1. #1

    Understanding more about your health using DNA analysis

    I thought I would share my experience with this.

    I recently bought the Health+Ancestry service from 23andMe for $199. It gives you a decent but vague fortune-teller-esq look at what you are or aren't predisposed to. "You are likely to...". But they give you the raw DNA lab result data to download in a zip archive. And for $59 more, I imported that into another site called SelfDecode. SelfDecode gives a LOT more information. It is a database of symptoms, diseases, substances, and traits that you can search and see how research says your DNA affects you in relation to these. 23andMe says it takes 6-8 weeks to get results, but I got mine back in about 3 and a half.

    I've long suspected something genetic about my response to TRT as well as SHBG problems, and that I have been deficient my entire life. I do in fact have genes that cause lower testosterone and SHBG levels. And I have other genes that indicate muscle weakness and endurance problems which I have also complained about. That doesn't provide concrete answers, but it does show that there is indeed something behind my suspicions. It is information that I didn't have before and can share with my doctor to make more informed decisions.

    None of this is approved by the FDA and there are disclaimers all over these sites stating that the information should not be used for diagnosis of diseases. It is all very DIY and you have to be the one to look for a lot of things. SelfDecode has some basic categories set up like nutrition and diseases and aging, but you have to go looking for specifics such as testosterone for example by using their database search. I think for someone who is new to taking their health into their own hands, this is probably too much "noise" and too advanced. But for someone who is in tune with their health and still suspects other things are going on, this is a relatively inexpensive way to get a massive amount of data about yourself and then sift through it to find evidence to back that up (or not).

    It is pretty cool that we live in a time where for under $300 you can spit in a tube and then be able to see what your own building blocks are and what that means in your life. And maybe it can help to predict (or avoid?) a possible future that you may not want.

    Example summary of SHBG measurement correlated with my DNA.
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    Example explanation of one "bad gene".
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    Example summary of how your genes affect your overall nutritional needs. This is predisposition, NOT current nutritional levels.
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