Author Topic: Adopted--genetic screening for health?  (Read 2534 times)

Inaya

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Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« on: July 28, 2016, 12:46:01 PM »
I'm adopted. It's been a complete non-issue my entire life--I don't even remember being told or even remember a point where I didn't know. My parents are the people who raised me from birth. I've had no interest at all in my biological parentage.

But since hitting 30, I've started to wonder about what my future holds from a health standpoint. Finding bio-mom is out of the question (and might be pointless anyway, since one of the few things we do know is that she herself was adopted--and that she probably had bunions and/or gallstones if my experience is any indication).

So would it be Mustachian in the long run to get some sort of genetic screening done? Spend some money now to find out if I might be at risk for something that could be preventable now through lifestyle changes? What tests are even available? Are they even accurate? Has anybody here actually done any testing for medical reasons (as opposed to ancestry)?

I'd like to have some sort of warning if I might have something lurking in my genes--but I suspect in the real world, it doesn't work that way.  Regardless, I just keep hearing people who say, "My mom, grandma, and cousin all have x, so I'm doing z today to reduce my chances of it," and it's hard that I don't have any sort of family history to act on. I don't like not knowing and having no ability to act on that knowledge.

Then again, I'm also a hypochondriac, so knowing might backfire.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 12:49:16 PM by Inaya »

bestname

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2016, 01:27:03 PM »
I also am adopted. I haven't had any genetic screening and just follow my Drs. advice on what tests to have when. I just assume I have an average risk of everything.

K-ice

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2016, 02:02:09 PM »
I am not sure if it would be worth it but I am good friends with a Doc who said
"As much as we try to get people to quit smoking and live a healthy life a lot of it is genetics."

My SO is also a genetic freak when it comes to eating and body type.
People often ask where do they work out, what do they eat...?
Work-out never, McDonald s weekly.
 


zoltani

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2016, 02:04:43 PM »
I have thought about this out of curiosity sake. However, I am a little leery of giving my genetic information to some company to store away in their database. What do they do with your information? Sure they will say they keep everything private, but what happens if one day an order is sent to them to release all of this genetic code?

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I just wouldn't do it, mainly out of privacy concerns.

sis

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2016, 02:16:39 PM »
My sister's husband did this because he was adopted and they are trying to have children.  They went through 23andme which doesn't give real genetic risk factors but then they exported his data to a site that does for a small fee (like $5).

There's really nothing that you can do about your genetics - just try to live a healthy life.  That said, maybe you'd want to do the screening if/when trying to have children.  My sister wanted to know if her husband was a carrier for anything to know if they would need to do testing during pregnancy so she had a very specific reason for it.

andreamac

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2016, 02:29:14 PM »
My mother had a rare genetic disorder and my sisters and I were tested. One of my sisters was positive. She was somewhat young at the time and didn't have life insurance etc. Now when she applies she has to say she is a carrier and is denied.somsthing to think about before doing testing. They might screen anyway but some don't.

I would rather live without knowing personally since I would think about it all the time.

StartingEarly

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2016, 02:35:04 PM »
I would say if it's something you think about a lot and would do tests based on high risk categories then go for it. If it's something you're going to do and then not follow through with tests in your higher risk categories I believe it will be a waste of money and add unnecessary stress to your life.

Bajadoc

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2016, 04:50:33 PM »
Get annual blood work, stay at a healthy weight, eat right and get aerobic exercise on a regular basis. Drink booze in moderation if at all (no other drugs, yes not even weed), work on interpersonal relationships, consciously suppress negativity, and save as much money as possible. Merry the right person the first time and spend quantity(not quality) time with your children. No other testes needed. All the best.

onlykelsey

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2016, 05:56:05 PM »
My sister's husband did this because he was adopted and they are trying to have children.  They went through 23andme which doesn't give real genetic risk factors but then they exported his data to a site that does for a small fee (like $5).

There's really nothing that you can do about your genetics - just try to live a healthy life.  That said, maybe you'd want to do the screening if/when trying to have children.  My sister wanted to know if her husband was a carrier for anything to know if they would need to do testing during pregnancy so she had a very specific reason for it.

Not adopted, but I did 23andme and also did some free/low-cost third party sites like mentioned above.  I found it fascinating as a human being, and my (half?) sister is planning on doing it as well, in part because we're curious about the "half" part. Beware that some states don't allow the testing, but all they can do is stop you from sending your little spit tube in from that state, which is not really an issue.

It was interesting to see how accurate various sites were at predicting my coloring and other phenotypical traits. It didn't reveal (or, this was two years ago and the tests didn't exist yet) a couple of very rare genetic diseases I carry, but I bet there is a third-party database that would have picked them up if I had spent some time focusing on inheritable diseases.

startswithhome

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2016, 06:29:09 AM »
There was a bill that was before Canadian Parliament that would prevent companies from being able to discriminate against people who got genetic testing. I haven't kept up with it, but if such a bill passes I will get genetic testing. I've got a lot of disease in my family, but I'm not sure how much of it is diet/lifestyle (once you get type 2 diabetes things tend to pile on, cancer from working on old ships, young hysterectomy on an Irish woman who was never checked for hemochromatosis). I'd like to know if I should have certain tests more frequently, or at all at my age of 30 (as opposed to waiting until 50 to start, like mammograms.)

forummm

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2016, 01:03:36 PM »
tl;dr--It's a waste of time/money and you may not like what you find.

In general the genetic testing that's available now is not very good. There are some very rare disorders that are determined by genetics, that we know are determined by specific genes or mutations, and that we can pretty reliably test for. These are rare, so it's very unlikely you'll have any of them. And even if you knew your biological family and knew that one of these diseases ran in the family and that you had a very high likelihood getting the disease yourself, you may not actually want to have this information. It can do quite a lot of psychological harm to know that you will be getting a degenerative disease at some point and that you can't do anything about it.

For most health conditions we really don't have good information about how genes are involved in causing them. So you'll get some results saying that you have a 22% risk of heart attack before age 55. But the result is BS because we really don't have the science to back up that kind of a finding with any degree of certainty or accuracy. And even if the number were accurate--what are you going to do with that kind of information? It's not particularly helpful. And likely harmful.

Genetic counseling is very important prior to having any kind of genetic testing done.  They can help you sort through the quandries for yourself.

DK

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2016, 02:18:37 PM »
Been thinking of getting tested through 23andme and then pushing it through some other sites to get more data....just trying to figure out how to get some level of anonymity to it....giving a false name, email, etc maybe would do it? Really, the most personably identifiable info is your genes...but i wouldn't mind a way to have some separation at least so the only way they could *really* tell is if they legit had to test me again to correspond the data.

Catbert

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2016, 02:41:58 PM »
The only reason I would do it is if I were considering having children and my SO had an a serious inherited condition his family.  Then we could both get tested to see if we both had the gene.  Then we could make a rational decision about having children or fetal testing.

A general look to see if you're as high risk for heart disease or cancer or bunions, I wouldn't both.  First I don't think existing tests are all that definite.  More importantly, what are you going to do with that info?  Exercising or having pap smears only if you're at high risk for heart disease or cervical cancer doesn't seem helpful. 

Inaya

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Re: Adopted--genetic screening for health?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2016, 03:00:59 PM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Yeah, I figured it was a little scifi to hope for all my inherited secrets to be unlocked through DNA. It would be nice to know, but I guess we'll see what it looks like in a few years when the technology improves. I still might get one (such as 23andMe) at some point, but I'll try not to look at it as anything more than entertainment.


Thanks again!