DNA testing has become quite popular. People often use DNA testing to tell them more about their ancestry.
However, our DNA tells us more than where we came from. It can provide us information about our health as well.
DNA testing is an essential tool that can tell people about their health and bodies. It involves taking a person’s DNA and looking at different genes. DNA testing requires a mouth swab, saliva sample, hair sample, or blood sample.
These tests determine the likelihood of inheriting a disease from your parents. These are known as hereditary diseases. Hereditary diseases include sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, Huntington’s Disease, cancer, and others.
Such type of DNA testing is normally performed at the clinical level. However, many companies now offer these at the consumer-level as well. After taking a sample, a doctor will look for genes that are known to cause these diseases.
With these tests, doctors can detect a disease in the early stages and take precautions to prevent its onset or treating it accordingly.
For certain diseases, such as Huntington’s disease, only one gene mutation is responsible. Hence, if this gene is present in the DNA, there is a 100% chance that a person will develop the disease. However, for other diseases involving multiple mutations, there is no way to be sure if a person will develop it or not.
Genetic tests like CRI Genetics can also reveal information about whether you inherited a gene mutation that causes cancer. For instance, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the gene mutations responsible for breast and ovarian cancer in women.
DNA testing can determine if you have these genes present in your DNA. If one of these gene mutations is present, you have a risk of developing cancer. Keep in mind that it does not mean that you will get breast cancer.
Hence, if a person tests positive for these gene mutations, they will be more likely to have regular examinations to prevent the disease. Moreover, it also acts as a motivating factor for them to change their lifestyle for the better.
DNA tests can also reveal if you will develop diseases, such as heart diseases and diabetes. These diseases depend on several factors. Hence, a DNA test will, at best, give you an estimate.
People with a family history of particular diseases can benefit from this test.
Limitations of DNA Tests
Despite the advancements in technology, there are a few limitations of DNA tests that you should know.
While the result of a DNA test is not 100% accurate, it can reveal much information. It shows the likelihood of inherited traits, but it will not pinpoint them.
In addition to this, a genetic test will not pinpoint a disease that you will likely develop in the future. It cannot predict the future. However, it can if you have a higher risk of developing a particular disease.
Environmental factors, such as age and lifestyle, also play a role in determining whether a person will develop a health risk. If a person tests positive for a disease, there is no evidence to suggest that they will develop that disease.
Likewise, if a person tests negative for a disease, it does not mean that they will never catch the disease.
Additional tests and DNA samples may be required to detect genetic diseases.
Being aware of the benefits and limitations of DNA testing helps you be informed about your health condition. With DNA testing, you are aware of the likelihood of developing a disease. Hence, you can take necessary precautions to circumvent it.