Author Topic: Heredity and Illness  (Read 8605 times)

Offline healthybratt

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Heredity and Illness
« on: August 15, 2006, 06:56:35 AM »
I don't put much stock in heredity unless were talking eye or skin color.  I think most illnesses that are "hereditary" (my opinion) are just learned habits.

Consider that mom eats high carb low fat diets and always takes Tylenol and Ibuprofen for pain, oral contraceptives for birth control and takes antibiotics for illness.  If she never learns any reasons why these would be bad choices then she will teach her children to eat and behave the same way.  So, if these are in fact unhealthy choices and mom has to have her gallbladder removed because she's been filling her liver so full of toxins for 40 years that the gallbladder can't handle the overflow, then it would stand to reason that her children would be at the same risk of losing their gallbladders due to the bad habits they have learned from mom, or if mom and dad are too thin or too fat or depressed or have thyroid issues that are caused from these same bad habits, then the kids would also be at high risk for getting these same problems.  There would also be a very high probability that the children would then pass these same habits on to the grandchildren and so on and so on. 

I've also noticed through observation that people are being diagnosed with these chronic and autoimmune illnesses much younger than they used to be.  You could attribute this to medical science and early detection, but I don't think so.

I'm thinking that 2 generations before me is where it all started.  My grandmother ate healthy until I was about 10 and then her diet got progressively worse.  I remember the doctor telling her that she should eat oleo (margarine) instead of butter for her hypoglycemia.  My dad ate healthy until I was about 15 and then his eating habits modernized and his health began to deteriorate.  All along, I was learning to eat all this modernized food and didn't stop until a couple of years ago.  If I hadn't stopped, then my kids would have known no other way to eat and would continue to pass on the bad information and so on and so on.

Do you see the progression?  My grandmother had very few diet related problems until she was well past 60, because her diet didn't change until she was 50+.  My father's health problems started at around age 36 and mine started around 25 and my oldest daughter around 14.  Medical advances?  Early detection?  - no, I don't think so.  My grandmother didn't need early diagnosis because she wasn't sick "early".  You might call this heredity, but it sounds like learned habits to me.  Just my thoughts.   ;D
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Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2007, 03:34:25 PM »
I think that your observations are very astute and definitely food for thought, so to speak...
I think that your idea of learned familial habits versus genetics is pretty outstanding, and is probably a very accurate portrayal of how important our everyday choices are in determining one's level of health.   I think that the last 50 years of antibiotics, vaccines, pharmaceuticals and supposedly modern medicine has set back the true health of most modern Americans.  I've heard that you're an automatic candidate for gallbladder removal if you are 'fair, fat and 40' implying that it was a genetic trait, while not taking notice of diet/exercise.  It is this assumption that white, middle-aged women who are slightly overweight are somehow genetically predisposed to gallbladder disease that always disturbed me.
I was always upset in hearing about how obese American children were becoming, but didn't know any personally.  You see, at the time, the only children I knew were the ones at my gym.  They had fit parents who exercised daily and ate healthy diets, and they as children also showed these traits. 
This aside, I am not sure that I can completely agree that this is true for all traits outside of eye and skin color, as I think genetics does play a part in our lives.  I think that the human body is made intricately and divinely with so many aspects that we can barely comprehend.  When we think of the body on a cellular level and the variables that have been programmed into our dna for centuries, I can't help but think that there is an aspect of our health that is genetic..but this is definitely an idea worth pondering.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 05:06:54 PM »
I've heard that you're an automatic candidate for gallbladder removal if you are 'fair, fat and 40'
They imply genetic predisposition, and I disagree, but someone of this description would most likely be at risk of losing their gallbladder because of the lifestyle/diet they've chosen that made them overweight in the first place.  In this particular case, I would say trans fats.

I would venture a guess, that soon we will be begin to see a decline in the loss of gallbladders with the new found knowledge of trans fats and the public's desire to avoid them.  How would genetic predisposition explain that?  ;D
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Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2007, 05:17:39 PM »
I've heard that you're an automatic candidate for gallbladder removal if you are 'fair, fat and 40'
They imply genetic predisposition, and I disagree, but someone of this description would most likely be at risk of losing their gallbladder because of the lifestyle/diet they've chosen that made them overweight in the first place.  In this particular case, I would say trans fats.

I would venture a guess, that soon we will be begin to see a decline in the loss of gallbladders with the new found knowledge of trans fats and the public's desire to avoid them.  How would genetic predisposition explain that?  ;D
I am with you on the gallbladder issue--I think that it is a knee jerk reaction to categorize people into groups and to forget the individual.  I think that this is one of the instances where the medical field/pharmaceuticals has turned  a blind eye to the body's response because it will cost them revenue in the long run.
As for their potential explanation: I would guess that transfats interfere on a genetic level in a certain subset of people leading to gb disease.
They can spin anything.
I guess my feel on this is to take responsibility for your health, because even if you are genetically predisposed to something, there is always the potential to alter it based upon your choices.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2007, 05:35:18 PM »
I guess my feel on this is to take responsibility for your health, because even if you are genetically predisposed to something, there is always the potential to alter it based upon your choices.
Good call.
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2007, 06:14:17 PM »
I also think so very many of the illnesses now a days are as a result from learned behaviors. I'm sure they don't mean to be like that but we all pick up learned behaviors as kids and grow up with them good and bad.

But I don't think that is the case for every illness. I realize that it is our own personal genetics that determine how to process things in our body. So if a person is eating high card diet and their DNA is prone to insulin resistance then they will most likely become a type 2 diabetic, where as another person can eat high carb 24/7 with no bad side affects .

 Or if they smoke and their genetics is programmed to not fight off cancer cells well then they will get cancer where as the next smoker might never get cancer. It is all in the gentics and lifestyle.

But there are some illnesses that do what they want no matter how well the person eats. Some illness will attack the person even if the person is a health food organic eating exercising guru.

I certainly don't know of many because I'm not well educated in it but I do know of a few like :
-cycle cell anemia
-inherited porphyria
-cystic fibrosis
-Huntington's Disease
-some forms of diabetes, especially type 1s. a great deal of type 1s but not all.

Offline likemanywaters

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 07:34:42 AM »
It's so hard to say, "look this baby was born with ___, therefore it must be genetic" when you don't know things like: What did the mother eat like before pregnancy? during? while nursing?  KWIM? And it's not like you can go back a prove that it didn't affect it.

And I must say, after pondering this alot lately. It's important to not get caught up in the figuring out of it too much, and just remember life & death & health are in HIS hands.  Also reminded me of the "Who sinned, him or his parents, that this man was born blind?"  Neither, but so that God may be glorified...  (reference?)
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.

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Offline Shady Lane

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2007, 09:45:38 AM »
I think that part of the heredity issue can be because certain family groups have a genetically built in need for more of a certain nutrient than the FDA's RDA . . . example; Spina Bifida is said to be somewhat heritable, some families are more disposed to it than others.  But what if it was simply that those families had a greater need for vitamin B - which has been linked to those kinds of diseases.  If these families knew about that, they could up their intake of the B vitamins, and their 'weakness' towards those diseases would disapear.

That's my theory anyway!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2007, 04:44:16 AM »
And I must say, after pondering this alot lately. It's important to not get caught up in the figuring out of it too much, and just remember life & death & health are in HIS hands.  Also reminded me of the "Who sinned, him or his parents, that this man was born blind?"  Neither, but so that God may be glorified...  (reference?)
True, but the whole point of my original post, was not to point fingers or make blame, but to make people realize that if something is wrong with them, they can and should do something about it, because they can unlearn what their parents have taught them.

The alternative is to sit back and do nothing (or the wrong thing) because "it's genetic" and I'm helpless (or unwilling) to fix it.  :-\
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 04:45:57 AM by healthybratt »
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Offline his.silly.wife

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2007, 08:10:57 AM »
It's so hard to say, "look this baby was born with ___, therefore it must be genetic" when you don't know things like: What did the mother eat like before pregnancy? during? while nursing?  KWIM? And it's not like you can go back a prove that it didn't affect it.

There are studies coming out that are looking at the health of the father and how it affects sperm quality.  Does substance abuse affect the man's ability to father healthy children.  I have suspicions that it does.  So it may not always be the mother's behaviour that affects the child.  This isn't the original article I read, but it shares a similar discovery.
http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/ade80511.page
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Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2007, 11:18:29 AM »
There are numerous studies out there about how diet of both the parents affects their children.  I think the important idea to ponder here is that what we do to our bodies now will not only affect our lives, but  may become a part of our genetic makeup and affect the health of our children and potentially their children and beyond. 
It's kind of mind boggling, at least to me.  When I consider HB's initial thoughts about learned behavior versus genetics I realize that this may be more accurately decribed as learned behaviors becoming not so much family patterns as they are potentially encoding our dna...Blows my mind, anyway...

Offline likemanywaters

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2007, 03:42:59 AM »
HB, yes I agree. I see even in my own family how sitting back & saying, well I guess we can't help it, has caused damage. It's just sometimes I get over worried about what I am or am not doing & sometimes I just need to listen to DH & "take it easy" so as to not stress the family. Just wrote what popped into my mind...

That's interesting. I kind of forgot about the health of the Dad too & all that. (sperm health)
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Offline CountyCork

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2008, 11:15:20 AM »
I hope to revive this thread and start a discussion, as the "heredity" thing is swirling around my husband's family.

His dad has high BP (just had a minor stroke), heart disease (needs a quad bypass after he heals from the stroke), and some years ago had both colon and prostate cancer.

Now all of those are considered genetically passed down!  And people in his family are getting tested and screened for things, and pressuring others to do the same.  My SIL is going in for a colonoscopy next week.  My BIL had one last year (he's 40!).  My SIL had a mammogram.  Everyone is convinced that they all have a good chance of getting any or all of these diseases and therefore want to screen screen screen!

My husband is in the "healthy diet, exercise, positive attitude" camp.  I'm right there camping with him!  But we would like to have some good facts or answers or even antecdotes to use when the talk comes up that he should do all this stuff to "prevent" or "catch" diseases before it's too late.

My FIL (the sick one) has smoked for years.  He is also struggling with extreme stress, some bitterness and unforgiveness, and eats a refined, chemically unbalanced diet.  Of course he's going to have high BP, cancer and heart disease.  BUT, oh wait!  It's in the family!  His mother, his father, some cousins, etc.   See!  It must be genetically passed down!

We figure that a colonoscopy has it's own risks - first of all that horrible pile of chemicals to drink, then meds at the hospital, not to mention the probe! 

Can a person "beat the odds" by living a chemcial free life as best as possible - meaning organic food, clean water, clean products - combined with spiritual balance and healthy emotions?  We think so.  What do you all think?

And let's leave off discussion of "generational sins" or "curses" as  I'd like to just know about the science and health aspect of it.

Thank you!

Offline CountyCork

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2008, 09:49:49 AM »
Bump!

Offline SarahK

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2008, 01:58:07 PM »

Can a person "beat the odds" by living a chemcial free life as best as possible - meaning organic food, clean water, clean products - combined with spiritual balance and healthy emotions?  We think so.  What do you all think?

My husband's family is a mystery beyond his grandfather on his birth father's side.  But that Grandpa had a massive heart attack in his mid- 40s.  His son (The Man's birth father) had a heart attack and multiple bypass surgery in his 50s.  That would make The Man a prime candidate for the same inherited condition.

Except both of these men were unsaved, guilt ridden, heavy smoking/drinking men that were/are very driven in their careers.  The older never exercised.  The younger didn't until his heart attack - then he exercised religiously for a few years only.  They have both been 25+ lbs overweight for all their adult lives.

We don't think the cardiac condition was as inherited as the habits they learned.  We think the habits gave them the condition.

a not-so unbiased opinion, I guess-
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2008, 03:23:57 PM »
My 7 year old great niece is being tested for a heredity disorder called hirschsprung's disease. It is where the nerves in the colon become dead. That is an easy way to explain it. But the dead nerve portion of the colon need to be removed. I dont see how a chemcial free life and good diet could have prevented this disease if she does have it. Sometimes junk just happens no matter what and other times a healthy life style greatly helps to hold off a heredity disorder IMO.

Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2008, 05:18:48 PM »
It's scary to be told that a condition is 'hereditary' by a professional. 
But seriously.  How much information can they really have on most of this 'data'?  How many years has the medical community been collecting and comparing family conditions?  How do they separate lifestyle from heredity?  And I can't help but think that this professional is directly profitting from talking me into having my colon scoped and genetic testing done.  No thanks! 

I do believe that family passes along tendancies, but I don't think I would start filling out my death certificate early just based on my family tree.  I can't live based on fear of the unknown. 

I mean, I know I'll die one day, and I'm so not scared of that.  I know the one who holds the unknown, and I'll get to meet him as soon as this life passes away...so I'm good with that.  I'd rather it be a surprise anyway. :)
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Offline CountyCork

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2008, 10:01:42 AM »
Anyone know of a good "scientific" research source that deals with this type of thing?  Not a Mercola type, but maybe something different?  We've been talking and realizing what a huge industry all the screening and testing has become!  Think how much money there is to be made!

I know some people do have "genetic" things.  But is it the exact combo of genes from those parents, or is it an abnormality in a wrong combo - more like a chance?  How far back do they go with the whole "hereditary" thing?  My dad had cancer, his dad had cancer, and so on.  I know they didn't even have names for things a few generations ago! 

Just musing out loud.

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Re: Heredity and Illness
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2008, 12:45:19 PM »
On a somewhat related note, the GAPS PDF file from that thread discusses how gut health/lack of it is passed on from mother to child to grandchild...