Four Things That a DNA Test Can Reveal About a Person’s Health

Obtaining a DNA test can provide insight into a person’s health. Numerous types of DNA genetic testing are now available to individuals on a clinical and consumer level. They often entail a mouth swab, hair sample, or blood test that enables physicians, scientists, and individuals to examine a person’s DNA carefully for mutations in the DNA that are associated with certain features or illnesses.

However, it is critical to remember that clinical and consumer testing are not made the same way, so they don’t provide the same level of results. Indeed, non-medical DNA testing is not controlled to the same extent as medical DNA tests. Whatever a person’s reason is for getting DNA testing, they should always see a physician regarding the interpretation of the results.

1. Can Confirm Hereditary Diseases

Typically, clinicians employ genetic testing to confirm a hereditary illness diagnosis in patients who exhibit certain symptoms. A licensed medical practitioner, such as a nurse or doctor, obtains a tiny sample of a patient’s hair, skin, saliva, or blood during a medical DNA test. Additionally, pregnant women may provide a sample of amniotic fluid for testing their unborn babies.

Among the advantages of these genetic testing is that they enable physicians to discover inherited disorders at any stage of life. In certain situations, if doctors can diagnose the disease before symptoms become severe, they can assist patients in developing a management plan for the condition. This type of testing is only done in a medical setting.

2. Help Determine If People Will Develop a Specific Disease

When a healthy individual without any symptoms has a known family history of an illness, such as diabetes, a home DNA test kit can identify particular markers in their DNA associated with that condition. Doctors can then use this data to determine whether or not the patient is at risk for getting the illness.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that with a single-gene disorder, such as Huntington’s, it’s easy to determine a person’s risk of developing the illness. It becomes a bit more complicated when multiple mutations are involved. However, genetic testing is still helpful in determining risk because it can give them an idea of how bad the illness might be and how to hopefully treat it.

3. Determine If Genetic Disorders Affect an Unborn Baby

Occasionally, completely healthy individuals might have DNA abnormalities associated with a variety of genetic illnesses. This is referred to as being a carrier, and it simply means that their DNA inherited one copy of the gene mutation responsible for the hereditary ailment or disease.

Generally, the disease has no effect on the individual or their health since their DNA still has an extra copy of the same gene that is not mutated. If only one parent is a carrier, the unborn baby has a 50% chance of developing the condition, but the risk is much higher if both parents are carriers.

Numerous fertility clinics and other healthcare institutions now provide testing to determine whether you are a carrier of certain genetic illnesses. Additionally, there are various direct-to-consumer DNA tests that yield these results.

4. Home DNA Tests Can Look for Certain Traits

Numerous consumer DNA tests now reveal information unrelated to whether or not an individual has a significant genetic condition. Some testing can identify variants in a person’s genome that relate to various features that are not always associated with sickness or medical issues.

For example, some home DNA test kits can determine if individuals are lactose intolerant based on the traits discovered. As is the case with illnesses, connections for traits are developed based on studies linking genetic differences in certain populations to these features.

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