Genetic Testing Could Prevent Disability
Recently, I had quite an experience trying to prevent a disability or two in myself. Several years ago, I found online a genetic testing service and later another similar service that could further interpret the first service's hard data.
What happened from then on changed my life top to bottom and perhaps could yours.
I won't mention specific names of services used. Let's just say you will have to find out that information yourself.
This process of my possibly preventing a disability in myself began several years ago when I spent $99 and filled a plastic tube with my spit and sent the spit to a California laboratory.
Two weeks later, I learned in part I had nearly a thousand relatives (literally) who also had their slimy spit analyzed by the same service. They connected me to them. Some of these relatives were quite distant. (On an aside, I learned through this service of a relative in California named Brian. By comparing our DNA through our spit, the service calculated our relationship as second cousins. We're actually second cousins once removed.)
Anyway, I didn't send spit with the intention of finding lost relatives, but to learn more about my body and prevent having a disability. My point is we have this technology now that can accurately predict our likelihood for getting certain conditions or diseases that can lead to disabilities. For instance, to my delight, I learned I have a much lower chance than most people of acquiring diabetes, for example; but have a higher risk of getting colon cancer and glaucoma. Now I'm keeping watch on the latter two to avoid getting a disability.
In addition, I learned I had a genetic mutation affecting my blood that could cause a heart attack and/or stroke if left untreated, which also could lead to having a disability. To prevent this from happening, I'm taking B vitamins and a full aspirin daily per my nurse practitioner and eating friendly foods. According to my genetic testing, I have three mutations that probably have been causing clots to form in my blood, which isn't good.
Never before in history has Man been able to gather and analyze such information. If having the money and the spit, you may want to consider having your spit analyzed, too. Like I told someone recently, that money I sent off was less expensive than possibly later having to pay for a disability.
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
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