#305 - The Future of Preventative Health Through Gene Snips with Dr. Jade Dandy, NMD, MSiMR

by Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC April 23, 2024

#305 - The Future of Preventative Health Through Gene Snips with Dr. Jade Dandy, NMD, MSiMR

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The Future of Preventative Health Through Gene Snips with Dr. Jade Dandy, NMD, MSiMR

Dr. Jade Dandy is an Idaho native and fell in love with Naturopathic medicine at a young age. She graduated from National University of Natural Medicine (NUMN) in 2015. Focusing on chronic illness, she earned her Doctorates in Natural Medicine as well as Masters of Science in Integrative Medicine Research.

Dr. Dandy is an advocate for her patients’ health journey, integrating western medicine with time-tested natural medicine to bring patients back to optimal health. It is her strong belief that it is everyone’s birthright to live a happy and healthy life. Dr. Dandy is also an avid gardener and a hot springs hunter.

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The Future Of Preventative Health Through Gene Snips With Dr. Jade Dandy, NMD, MSiMR

Dr. Jade Dandy owns the Healing Hut in Boise, Idaho. She holds a doctorate in natural medicine and a Master's degree in Integrative Medicine Research. 

She advocates for a blend of traditional and naturopathic medicine to restore patients' health. She delves into gene SNPs with a comprehensive guide to understanding your genetic makeup and its lasting impact on your well-being.

Understanding Gene SNPs

Gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most common genetic variability, impacting one in every one thousand bases. Genetic variations can result from inherited or spontaneous mutations, and gene sequence changes directly influence your health.

Given the complexity of understanding these changes, Dr. Dandy notes that "single point mutations" is a simpler term to explain SNPs. These mutations may result from exposure to external factors, including lifestyle choices and environmental toxins.

The Role Of Gene SNPs In Preventative Health

Grasping the significance of gene SNPs is vital for preventive health care because they can reveal potential risks for specific diseases or conditions. Identifying these genetic variations allows individuals to mitigate risk and proactively preserve optimal health. 

Investigating and comprehending a few essential genes is important to understand their potential impact on your child's health.

Methyl-Tetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)

The MTHFR gene is linked to a deficiency in the methylation of B vitamins, a critical function for all biological processes within the body. This deficiency significantly impacts the body’s detoxification capabilities, an essential function in our increasingly toxic environment.

MTRR Gene

The MTRR pathway plays a crucial role in metabolism, breaking down consumed food into amino acids. These amino acids then enter a cycle where glutamine converts into glutamate, stimulating brain activity. 

Gene Associated With Mental Health Disorders

Genetics can significantly influence the development of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Addressing these disorders can be effectively achieved through nutritional adjustments, lifestyle modifications, and specific supplements.

Gene Associated With Chronic Inflammation 

Inflammation is a natural process that occurs in response to injury or infection, playing a vital role in the body's healing process. However, chronic inflammation can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.

Genetic Factors Linked to Cognitive Skills

The equilibrium of this cycle maintains the soothing effects of GABA and glycine. Nevertheless, individuals with a particular genetic SNP within this pathway experience difficulty calming down, often becoming easily agitated by trivial matters and facing challenges with sleep.

Benefits Of Genetic Testing

Dr. Dandy believes that understanding genetic predispositions at a young age enables individuals to prevent the onset of diseases and disorders early in life. By addressing underlying genetic issues, parents can give their children an optimum chance at living healthy and fulfilling lives.

Moreover, comprehending gene SNPs empowers individuals to tailor lifestyle choices to their unique genetic makeup. This approach primarily benefits those with a family history of certain conditions, allowing for personalized and preventative care.

Recommended Areas For Genetic Testing

Lipid (Fat) Metabolism

Medical researchers and biohackers focus more on polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which are considered riskier to health than consuming large amounts of sugar daily. The concern covers using and eating fats except coconut oil, butter, or avocado oil. 

Olive oil is okay but not recommended for cooking because of its low smoke point, which can cause saturation. Considering the brain's substantial fat composition, this aspect becomes critical. 

APOE

The brain, primarily composed of fat, contains the APOE gene. This gene is often linked to high achievers, but it is also connected to a higher likelihood of ADHD and elevates the chances of developing Alzheimer's or dementia by 50%. 

Insulin Receptors

Even with a lean body and regular exercise, some nearly face diabetes without consuming sugar, puzzled by their pre-diabetic state. Tracking patients' glucose levels gathers vital data on glucose fluctuations to identify potential issues with their liver's detoxification processes.

Glutathione

Should Dr. Dandy discover a deficiency in a glutathione SNP, thereby hindering detoxification and increasing the risk of cancer, it highlights the critical importance of antioxidants. These substances combat free radicals in a manner akin to preventing rust, safeguarding the body's health.

Cytokine

Cytokines function as interleukins and are fundamental for immune signaling. The aches you feel when sick are often from interleukin (IL-6 and TNF Alpha) activity, indicating your immune system is fighting pathogens.

Interleukins

In some individuals, interleukins such as IL-6 are constantly active. Understanding someone's IL-6 sensitivity is crucial as it indicates a higher tendency towards anxiety over minor issues, increased sensitivity, paranoia, irritability, fear of changes, and stomach aches.

They're associated with PANS and PANDAS, conditions that lead to sudden neuropsychiatric issues in children after sinus, staph, or strep infections. This analysis examines key health markers:

  • Levels of vitamins D and A.
  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Possible celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Alcohol metabolism. 
  • Risk of hemochromatosis (excess iron buildup). 
  • Fat absorption efficiency

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)

This genetic condition affects the body's connective tissues and can present with symptoms such as joint hypermobility, skin elasticity, and chronic pain. Early diagnosis through genetic testing can lead to proper management and treatment.

COMT 

Individuals with this specific SNP may experience slower dopamine metabolism, heightening their susceptibility to addiction and related problems. The COMT gene is crucial and is associated with sensory processing issues.

Genetic Testing Before Prescribing Medication

Dr. Dandy also offers genetic testing for medication sensitivity, as specific genetic SNPs can affect how the body metabolizes and responds to medications. This information is crucial in finding the right treatment plan for individuals and avoiding potential side effects or adverse reactions.

Understanding a patient's genetics, Dr. Dandy offers personalized, effective treatment plans. This tailored healthcare method is gaining popularity, enabling a deeper insight into health and the best ways to improve it.

Recommended Supplements For Overall Health

Dr. Dandy suggests the following supplements to patients:

  • B vitamins and glycine help with methylation pathways and detoxification processes.
  • Zinc can aid in boosting dopamine levels and regulating neurotransmitters.
  • Magnesium, calcium, and glycine for individuals with COMT SNPs to help regulate brain chemicals and improve sleep. 
  • Vitamin D and A helps maintain a healthy immune system. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, like in fish oil, can improve lipid metabolism and overall brain health.

Challenges Dr. Dandy Faces As A Naturopathic Doctor

Managing Expectations

Dr. Dandy frequently informs her patients that accurately diagnosing and comprehending their condition requires three to four consultations. Emphasizing honesty in this process, instead of quickly prescribing medication for every complaint, nurtures a deeper and more significant doctor-patient relationship.

Supplementation

Dandy closely checks vitamin levels, thyroid function, and other vital indicators to accurately identify what the body needs to achieve balance before suggesting supplements. However, patients often look for quick solutions and might not grasp the importance of tackling underlying issues before beginning supplementation, especially considering the cost.

The Standard American Diet

The widespread presence of genetically modified foods in America makes it harder for children to maintain a whole-food-based diet. This diet is often the norm at family events, making it tough for individuals to achieve proper nutrition. 

Tip for Parents: How to Easily Add Whole Foods to Your Family's Diet

Dr. Dandy recommends adding nutritious foods to your diet instead of focusing on elimination. The objective is to welcome healthy choices without feeling restricted.

She emphasizes eating more vegetables at lunch and starting the day with a protein-packed smoothie and fruit. The goal is to leave feeling energized and positive, not overwhelmed. 

Despite her children following a diet without dairy or gluten and only including organic and non-GMO foods, Dr. Dandy encourages them to view it as a chance to discover new culinary worlds, turning it into an exciting challenge. The family cooks together to make this journey more enjoyable, keeping them engaged and strengthening their bond.

Final Thoughts

Dr. Dandy highlights that doctors don't have all the answers but stresses the importance of persistence in seeking help, whether for oneself or a child, even when solutions aren't immediate. The key message is to keep looking for the proper support. 

Embracing this mindset can help you take charge of your health and find the right solutions for your well-being. Continuously educating yourself, remaining open-minded, and proactively seeking personalized care can lead to long-term benefits for your overall health. 

 

 

 

 

 

BORING, BUT NECESSARY LEGAL DISCLAIMERS

While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC
Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC

Rachel Harrington, COTA/l, AC, CPRCS, and Jessica Hill, COTA/L, CPRCS are Harkla's in-house Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) and Certified Primitive Reflex Clinical Specialists. They have been working with children for over 6 years in outpatient settings. They specialize in creating easy-to-digest, actionable content that families can use to help their child's progress at home. Jessica and Rachel are the in-house experts, content creators, and podcast hosts at Harkla! To learn more about Jessica and Rachel, visit the Harkla About Us Page. Make sure to listen to their weekly podcast, All Things Sensory by Harkla for actionable, fun advice on child development.


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