Your DNA holds the key to a better lifestyle and a brighter future
By Azra Shuib | March 22 2021
DNA tests have grown in popularity because they are the window to a lot of information about you as a unique person. Discovering more about your DNA can help you to make better decisions for your health, dietary intake, family planning and even for your innate talents.
DNA is the hereditary material that carries instructions for your body’s functions. A DNA test can detect changes or mutations in your genes that may cause illness or disease. In some tests, your genetic sequencing is examined to determine if you are predisposed to certain traits or inner potential.
DNA Testing and Your Hidden Abilities
It is widely known that DNA testing can reveal a lot about a person’s health, but how does it assess people’s potentials in certain fields?
DNA testing compares a person’s genetic sequence to tens of thousands of records in DNA databases. Using this technique, it is possible to decode your genes that carry some talents, such as reading ability, stress handling, creativity, and memorizing ability, among others. This way, you can understand your innate abilities and preferences better according to your genetics, which can give you an idea of which field you can realize your inner potential and excel in.
Our DNA makes each one of us unique in our own ways. With little observation, you can see how some groups of people prefer to stay up at night while others tend to get up early. There are also those who accept rejection much more easily than other people. All of these characteristics can be found in your genes, even if you are unaware of some of them. This can be a helpful tool in career development, or in building up your child’s talents and passion.
DNA Testing and Your Health
DNA testing can also determine your genetic susceptibility to different health conditions. Certain markers in your genes are linked to certain diseases, and doctors can use this information to predict your chances of developing the condition.
It is important to note that a positive test does not always mean you’ll contract the disease. For example, having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer genes means that you are at risk for breast cancer, although it does not guarantee that you will develop the disease. However, having a mutation for some conditions like Huntington’s disease can signal that the disease will eventually develop.
In deciding what is best for you, it’s important to consult with a doctor regarding the result if there is anything that concerns you. This will enable you to craft early treatment strategies and enjoy a better quality of life ahead.
Aside from that, it’s best to manage dietary needs, allergies, and fitness routines based on your genetic needs in order to do the best for your health. Not all of us know what sensitivities we have, or the best diet for our body. That’s why in DNA tests, reports would include recommendations to shift your lifestyle to the better — this covers the nutrition you should take up more, foods or allergens you should avoid and the best exercises for your body. The same health routine may not work for everyone as some people may be predisposed to having lack of Omega-3, Vitamin C or certain thresholds in fitness regimens.
DNA Testing and Genetic Disorders
The roles of DNA testing in evaluating your health is much more extensive than you would expect. If you want to start a family, DNA testing can help you be more prepared.
In some cases, healthy people have mutations in their genes that are linked to genetic disorders, making them carriers for the disease. If you have this carrier gene, you have the probability to pass the mutation on to your children, who will then be carriers of that same condition. But if your partner also carries the genetic disorder, your child may develop the disease.
Among the genetic disorders that are possible to find out using DNA testing include:
· Biotinidase deficiency
· Gaucher disease
· Beta thalassemia
· Niemann-Pick’s disease
· Maple syrup urine disease
· Wilson’s disease degeneration
· Sickle cell anemia
· Tay-Sachs disease
· Spinal muscular atrophy
· Severe combined immunodeficiency disease
· X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency
To assess the risk of your child actually contracting the disease, you’ll need to meet with a genetic counsellor. Considering the whole situation, it is very beneficial to take a DNA test so that you can be well prepared in planning your pregnancy and taking other needed interventions to ensure that you and your partner can have a healthy baby.
How DNA Testing Works
DNA is the same in every cell in your body. Therefore, DNA testing can be done through a blood test or a cheek swab (salivary test).
The DNA in saliva is derived from cells shed from the mouth linings as well as white blood cells. These cells are collected, and the DNA contained within them is extracted using a variety of methods. Studies have shown that salivary DNA is equivalent in quantity and purity to blood DNA, and that salivary DNA is stable when handled properly.
Nowadays, at-home DNA test kits have made the testing even easier. You do not need to physically go to DNA testing labs to learn more about your genes. It is now possible to order the kits online and a saliva collection kit (typically containing a saliva collection tube or a cheek swab, funnel and an instruction list) will be sent to you.
You can take the salivary sample at the comfort of your own home, and ship it back to the lab. Then, a personalized report will be sent to you, most of the time via email or a secured website.
Unlock your potential to live a more fulfilling and healthier life by exploring your DNA and what innovative testing can tell you.
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