April 17, 2019

DNA markers and Health

Warning: This is probably a painfully boring post. I would recommend that you click on the two links (especially promethease) and check them out and skim over the rest of the post, if you do that much. You see, there is little that is more boring than hearing someone talk about their own health.

So, in the last year or two, I was gifted a DNA test from ancestry.com. A while later, I was gifted https://www.genopalate.com/, which gives some health analysis from DNA data you upload. Pretty expensive for what you get, in my estimation. Looking around the web to see what kinds of DNA analysis was there, I came across https://www.promethease.com/ which only costs $12 (like genopalate, you upload raw DNA data).

Promethease gives a ton of info. You can download all of it in a zip file (it would be too much to print it. Your computer would probably freeze up if it tried). You can also print out portions of it. The site will tell you how. If you sign up, you have access to your info for 45 days.

Anyway, it got me thinking about DNA and what unlocks it, and how accurate is it anyway?

Promethease said that three of the gene markers (that said I could have some disease) was most likely an error, because Ancestry screwed up (okay, it didn't use the words "screwed up". It was nicer). It made me wonder how much Ancestry can be trusted.

I have more markers than I would like that tell me I could have heart problems, diabetes, assorted cancers, and dementia (one for Alzheimer's and a couple just labeled as dementia). (Those aren't the only potential diseases; they are just the ones I'm talking about in this post.)

Now, my father's father had diabetes and heart problems, and my father died from a heart attack at age 49 1/2, so I can see how those markers would be there. But no one I know of in our family has had breast cancer (that was one of the cancers), and few have had dementia.

I think my father's lifestyle is what gave him the heart attack. Smoked and drank. I never knew him, but my understanding is that bars (also know as beer joints when I was a kid) were his favorite hangout place. Also, he felt like a failure, like he could never measure up to his parents' expectations or desires (and I don't think he wanted to live the way they wanted him to live, but felt guilty for it). That could be part of the heart problem, as well as the reality that he had failed marriage after failed marriage, was a nonexistent dad for his blood-related kids, lost two kids in a fire, and lost a good thing when he lost mom (among a lot of other things I could list).

So, it looks to me like lifestyle and beliefs have a lot to do with it.

For example, the markers say I could have diabetes, including high fasting blood sugar, and they say I could have high blood pressure. The truth is that both my blood sugar and blood pressure are low - sometimes too low, even though that is not appreciated by the medical community. Which is probably a good thing because, otherwise, there would be drugs and interventions that destroy one's health from the side effects, just like happens with all of the diseases that drug companies have invented so they can pretend to help people and make themselves millionaires while doing so.

I think studies are how they come to these conclusions about DNA, but I don't think that's a guarantee that someone with xxx gene will get xxx disease, just that-out of the people they have tested-a certain amount of people got the disease. The reality possibly could be that there is no relation between genes and some (most?) of the diseases. Quite often, there are things that correlate, but do not cause.

In my case, I think any diseases I get would be more likely caused by the sugar addiction I've had since I was about 11 or 12, and fought since I was around 22 or so, as well as the many times I have seriously gone hungry (not intermittent fasting, but going hungry without knowing if or when I'd have food to eat or, at times, decent food). I think things like that, as well as regret and guilt for acting like an @sshole too many times would be a larger factor than simply genes.

But, I honestly think that the mind has more power to heal or cause illness than almost anything else. If a person is convinced that they'll have xxx disease because they have the gene for it, I think they'll probably be a lot more likely to get it than someone who has the gene, but doesn't know it (or doesn't believe it means anything to have that gene). After all, plenty of people without said genes still get said diseases.

Still, kudos to the scientific community for trying to make sense of things and for trying to track down why people get certain illnesses, certain conditions.

The C25k Program

For a 5k run I'm planning to do on April 27, I downloaded a c25k app to my phone (Couch to 5k). A forum was available with it (https://forums.zenlabsfitness.com/ if you're interested. It's rather slow most of the time), so I joined in, resurrecting a few threads (most of the threads had zero replies; it's no wonder people didn't go back). Soon after, someone else joined who posted a lot, then a few other posters joined in. Anyway, I made a post there today (broke it down into several posts so it would be easier to read or skip over), and I want to repeat it here.

Here is a cut and paste with minimal fixing:

I think I've been doing this program for over 12 weeks. It's kind of difficult to know for sure, because I restarted week 1 a couple of times. And I don't think I joined the forum until I had run for a week, but I'm not sure. It looks like 12 weeks since I joined the forum though.

Anyway, here's my review of the c25k program. Not this app, because it is simply following the program.

It seems to me that it goes far too fast for someone who is inactive, as far as running goes. I've been working out with weights for 2 years. Now, when I started the weights I was really weak, but now I'm stronger than most women my age. So I wasn't exactly totally inactive when I started the c25k program.

At this point the c25k program and I are parting ways. I don't regret using the c25k app, and I don't regret paying for it. It really has helped me. It has helped me not give up during those first few days and weeks, and I've met some people on here who really encouraged me. For that reason, I'm really glad that I had it.

If I was going to make a c25k program, I would make it more realistic. I think the person who created the program has no idea what it's like to have never run. Nor do they have a clue about how difficult it is to run if a person is very much overweight.

I mean, if a person is running with a 50 lb pack on their back, or 100 or 200, they might have a clue. People who are very much overweight are actually getting a whole lot more of a workout than someone who appears to be in shape, and I really admire overweight people who stick with the program, because it is not easy at all. You don't get enough credit for how hard you work and for what you do every time you do some kind of exercise program. You should be treated with admiration and love and I don't think that happens often enough.

The schedule I would choose would be more like this:

Week 1 - Run 30 seconds walk 1 and 1/2 minutes

Week 2 - Run 1 minute walk 1 and 1/2 minutes

Week 3 - Run 1 and 1/2 minutes walk 2 minutes

Week 4 - Run 2 minutes walk 2 and 1/2 minutes

Week 5 - Run 2 and 1/2 minutes walk 3 minutes

Week 6 - Run 3 minutes walk 3 minutes

Week 7- Run 3 and 1/2 minutes walk 3 minutes

Week 8 - Run 4 minutes walk 3 minutes

Week 9 - Run 4 and 1/2 minutes walk 3 minutes

Week 10 - Run 5 minutes walk 3 minutes

Week 11 - run 6 minutes walk 3 minutes

Week 12- Run 7 Minutes walk for 3 minutes

Week 13 - Run 8 minutes walk 3 or 4 minutes

Week 14 - Run 9 Minutes walk 3 or 4 minutes

Week 15 - Run 10 minutes walk 3 or 4 minutes

I would try that and see if it worked, and if it did I would continue in that manner, adding only one minute per week, unless by the time I got to 10 minutes, I could add two or three minutes a week.

Being able to run 10 minutes at a shot would still give a person decent 5K pace.