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Personalised DNA Testing

DNA Testing aided a growing understanding of human genetics, which will dramatically change our health through customised care, regimes as well as treatments. In this article we discuss how the billions of bits in our biological code shape who we are and how tapping into this information can reveal a lot about your potential health and future well-being.

What percentage of our health is dictated by our genetics, and what portion can be attributed to a person’s behaviour or environment?

The percentage of our health determined by either genetics, behaviour or environment depends on the diseases. Some diseases such as Huntington’s disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and Downs syndrome are purely genetic.

Other, more complex diseases such as Type 2 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis have a significant behavioral component. That means that even if a person has a gene towards the disease there is a lot one can do behaviorally to prevent it.

How can understanding gene enable awareness and possible prevention or treatment?

If someone knows that they have genes to a particular disease, then they can be more vigilant to other symptoms of that disease and also discuss further clinical tests for the disease with their health care provider.

If one has two or three of the genes of Type 2 diabetes, they should watch their weight, exercise regularly and have their blood glucose measured routinely. Knowing the type of genetic defects can help in planning their treatment such as eating habits, exercise routine, supplements and even medications.

Research have shown that people who are aware of their predisposition in diseases led a healthier lifestyle and significantly lowers their chance of illnesses as compared to individuals who do not have the genes.

How can DNA testing help reduce health care costs and motivate patients to make healthier decisions?

Preventive medicine is always the best and least expensive medicine. Much of the cost of the current health care is due to expensive diagnostic methods and treatments. So preventing the disease in the first place is by far, the best way to reduce health care costs.

DNA testing provides the gene information, coupled with knowledge of the disease causes will give people a genetic roadmap of their potential inherited diseases. This will empowers us to design specific plan for each person to track his progress as well as recommendations for behaviors likely to improve one’s health by diminishing the chance of a given disease.

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