can control. In fact, your genes actually do not play a huge role in most health issues. While we all do have a genetic imprint, living a healthy vs. unhealthy lifestyle may be the reason a specific gene appears or disappears.
There is a difference in being obese and being overweight. Obesity means you have too much body fat. Overweight means you weigh too much. This weight may be muscle, bone, fat, or body water. If you are overweight or obese, is this because one or both of your parents are? Quite possibly, yes. However, the question that needs answering, is why you and your parents are obese. Do you have healthy eating habits? Do you eat a lot of processed foods? Do you eat a lot of “junk” food? Do you eat because you are bored? Children learn what they live and if you grew up in a household with poor nutrition habits, chances are highly likely that this is the culprit of your obesity. Can you change it? Absolutely!
Once you have your mind set to living a healthy lifestyle, you can practice good nutrition habits such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, portion control, checking nutrition labels to avoid anything high in fats, sugars, and other chemicals. Your genes do not control your weight. You control your weight by making good, healthy lifestyle choices.
The environment greatly contributes to your well-being. The air and water quality, the house you live in, and the ability to get outside and enjoy some green space all affect your health as well as your mindset. If you live near an industrial site, you may have to deal with pollution in the air, water, or ground that is causing health problems. Living in an urban area may restrict your access to green space and recreational areas. If you have asthma or allergies, the causes are not necessarily your genes. Toxic exposure to pollution, less green space, and second-hand smoke can and do contribute to your overall well-being.
Not only is your physical health affected, but also your mental health. Factors such as overcrowding, excessive noise, and lack of access to nature can greatly contribute to emotional stress. If you live in a mid- to high-crime area where it is not safe to get outdoors just to take a walk, this can lead to depression, anxiety, and other medical conditions.
Whether you are short or tall, blonde or brunette, brown- or green-eyed is determined by your genes, your health is not. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle by eating well, avoiding toxic exposure, thinking positively, and having a strong belief in yourself are some of the best things you can do to ensure you do not fall into the “it’s in my genes” trap.
You are in control of your fate, not your genes. At Avicenna Integrative Medicine, we practice an energetic, cooperative, dedicated approach to wellness through mind, body, and spirit fusion. Helping you create a personalized plan of action to get healthy and stay healthy is our goal. Contact us at (770) 977-9300 and we will help you achieve your wellness goals by listening and communicating to enhance your body’s natural healing capabilities.