Discovering Your Genetic Code

???????????????????????????????My last post was at the end April and here we are nearing the middle of June. I will not repeat the same old tired phrase regarding the passing of time but I will say it has been a busy and kind period of my life.

After my Sidney died I started investigating adoption options as my heart and home felt empty and in need of a poodle. I contacted Sidney’s breeder in Oregon and I had friends investigating options for breeders in Minnesota. One fateful inquiry led to adopting our new furkid, Vienna, a miniature poodle.Vienna

Vienna, age 4 almost 5, belonged to the family who run the kennel where my boys have boarded for almost 10 years. Mark, one of the owners, grew up with miniature poodles and wanted to raise them and sell them responsibly. Vienna was going to have a litter or two of puppies but when the first litter turned out a bit wild and incorrigible they felt it was best not to have any more puppies and they considered finding a good home for Vienna. As Mark was to say later, “We have had our eye on you for awhile” and when I contacted him about responsible breeders of miniature poodles in our area he had a gift for me.

Vienna is a sweet little girl and while I still get misty over Sidney she has become part of the family. My heart and my home feel whole again and I like to think that Sidney would approve of her wholeheartedly.

23andMe

On the topic of health, I may or may not have mentioned that a few months ago I bought a kit from 23andMe. I did it with some hesitation because the company often comes under criticism for invasion of privacy, collecting data to sell, etc. Also, the SU was not wholly behind me doing it but I really wanted to know more about me. A friend of mine was going to place an order for two kits and was willing to order one for me (they are slightly cheaper that way), so I asked her to order one for me. When I got my kit I deposited my saliva in the tube supplied, closed the kit up as instructed and sent the kit in to be analyzed.

The results were confusing and absolutely mind boggling at first as the government has essentially hogtied 23andMe making it impossible for them to tell you anything important about your results. They do compare your results to a person named Lilly Mendel, part of the Mendel family, and from that you can deduce some details about your health.

On the other hand, your ancestry is more clear cut and not illegal for them to tell you. I am 100% European. 34.7% Scandinavian (no surprise there, my mother’s mom immigrated from Sweden and her father was born to Swedish parents here in America) 16.1% Irish and British (Dad always told us he was a mutt, meaning he had a little of everything and he may have been right, at least as far as Europe was concerned), 4.5% French and German, 3.7% Finnish. Oh, and 2.7% Neanderthal. I might have hoped for something more amazing but this was confirmation that I already knew where I came from (although the Neanderthal was a bit of a surprise).

But what of the rest of the test?

Ugh, the rest of the test. The first thing you need to do is contact other sites to analyze your genetic results. I bought the Sterling App and eventually I purchased results from Livewello.com. I got free results from Geneticgenie.org, Knowyourgenetics.com and Nutrahacker.com. Overall, I use Livewello more than any other because it is more complete. Geneticgenie, Nutrahacker and Sterling are more about MTHFR issues and while I wanted to know the totality of my MTHFR issue I already intuitively knew I had a methylation issue, so I was curious about the rest of the data. I feel Livewello shows me more information not just methylation issues.

Fascinating or depressing?

When Nutrahacker summed up my results they reported that they found a total of 17 mutations out of the 58 polymorphisms assessed. These were in the Detox and methylation mutation report only. I don’t know about you but that seems like a lot of mutations. Some might find this disturbing but I like having the knowledge at my fingertips and I feel empowered.

Anyone who knows genetics knows we are not prisoners of our genes. Epigenetics teaches us that the way the mutations are expressed or not expressed can depend on a host of things. Knowing what mutations exist I can do all I am physically and mentally able to do to keep them from being expressed. Energy medicine also would say that positive thinking can change the expression. In other words, if you think sick you will be sick. Think healthy and your chances of being healthy are greatly increased.

Is 23andMe for every body?

Simply put, no, 23andMe is not for everybody. My daughter does not find my results comforting and she has no interest in knowing her genetic make-up. I think most young people would find the results more disturbing than someone who is already considered a senior by many. At 61 I feel like I have beat the odds already and if I can continue to stave off one thing or another I have won the lottery of life.

Most of my immediate relatives found my results interesting but had no interest in doing their own genetic testing. My SU is not at all interested in testing. His old but frequent statement is “What will be, will be.” He has little interest in his genes nor in preventing any disease or premature death.

One friend told me she would be concerned about the results and it might negatively affect her outlook on life. Obviously, it is not for that person.

Here is the type of person who I think might benefit from doing a 23andMe test:

  • You genuinely feel you have some control over your fate.
  • You have a keen interest in health and the human body.
  • You have no fear of your future and live life as if each day is your last
  • You or a loved one has a dis-ease of the body and you want to know if it is an inherited tendency

Maybe someday I will share more of my results. I find myself very inhibited when it comes to revealing anything on the internet that you might not want an insurance company or the government to get ahold of. My blog is open to the public and they, the people who are interested in such things, already know I have thyroid issues. I may or may not want them to know anymore.

What do you think of genetic testing? Have you done a genetic test? I would love to know how many people with thyroid issues in particular have tested their genetic code and want their family to be tested.

Santé,

Kris

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