In the past decade, DNA testing has skyrocketed in popularity because people want to find out where they come from. Along with identifying your geographical heritage, a DNA test can also help connect you with long-lost family members.
However, the most beneficial outcome of a DNA test is discovering health data. You can use DNA technology to learn about a family illness and get ahead of hereditary diseases.
In this guide, we’re going to break down all of the health data you can learn from a DNA test, and how to use it to your advantage for your long-term health.
The Function of DNA
Your deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is what makes you unique and connects you to your family line. You get half of your DNA equally from your biological mother and father. Your DNA contains your genes, as well as your 23 chromosomes.
DNA is also made up of nucleotides that contain sugar, phosphate, and nitrogen. All of these parts connect to resemble a spiral ladder.
The main function of DNA is to help organisms grow. That includes humans, animals, and plants. The DNA strands hold the codebook for growth that your cells read and follow three ladder rungs at a time.
Health Data You Can Learn From a DNA Test
A DNA test can help you discover hereditary diseases, gene mutations, and other genetic predispositions. You can also learn if you are a carrier for a hereditary disease that you don’t have yourself.
Through DNA testing, you can learn if you have a higher risk of developing the following hereditary diseases and conditions:
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
- Ovarian cancer
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sickle cell anemia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Food intolerances
- Huntington’s disease
- Hair loss
- Other types of cancer
- Blood diseases
- Muscular dystrophy
- And more
The wealth of knowledge about your health data that you can learn from a DNA test is unmatched. Once you have that knowledge, you can use it to guide your lifestyle choices.
Another valuable function of DNA testing is paternity testing. If you are unsure whether you have fathered a child, a DNA paternity test can affirm or deny your parentage.
What to Do With DNA Health Data
The health data you get from a DNA test can give you peace of mind and spur you to make healthy lifestyle changes. For example, if there is a history of breast cancer in your family, you can end the guessing game about whether or not you will likely be diagnosed by getting tested for the BRCA gene.
If you test positive for the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation, your chances of developing breast cancer are high. You can then decide if you want to undergo a mastectomy to prevent cancer from developing.
You can also use DNA tests to make healthy lifestyle changes. If you find out that there is a long history of heart disease in your family, you can adjust your diet to prioritize heart-healthy foods.
Ideally, you should use a DNA test as a tool to inform you about the best way to take care of yourself. The best-case scenario is that you discover your health data early through a DNA test so that you can prevent diseases that you have a predisposition to developing.
On the flip side, a DNA test can also be used as a diagnostic tool. If you are experiencing some random symptoms that you can’t pin down the cause of, your doctor may order a DNA test to rule out a hereditary disease.
If you are planning to have children, you can also use your health data to find out if you are a carrier of a disease that could affect your child. If you are your partner are both carriers for the same disease, there is an increased chance that you will pass it down to your children.
Use Your Health Data to Discover Your DNA Diet
The diet industry is constantly flip-flopping over what food is good for you and what food isn’t. However, when it comes to diet, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best way to know which diet is right for you is to take a DNA test.
Everyone reacts to foods differently, and much of that has to do with your individual DNA. For example, you can discover through a DNA test that you have celiac disease, which means you should completely eliminate gluten.
A DNA test can also identify the risk for raised blood sugar, which would guide you to eat a low-carb diet. If you are genetically inclined to have high cholesterol, you should prioritize healthy fats, such as fish, olive oil, ad avocados, in your diet.
Do you feel gross when you consume dairy? A DNA test will tell you if you have lactose intolerance.
If you are tired of yo-yo dieting and guessing what foods are best for your body on your own, take a DNA test instead. You will learn valuable and reliable health information that you can use to guide your nutrition plan.
Final Thoughts on DNA Testing
As you can see, DNA tests can serve several valuable functions. They can inform your life, warn you of potential disease risks, and provide you with unmatched health data.
Along with the health-related functions, DNA tests can help you discover your ethnic background. If you were adopted, DNA testing can potentially lead you back to your biological family. Finally, DNA testing can confirm parentage. Maternity, paternity, and grandparent tests can identify a child’s true parents, and twin DNA tests can discover whether twins are fraternal or identical.
With all of these benefits to DNA testing, everyone should take advantage of DNA technology. To learn more about the DNA testing process from Health-Link, contact us today or visit our website.