Genes contain the DNA that directs all of the functions in your body. Kristine Van Kirk, MD, and Kelly Gebauer, WHNP-BC, of Healthy Lifestyle Medicine in Cheyenne, Wyoming, use genetic testing to isolate genes that could make you sick or increase your risk of certain diseases. Timely genetic testing can make a significant difference in your well-being, so call Healthy Lifestyle Medicine, or book an appointment online today.
Genetic testing is a process that analyzes your genes. It involves studying your DNA, the pieces of chemical information in your genes that carry instructions for the body’s many functions.
Genetic testing detects changes or mutations in your genes that could make you sick. It can also identify specific genes that make you more likely to develop particular diseases.
You might need to undergo genetic testing for several reasons, such as:
Genetic testing can confirm or rule out that disorder if you’ve got symptoms of a disease that can result from mutated genes. Cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease are examples of conditions that genetic testing can diagnose.
Predictive or presymptomatic testing might be a good idea if there’s a history of a genetic condition in your family. The test can assess your risk of developing diseases like colorectal cancer before experiencing symptoms.
Carrier testing before getting pregnant can determine whether you have genes that could pose risks to any children you have. You might want this test if you’re in a higher-risk group for certain conditions, such as sickle cell disease.
Expanded carrier screening tests are nonspecific, looking for various genetic diseases. They can also identify whether you and your partner are both carriers, which could significantly increase your child’s risk of inheriting the disease.
Pharmacogenetics is a way of looking at your genes to ensure you get the most effective and least risky medications and dosages for a particular health condition.
Genetic testing also plays a vital role in pregnancy, from newborn screening to checking for abnormalities to testing embryos during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
Genetic testing at Healthy Lifestyle Medicine is a straightforward, painless process. Your provider just takes a sample of the cells inside your cheek using a cotton swab. The swab goes to the genetics lab for analysis, and when the results come back, the Healthy Lifestyle Medicine team discusses them with you.
To find out how genetic testing could be of benefit to your health and well-being, call Healthy Lifestyle Medicine today, or book an appointment online.