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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Genetic Predisposition

First - What is genetic predisposition?
A genetic predisposition is a genetic characteristic which influences the possible phenotypic development of an individual organism within a species or population under the influence of environmental conditions. In medicine, genetic susceptibility to a disease refers to a genetic predisposition to a health problem, which may eventually be triggered by particular environmental or lifestyle factors, such as tobacco smoking or diet. 
Still a little 'wordy' for me. So let me see if I can break it down to a place where my simple brain can understand it better.

Predispose means to cause (someone) to be more likely to behave in a particular way or to be affected by a particular condition. Or to make one susceptible. So I'm saying I can make myself more susceptible to something because I may trigger it due to the lifestyle I choose.

So is it really being predisposed or the results of a conscious decision?

I am not saying that we can control all health factors. There are people like my father-in-law who has taken care of his body...ate (relatively) healthy, took vitamins, etc. and yet wound up with some benign tumors in his brain that caused major (and minor) seizures. Others who regularly exercise and eat healthy can still have high cholesterol and/or heart related issues. Let's not even go there with childhood (or other) cancer.  

I am saying we do have control over parts of our lives that can have an effect (positive or negative) on our condition. Just this week, my family has gotten some poor diagnoses on their health: blood clot in a leg; irregular heart rhythms which could lead to the need for a pacemaker (waiting for the results of the 24-hour heart monitor); hospitalization for cellulitis and MRSA. On top of this, a family history of: high blood pressure, diabetes, high sugar - but not yet diabetic, gestational diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, poor circulation/vein issues; knee/ankle/back pain.  And the list goes on.

All this got me thinking. What of this CAN be controlled? What part of lifestyle and life choices contribute to each of these? From my perspective a HUGE part can be controlled. I looked back at the beginning of my blog when I did my Genogram and realized I saw all of this then - yet coming from a healthy side of it now, I have different eyes looking at it. I look at it as the way God has allowed me to break free of some of what I would have called "predisposed"... almost like I said, "I'm part of this family so I'm just destined to be this way." As I said in my last post, family health issues are waiting in the wings just waiting to attack.

I call that lie what it is! LIE! I do have control over how I treat my body.  I do have control over making healthy choices and KEEPING my body as healthy as I can. I have control of what I put in my body. I no longer will allow my family history haunt my health. I no longer will fall prey to the lie that it's part of being in my family. I pray that my children understand this too.

The news my family received this week is exactly where I was headed. I was subject to this unhealthy life because I allowed myself to be. It's all I knew at the time. So thankful that God has given me the power to be an overcomer!

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

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