Rosacea Blog: Genetic Factor
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If you have Rosacea and are looking for solutions in managing your it, you have come to the right place. Over the coming weeks, I shall be covering what factors contribute to Rosacea, and I will take up each one in greater detail, week-by-week, to help you understand your Rosacea and give tips on how to remove contributing factors while introducing factors that assist in controlling it.
Rosacea is an inflammatory condition with no known cause and no known cure. It is a multi-faceted manifestation of imbalance in one or more systems of the body making it difficult to treat. The general imbalances involved in the manifestation of Rosacea are in these areas: Digestive Function, Nutritional Status, Hormonal Balance, Immune Response, Toxicity, Stress Response and Genetics. However, many sufferers have successfully reached a new state of control over their Rosacea by following an appropriate treatment plan developed for them personally.
In my experience, there are commonly more than one of the above imbalances present in individual cases of Rosacea, but the combination of imbalances differs between sufferers.
Since the human body is a composite of all bodily systems, and that no one system works in isolation, the holistic approach to the person when addressing Rosacea is essential.
This week I will take up the Genetic Factor:
Rosacea does appear to run in families as one quite often observes the bulbous nosed Father with his rosy cheeked son and is younger blushing daughter. One must also bear in mind the other similarities and characteristics they share such as the foods they eat, their sleeping patterns, the environment they live in, and their emotional responses to stress. It is far from unusual to hear the words “I am like my Father, I have a short-fuse when I am stressed out.”
A relatively new field of scientific research called Epigenetics has shown that genes can be switched “on” BUT they can also be switched “off” and that these switches are strongly influenced by environmental factors.
Gene expression is profoundly influenced by three major environmental factors: the diet (families often eat the same diet), the emotional response to stress (learned behaviour that can also be self-monitored), and the flora that abound in the human digestive tract and beyond. Bacteria, yeasts, fungi & viruses are all naturally present in the human gut. A key factor is having them in the right balance and that depends upon the foods you eat because the ‘good guys’ thrive on different foods as compared to the ‘bad guys.’ This is why the diet is a crucial area to address.
In fact, there are around 10 bacteria for every single cell in your body. Your gut flora has been scientifically proven to influence 100’s of your genes, assisting their expression in disease-combat activities (beneficial bacteria play a very significant role in immunity), whereas the absence of healthy bacterial balance, in favour of pathogenic bacteria, is more influential in the development of diseases one is at risk for due to both gene expression and immune function.
The human body is an ecosystem and within the gut there are many more microbes than cells. The ideal balance is considered 85% beneficial bacteria versus 15% non-beneficial bacteria, and many of the latter are considered opportunistic, potential pathogens; they are kept in check by the beneficial bacteria or ‘good guys’. So one can afford to have a few non-beneficial guys but when the balance is tipped in their favour, your gene expression may not be favourable to you.
This explains for instance why identical twins, who have the same DNA, tend to grow more and more different as they age. The DNA never changes, but the expression of certain genes, and suppression of certain others does.
This prompts the question “Am I destined to have Rosacea because I carry a particular gene in my DNA?” The answer is clearly “Not necessarily, it depends upon your ability to practice a positive mental attitude and to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.”
Lisa Borg Dip DCNH, Nutritional Therapist – Lisa is a qualified Nutritional Therapist. She has been practicing nutrition for 8 years across a broad spectrum of health conditions. She has a special interest in Rosacea, and her research, together with hands-on experience, led to the writing of her thesis entitled “The Nutritional Management of Rosacea”.)
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