Dr. Barbara Collins | Knowing Your DNA May Help You Live Longer
Dr. Barbara Collins is a midlife transition expert.
Midlife, Tranisition, Menopause
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Knowing Your DNA May Help You Live Longer

Knowing Your DNA May Help You Live Longer

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As we age a doctor will typically ask the history of disease in your family when trying to diagnose an illness.  The history of family disease is important information for health aging.

I’m not a medical doctor or an expert how knowing your DNA relates to living longer.  Believe me, I could barely pronounce the medical terms describing DNA. Did you know your DNA is one of secrets for a longer life? In an article, “18 Secrets for a Longer Life – Protect Your DNA,” found on webmd.com, it says, “As we age, the ends of your chromosomes called telomeres become shorter.” Who knew! This makes you more likely to get sick. Not good. The good news is lifestyle changes can boost an enzyme that increases their length. Plus, studies show diet and exercise can protect them. The bottom line, the article goes on to state, “healthy habits may slow aging at the cellular level.” I’m not a medical scientist, but you can ask your doctor’s perspective.

When I worked for a large health care company, employees were offered free physicals with a detailed blood analysis. Of course, I took advantage of this opportunity to better my health.

Several blood samples were drawn. One vile is too many for me. When I returned to the office for the results of the examination, the hemolysis specialist hurriedly came out of her office. With a look of excitement, she asked, “Are you Barbara Collins?” I looked at the expression on her face and thought well this is it; I must have a serious disease because this doctor doesn’t look like she has good news. Her expression looked like she discovered gold. She said, this is the first time in her 20 plus years of medicine, she met someone with a rare enzyme deficiency like mine. I said, is that good news or bad news? She said, “Oh no! You’re fine, nothing serious. Is anyone in your family from Venezuela?” “Not that I know of,” I said. “This enzyme deficiency was passed down to you. You cannot eat fava or soy beans.”

This was a major health discovery that could impact my health. Discovering relatives from Venezuela was quite interesting. Now, please don’t go running out to get a blood exam unless your doctor has requested it.  But, my point is you didn’t come into this world with a blank slate. It was interesting to know that in my past there were clues that told more about who I am.