For years, DNA analysis has been used to aid law enforcement in identifying and eliminating suspects for criminal cases. But DNA testing services have also become a way for us to learn more about ourselves. In some cases, you may not even need access to laboratory equipment to discover information about your genetic makeup or distant relations on your family tree. However, the critical need for USA lab equipment and professional DNA analysis remains — especially as many of us want to know as much as we can to protect ourselves and our children from future harm.
Many patients are aware that DNA analysis can be performed in order to reveal crucial information about their health that might otherwise stay hidden. While it’s important to acknowledge that DNA testing won’t always prove with 100% certainty that an individual will contract a disease or health condition, the information revealed through DNA analysis can often provide peace of mind, the motivation to make a change, or additional time to prepare for what might occur later in life. Here are just a few things that DNA testing can tell patients about their health.
Hereditary Disease Confirmation
Genetic testing is often used as a tool to confirm a diagnosis, particularly after a patient has already experienced symptoms of a particular disease. Certain health conditions — such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and sickle cell disease — are hereditary, meaning that they are typically passed down from parent to child. Even if you have not yet started to experience symptoms associated with a hereditary health condition, a DNA test could confirm the presence of this disease in the early stages. Receiving a definitive diagnosis early on can allow you to seek treatment and potentially prevent negative outcomes associated with that condition.
Risk of Disease Development
It’s also worth noting that DNA testing can identify a patient’s potential risk of developing a certain condition based on genetic factors. Your DNA might contain certain variations that mean you’re predisposed to developing a specific disease (hereditary or not). This isn’t proof-positive that you’ll eventually develop something like diabetes or cancer, for instance, but the results could potentially help you to assess other risk factors in your life and make pertinent changes that could lower those risks. There are now tests that can analyze a patient’s predisposition for developing conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, as well as less deadly conditions like celiac disease or lactose intolerance. These tests won’t be able to give an individual a diagnosis — and in some cases, they might not indicate any real likelihood of disease development. However, they can serve as an eye-opener for those who lack the motivation to make a lifestyle change or who want to ensure their loved ones are taken care of in the future.
DNA testing can also tell you whether you possess a genetic mutation that could lead to disease development. In some cases, this might not actually impact your own health — but it could impact the health of your children. Through genetic testing, you might find out that you’re a carrier for a disease like cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease. You might not even realize you carry this gene until you undergo testing. If your partner also carries that same mutation, there’s a much higher risk that any child you have together will develop that health condition. Of course, many men and women who want to be parents will undergo genetic testing to learn more about the medical risks their child might have. And if you become pregnant, you might also undergo a form of genetic testing to assess whether your unborn child might be born with a health condition. Only one in every 1,000 women screened through noninvasive prenatal sampling will receive a false positive on a Down syndrome diagnosis, so many parents-to-be feel this type of testing can provide crucial information about the health of their child.
Genetic testing plays an important role in providing essential health information to many Americans. As our curiosity pertaining to DNA analysis grows, it’s essential for biomedical facilities to obtain reliable access to the testing kits they need. For more information, please contact ITSI BioSciences today.