Are you experiencing symptoms related to a genetic condition but are not sure if you have the gene for it? A genetic testing and interpretation session with us might be just what you need for overall wellness. Learn more about the benefits of genetic testing and its usefulness in integrative medicine.
What is Genetic Testing?
Genetic testing looks to find changes in your DNA that are responsible for the incidence of disease that you may be currently experiencing. It can also be used to determine whether a patient is at risk for developing or passing on a disease, such as dementia or breast cancer, as they age.
What are the Different Types of Genetic Testing?
There are several different types of genetic testing, including:
- Predictive testing, which is used to detect changes in DNA that may occur later on in life.
- Diagnostic testing, which is used to confirm whether physical symptoms are related to a suspected genetic or chromosomal condition
- Carrier testing, which identifies genetic mutations that can lead to genetic disorders if present in two copies. This type of testing is used particularly in pregnant patients
- Pharmacogenomic testing, which offers insight into the most effective medications and dosages for your body
What Are the Benefits of Genetic Testing?
There are multiple benefits to undergoing genetic testing. A certified professional known as a geneticist or genetic counselor can help carry out and interpret the results of your genetic test. The benefits of genetic testing and interpretation are:
- Knowing your genotype can prevent harmful side effects when starting a new drug
- Genetic testing can help detect the incidence of chronic diseases such as breast cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, type II diabetes, and dementia. Applying the principles of integrative medicine to treat or manage the underlying symptoms can lead to improved wellness
- Improve your diet
- Increase your level of physical activity to lower or neutralize the incidence of heart-related diseases
Research and clinical studies show that lifestyle changes and the implementation of integrative medicine and therapies can be more effective than standard drug therapy in treating chronic diseases like type II diabetes.
What to Expect During a Genetic Testing & Interpretation Session
If you’ve never been to a genetic testing and interoperation session, you might be wondering what to expect. A geneticist or trained genetic counselor at Panhandle Counseling and Health Center will begin by asking you a comprehensive set of questions to determine your current health, including detailed family history, chronic pain, medications, and overall lifestyle. From there, a genetic sample will be taken—this can be a blood sample, but also saliva, skin, and amniotic fluid are also common sample types.
Your DNA is then sent to the lab, where it will be sequenced and processed according to the type of genetic testing ordered by your physician. Your DNA will be analyzed, and a follow-up appointment is scheduled where the results are interpreted by your doctor. Based on these results, a plan of treatment using various integrative therapies will be created and can last for several weeks, depending on your symptoms and disease.
For more information about genetic testing and interpretation, contact Panhandle Counseling and Health Center at (580) 338-4638.