Impact of Genes on your kids , what is hereditary and what is not
Expert session Question & Answers

This may be a silly question but whose genes are more in kids, mothers’ or fathers’?

50% each. However certain factors like height come from father and weight comes from mother.

Is inclination towards career options also driven by genes? Is it passed on?

Yes. Behavior patterns are controlled majorly by genes, environment and the way in which the child is brought up.

Can kids have diabetes and is it genetic?

Yes, it is. But these days thanks to our lifestyle and environment we live in has much more influence on the existence of diabetes, cardiac and renal problems

Can you clarify what is not hereditary and bust the myths around genes?

Everything is related to our genes since they make up who we are. However the environment or way we live makes a lot of difference. For example, a kid may be born with great intelligence however IG is deprived of nutrition, he cannot grow

Is there a correlation between parents wearing spectacles and kids going myopic?

Yes, both genetic and environmental.

I am stubborn and a fighter in all senses and never give up easily, but my husband fears for everything right from log kya kahenge. I don't want my daughter to carry this notion from my husband.

Same story in my house. But this is more of what exposure you give your child and how you nurture the child.

Height depends on mother’s Genes more or father's?

Height is inherited by father, weight is mother.

Certain traits are seen in my kid which we don't want her to have. Maybe because it is not a very good one to have. While I know some are imbibed through its observations, some others are purely genetic. Am I correct? When parents see such traits how do we change it in the child?

There are some things which are in nobody’s hands. Let’s not think about them.

If a kid is involved in sports then does height increase irrespective of mother's genes?

Yes, it definitely will.

Are skin related problems like dryness, genetic? What can be done to solve the skin problems?

Yes. Genetically one can be predisposed to dryness. Increase the intake of ghee (homemade), flax seeds, almonds, walnuts in the diet.

Can emotions like fear, low risk taking ability etc come from genes. Also basic habits like being lazy?

Yes. This is relatively a new field that still is developing. 75% of emotional intelligence is developed from external factors. However there is a great association on the prenatal condition too. Up to 25% of basic habits are transferred.

Does temperament also come from genes?

Yes, very much. A man or woman who is a heavy drinker or smoker most of the time are diagnosed with psychological problems and so are their children. Hence we Indian believe in Garbh Sanskar.

Can you please advise on spectacles? My husband and I have both been wearing specs since 15+ years. I’m worried if my daughter would get specs at an early age and if there's anything I can do to avoid it. When I got specs as a child the doctor said it's hereditary. As my dad also had high number, but my Mom doesn't.

In your case, you all are carriers as well as expressers of these traits. There are many high chances that this will pass on to your kids. Now that there is nothing much that can be done at a genetic level, you will have to take Care of it externally. for example, limit exposure to TV and gadgets. In school make sure there is appropriate distance between her and the books. Make sure she is writing properly. Give her a good source of Vit A.

What about obesity and its relation with genes?

Obesity is also hereditary. But these days it is more lifestyle oriented. We have to live healthy and practice healthy eating and exercising habits so that our kids can have the same role model. Practice what you preach.

How does intellectual disability come in children? What is the reason?

Unfortunately change is not welcome by anyone and change is the spice of life. Changes are known as mutations. If an extra chromosome (unit of genes) may result in downs syndrome, autism. These conditions are become common these days, however answers are still unknown

If my mother in law’s brother wasn't normal, then can this be the reason for autism for my child?

Yes. This has happened in my family too. My father in law had a history of gallstones which is very common. However my son has a rare disorder and eventually had to face a liver transplant. Unfortunately my husband too has that risk. However now my grandkids have the most risk, since till my husband the genes were only carried, my son expressed it

My son is diagnosed with autism. We believed he was a very smart child up to 2 years of age and he had speech age appropriate. He started exhibiting symptoms after that. Some say it's genetic. Is this true?

This is a case of regressive autism which means that as kids they are good, but later they show autism features. I unfortunately have not much knowledge about this

Any suggestions for vit A vegetarian options?

Pumpkin, carrot, papaya and fish.

I have a twin sister. We have lived in different cities all our life. There have been so many incidences where we have had the same accidents. For example, I chipped my front tooth by falling from the stairs and the same happened to her, at a different time but the same tooth got chipped. We even get common cold together sometimes even though we live away from each other. Do you think these are co incidences or there is scientific reasoning behind it Identical twins, I may add.

You yourself have answered your question. It is a part of your fetal development. This is carried throughout your life. There might have been times when you are happy but are unable to feel happiness because your sister might be sad or vice versa too. Very common in identical twins.

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Shweta Karodi – Impact of Genes on your kids , what is hereditary and what is not

Shweta Karodi –  Impact of Genes on your kids , what is hereditary and what is not

Shweta Karodi completed her MSc in Genetics and Cancer studies from the UK. She used to be a Market Researcher for 7 years until she came to her son’s needs of  a liver transplant. It has been a year now that as a family they have gone through it and are surviving well. Now she is a full time mother taking care of her son. Her daily routine is to make him ready to go to various therapies since he has ADHD and looking after him. However she is  now giving her knowledge and experience to people to make this world a better place to live.