Did you know discovering your roots can greatly assist in your present day health? Many conditions are hereditary and/or psychosomatic. Knowing and understanding your genealogy can help you diagnose, treat and even avoid these conditions in ourselves and our children. Additionally, knowing your regional heritage and lifestyles is a great help in consuming the proper foods and exercise, and avoiding those that are harmful.
How can it happen that two normal, healthy people can have a child with a hereditary disease? It happens the same way two brown-eyed parents can have a blue-eyed baby. Each person has two genes that control eye color but generally the eyes will only be one color. The gene for brown eyes is dominant over the gene for blue eyes. If a person has one brown-eye and one blue-eye gene, the brown will dominate over the blue and he will have brown eyes. However, the blue-eye gene is still there and can be passed on to a child. If two brown-eyed parents each have a brown-eye and blue-eye gene and the one the child inherits from each is for blue eyes, then the child will have blue eyes. The same thing can happen if the gene causing the disease is recessive. Both parents could have inherited a healthy gene and a recessive gene for the disease. Since the healthy gene is dominant, the parents are healthy.
Father has one normal gene (1n) and one for the disease (1d)
Mother has one normal gene (2n) and one for the disease (2d)
There are four possible combinations for any child they have:
1n + 2n = a healthy person with two normal genes
1n + 2d = a healthy person, since the normal gene is dominant,
but a carrier of the disease since the child has one disease gene that can be passed on
1d + 2n = a healthy person but a carrier
1d + 2d = with no healthy gene to dominate, the child will have the disease
Source: Tracing Your Health History, It’s In Your Genes, by Donna Przecha, http://www.genealogy.com; Fitness Book of Lists, Marc D Thompson, www.marqthompson.com