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Genetic Testing

How to be in control of your beliefs

Posted By: TeamTKN

Our culture is obsessed with gathering information. The assumption is that more information is better. So we gather information until we are bloated at the fountain of knowledge.

  • What’s my cholesterol?
  • What is my heartrate?
  • What phase of sleep did I wake up in?
  • How many minutes did I accumulate in deep sleep?
  • What’s my screen time?
  • What’s my blood sugar?
  • How many breaths did I take while I was reading this?

 

Gathering information isn’t bad. In fact it is an important first step in the process of learning and growth. But too often we gather information without any effort to analyze or draft sound conclusions from it. We simply hoard it. Or we consume it till we are overloaded, but still addicted.

Enter Genetic Testing:

A History

In the last 10 years, clever marketers have made mountains of cash by gathering people’s information and selling it back to them. One popular method has been through genetic tests. These first came into vogue as a means to determine your ancestry.

 

People got the tests by the millions, and the companies rake in dollars by the  millions (along with millions of individuals’ genetic material.)

 

In return, the participants enjoyed discovering that they were:

 

Some percentage ape

 

Some percentage human

 

And .73% Navajo Code Talker

 

Unfortunately for the marketers, this process was a one trick pony. After doing the test once, there was no need for customers to return. So, they needed to create a new reason for customers to give faceless organizations their personal information.

 

So the marketers shifted from ancestry to fortune telling:

 

Give us your DNA samples and some money, and we can tell you how you’ll probably die.

 

By providing this information with neat color coded reports and medical jargon, the marketers were able to make poorly substantiated information appear even more credible. This opened up a new market for customers who were interested in “personalized medicine.”

 

Now you could assign a percentage to how likely it was for you to:

  • Get alzheimer’s
  • Die from a caffeine overdose
  • Grow a horn

Return customers? Check✔️

 

Poorly substantiated medical and scientific claims? Check✔️

 

Expanded database to sell, trade or leak to the feds or insurance companies later on? Check✔️

 

If you were a conspiracy theorist, you might be concerned.

The Results

Let us imagine you put credence into the random number generators that are genetic tests.

 

Regardless of your results, the fact remains:

what you presume to know about your genetic information DOES CHANGE how you think, feel and act.

 

Consider the two possibilities: 

Good results?

 

Individuals “learn” that they are not genetically predisposed to obesity or other concerning health conditions, and the result is that they now have permission to eat like a silly goose. They have genetics on their side.

Dr. Kashey Coffee With Kashey. Explains being a silly goose

Yale researchers refer to this as a genetic invincibility effect. In other fields, this is simply called licensing. You tell yourself a story that gives you permission to act however you want.

 

The best case scenario response is that everything you did BEFORE receiving your results remains constant. But then, why take the test? 

 

Unless you really love giving people money and making your personal information a little less personal. 

 

The more likely response:? 

Great I can pass on all this “healthy” stuff.

 

Bad results?

Ah. Now you have permission to say: 

Well then, what’s the point…I can go ahead and pass on all this “healthy” stuff.

 

Is it possible that a “failed test” result will give you the motivation you need to make a change?

 

Everything is possible.

 

But the data from multiple fields–pediatrics, psychiatry, organizational psychology, cognitive science–indicates that the more likely result would be an Iatrogenic Condition.

Iatrogenic Condition

An Iatrogenic Condition is basically when a “diagnosis” causes more problems than it solves. The external motivator (in this scenario your genetic test results) causes preoccupation. It focuses you on the presumed problem. You begin to change your behavior in an effort to “treat the condition.”

 

Eventually the restriction (overcompensation for shocking health information)→  

leads to disinhibition (blowouts, binges, and other explosions associated with loss of agency.)

 

It’s a self fulfilling projection→ You are told something is out of control, so you lose control of it

A Picture of the Problem

You can see a perfect picture of this by observing how it plays out in a parent-child relationship. 

 

In adults, our sabotaging micro-conversations happen internally, and we can’t always see what’s going on inside. In these conversations we act both as the the saboteur and the sabotaged. In a parent-child relationship, the interaction becomes much clearer.

 

Imagine the following scenario:

A doctor tells a parent that their child is at risk for being overweight. If the parent is sensitive to that information, they start to helicopter. They begin to make changes to the environment in an attempt to manipulate the child’s behavior.

 

Their response unwittingly sabotages the child and increases the chances of obesity.

 

Ultimately, this dynamic leads to rebellion and loss of control behaviors with the child:

Sneaking food, not wanting to go outside, hiding food from themselves or others, acting like a jerk, making riskier decisions, gorging at friend’s houses.

 

(Does this sound familiar? It should. This is how adults act too!)

 

In this scenario, a test result motivated the parent to fix things until they were broken.

 

But this happens every day in both children and adults. 

 

It is the most likely scenario when engaging in genetic testing. Put credence in the results and you can watch yourself fix things until they are broken. This phenomenon was recorded decades before genetic testing The iatrogenic effect is repeated in multiple fields.

 

Labels, when they are internalized, affect what you think, feel and do.They create a maladaptive negative feedback loop far more often than it creates a positive feedback loop

 

The more you truly believe you can change something, the more influence you have over it.

 

The more you truly believe that something is outside of your control, the more influence you have over it being out of your control. 

 

If you go looking for labels, you can find them. People will happily give them to you. They are even happier to charge you for them. 

 

But if the best case scenario is no change in action, perhaps you could spend your time looking for something else. 

Dr. Kashey explains What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

We simply hoard information. Or consume it til we are overloaded, but still addicted. 

Our culture is obsessed with gathering information.

The assumption is the more information the better. So we gather information until we are bloated at the fountain of knowledge.

  • Whats my cholesterol 
  • What is my heartrate?
  • What phase of sleep did I wake up in?
  • How many minutes did I accumulate in deep sleep?
  • What’s my screen time? 
  • Whats my blood sugar?
  • How many breaths did I take while I was reading this?

Gathering information isn’t bad. In fact it is an important first step in the process of learning and growth. But too often we father information without any effort to analyze or draft sound conclusions from it.

About Jacquelyn Laporte

Jacquelyn LaPorte has had the privilege of working with TKN since 2018. The journey has been a wild one, but it has ushered her into the driver’s seat of her own life. She learned how to ask questions, answer them honestly and act on the answers. She has used this process to become a better parent to her 3 kids, a better wife, a better boss, a better learner, a better human. She believes that no experience is wasted, (not even majoring in a dead language with no career plan😊 or starting a business with 0 entrepreneurial spirit). Each experience gives the gift of new eyes. Perfect choices are not required, and that makes her free to choose.

 

“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, and every one of them sufficient.”

-Marilynne Robinson-

Trevor Kashey Nutrition

Team TKN

Team TKN cultivates, curates and shares Dr. Trevor Kasheys’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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