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Heredity and Chronic Illness ~ 5 Ways To Stay One Step Ahead Of Your Genes

Are you destined to have the same chronic illness as those who came before you?

Heredity and chronic illness when combined, have become one of the hotly debated subjects within the medical community today. Some studies lean heavily on environmental factors, others on genetic pre-disposition, and some that even out the scales, and take a 50/50 approach.

So, are you fated to live the chronic life of the leaves that hang above you on the family tree? Well, maybe…but then again, maybe not. Many factors contribute to developing chronic illness, and each illness has its own unique set of building blocks. Take fibromyalgia for example.

Are you fated to live the 'chronic life' of the leaves that hang above you on the family tree? Click To Tweet

It can be seen that many of those who suffer with FMS have family members down the line who were either diagnosed, or were seen to exhibit symptoms that align with having fibromyalgia. One of the factors attributed to this is the discovery of  certain genes that have been found in members of the same family that react intensely to painful stimuli. This is believed to possibly pre-dispose a person to FMS when other factors are introduced, such as emotional trauma, physical trauma, ect.



Ultimately, there really is nothing we can do to change the ‘pre-disposition’ factor. But, there are steps we can take to give ourselves a ‘leg up’ in creating the best environment for our bodies and minds:

Heredity and Chronic Illness ~ 5 Ways To Stay One Step Ahead Of Your Genes (suggestions for prevention through diet/lifestyle change)

  1. NO TOBACCO PRODUCTS ~ This one is self-explanatory. We have been deluged with information regarding the deadly effects of smoking and related tobacco use. As far as FMS is concerned, smoking decreases the oxygen levels in your blood which increases pain levels. Enough said.

  2. Healthy Weight ~ Now, let me say I personally do not believe being overweight causes FMS, as some of our physicians and health care providers would have us believe. There are many thin people with FMS, CFS/ME, ect., and many people who gained weight AFTER their disease development (medications, forced inactivity, hormone changes can all contribute to this). All I am saying is, if possible, losing weight: helps with easing pain on joints, can lower incidence of co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure/bad cholesterol levels/heart disease. Plus it helps to improve our self esteem, which improves over all mental health. {Find simple steps for weight loss here.}

  3. Keep Stress Levels Down ~ Chronic stress creates an incredibly toxic environment within your body. Toxic environments are breeding grounds for all types of disease. Unfortunately, in this world most of us cannot escape the reality of near constant anxiety. We must be disciplined to take the steps needed to {practice calming techniques}.

  4. Abuse Free Lives ~ Seek professional help if needed. No one should ever have to stay in abusive environments. Read about ‘Leaving Toxic Relationships’ here.

  5. Healthy Diet ~ Food is medicine. Plain and simple. We can make ourselves sick with the food we eat. In the same vein, we can actually help to heal our bodies and maintain levels of good health with what we choose to consume. There is truth and wisdom in the saying, “We are what we eat”.


Regardless of 'pre-disposition', we can create a healthy environment to deal with chronic illness. Click To Tweet
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  • Reply
    Brittany W
    August 20 at 1:57 pm

    I have an actual genetic disorder, just like most of my family. However, we have a predisposition to diabetes and high blood pressure and I am doing what I can to avoid those.
    Brittany W recently posted…God Must Be in Control, Because I’m Sure NotMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 20 at 3:32 pm

      I’m fascinated by genetics! Such an interesting science, yours is a perfect example of how ‘knowin’ a pre-disposition can help you do whats best for your body to deal with it. Thanks Brittany! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories
    August 22 at 6:05 am

    I know RA is hereditary and it’s my biggest fear that one of my sons will get it. As a result, I’m a bit hyper vigilant about taking them to the doctor when they first show signs of a fever (I think my RA came up because I didn’t get my sore throat treated promptly when my newborn was 6 weeks old). Also any time their knees hurt, I check for swelling and we have cut out most processed food and I’m an avid label reader. I know they are predisposed to it, but I’ll do my best to make sure RA isn’t triggered in them.
    Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories recently posted…Small Victories Sunday Linkup {116}My Profile

    • Reply
      August 22 at 6:42 am

      Thanks Tanya, yes! RA is definitley one of the chronic illnesses that is hereditary. Such a debilitating disease. I hope your boys will be spared ♥

  • Reply
    August 24 at 6:43 am

    I have interstitial cystitis, which is a bladder condition, and they are on the fence about whether or not genetics plays a role. I hate the idea that I could possibly pass this along to my kids. Luckily, I can watch for the signs and symptoms so that if it is something that they do get, they won’t have to wait as long as I did for a diagnosis.

    • Reply
      August 24 at 9:23 am

      Interesting Jessica! There are so many conditions they know for sure are hereditary, but then there many they just have no clue. That bladder condition is a nasty one, I hope you are doing well 🙂

  • Reply
    August 28 at 4:25 pm

    My grandfather had Rheumatoid arthritis, a Great Aunt had Lupus, and thankfully I don’t have either one of those, but I came up with something totally different. LOL We are a basket of chronic diseases over here! These are great tips to avoid getting an Auto Immune disease and I need to make sure that I heed them so I can feel the best I can and to also help my children so they don’t join our basket of goodies too! Thanks.
    Nikki recently posted…Stunning Shots – Pink MarigoldMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 28 at 7:19 pm

      Exactly! That’s why its good to know the history’s so if there is anything we can do to prevent or treat early to help ease symptoms, then at least that’s something. 🙂

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