50 million Americans are living with an autoimmune disease.
That’s more than 15% of the US population.
What’s more worrying is the fact that autoimmune diagnoses are on the rise. The upward trend is a huge cause for concern and I believe it’s something that should be a main focus in everyone’s health journey.
So how do autoimmune issues occur? A combination of certain environmental toxins and dietary elements could aggravate your immune responses and trigger inflammation, but what really determines whether such a reaction will take place is your genetics.
You carry genetic predispositions to issues like chronic inflammation, gut inflammation, joint inflammation, and gluten sensitivity, and those genes play huge roles in whether you develop issues like IBD, Celiac, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most people don’t even know that you can change the way your genes are expressed and that’s a big reason why we’re still seeing an upward trend of these diseases.
However, by understanding your genetic risks, you can CHANGE your lifestyle and environment to reduce your risks, personalized to your unique body.
3 important genes that have an impact on your immune response and inflammation are the JAK2, PTPN22, and HLA-DQA1 genes.
The JAK2 gene encodes a protein required to activate the development and function of immune cells in response to cytokines.
This normally helps fight off infections, but the negative variant is more active and overdevelops these immune cells which can worsen inflammation and cause gut issues.
The FODMAP Diet is a perfect way to counteract the negative effects of this gene, if you carry the variant linked to higher gut inflammation.
The PTPN22 gene plays a key role in our immune response by controlling T-cells, our immune system’s soldiers.
Unfortunately, some variants of PTPN22 can cause the gene to have trouble communicating with another protein, which results in excessive suppression of T-cells and low levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), a cytokine that helps keep our immune response balanced.
If you carry this negative variant, you’ll have a higher genetic risk of joint inflammation which can cause arthritis.
HLA-DQA1 belongs to the group of genes that help flag and remove external threats from our bodies.
HLA genes come in many different forms, and there are millions of possible HLA combinations.
Their diversity ensures protection against a wide array of external threats, but it can be a double-edged sword: HLA variants correlate with different autoimmune disorders.
Specific alleles in the HLA-DQA1 gene have been found in 98% of celiac disease patients.
While it’s worrying to see autoimmune diagnoses on the rise, that does not mean you’re guaranteed to develop an issue.
It’s the same thing with genetics. Carrying the negative variants of the genes mentioned above, or the thousands of others that we analyze, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll develop these inflammatory issues.
Actually, by understanding your genes and the environment that you live in, you’re more likely to avoid these health problems – if you take action.
SelfDecode makes it easy for you to start.
When you sign up to SelfDecode, you’ll receive genetic risk scores for immune system and inflammation related issues and you get personalized diet, lifestyle and supplement recommendations to counteract any negative variants and optimize your health.
You’ll also receive:
- 17+ Summary Reports – Covering health topics like metabolic health, heart health, brain health, and so much more.
- 300+ Health & Trait Reports
- Health Scores – comprehensive, personalized insights into your health based on a combination of your unique DNA, lifestyle, and lab.
- Unlimited access to Lab analyzer tool – upload your labs and track your results
- Personalized supplement formula – instantly created based on your unique genes
- SNP & Gene Explorer
- Lifestyle Analyzer
- NEW! Ancestry – discover where you’re from and track your maternal lineage (Only available on Health & Ancestry Plan)