In this guest blog post, Dr. Wahls shares her story and the truth about how genes and the environment impact health.
It’s likely that when you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or any autoimmune disease, you and your physician probably blamed your genes and began to talk about immune-suppressing drugs. However, these drugs come with a host of problems, including side effects, and do not address the real reasons people develop an autoimmune disease.
To treat disease, the root cause must be addressed. While hundreds of genes have been identified that are associated with a slightly higher risk of developing an autoimmune disease, there is a complex interaction between genes and the environment that ultimately affect health and disease development. Some environmental factors include the food you eat or don’t eat, toxic load in the body, exercise habits, levels of stress, and previous health history. The interaction of all of these factors and your DNA determines the appearance and performance of your body.
Despite popular belief, genetics determine only 5% of our risk of developing chronic and autoimmune diseases. The other 95% of risk is determined by environmental interactions, including many factors we can control, such as eating nutrient-dense food, reducing toxins, getting more exercise, and managing stress. By improving health behaviors, we can improve our health.
Conor Devine is an innovator, thinker, triathlete, and MS awareness campaigner. He also has multiple sclerosis. His goal is to inspire and improve the lives of MS patients across the world by sharing his story and experiences in dealing with and overcoming MS.