DNA is a short form for deoxyribonucleic acid which carries genetic information. Genetic testing is a medical test in which changes in your genes are recognized, and it is discovered if you have any disease or body issue being passed on through your previous generations. These tests involve taking a sample of your hair, skin, blood or saliva to observe a person’s DNA and see traits in or behavior of the body.
Why is DNA Health Testing Important?
If a person is facing a particular symptom, doctors might take these DNA tests which are said to be the window to one’s health profile. It can result in detecting around 2,000 hereditary issues. According to many doctors, the results of these tests are trustworthy and precise. One important advantage of DNA health testing is that hereditary diseases can be identified at any age in life, and sometimes even before any serious symptoms arise. Due to this reason, treatment for the disease can be conducted in a timely fashion.
Types of DNA Tests
Presymptomatic genetic tests: Whenever a person has no symptoms but has a family history of a particular disease such as diabetes, then these tests can detect their tendency to develop the disease at an early stage. If the disease is not very common, looking at one gene would not be enough, and detecting it could be difficult. But eventually, doctors can get an idea of how perilous the disease can be for the patient in the future and in what ways it can be avoided.
Carrier test: If you are trying to conceive, many parents are concerned that they might have a disease which can pass on to their unborn child. Sometimes our body might have a single mutation of the gene carrying a particular hereditary disease. This doesn’t mean the disease affects us, but if both the mother and the father have that single gene, then it can transfer on to the baby and become serious. Knowing about this would be beneficial for parents to be, in order to plan in a better way for their child.
Predictive genetic test: This test can detect if some mutations associated with cancer were inherited by you through your genes. Then doctors can start medical treatment or guide you as per your weight and diet to counter such a disease in the future.
What is a Direct-To-Consumer Test?
Genetic testing can not only be done at a clinic or you can also perform the same test from the convenience of your home. In a DTC (direct-to-consumer) kit, the test is sent to your home with instructions on how to take the test. You take a swab of your saliva or a cheek swab and mail the sample to the laboratory. The results of these tests are then displayed on a website for easy viewing.
With these genetic tests, we need to realize that they can tell us whether we are prone to a disease or not, but this doesn’t mean we will acquire that disease for sure. This is because your lifestyle choices and current health condition also play a part in determining that.
We also have to note that these tests might only discover a limited set of common diseases, and it would not be the same as a medical verdict.
But there is no denying the fact that pre-empting about a medical condition is definitely beneficial because it can help you to alter your lifestyle, improve your health condition and create a proper plan after consultations with your doctor.