Is addiction a disease or a sign of laziness or irresponsibility? Is it a choice?What starts as a choice–albeit one influenced by our environment, social circles, and beliefs–for 20% to 25% of the population, will become an addiction.It’s true that many factors underlie and contribute to addiction–trauma, mental illness, unmanageable stress–the one thing that is cited less frequently but is the true root cause is gene variations.Yes, genetics play a huge part in who becomes addicted and who is spared. They even influence what kind of addiction people experience. For some it will be food, others opioids or alcohol. There’s even a gene for entrepreneurism. Not a bad thing right? Right, but its sibling trait is workaholism.Does this mean the addicted person has no role to play in healing and recovery? No.The quote, “Genes load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger” says it all. Our lifestyle choices, what we eat, how or whether we move enough, our sleep habits, all influence the expression of our genes.Expression is an important concept whenever we talk about genes and outcomes like addiction. Just because you have a gene for a specific disease or anomaly does not mean you will experience that issue. In case you’re wondering why genes end up with variations, here’s a quick tour of the process. Gene variation means a gene has undergone some change from its original state. Often these variations are adaptations to environmental stresses that our ancestors encountered. They were passed on through generations.. They can also be induced by environmental factors, our habits, or viruses.Then there’s genetic recombination. This is the process of an egg and sperm mingling their DNA to produce a new set of strands. This is why siblings can look different from one another and have different traits.
Back to addiction. In this video Dr. J Dunn explains which chemicals in our brains are affected by the “addiction” genes and their variations. And, good news, how it’s possible to turn off this addictive behavior by giving your brain the nutrients it needs to boost neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
She also shares a story that might sound unbelievable but it’s true about a young woman patient she had whose life was falling apart due to a methamphetamine addiction. When Dr. J read her MyHappyGenes® reports, it was clear what the problem was. She suggested a few supplements based on her biochemistry–the piece that makes MyHappyGenes® unique–and her life turned around. She no longer had the cravings!
Watch the video for more information on how getting your genes tested with MHG is the first step in turning off the powerful blueprint for addictions.