10 Reasons to Get a DNA Test

April 10, 2018
TRW Mason

1. Gift to a loved one

Genetic testing is a new idea for many of us. Unlocking the mysteries in our genes is novel, intriguing, and perhaps even a little bit scary. Diving into cutting-edge medical science could be a big step for some people, but taking control of your own genome is painless and always empowering. If someone you love is into science and health, then sending them a DNA testing kit could be the perfect gift.

2. Peace of mind

Looking into your own DNA is a liberating experience. It is not a diagnosis, but a look at yourself. You could get info on conditions that you may be at risk for and some that you might not need to worry about. With this information, you can start living a lifestyle tailored to your unique genetic makeup. However, until you get a test, that knowledge will stay hidden. Having a DNA test can give you the peace of mind to live a healthy confident lifestyle.

3. Know which medications will work for you

Healthcare is positively jammed full of medications for every possible condition. If you are like most people, your doctor will probably prescribe you something one day. However, the current method for treating any disease is mostly trial and error. How your body responds to medications can vary depending on the information that your doctor may not have. For instance, people with a mutation on their adrenal receptors could respond twice as well to certain antihypertensive treatment. That’s the type of information that I would like to have.

4. And which medications will not work

Just as some drugs can be extremely useful, depending on your genome some could be rendered nearly useless. Without a genetic profile, you could be stuck taking a drug that doesn’t help you. What is more, many drugs in the standard medical pharmacopeia come with some nasty side effects. Why risk having all the side effects with none of the benefits? Before now unlocking your genome was a dream of science fiction, like flying cars, or a progressive climate policy. Now there is no excuse.

5. Get an explanation

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common diseases in the world. However, being diagnosed with one can be a confusing experience. These diseases rarely have a definitive cause and the explanation from your doctor might not be satisfying. However, many of us carry genes that can predispose us to cardiovascular disease. A defect in one of your blood vessel proteins could increase your chances of developing atherosclerosis. A genetic test may be the only way to know how a condition developed.

6. Know if any offspring would be at risk

Having a child is no easy decision. Not knowing what could happen in their health as they grow up can be especially daunting. Many cardiac conditions are heritable. When you uncover whether you carry genes that can put you at risk for cardiovascular diseases, you are not just finding this out for yourself. The knowledge you gain can give a better idea of what your children might inherit and create a plan for their future. Taking a DNA test can help you understand the genetics of your whole family, help you to protect those closest to you, and develop a lifestyle that keeps everyone healthy.

7. Be ready for the future

Uncertainty can be the elephant in the room for all cardiac conditions. They can be hard to spot, devastating in their impact, and rarely is anyone prepared. A full battery of tests from a cardiologist can be exhausting and invasive, but a DNA test takes only a sample of saliva. A genetic test can analyse 100 known markers to find if there are any cardiovascular conditions that you might be predisposed to. Armed with a knowledge of your own genome you can begin a lifestyle specifically tailored to lower your risk and keep you ready for the future.

8. Contribute to research

The Human Genome Project was the scientific breakthrough of the century when it came out. Costing billions of dollars and man-hours we finally got a glimpse at what made us human. Now, the cost of DNA analysis has dropped to the point where anyone can get involved. The world of medical genetics is buzzing with breakthroughs every week. Everyone has a unique genome with a story to tell and something to add to our current knowledge. Initiatives like the 100,000 Genome Project are bringing people and researchers together to solve genetic mysteries in medicine. Why not get involved and make the whole world a better place?

9. Supercharge meetings with your doctor

An appointment with a doctor can be a tedious affair. Question after question that might not even seem relevant. A doctor never knows what might be important until they ask about or test for it. With a genetic report, you can bring invaluable data to the forefront. You can get to questions directly related to your unique genetics, ask about tests that you know are relevant to you, and close the gap in genetic knowledge between you and your healthcare provider. A clinic appointment should answer questions about your health and a genetic test is a powerful tool to bring to your doctor.

10. Be on the cutting edge of medical science

Genetic testing has been the dream of scientists since DNA was first discovered. However, that dream has only just become a reality. For the first time, treatments can be personalised based on a genetic profile. This is the current frontier of medical science. Taking your genome into your own hands isn’t just empowering, it is the future of healthcare and medical science.