NOTE: I earlier published “23andMe is Looking to Expand to Millions More Users with a New Genetic DNA Report on Diabetes.” The article is available at: http://bit.ly/2UwqYjV. Several newsletter readers asked questions about the new announcement. I decided to post my comments here in the newsletter in case others have similar questions.
I also have some personal comments.
All I know about the new diabetes reports is what is in the announcement from 23andMe, as published at https://blog.23andme.com/health-traits/type-2-diabetes.
The report does say, “This new report will impact …” I interpret the word “will” to mean it isn’t available today but will become available soon. Also, the same article states: “To learn more about the science behind 23andMe’s new Type 2 Diabetes report see our white paper” (which is available at: https://permalinks.23andme.com/pdf/23_19-Type2Diabetes_March2019.pdf).
I am especially interested in this new report because (1.) I am a 23andMe customer who has received earlier medical reports from the company and (2.) I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic 11 years ago.
Over the next few years, my diabetes became worse and worse. At one time, I was giving myself 2 different kinds of insulin shots every day plus 7 different prescription pills every day plus some over-the-counter medications. My bathroom’s medicine cabinet looked like a drug store! I was paying more than $500 a month as my co-pay for the medications while my insurance company paid a lot more than that.
One of the insulin injections cost more than $800 a month total. My insurance company paid about $500 of that charge but my co-pay for that one medicine alone was $340 a month. Then there were co-pays on the other 8 prescriptions, including a second kind of injectable insulin that cost me a co-pay about $120 a month. The various pills were cheaper, with co-pays varying for $5 a month to $20 a month each.
However, I recently enrolled in a medically-supervised program that has driven my diabetes into remission and I no longer give myself any insulin shots and a couple of weeks ago I stopped taking the last of my prescription pills. Since giving up all the prescriptions, I have lost an additional 10 pounds. In the past 5 years, (starting long before the present medically-supervised program), I have lost 34 pounds due to my diets. I expect to lose more. Best of all, I never go hungry!
I feel great and have more energy than I have had in years, along with no obnoxious side effects from all the drugs. I could write a book about side effects of prescription drugs. Life without drugs is great!
The family history problems
Diabetes is commonly found in both sides of my family tree. My father was a diabetic and my older sister also is a diabetic. So were one of my grandparents, one of my great-grandmothers, several of my aunts, uncles, and a number of my cousins. Obviously, in our cases, diabetes was caused by a poor choice of ancestors!
Therefore, I am very interested in the genetics involved and have already coached my daughter and several of my nieces and nephews about avoiding diabetes. (Science has recently proven that Type 2 Diabetes is usually avoidable, even if your ancestors were diabetic!)
I will be watching the story of 23andMe and any other company’s reports on inherited diabetes closely and probably will write about any such news in this newsletter whenever it becomes available.
Once I have completed the present medically-supervised program and if I feel the results are worth sharing, I probably will write an article about inherited tendencies towards diabetes and the solution I found to force diabetes into remission. Please note that I am saying “remission,” not cured. The article will not be written from a medical expert’s view as I certainly am not qualified to give medical advice. Instead, I plan to only describe my success with the program.
I cannot tell if the same program works for everyone or not. I can only describe one person’s results, that of my own. I can describe my own experiences and probably will encourage you to find your own solution(s), which might be different from mine.
For a “normal” article about diabetes or any other medical subject, I probably would not write about it in a genealogy newsletter. However, for INHERITED medical issues, especially issues that I am intimately familiar with, you can expect to find such articles in this genealogy newsletter.
For most people, even those of us with inherited tendencies, Type 2 diabetes appears to be avoidable!