Below are five reasons why having an understanding of your DNA can be beneficial to your overall wellness:
Confirmation of Genetic Disorders
Doing a home DNA test can help you to identify if you are a carrier for certain genetic disorders. This is useful information to know, because it can sometimes explain the presence of symptoms that don’t seem to have an obvious cause.
For example, if you are suffering from an inability to concentrate, genetic testing can help confirm or deny the presence of attention-deficit disorder (ADD). Similarly, individuals experiencing frequent unexplained mood swings can get themselves tested for genes known to contribute to bipolar disorder.
Knowledge of Late-Onset Genetic Diseases
Not all genetic disorders manifest themselves early on in life. Many people will spend all of their childhood and most of their adult life carrying around the genes for serious diseases that will only exhibit symptoms in old age.
These “late-onset” diseases include various forms of cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s or even Parkinson’s disease. Having a DNA test kit look for the genes earlier in life will allow you to become aware of your increased risk and take preventative and preparatory steps for your later years.
More Effective Painkillers
There is increasingly compelling research indicating that your genetic code can be used to determine how effective certain medications will be in treating you when ill. This technique is known as pharmacogenetics, and is currently effective for hundreds of different drugs, including oxycodone.
Nutrigenomics is the study of the relationship between your genes and your diet. It seeks to understand the role genes play in obesity, taste preferences, and even cholesterol levels.
Is a DNA test kit going to give you all the answers about what foods to consume and what to avoid? Of course not. However, there is definite value in knowing more about your genetic code when making decisions that affect your overall health and fitness.
Possible Genetic Diseases Within Your Community
There are several communities around the globe that are known to carry a heightened risk for specific genetic disorders. For example, African Americans are known to have a heightened risk for Sickle Cell Anemia than the general population. Similarly, people whose lineage goes back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe are more likely to carry the genetic disorder for Tay-Sachs. If you or a partner come from one of these at-risk communities, getting an ethnicity test done is a good idea. Not only will it help you better understand risks to your own health, it can also play a big role in the potential risk exposure for your future children as well.
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