Having your DNA tested can lift the veil on your genetic blueprint and give you a ‘behind the scenes’ view of what makes you unique.
This can be an extremely helpful tool as it gives you a deeper understanding of your biological make-up and will help to highlight the possible areas needing more support regarding your health and fertility.
Did you know that 99.9% of our DNA is exactly the same in all of us?
We differ from one another only by 0.1% of our genetic material or genome.
That 0.1% difference that makes us unique is what is termed ‘genetic variation’.
These variations are very subtle differences in our gene coding that not only determines our hair, eye colour and other traits, but they also influence our susceptibility to certain health conditions.
Once the test has uncovered your gene variations needing more support, we then need to look at the way your genes express themselves – this is known as ‘Epigenetics’.
We can then create a plan that will outline all the diet and lifestyle changes needed to improve the way your genes express themselves. This is called Nutrigenomics.
The genes you’ve inherited from your parents can’t be changed. However the function of your genes can be modified or controlled by your environment.
Nutrigenomics is the science that explains how your environment (diet and lifestyle) interact with your genes and alter their expression. In other words, there are elements in your food and your environment that ‘talk’ to your genes. So, depending what you just ate, you will be sending certain signals to your genes which will switch on certain parts of your DNA and switch off other parts.
For example, eating something healthy, breathing fresh air or doing exercise will switch on certain genes that are involved in many things including cell immunity and protection, whereas eating junk food, drinking excess alcohol or smoking will switch off those protective genes and switch on those genes that can damage the cells.
This explains the saying: “your genes are not your destiny”.
The fact that you may have an inherited predisposition can still be modified or controlled up to a point by the choices you make.
There are a number of gene variants that have been associated with fertility.
Some of the main ones relate to:
Knowing your unique set of gene variants can be extremely empowering.
Here are a couple of examples that might affect your fertility:
Let’s say for example, either you or your partner have one or more of the most well-known gene variants relating to folate metabolism – MTHFR.
You will be advised that adequate folate levels are important for egg and sperm quality, prevention of neural tube defects, and early pregnancy loss.
You will need to make sure you take a good folate supplement as well as eat plenty of foods containing folate such as dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, eggs and dairy.
Exposures to chemicals and toxins in the environment can also affect egg and sperm quality as well as hormone balance and metabolism, conception and pregnancy outcomes.
If you or your partner have one or more gene variants relating to hormone metabolism and detoxification, you will need to be given ways of helping your cells detoxify and rid your body of these chemicals.
In my experience, DNA/Genomic analysis completes that investigative holistic health and wellbeing picture we are all seeking.
I incorporate DNA/Genomic testing into my practice extremely frequently – especially with those couples who have been told they have ‘unexplained infertility’ and have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for a while, or those who have had repeated miscarriages.
Even though I rely on blood and other pathology test results to help with my diagnosis and treatment, I have found that in many cases, DNA/Genomic analysis can be that missing ‘puzzle-piece’ that helps provide the answers we have been looking for.
What’s more, this is the only test that never needs to be redone!
Your DNA blueprint doesn’t change. It makes so much sense to find out what it is that makes us unique and to follow whatever advice we have been given to improve our health and wellbeing.
As an Integrative Fertility Naturopath, qualified in DNA/Nutrigenomic analysis, I am able to help you understand the role your unique genetic variations can play in your health.
I will help create a personalised health, fertility and nutrition plan for you. This will be tailored according to the appropriate supplement regime, diet and lifestyle factors that can help optimise your fertility and improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
This kind of personalised health plan will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.
Hopefully, with all that self-knowledge at your fingertips, you will always make the right decisions for you and your family!
Joanne Lipinski (BabyCreate) is an Integrative Naturopathic Fertility Practitioner who is qualified in DNA/Genomic analysis.
She uses only those accredited, secure TGA registered DNA testing companies that produce accurate testing panels with sound research and evidence-based ratings.