There is a pretty neat service out there for people who are curious about what the eff is going on in their genes. It’s called 23andMe and I’ve been using it for several years.
When you start learning about what diseases you have an elevated risk of developing and your carrier status for other genetic issues, you begin to realize that this knowledge can be pretty heavy.
My dad used to tell me how he had too much iron in his blood. Sure enough, in my results, 23andMe informed me that a genetic variant was present for Hemochromatosis.
How’s that for specific?
Luckily, Hemochromatosis isn’t a scary problem. It is nice to know that I have it though, and what the heck it’s actually called.
I just got an email this week letting me know that I have an update to my account. Turns out I have an elevated risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration. That’s a bummer, but they gave me a ton of info about it.
But how do I stack up against normal people?
Crap, what can I do to slow it down?
And can you show me an uber-complex-looking chart to visually explain the risk level?
Sure, knowledge is power, but it can also be extremely unsettling to learn that you have increased odds of developing a terrible disease.
These reports can’t be unseen, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Seems that there are two camps out there: Folks who want to know everything that can be known about their health (even the scary stuff), and folks who don’t.
I will always want to know. As a result of the report above, I’ll cut back on red meat. If that can afford me a few more shutter clicks when I’m an old man, I’ll take it!
The more you know. (do-do-do-doooooo)