The Scientist and I have received the results from our genetic testing kit! The kits were ordered through 23 and Me and the results take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. All you have to provide is a saliva sample - the kit comes with everything you need.
The results are broken down by Disease Risk, Traits, Carrier Status, and Drug Response. The testing also traces your ancestry. I only have access to my maternal line, obviously, since I don't carry a Y Chromosome. I'm hoping to convince my brothers to get tested, too, so we can see the paternal line as well.
MY RESULTS: I won't go into great detail since there are hundreds of factors listed, but I'll highlight key points. Also, these results are based on my genotype and aren't specific to ME individually. It just indicates that research has indicated that people with my genotype have increased, decreased, or typical odds of these factors compared with other genotypes.
Disease Risk - For the most part, I have typical risk for most of the diseases listed. But I have significantly increased odds of age-related macular degeneration. My grandmother had this and was blind by the end of her life as a result. It was extremely debilitating and isolating for her, so I've been spending some time learning more about research, treatment and prevention. I also have an increased risk of bladder and thyroid cancer, but there is only limited research done on this. One study also indicated I have a greater risk of endometriosis, but another study contradicted it. So I'm not sure where I stand on that, but definitely something to think about. Another risk I have is for Restless Leg Syndrome. Who would've thought?
Traits - I have straight hair! And brown eyes! And no male pattern baldness! But seriously, even though this seems obvious, I found a few other interesting things. I don't have a gene that causes alcohol flush. I'm not resistant to NoroVirus (but The Scientist is! He can take all the cruises he wants!) or HIV and I have higher odds of Malarial Anemia. I have a higher pain tolerance and my muscle performance leans toward sprinter (true! As a competitive swimmer, I was definitely a sprinter). I carry two different genes that are related to increased IQ from breastfeeding - and I was breastfed as a baby.
Carrier Status - I'm not a carrier of much, including Cystic Fibrosis or any of the BRCA indicators. Neither is The Scientist, which is great news if we have daughters. I am a carrier of Phenylketonuria, which is a bit scary, but The Scientist isn't so there is no chance it would express in our children.
Drug Response - I was really interested in this one because there is a history of addiction and alcoholism in our family. My results show that I do have higher odds of heroin addiction. Even though I don't ever see myself seeking out heroin, it will make me more conscious of any opiate narcotics that I may get in my lifetime. Luckily, they make me nauseous so I avoid them whenever possible. Plus, I have a high pain tolerance! Win! My response and likelihood of alcohol dependence is typical, which is good news. Still something to aware of, though, since there is a family history. I'm a fast metabolizer of caffeine (I would've guessed the opposite...) and I have increased sensitivity to Coumadin, which is an anti coagulant.
Ancestry - My maternal haplogroup is U3a1 and is 45,000 years old! It originated in the Middle East and South Eastern Europe and is apparently more rare than other haplogroups. This is really interesting to me because most of what I know about my mum's side of the family comes from Scotland and Northern Europe. I guess her olive skin had to come from somewhere, though. I'm really interested in my paternal line, but I'll have to wait to see if my brothers get tested.
There was much more information in my results, but it would take a much longer post to share it all with you. If you have any questions about my results, or about genetics in general, let me know! This testing was relatively inexpensive and the information it provides is invaluable. I would encourage anyone to seek out this information!
Side note: I've been slowly working on a redesign for this blog and would love to know what you think! I'm not quite done with it yet, but I also am not sure what else I want to do. I'm thinking of abandoning the "Allow Myself..." blog title and just sticking with Seattle Stevie, hence the new header. Feedback anyone?