It’s an empowering new perspective on your health. “In past years if you really believed that you were born with a certain number of genes and you got what you got and it didn’t change then you would believe that your genetics was just your destiny and that’s not the case,” explained Dr. Salvatore Lacagnina, an internal medicine physician with Lee Health.
Our health is determined more by our lifestyle choices than our genetics. “I have control over my genes is probably not as scary because I can really do something about it. The scary part comes in when you decide you’re not going to do anything about it,” he said.
Epigenetics is the scientific term for how our lifestyle and behavior impact our gene function. Doctors say things like obesity and genetic diseases can either be activated or deactivated based on our lifestyle. “Really taking control over simple things like eating healthy, exercising regularly, controlling your stress, sleeping properly, basic things that we know have a tremendous impact on your genetic function,” Dr. Salvatore said.
Focusing on your nutrition and modifying your diet can lower your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Doctors encourage limiting salt, sugar, meat and processed foods and adding more vegetables into your daily diet. “What can you substitute that would be better? Organic fruits and vegetables, non-meat proteins. Then the standard American lifestyle is pretty much sedentary, so if you’re going to take care of the nutrition part, take care of the activity part,” said Dr. Salvatore.
Making small changes to improve your lifestyle can lower your risk for developing health conditions and put you in control of your health.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.