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Turning hindsight into foresight

Turning hindsight into foresight
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If only I’d known what I do now when I was 20.

I spent years living a wild, carefree life, without sparing a thought for my future health. When I was young, I loved to party, and whether I was knocking back shooters and dancing till dawn at White Horse, or hitting an all-night rave, the common theme was that when I partied, I partied hard.

To top it all off, I worked at a commercial makeup counter on weekends, slathering my face and body with toxin-packed products, before alleviating the sleepless nights and hangovers with all manner of junk food and caffeinated drinks.

Sure, those were some of the best years of my life, but the impact they’ve had on my health, make me question whether the fun was worth it.

At 35, with two young children depending on me, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and fought my way through surgery. About 2 years after my treatment I heard about DNA Health tests. Eager to take control of my well-being, I purchased a full compendium of tests, and while I had no idea what to expect, the results were nothing short of astonishing.

 

I now know that in all cases of breast cancer, only 5-10% are a result of a BRCA mutation. What does this mean? That lifestyle really does matter.

If I had done DNA tests in my 20s, I would have seen the markers. I would have seen that I don’t detox well, meaning that all the alcohol, the commercial beauty, hair, home and garden products, the recreational substances and caffeine that I consumed would leave a lasting, very damaging impression on my body.

I would have seen that I need to exercise more, in order to sweat out those toxins. Well, I guess I can at least say I danced many a night away at raves!

Over and above not being able to detox, I would have seen that I needed help with methylation. A diet and supplement regime consisting of B2, 6,12, and activated folate could have gone far to help prevent the health knock that awaited me in my 30s.

Health is all about balance. If I had done DNA tests in my 20s, I would have seen that my oestrogen and progesterone were out of sync, that I’d oscillate between oestrogen excess and oestrogen dominance. I could have helped to prevent this by reducing my stress, not being on the pill for 12 years, drinking less and, once again, exercising more. I would have seen that my cortisol and melatonin were out of sync, an imbalance that could easily have been rectified with better sleep patterns or melatonin supplementation.

But I didn’t.

It often takes a nasty wake-up call to make us focus on our health, but I would like to urge all mothers to give their daughters the opportunity to know their DNA before it’s too late.

Armed with the knowledge of your risk factors, you can make empowering decisions that can alter your health timeline for the better, and set you on the path to lifelong health and wellness.

 Dr Heidi

I AM | DNA Tests

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