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Written by Sarah Kirton | Updated On November 28, 2023

“Popping The Hood'' of Epigenetics – with Dr. Jenna Weeks N.D.

“Popping The Hood'' of Epigenetics – with Dr. Jenna Weeks N.D.

Dr. Jenna Weeks N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in genetics/epigenetics. She practices through the Moncton Naturopathic Medical Clinic. Her expert consultations are available for patients around the world exclusively online through video or phone appointments.

She strives to create a supportive environment where patients feel heard, understood, and valued. With extensive training and a holistic approach to healthcare, she focuses on identifying the root causes of health issues rather than solely addressing symptoms.

Dr. Weeks specializes in various health concerns from an epigenetic standpoint such as anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalances, gastrointestinal issues, skin issues, stress-related fatigue, and chronic health conditions. Her specialty is providing personalized natural health solutions based on a patients individual DNA make-up and how this can help facilitate their journey toward optimal health and wellness.

Patients can book online consultations with Dr. Jenna Weeks N.D. through the Moncton Naturopathic Medical Clinic and embark on a path to a healthier and happier lifestyle

MysticMag has the opportunity and pleasure to chat with her and here is what we learned…

What exactly is a naturopathic doctor?

The main difference between a naturopath and a naturopathic doctor is the level of education and training. A naturopathic doctor, with the “Dr” in front of their name, has undergone extensive medical training. They typically complete a four-year undergraduate program in science-related prerequisites, followed by four years in a private medical school. During this time, they receive clinical training for two years, working under certified doctors.

On the other hand, a naturopath might have completed online courses for one or two years, with a focus on topics like nutrition and supplements. Their cumulative training could span up to three or four years, including some live or in-person workshops. However, it doesn’t match the depth, length, and continuity of the eight-years of training a Naturopathic Doctor completes. It is really good to know the difference.

Naturopathic doctors have the ability to read and order blood work. They can order testing for various health aspects such as thyroid function, hormones, food sensitivities, DNA analysis, as well as gut microbiome through various tests available. Naturopathic doctors are extensively trained in biochemistry, anatomy, pathology, and holistic nutrition. However, they typically approach patient care from a holistic perspective focusing on natural therapies such as utilizing herbs and supplements, diet and lifestyle changes to obtain favourable patient outcomes.

Could you share how naturopathic medicine differentiates itself in its approach to healthcare, especially in identifying and treating the underlying causes rather than just alleviating symptoms?

In naturopathic medicine, the focus is deeply rooted in a heart-centered approach that works to find the core of an issue. It addresses interconnected factors from a holistic perspective. The key principle is to progress from the least invasive methods to the more intrusive ones.

This approach involves identifying and eliminating obstacles to cure. For instance, altering diet by identifying food sensitivities can significantly impact health, especially inflammation which can be at the root cause of many autoimmune conditions. This is a fundamental departure from Western medicine, which often lacks comprehensive nutritional training and often doesn’t feel nutritions plays a significant role in pathologies.

Your clinic focuses on providing individualized therapies to restore and maintain optimal health. How do you ensure that patients of all ages and health stages benefit from naturopathic medicine?

I believe in a healthcare model that’s individualized and centered on understanding one’s genetics. In my practice here in Canada, I’ve focused on a unique approach that involves diving deep into a person’s genetic makeup. Unlike typical Western or even some naturopathic approaches that address general symptoms like anxiety with standardized solutions, I take a different route.

I like to use the analogy of comparing the body’s DNA to the code behind a computer program. A computer uses 0’s and 1’s as code and if there is a 1 where there is supposed to be a zero then you can have a glitch. In our bodies our code is made up of A,C,T, and G and if you have a G where there is supposed to be a T you can have a little glitch. These little glitches I have come to learn can be at the root cause of anxiety, depression, ADHD, skin issues, digestive issues and so forth. When we can metaphorically pop the hood and see underneath where the glitches are we can see which pathway they are affecting. Little mutations in pathways for vitamins, brain chemicals, gut flora, or hormones can cause significant health issues.

Let’s take the example of a “glitch” in the vitamin A pathway. This mutation can hinder the conversion of beta-carotene into active vitamin A, leading to chronic issues like acne, psoriasis, dry eyes, and dandruff because Vitamin A takes care of skin cell turnover. Instead of treating the symptoms superficially, I identify the genetic glitch and suggest supplementing with natural therapies that help increase what the body has been missing all along, resulting in substantial improvements.

By understanding these genetic intricacies, I am able to treat issues at their source rather than just manage symptoms. It has enabled me to have roughly a 96% success rate in my practice. I am the person that people come to when they have been everywhere else and no one has been able to help them.

The philosophy behind naturopathic medicine emphasizes treating the whole person and supporting the body’s self-healing process. How do naturopathic doctors utilize this philosophy to address chronic and acute conditions effectively?

When a patient comes to me with chronic inflammation, especially when it relates to a thyroid issue, the quick fix might be to offer thyroid support supplements. But I believe it’s essential to delve deeper into the root cause behind the thyroid’s dysfunction.
I conduct thorough investigations, like food sensitivity testing, heavy metal, or genetic testing to understand if the foods their body doesn’t like, metals, or leaky gut (from a collagen gene mutation) are what’s triggering the inflammation and causing the thyroid to go out of whack.

Additionally, I might also look for underlying viruses, molds, parasites, or bacteria that could be wreaking havoc and causing dysfunction in the thyroid.

By addressing these underlying causes—whether it’s chronic inflammation due to dietary triggers, heavy metal toxicity, or underlying infections—we can effectively treat the root issue. Rectifying these underlying problems often leads to the resolution of the primary health concern, in this case, the thyroid dysfunction. It’s about uncovering the true cause to allow the body to heal itself.

Training in naturopathic medicine involves a comprehensive program. Could you describe the main principles taught during the four-year graduate program and how these principles translate into your practice?

The fundamental principles of Naturopathic Medicine are:

1- First, Do No Harm (Primum non nocere)
Working first always from the least invasive, least toxic treatments towards more invasive.

2- The Healing Power of Nature (Vis medicatrix naturae)
Looking towards natural substances, and supporting the body’s natural balances to heal itself.

3- Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle causam)
Naturopathic doctors identify, address and remove the underlying causes of disease.

4- Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Educating and supporting patients on how their body works and why they may need various supports
.
5- Treat the Whole Person (Tolle totum)
Recognizes the body as an integrated whole. Naturopathic doctors treat the whole patient, not the disease.

6- Prevention (Praevenic)
Naturopathic doctors promote a focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.

There’s a distinction between a naturopath and a naturopathic doctor, and at the core of our approach is the principle of being a teacher. When patients come to us, it’s not about just handing over a prescription; it’s about educating and empowering them. We delve into why their body is reacting a certain way, explaining the underlying causes and how the treatment aligns with their health journey.
Our philosophy revolves around a continuum of care, beginning with the least invasive methods and gradually progressing as needed. We view the person as a whole, not just a collection of symptoms. This means utilizing natural remedies and understanding the intricate connection between mental, physical, and overall health.
Furthermore, we dive deep into a patient’s life circumstances—what’s happening beyond the symptoms. There’s a focus on unraveling the broader context of their health issue, exploring the events or factors surrounding its onset. Is there something in their life that needs attention or resolution to pave the way for the body to heal itself? It’s about understanding the person behind the symptoms to facilitate true healing.

If you would like to find out more about Dr. Jenna Weeks, visit https://www.monctonnaturopathic.com/

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Advertising Disclosure
MysticMag contains reviews that were written by our experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration independent, honest and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.This site may not review all available service providers, and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
About the author
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.