Thursday, August 28, 2008

Followup on Factor Five Leyden (or Leiden) and No Pictures to Look At!

Had an uneventful and interesting visit with the hematologist today regarding my test results for heterozygous Factor Five Leyden which is a clotting disorder (more clots) of the veins. The biggest danger is pulmonary embolisms. I would usually say first the good news and then the bad news, but for me there is no bad news! As I have had no clots to date or any symptoms, there is no need for any kind of medication or even to watch what I am eating. The only advice was to make sure I keep the circulation going in my legs on long distance driving or flying, but that this was good advice for anyone as they get older! You don't even have to get up and walk around, just flexing the leg muscles especially in the calves will keep that blood moving.

Also my constant sewing on a sewing machine with a foot pedal has probably been giving me lots of the muscle flexing I need! I knew there was a medical reason I needed to keep quilting !

In passing, I mentioned my surprise that there was such a high percentage of people with British ancestry that were carriers of this gene and that I had wondered if there was any selective advantage (as in Darwinian natural selection which is one of the processes that filters our gene pool) for having this gene. The doctor indicated that there were some studies to suggest that it is a favorable gene to have during childbirth as there is some evidence that there is less bleeding. As childbirth bleeding was a major cause of death back in the "olden days" of gene pool cleansing, having a gene that kept you from bleeding to death and therefore providing more children was a good thing! Maybe that is why there were sooooo many children in my father's side of the family (families of 13-16 were common). Of course now that is not a concern and with clots not showing up until after childbearing age for the most part, it won't provide a disadvantage either. So those genes will continue to float around in the gene pool and generally only cause problems if combined with some other bad genes or if a child inherits the gene from both parents. I have always been a proponent of marrying someone of a very different ethnicity because of the problems with recessive genes popping up. Those recessive genes are generally the ones that cause problems if you get them from both parents!

Anyway, I will do more muscle flexing in my travels from now on! I of course continue with my Weight Watchers regimen (weight is not a good thing) and increasing my exercise levels.

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