« Better than Sassy | Main | Let's Get Critical »

04/20/2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Wow. I am suspected of having insulin resistance too -- and do take metformin, and am just now trying lower carb food plan. But weirdly, I tested as typical risk for Type II. Remarkable given my weight, no? :)

How much saliva is required for the sample? Our son was conceived using donor insemination and I would really like to have a report run on him so we have some more insight into his genetic background but he's only 2 1/2. Do you think it's feasible to do a test on someone that young? I looked on their website but there wasn't much listed about the whole collection process.

Julie, it might be hard to get a 2 1/2 y.o. to comply with the spit collection. Basically I drooled into a little cup until I had a certain amount -- not a ridiculous lot, but enough that the compliance of the spitter is essential. I don't know if they have suggestions or alternatives available -- try emailing them and see what they say!

Oh and Cecily, I think risk is just that -- risk. Not a guarantee, obviously! Also, insulin resistance is something that can be induced. I would be willing to bet that a history of caloric restriction, i.e. dieting, can cause problems like that to be exacerbated.

Also, fat =/= pathology, pathology =/= fat. :)

Ah, buried on their help page (that I was on b/c I was trying to find an email address) was this: The saliva kit we provide for participation in our service is not optimized for children under three years of age. If you are purchasing a kit for an infant or toddler, it may be difficult to obtain the required amount of saliva. So, I guess we'll wait a few more months.

I'm very against this whole thing -- it's soooo not ready for prime time. You're super smart, Jo (and you too, Cecily), and very able to understand some of these risk estimates (which, actually, some very smart people can't), but genetic testing for most illnesses is still in its infancy/ experimental phase. The potential for harm seems quite large -- people altering their behavior on what very well could be completely erroneous information. Eating fewer carbs isn't going to hurt anyone, but, say, continuing to smoke because your reading says you're unlikely to get heart disease or cancer would be.

There's also the labeling involved -- when someone goes from being perfectly healthy to being potentially very ill, their whole life can change.

Information is power, but misinformation is danger, and right now at least some of these interpretations are definitely misinformation.

So I'm strongly advising anyone who asks me not to do this for at least another few years, until it's been a) validated and b) shown to be helpful rather than harmful.

Don't they have a part where you can find out what nationalities you most resemble genetically? I'm tall, blonde, blue-eyed, and would love to find out that I am genetically Thai or Kenyan. That would be a laugh riot.

I can't articulate it very well (still), but I find it so strange that you and others of my favorite bloggers are advertising for this company. I get the intrigue with knowing something about your genes, but it also seems so iffy and potentially Brave New World and like something you might in other circumstances be really critical of. Can you write about why you're ok with working for them, or whether you have any qualms?

What scares me about this is that Cecily and others are talking about testing their children. I have a genetic mutation that is potentially harmful, and the genetic counselor told me that they don't recommend pediatric testing (in reference to my kids). This makes sense to me. My daughter can decide herself whether she wants the testing, when she is an adult. Right now, she's not able to consent, and so doing it seems disrespectful to me.

Also, I agree with what DoctorMama and Caro said.

And, finally, I do realize that you haven't talked about testing your kids (I don't think). So, this is a general response to the whole process.

The comments to this entry are closed.