We think about genes and inheriting certain features from our parents and other family members when we analyse our hair or eye colour; however, we inherit a lot more than just that. Genetically certain sensitivities, allergies, diseases, and immunities, or lack thereof, can be passed down.
In this article, we will ask questions such as “what is genetic testing exactly?”, “How does genetic testing affect healthcare?” and explore different types of genetic testing.
What is Genetic Testing?
Your DNA remains constant throughout your lifetime. As a result, your DNA will remain the same regardless of your age. Laboratories can now test a lot more SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) or genetic sites than they could ten years ago, producing more detailed data. Because no two people’s DNA is identical (unless in the case of identical twins), your results will be one-of-a-kind.
While many individuals believe that your DNA may predict certain characteristics, this is not totally true. Your DNA acts as a catalyst. Different genes are connected to various sections of the body, and these genes are turned on and off.
Some of your genes will function properly or effectively, while others will not, which is where things get interesting. The reactions that those genes cause, and hence your body’s response, are determined by your exposure to certain elements, environmental conditions, or activities.
This is why DNA should not be considered as your destiny, but rather as a guide or recipe for living and acting in order to reach optimal health and wellness.
For example, insulin resistance is linked to the PPARG gene. PPARG is a gateway that triggers a fat cell to store more fatty acids and is important in insulin sensitivity and healthy blood glucose levels, which can lead to a risk of diabetes type 2. Omega-6 fats activate the PPARG gene, causing fat cells to remove fatty acids from circulation and store them. This causes the body’s cells to absorb glucose (which comes primarily from carbohydrates) and utilise it for energy. This is typical metabolism: if glucose is available, it is used first for energy, and fat is stored for later use when glucose is not.
This is the fundamental principle of precision medicine, a fast-emerging profession that allows each person to control their health based on their individual needs. Additionally, the field emphasizes prevention, rather than cure, when it comes to illnesses. DNA testing has progressed to the point where you may now choose from a variety of genetic tests, each of which examines unique genetic markers connected to your nutrition, skin, mind, fertility, and athletic ability. Different groupings of genes that play a role in key elements of your health are investigated in these tests.
How does Genetic Testing affect Healthcare?
Genetic testing has completely changed the way we approach healthcare. It has given us the ability to detect a predisposition to a disease allowing us to treat something preventatively instead of trying to cure it once it has become a reality. This also ensures that one does not detect a disease after it is already too late. It can also assist in highlighting certain genes that are responsible for an already diagnosed disease or assess how severe it might be. It can also act as a guide to a selection of medicines and other treatments which may assist an individual in making the right health decisions.
Types of Genetic Testing
There are many different types of genetic tests that each provide us with different information on individuals and allow effective treatment. These tests include, but are not limited to:
Genetic Testing for Medication Sensitivity
Certain gene testing such as the GENE-Rx test, from Geneway, is able to determine what medication sensitivities you might have. This is done to determine if a person is in danger of experiencing treatment failure before starting the medicinal treatment of certain diseases, enabling healthcare providers to determine the best treatment plan ahead of time.
Genetic Testing for Your Immune System
Just as with anything determined by genetics, the immune system can have variations and deficiencies that could cause a weak immune system. Once one has determined these deficiencies one can implement certain practices in order to help strengthen the immune system that may reduce the risk of infections.
Testing for Lifestyle Diseases
When testing for certain genetic variations, one can determine whether someone is prone to cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and more. Once it has been determined that someone is more inclined to develop a disease like diabetes, an individual can take certain precautions such as dietary changes and more to prevent developing this disease.
At Geneway, we can test for these genetic variations and much more. Contact us to find out more about your genetic makeup and how you can be living your best and healthiest life.