DNA genetics

8 Ways Your DNA Genetics Could Be Affecting Your Health

Which is more impactful to your health: DNA genetics or your environment and behavior?

When we talk about how people act and make decisions, we often frame it in the terms, “nature or nurture?”

In both cases, the answer is “both,” with scientists and laypeople haggling over the details of “how much?”

This article will explore eight ways DNA genetics have a huge impact on your well-being as well as how your behavior can affect your genes.

1. Poor Sleep? Could Be Your Genes

Ever look on in envy at those people who can function at their best on less than six hours of sleep? Blame a rare gene mutation.

Likewise, getting poor sleep is linked to a number of genetic factors. A mutation on the PERIOD3 gene may be responsible for waking earlier, sleeping less, and disrupted sleep patterns.

Similarly, insomnia may be caused by an overactive Neuromedin U gene, researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois found in a 2016 study.

Finally, the DEC2 gene could be the primary gene for sleep modulation-a.k.a. length of sleep nightly-research from the University of California at San Francisco in 2009 shows.

2. Genes Can Make You More Prone to Addictive Behavior

Your DNA genetics have a lot to say about your susceptibility to addiction.

A number of alternate gene expressions have been linked to a person’s susceptibility to alcohol and cocaine addiction, smoking habits, and even likeliness to overeat.

This is a big one to know ahead of time, since as genes are responsible for as much as 50 percent of a person’s chances of abusing alcohol or other drugs, according to the American Psychological Association.

The co-interactions of gene mutations and addiction are many, and complex. That’s one reason DNA screenings should be part of new wellness programs in the workplace.

3. Changing Medication’s Impacts

DNA genetics also change how you respond to medication.

Gene mutations can change how much relief you get from pain medication, how effective certain anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds are, or make you metabolize drugs too quickly.

Generally, if someone is allergic to common painkillers or antibiotic, they find out the first time they break a bone or get an infection. But who wants to find this out the hard way? DNA screenings can give advance warning to how medications might affect you.

DNA screenings can give advance warning to how medications might affect you.

4. Genes Signal Your Risk of Chronic Conditions

Your genes also have a part to play in your likelihood of developing chronic heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, research shows.

DNA screening can also help tell you your risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to the National Council on Aging.

Ultimately, environmental factors play the biggest role in your likelihood of developing a chronic illness, most studies have found. But knowing your risks ahead of time can help guide you to better healthy behaviors to mitigate risks on the horizon.

5. Changing Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Genetics also play a big role in your chances of developing skin cancer.

The most obvious signal is fairness of your skin and how well you treat it when you go out in the sun, but how a whole host of genetic mutations also have some say in whether or not you’re likely to get a dangerous melanoma.

One gene in particular, CDKN2A, is the main tumor suppressor gene for skin cancer. When this gene gets an unfavorable mutation, however, risks of skin cancer rise 35 to 40 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute.

In other words, if you screen positive for a negative variant of this gene, it’s time to pay special attention to lathering on the sunscreen.

6. How Much (And What) You Eat

Love to eat? Can’t stop overeating? Hate eating certain things?

All of these are tied to genetics to a greater or lesser extent. Some of the same genes that predispose a person to addictive behaviors can likewise lead to a greater likelihood of chronically binge-eating, for instance. Research has even shown that some people are simply born to eat too much.

In fact, up to half of all dietary preferences are inherited, researchers from the University of Copenhagen Hospital in Denmark found in 2008.

Now you know why you and your dad both can’t stand the taste of cilantro.

7. DNA Genetics and Longevity

Want to live forever? Better hope your genetics are in ship-shape.

Okay, this isn’t sci-fi, so no one lives forever, but DNA genetics do play a role in your chances of living to a ripe old age.

DNA may account for as much as 30 percent of a person’s likelihood of making it to age 85, scientists from Boston University found. (They don’t say anything about living beyond that. C’mon 105!)

The good news? The other 70 percent are still environmental and behavioral factors, so keep eating healthy and taking those early morning runs at the gym.

8. Behaviors Today Can Affect Yours and Your Children’s Genes

Your DNA genetics isn’t just about your health, however. They’re about the health of future generations.

Heck, even your grandparents’ genes are still calling the shots, to some extent, in your current health. And you will have an impact on your children and grandchildren.

A smoking habit, for instance, is known to damage your DNA in the here and now, but it can also cause trouble for the next generation. Even after you’ve quit.

That said, even if you take great care of your body before having kids, your children can still inherit personality and temperament traits. So you’re not off the hook.

Let Your Genes Inform Your Health Plan

No matter how much you think you know about your personal health and family health history, a full workup of your DNA genetics is the only way to get the whole story.

DNA screenings aren’t scary, either. A simple test is all it takes. They’re simply a new way to help you understand the big picture of your health and wellness risks now and in the future.

Take complete control of your health today. Learn more about our Proactive Health Management Plan.

holistic health coach

How a Holistic Health Coach Can Change Your Life Through Diet, Nutrition, and Exercise

When it comes to health, what’s the first thing you think of? Not being sick? Having energy to work and do the things you like to do?

Any holistic health coach will tell you that there’s a lot more to health than simply not being sick and tired. If you feel that your quality of life is not where you’d like it to be, a health coach can help.

Keep reading to learn all the benefits that come from working with a holistic health coach.

What is Holistic Health?

Holistic health looks at a person’s entire being, rather than just specific illnesses or parts of the body. A holistic health coach will help you live your best life by looking at all aspects of it, including your mental, physical, and spiritual health. A coach will also help you set goals and make choices that support total wellness.

According to the American Holistic Health Association, holistic health practitioners believe that health is about more than just the absence of illness. Instead, they see health and wellness as a continuum.

On the far-left end of the continuum is premature death, and on the far-right end is maximum well-being. The center point is a lack of obvious disease.

The end goal of a holistic health coach is to help clients work toward the far-right end of the continuum. One way that they do this is by looking at the cause of symptoms rather than just the symptoms themselves.

For example, a holistic health practitioner won’t just give someone an aspirin for a headache. They’ll take more time to figure out what is causing the headache in the first place. They’ll also take steps to make sure the headache doesn’t come back.

How a Holistic Health Coach Can Help You

There are lots of ways that a holistic health coach can help you live your best life. It doesn’t matter if you’re not physically ill; there’s always room for improvement. Some of the benefits of working with a holistic health professional include:

Focus on All Aspects of Your Health

Health coaches take an all-encompassing approach to helping you reach a new level of health. They’ll focus on everything from exercise programs and nutrition guidance to support and motivation.

Establish a Genuine Connection

Traditional medical professionals can often feel cold, detached, and not particularly interested in your problems. When you work with a health coach, though, you’ll establish a legitimate bond that is essential to helping you become the best version of yourself.

A holistic health coach truly needs to get to know you to help you. This means they’ll take a genuine interest in all aspects of your life to create a plan that is tailored to help you thrive.

Set Realistic Goals

One of the most important jobs a health coach has is helping you set goals that are SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

This approach ensures that you actually accomplish the things you’re after, both short and long-term. You won’t just be free from disease, you’ll be on your way to transforming your ideas and aspirations into realities.

Change Your Mindset

A negative mindset is the source of a lot of our problems. A health coach can help us change our outlook and improve our lives as a result. As a result, you’ll have confidence in yourself and be more likely to achieve the things you set your mind to.

Learn to Overcome Obstacles

We all face obstacles as we work towards becoming our best selves. They might be financial, or they might be medical. By teaching you to adjust your mindset, a health coach can give you the confidence and resources you need to overcome obstacles and continue on the path toward accomplishing your goals.

Become Self-Reliant

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but a health coach’s ultimate goal is for you to not need them. After working with a health coach for a while, you’ll become self-reliant and able to maintain health and accomplish your goals without their assistance.

Create Long-lasting Lifestyle Changes

Traditional medicine arms you with temporary fixes. But, working with a health coach gives you the tools you need to create long-lasting changes that will enhance all elements of your life.

Benefits of Holistic Health in the Workplace

A holistic health approach is also a great addition to any workplace health plan. The following are just some of the benefits of implementing holistic health programs in the workplace:

Decrease Stress

Stress in the workplace costs U.S. employers around $300 billion every year! Business owners should be doing everything they can to cut down on stress and improve employees’ mental and physical well-being.

When employees are stressed, their work suffers and their productivity decreases. Stress also often leads to poor physical health. If your employees are constantly stressed out, they’re going to take more sick days, which also drains productivity.

By implementing a holistic wellness program, you’ll see higher productivity — and increased profits — all year-round.

Create Connection Between All Employees

Wellness programs help foster a sense of connections between all employees at your company. They’ll also improve communication between employees, and better communication will lead to a boost in profits for the business.

When employees from different departments are comfortable communicating with each other, they’re more likely to work together to help the business run better.

Draw in New Employees

A business that focuses on its employees’ overall well-being is going to attract more employees. When your company is appealing to new employees, you’ll see the overall caliber of the business improve. Profits will increase because you’re attracting the best of the best, and you’ll stay competitive in your industry.

Start a Holistic Wellness Plan Today

If you’re interested in implementing a holistic wellness plan in your office, contact us at Proactive Broker Network today!

Our PHMP (Proactive Health Management Plan) is a great complement to your existing medical insurance programs. It even comes with a guaranteed ROI!

You’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain, so don’t hesitate to reach out. We can’t wait to help you and your employees start feeling your very best!

advantages of telemedicine

The Many Advantages of Telemedicine

Doctors are making house calls again!

In a modern twist on the traditional in-home visit, telemedicine puts a doctor at your bedside.

One of the main advantages of telemedicine is it serves people who can’t easily visit a doctor’s office.

Disabled, elderly, and infectious patients can consult with a doctor without leaving home. It elminiates the risk of infection through contact with other waiting room patients.

Want to talk to a doctor or specialist 24/7 from home? Here’s the lowdown on how telemedicine operates, and how it can save you time and money.

How Telemedicine Works

Telemedicine is the delivery of health services enabled by technology. Smartphones, wearable sensors, and wireless monitoring devices make it possible.

Today’s technology tracks physical activity, heart rate, weight, mood, sleep patterns, and more.

The original telemedicine was a phone call. Now, it’s a video chat. It can include an exam, lab results and sending your prescription to a local pharmacy. Doctors can watch symptoms, deliver test results or follow-up on healthcare issues.

Advantages of Telemedicine

Following are five examples of the benefits of telemedicine.

1. Home-based monitoring

A person with heart disease or another chronic condition can record vital statistics at home.

They can report their stats over the phone or through an app instead of during an office visit.

The patient doesn’t spend time and effort traveling to and from the doctor’s office.

This reduces stress, saves time, and allows the patient to meet with the doctor from the comfort of home.

2. Video Follow-up Visits

A doctor can use video chat instead of an office visit to check your progress or report the results of a test.

Many patients resist a follow-up visit that is usually a short conversation. But checking on progress is an essential part of any care plan. A video chat is convenient for the patient. It also gives the doctor essential information.

Sometimes viewing a patient in their home environment helps the doctor assess wellness.

3. Low-Stress Consults

No one enjoys going to a medical office. The experience usually involves a crowded waiting room filled with other sick people.

One of the big advantages of telemedicine is it reduces the stress of an office visit. A high-tech consult from home eliminates social anxiety and physical discomfort.

4. Text Messaging Support

Text messaging supports people on restricted diets with interactive, immediate support. It does the same for smoking cessation patients.

Texting is an easy and effective way to communicate with patients when they need help. It’s done through a series of messages over time, or as an immediate helpline.

5. Video Care

Another one of the advantages of telemedicine is video care. It works as an extension of a clinic, hospital or physician group.

Patients can gain access to specialists who are thousands of miles away. Telemedicine also eliminates the cost of travel and time away from work.

Patients can choose a video chat for support or intervention. This works well with an ongoing concern like smoking cessation.

Video care includes access to an online video library and continuing education.

Concerns

Technology Resistance

Many traditional physicians and older patients may resist telemedicine. Most physicians in practice today trained to meet with patients face-to-face. Younger doctors are more accepting of technology interactions. People who use healthcare may place greater value on social interaction with physicians. They may not want to reduce in-person appointments.

Malpractice

Some doctors worry about malpractice liability. Yet, most malpractice carriers are telemedicine-friendly. There are very few telemedicine malpractice cases. Malpractice is a possibility for all healthcare providers using traditional methods or telemedicine.

Federal and State Law

Some state laws require a doctor be licensed in the state where the patient is located. This could definitely reduce some of the advantages of telemedicine.

For example, a specialist can’t consult with a patient who lives in a different state. A patient who moves, or spends time in another state, can’t use their home state doctor for telemedicine.

No federal law exists yet. There is legislation pending on telemedicine to establish a federal standard. Right now each state has its own rules and regulations.

Privacy

Patients may express concern over the security of video chats and records transmission.

The Future of Telemedicine

In May, Texas became the last state to allow doctors to see patients without an initial in-person visit.

Just a few months later, Hurricane Harvey made telemedicine essential for many displaced Texans.

Disaster responders set up a telemedicine station in the Dallas shelter for hurricane victims. The station allowed ER physicians at the hospital to see patients remotely. A computer screen and special equipment let doctors diagnose and treat people.

Flood conditions cause lots of rashes and infections. Stressful situations can irritate chronic conditions like asthma, anxiety, and depression. The advantage of telemedicine is the ER doctors were available any time of the day.

Health officials want telemedicine included in every disaster relief and recovery plan. But, first doctors need permission to practice telemedicine across state lines.

A poignant illustration of this issue occurred during Hurricane Harvey.

Doctors from around the country wanted to provide medical care during the hurricane. State law only allowed doctors licensed to practice in Texas to use telemedicine.

The Bottom Line

Below are a few reasons why face-to-face doctor visits won’t go away.

  • Some patients have complex or complicated illnesses
  • An initial diagnosis requires one-on-one assessments
  • Sensitive communications are delivered in person

On the other hand, a virtual visit is a perfect fit for other care interactions. Blood pressure, weight, dermatology or low emotional impact issues work.

The advantages of telemedicine include less travel and wait time, extra services, and promotion of well care.

Telemedicine is beneficial for employers. It reduces the time employees are absent from work because of doctor visits.

Contact the Proactive Broker Network

Want to know more? Contact Proactive Broker Network to incorporate telemedicine into your health management plan.