Hereditary Factors in Illness

My doctor often asks me if my parents are showing signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Apparently there is a big hereditary component to it. Also, both arthritis and fibromyalgia (along with many other immune diseases) affect many more women than men. Up to 75% of people affected are female. It is thought that this is because there is a hormonal connection involved.

I have also heard people comment that these sorts of diseases are way more prevalent than they used to be. I don’t believe this is so. I believe that many people died of other diseases that modern medicine has since provided a solution to. They simply died off before they came to develop other illnesses.


For example, my Grandmother died giving birth to my father. I often wonder about her and in the aspect of hereditary illness, whether if she had survived, she would have suffered from arthritis. Certainly fibromyalgia has only recently been recognized. People who previously suffered in this way used to say that their “rheumatics were playing up”. I also used to hear excuses about people having been sitting in a draught as being the cause of aches.


My maternal great grandmother died from asthma, or a complication of it. I have inherited asthma, but a simple puff on an inhaler has fixed this problem for me. Similarly, an injection during childbirth has prevented me from haemorrhaging. These wonderful remedies were not available in my Grandmothers’ times. Similarly, neither was antibiotics invented and my maternal grandmother lost an infant to pneumonia.


And so I believe that because of many illnesses either being cured, or at least being able to be effectively treated, people are living longer and going on to develop other diseases that were not so common a few decades ago.

Linley Duncan


If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more articles that I have written I invite you to visit my website

I am a survivor from a number of illnesses, including Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I live happily in defiance of illness with my family on a kiwifruit orchard near Tauranga, New Zealand, living the life I love and doing the things I enjoy and believe are important.

I am the author of “The Crystal Diary” written about my late daughter, published in April 2012. “Living Happily in Defiance of Illness” was published in August 2012, it is healing guidebook for people affected by chronic illness. Both books are available in printed format and the Defiance book is available in EBook format for instant download.


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