Putting Your Genes to the Test
Your health is more than what you eat and how you live; it’s also affected by the genes you’ve inherited from your parents.
What’s Genetic Testing?
Have you heard of Genetic Testing? For the uninitiated, genetic testing (a.k.a DNA testing) involves analyzing your genes to identify genetic variants that may relate to your health. This complex testing can help determine the risk of developing certain diseases since DNA instructions are inherited from your father and mother.
Is Genetic Testing the Same as Health Screening?
Actually, there’s a clear difference between the two. Genetic testing examines your genes and forecasts your likelihood of developing certain health conditions. It’s predictive, showing the diseases you are more prone to getting. By no means does it confirm you will get the diseases.
On the other hand, health screening examines your present tissue samples and health readings to identify your current state of health. It aids in early detection of diseases that have already developed.
Both types of tests are beneficial but differ in methodology and purpose.
How is Genetic Testing Beneficial to Me?
For one, genetic testing helps you better understand your genetic make-up – why your body and bodily functions are the way they are. It informs you of the possible genetic conditions you may have inherited from your parents and can pass on to your children.
Understanding your genetic make-up will go a long way in health planning. Genetic test results can direct you toward prevention, monitoring, and even treatment options.
Genetic Testing Done at Home!? Yes.
In recent years, advances in technology have allowed for affordable, accurate and fuss-free genetic testing to be done in the comfort of your home! Providers like Genoplan produces DIY test kits that allows you to extract your own DNA sample and get it sent to the laboratory for testing. (In fact, Genoplan tests examines over 460 genetic traits!) Stunningly simple, this is how it works:
Step 1: Purchase a genetic test kit. A test kit contains the following items:
- DNA Sample Collection Bottle
- DNA Sample Preservation Buffer
- Postal Return Package (not to worry – delivery cost is covered already)
Step 2: Upon receiving your genetic test kit (it’s mailed to your address). Register the test kit online by entering its unique serial number. This step is important to ensure that the correct test report is subsequently sent to the correct recipient.
Step 3: Spit your saliva into the collection bottle, add in the preservation buffer, seal the bottle and shake it. The preservation buffer is meant to stabilize and preserve your sample till it reaches the laboratory. To minimise impurities in your saliva sample, you are recommended not to smoke, eat or brush your teeth 30 minutes before collecting your saliva sample.
Step 4: Place the sample collection bottle into the postal return bag and drop it off at the nearest mailbox.
That’s all! If you prefer a visual guide on the above, check out this video here! From here on, all you have to do is sit tight and wait for the results (expect 2-4 weeks of waiting time because the number of tests done on your DNA sample are numerous). Companies like Genoplan provides its comprehensive and personalized analysis reports online (download sample report here). In fact, what sets them apart from some of the US-based genetic testing providers is that their tests are optimized for the Asian population.
You can order the Genoplan test kit ($140nett) from Doctor World’s Health Store.