The Shocking Impact of Chronic Stress & Trauma On Your Genetics
There is a good chance you have experienced high levels of stress in your lifetime. You may have even grown up in a stressful or traumatizing household environment. When the body is exposed to high stress levels, the trauma gets stored in the nervous system. The effects of this stored trauma come out in your behavior patterns as an adult. Exposure to environmental stress has programmed your nervous system to stay in a state of survival mode. The nervous system goes into this survival state to protect the body. Being stuck in survival mode causes negative behavior patterns to develop, preventing you from living up to your full potential.
Making lasting improvements to your health can feel like an unattainable goal. Symptoms of chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and brain fog can make it feel impossible to show up consistently with your best in careers and relationships.
A misunderstanding of this nervous system function has left many stuck in trauma therapy for years with no significant improvement in symptoms. Addressing these problems from a purely psychological perspective can leave you feeling hopeless and limited. That is because the solution is in your biology. There is a way to hack your nervous system and reprogram it to support your lifestyle goals and help you thrive. You can start taking control of these symptoms and patterns by developing a fundamental understanding of epigenetics and biochemical Imbalances.
Your Epigenetics Have A Big Influence On Your Health
Epigenetics is the study of how your environment and behaviors cause changes in the way your genes work. Epigenetics influences so much of your emotional, mental & physical health.
Epigenetic conditions are often the root cause of so many major disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and autism. Cancer is also an epigenetic disorder. The period of time before/during pregnancy; and early development will set the stage for a child’s epigenetics.
Your epigenetics also change throughout the day. The food you eat, illnesses, and even emotional events cause changes to your epigenetics. These things change your epigenetics by causing some of your genes to express themselves differently. This process happens all day, every day. Most of these changes are easily reversed. They usually go away very quickly. However, if you have a sufficient assault, you can permanently alter your epigenetics. This is due to the issue of how DNA repair works. We have roughly 25 million DNA. Every one of them is actually ripped apart and damaged horribly about 10,000 times per day. However, every cell has the miraculous ability to repair it quickly. W
hen you have a significant and unrepairable assault on your DNA, you develop a permanent epigenetic condition. This is when you start to see signs of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, and autism.
Stress is the most common trigger for epigenetic conditions. When you have a significant life-altering event, whether emotional or physical, this causes an epigenetic change. It is an overwhelm of the body’s ability to handle that amount of oxidative stress and keep the DNA protected.
Oxidative Stress Is The Worst Kind of Stress
Of all the different types of stress, oxidative stress is what damages the DNA the most. Oxidative overload is something that can permanently damage and impair the child’s ability to function. Genetically, when people are born,
some have great innate protection against oxidative stress; and better genetics for DNA repair. That is why some families have longevity, and others do not.
The Importance of DNA Methylation
DNA methylation has a lot to do with mental illness. It is the process of adding methyl groups to the DNA molecule. DNA methylation can change the activity of the genetic segment without changing its sequence. Many people are undermethylated. Undermethylation is becoming more prevalent in the general population, even though some may not always show symptoms of it. Undermethylation leads to a low amount of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin has an impact on the entire body.
Serotonin is the primary hormone responsible for:
- Regulating mood, anxiety, and happiness
- Bone health
- Sleep regulation
- Sexual Function
Normal serotonin levels make you feel happier, emotionally stable, more calm and focused, and able to manage stress effectively.
The Role of Folate
Folate is one of the B-vitamins, known as vitamin B9. It is responsible for the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and the production of DNA & RNA. Folates can be found in various foods such as vegetables, eggs, fruits, peas, grains, beans, dairy, and meat. Folate supplements are often given to pregnant women to prevent congenital disabilities. They are also given to people suffering from depression and other health problems.
The critical thing to know is that folate is a bad solution for someone who is undermethylated. This is because under methylators have a low amount of serotonin in the brain, and folates decrease serotonin levels. Conversely, over methylators tend to thrive on folate.
Copper & Zinc Imbalances Impact Your Mental Health
Copper and zinc levels have a severe impact on your mental health. The average human being has around 112mg of copper and 2g of zinc in the body. Zinc deficiency is prevalent in modern society. A zinc deficiency will
cause an increase in copper levels, creating an imbalance.
Extraordinarily high blood copper levels have a dramatic effect on two neurotransmitters in particular. It tends to lower dopamine, which can cause ADHD in some people. But even worse, it tends to increase norepinephrine and adrenaline, making the person hyperactive. 68% of high copper children are diagnosed with ADHD.
95% of women with postpartum depression also have a high copper level. Copper levels tend to double during pregnancy. This is normal. However, the inability to bring the copper levels back down after delivery leads to postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. The condition can even be experienced 20-30 years after delivery.
Copper & Zinc Imbalances Must Be Addressed Correctly
Zinc and copper are often found in a wide range of multi-vitamins. Taking a multi-vitamin is not a good approach to correcting these imbalances. Even the best multi-vitamin is not addressing your specific imbalances by giving you the nutrients you need, and can lead to a worsened problem. Bringing the copper out of the body will easily correct these imbalances. Nevertheless, it is a mistake to start taking zinc upon finding out you have a high copper ratio. You very well may experience the worst day of your life. It is imperative that the copper be gradually and gently brought out of the body with small doses, steadily building up tolerance over time.
This treatment has proven to be highly effective at battling mental illnesses. It has reported a 90% efficacy rate in patients. They get better and stay better. It has also shown remarkable results in helping violent children and adults.
Pyrrole Disorder Shifts Your Mood Dramatically
Pyrrole disorder, or pyroluria, is a non-epigenetic condition that causes dramatic shifts in mood. Pyrrole disorder happens when there are too many pyrrole molecules in the body, stripping the system of essential nutrients that help regulate mood. Pyrroles get built up in the body when someone has too much oxidative stress. Pyrrole disorder is a non-epigenetic condition that is correctable by normalizing vitamin B6 and Zinc levels.
Protection Against Epigenetic Conditions
Antioxidants are the absolute best protection against epigenetic conditions.
The “three musketeers” of antioxidant protection in the brain are:
- Glutathione (especially for mental illness)
Vitamins C, D, E, A, Folic Acid, N-acetylcysteine are also effective for protection against epigenetic conditions.
How To Test Your Biochemical Imbalances
A metabolic panel is a test that will show you your biochemical imbalances. This test is a starting place for understanding your neurotransmitters’ condition and what you can do about it. You
want to stop all supplements three days before taking the test to get accurate counts. Your results will let you know what supplements to take to support your body.
A blood histamine test is excellent for telling you if you are an under methylator or over methylator. Unless you are taking a medication that affects your blood histamine levels. If that is the case, you would then need to take a dif
ferent test that can measure your methylation status.
The best DNA test you can find will give you much information about what nutrients you tend to absorb better than others. But when measuring methylation status, it is essential to note that the MTHFR gene does not tell you your methylation status. Methylation status is actually how many methyl groups are on the DNA.
We are in an epidemic of mental health epigenetic conditions. There were already a large number of people who were on the verge of being tipped over the edge of overwhelm for the nervous system and DNA before
COVID-19. Our world and lifestyles have taken a drastic change. We are exposed to a lot more environmental stress, and with our diets, there is much internal oxidative stress as well.
Anti-oxidants are the best protection method. But you also need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You need a solid, nutrient-rich diet and a regular exercise regimen. You also want to engage in activities that provide stress relief to lower your level of oxidative stress.
It is more than possible to get the fulfillment out of life that you deserve.
I held a webinar on this topic with Dr. William Walsh. You can read the transcript here.
To learn more about the impact of these biochemicals on your health, and what to do about it, check out my video below.