Genetics is the study of genes and how they function, whereas epigenetics is a new field of science that looks at how the environment can actually change how genes are expressed. This implies that the long-held belief that genes are fixed has been disproved. Even though epigenetic inheritance is considered to be somewhat unconventional, it does explain how patterns of inheritance are passed down from one generation to the next through genetic tags.
During development, chemical marks are added to the DNA that makes up our genes. These marks control how much the genes are expressed. This collection of chemical marks is known as the epigenome. When children have different experiences, chemical marks get rearranged. This explains why genetically identical twins can exhibit different behaviors, skills, health, and achievement. There is no longer a conflict between nature and nurture. It is nearly always both. The epigenome can be changed by both good and bad experiences, which leaves a distinct epigenetic signature on the genes. Positive experiences include supportive relationships and learning opportunities.
Environmental factors may influence the epigenome, which could lead to epigenetic errors. These errors are believed to be the root cause of many diseases, including cancer and metabolic disorders. Given that genes cannot be changed, the epigenome may be to blame for a number of inherited chronic diseases. Researchers are particularly interested in how variations and arrows in epigenetics impact how genes function, how proteins are made, and how healthy an individual is overall.
Services like support for new parents and caregivers, high-quality healthcare for all expectant women, babies, and toddlers, and high-quality prenatal and postpartum care can change the chemistry of children's genes. Strong interpersonal bonds and numerous learning opportunities generate favorable epigenetic signatures that activate genetic potential.
Many people think we are helpless victims of our genes and have no control over our own psychology or behavior because there is a lot of evidence that our genes affect our personalities and traits. However genetic determinism gives us a way to change our identities and go beyond our natural tendencies. There is no strong evidence that traumatic events change epigenetics in a way that changes the behavior or other traits of the children of people who have been through trauma. Even so, there is no proof that our behavior is set by our genes before we are born. It is undeniable that we have some predispositions when we are born, but these characteristics only act as a foundation for our behavior.
We are programmed to learn from experience, and this is how we adapt to the particular conditions of our lives and how the patterns of our behavior come to be. Because we still have some control over our actions, we have the ability to retrain and rewire our habits if we actively go against our natural tendencies by implementing new habits instead. This is possible through neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections. To a certain extent, it is possible for us to rise above our automatic tendencies. This calls for self-awareness as well as discipline and effort on the part of the individual.
In reality, your lifestyle is a direct line of communication with the way your genes work in your body. Small behavioral changes can have a significant immediate effect on your body's internal processes. Your genes will respond appropriately if you regularly eat wholesome and nourishing foods. A healthy diet turns on important genes, which are good for both your body and your mind.
Finding ways to deal with stress and getting regular exercise will have a direct effect on the health of your genes. Meditation can help people deal with stress and improve mental health. Your active genes, mind, body, and even mood can be affected by regular morning sunlight exposure, a clean living space, and a pleasant environment in general. Your cells respond to these positive changes, and you will be able to notice their effects with time and consistency.
When you are taking your own health and that of your family into account, it pays to schedule regular online or at-home doctor consultations on the Housecall app. Doctors can give you the best health advice and do referrals to specialists where needed. Consultations can assist you and your family with a treatment plan for most health concerns and questions about your family’s well-being.