Your Genes Are Not to Blame, Even if They Don't Fit
By Heather Caruso

Many of us have family health issues that are cause for concern. We tend to blame our genetic programming for weight gain, cholesterol levels, depression and many other health concerns. Very few conditions are hard wired into our genes. In most instances, our genes have gotten a bad rap. Many people are unaware that if you do have a genetic predisposition to something you can change the way your genes are expressed. You can turn on or off their expression through the choices you make. I hope you will learn herein that you have more control and responsibility for your path to lead to health. For the great majority of your choices, you can chart a course to wellness.

Here are some scenarios that may help you to see how lifestyle plays a huge role in our health.

1. The proverbial "fat gene"

Here is the internal dialogue for people who blame the fat gene: "Diets and exercise don't work for me because all of the women in my family are overweight. We have the fat gene." People who believe this make a lot of excuses why they just give up on diets. It is not dieting that is the key to losing weight, but rather long-term healthy choices.

Here is a better way of assessing the "fat gene". Certain family's patterns of eating, exercise and lifestyle are learned. For example, you grow up eating the wrong foods or not engaging in much exercise. These lifelong choices hinder the metabolism in later years and lead to insulin resistance. (Insulin resistance is a condition that impedes proper use of insulin. The body tends to hold onto fat cells and uses food to store more fat because it is not getting the right signals about our blood sugar. Over time, eating in a manner that produces insulin resistance stunts our metabolism and causes a host of other problems like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.)

From a different perspective, often heavy people learn to accept being overweight as the norm because they have come to identify themselves and family as the "chubby one". You may have to reprogram your brain to regain a leaner physique.

What can you do for yourself?

* Don't beat yourself up over your weight. Love yourself and give yourself positive messages. Seek support from helpful friends who have your best interest at heart. Dismiss those friends and family members who offer you tempting junk food when they are aware you are trying to improve your health.
* Eat foods that are low glycemic and lower in fat. For more information on the glycemic index, email us for a list of foods that are low, medium and high glycemic.
* Seek the help of a homeopath if you are unsure why you are not achieving your goals. There are ways to reset your metabolism, it is just a matter of assessing whether you are insulin resistant, eating for emotional reasons or have an underlying hormonal or digestive issue.

2. "High cholesterol runs in the family"

There is a type of high cholesterol that is familial, however most people's cholesterol levels have nothing to do with their parents. It is how we eat and live that increases our cholesterol levels. This advice does not displace the help from your own practitioner or medical doctor. Check with your doctor before taking any of the following remedies, especially if you are on other medications or have an underlying condition.

With that in mind, here is what you can do to improve your cholesterol.

* Eat a daily diet rich in fruit and vegetables; eat fish, a handful of nuts, legumes, olive oil and whole grains. Avoid deep fried foods, red meat, white bread, white rice and sugar. Use alcohol sparingly.
* Vitamin C was researched by Linus Pauling. He found that taking higher amounts of vitamin C leads to a reduction of heart disease and cholesterol. I recommend 500 to 1000mgs per day. Eating foods such as fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C is helpful.
* Tri-chol is a supplement from Biotics Research that works very well to bring down bad cholesterol levels over time. It contains a few key ingredients like niacin, chromium, guggul, fo-ti and bitter orange, for example. It is available in the clinic.
* Fish oil is an excellent supplement for anyone to take. It acts to improve cardiovascular health, relieves arthritic pains and is good brain food. Take 1,000 mgs of fish oil per day. Fish oil capsules should contain 300 to 400 mgs of EPA per capsule.
* Exercise daily to reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health.

3. "Cancer runs in families"

Cancer does run in families, but people can do things to help prevent the incidence of this disease. Prevention is much easier than the cure. In particular, vegetarian and high fibre diets are useful in preventing certain types of cancer, such as breast, prostate and colon. If you have a hypothyroid, you may be more susceptible to breast cancer. Seek the help of an alternative practitioner to support your thyroid function. Many women are given medication and assume that nothing else can be done. Some people can actually reverse their hypothyroidism through diet and supplements. I did this for myself 14 years ago and haven't needed medication at all.

Some supplements that are toted for cancer prevention, especially breast, colon and prostate are:

* Ground flaxseed contains lignans that help to bind negative hormones and helps to sweep toxins from the intestinal tract.
* Broccoli Extract in the form of I3C or DIM, has been found to help prevent breast and prostate cancer. The compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage or brussel sprouts, I3C, helps to metabolize harmful estrogens and hormonal compounds.
* Vitamin D 1,000 IU's or more taken daily has been found to prevent breast, prostate and colon cancer, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis.
* Calcium and Magnesium in higher levels have been linked to less incidence of colon cancer.
* Probiotics (acidophilus and bifidus) are good flora that inhabit the intestinal tract. These compounds help us to digest nutrients, displace bad bacteria and improve our immune system. 60 to 80% of our immune system is found in the intestinal tract and is called the GALT, gut associated lymph tissue. Keeping our GI tract humming improves our immune system.
* Fish oil is a supplement that improves immunity, reduces inflammation and is thought to reduce the incidence of cancer.

If you have a susceptibility to cancer, have an assessment done by your Homeopathic Doctor and don't put off your yearly physical.

Author's Bio: 

Heather Caruso is a best selling author of the book, "Your Drug Free Guide to Digestive Health" and homeopath in private practice for the past decade plus in Guelph Ontario. She has written another book called "Your Drug Free Guide to Healthy Weight Loss" which helps people to not diet, but to eat to stay healthy and uncovers barriers to weight loss and how to beat them with natural remedies.