Many people assume that the presence of a certain gene - or a genetic flaw - means their destiny is predetermined. This is not true! Experts believe that nearly all of the most pervasive and disabling degenerative diseases, including heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, cancer, and senile dementia, develop from an ongoing interaction between genetic and environmental factors. This implies that most genes have flexible expressions.
Genetic expressions are often influenced by modifiable factors such as diet, nutritional sufficiency, hormonal balance, and lifestyle habits. These modifiable factors that can influence gene flexibility are termed epigenetics. If we engage in harmful behaviors, over time, these epigenetic factors can switch on a gene's ability to promote disease.
Epigenetics reminds us that it's not only nature that has control over biology. We are discovering how much influence we have over our genetic imprint. This empowers us to make wise choices with our health.
- Review the basics about genes and epigenetic influencers
- Appreciate how to modify gene expression through more precise, targeted, and individualized interventions
- Identify methods to monitor therapeutic effectiveness of intervention
Dr. Ann Shippy
Dr. Ann Shippy is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and a certified Functional Medicine Doctor. After a decade of working as an IBM engineer, her challenging experience with traditional medicine motivated her to search for her own health answers, so she left the field of engineering to attend University of Texas Medical School. Her interests and areas of expertise are autoimmunity, neurology, gastrointestinal disorders, infertility and pregnancy, and environmental factors such as mold toxicity. Dr. Shippy has a thriving practice based in Austin, Texas, and is the author of two books.