I’m Trying Wild Health, Here’s What I Learned From My Genetic Blueprint
As you may know from a previous article, for the last month-and-a-half (ish), I’ve been going through the health optimization protocol of Wild Health, a Precision Medicine service helping you achieve optimal health by providing personalized, genetics-based care.
I left off my last article right before the “big reveal” of my genetic blueprint. And since then, I’ve had the chance to sit down with my Physician and walk through my health report — a 50-page document that combined my genetic and laboratory tests into a comprehensive look at my overall health, including diet, exercise, and longevity.
The report: The 50-page, slightly-intimidating document was divided into seven sections: diet, exercise, sleep, neurobehavioral, microbiome, chronic disease, and longevity. (I did not have microbiome testing, so that section was blank for me.)
Noting that this report was just a summary of some of the biggest influencers on my health, my Physician walked me through each section while providing lighthearted anecdotes to match the jargon-y description of my genome in the report. Here are some of the highlights of what I learned:
- Looking at my genetics, my Physician informed me that I can tolerate carbs, fats, and saturated fats well — though there were some risk alleles (variations) associated with my fat intolerance. One of these risk factors noted that I am less likely to lose weight if I eat a high-fat, calorie-restrictive diet.
- High cholesterol runs in my family, and it’s no surprise that I have it too.
- I have a slower Choline Kinase Enzyme (choline is a nutrient needed in the brain and the nervous system needs it to regulate memory, mood, and muscle control), which, interestingly, trickles down to affect multiple parts of my health, from liver enzymes to diet. Many recommendations included increasing foods with choline: fish, eggs, dairy, and green vegetables.
- The biggest thing for me is rest days. My body performs power and endurance exercises pretty much equally, but, based on my intermediate — 35% — recovery time, my muscles may need an extra day to recuperate. This means, according to my Physician, being mindful of soreness and tiredness, and making sure to take one to two days to actively recover. And, if I’m heading to the gym four times a week, think about taking that fourth day a little easier.
- Due to one genetic tag, the more alterations in my circadian rhythm, the higher risk I have for cancer. The recommendations here were to watch my food intake before bed making sure I fast for around 12 hours each night.
- I have a “hangry” gene! I’ve always gotten a bit grumpy when I’m too hungry, and now my genetics prove that.
My goals: Based on the major problems — or what could be future problems — found in my report, my Physician worked up a few goals for me during the rest of my time with Wild Health. Interestingly, these issues were mainly ones found across my extended family, ones carved into my genetic sequence: improving my cholesterol, lowering my risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and improving my cardiovascular risk.
- For the next few weeks, I will work towards these goals with my Health Coach. We’ll take the recommendations from my Physician and turn them into tangible milestones.
The bottom line: Though I’m overall very healthy, working with Wild Health gave me a peek into potential problems that could come down the road. Now, knowing what’s in my genetic blueprint, I’ve got a chance to work against these issues and improve my risk of disease later in life.