What Your Genes Say About You
It seems that the analysis of the genetic code should tell about us what we do not know, and the mystery always excites. True, doctors warn: a lot depends not only on genes, but also on the lifestyle that you lead.
The possibilities of DNA analysis go beyond the confirmation of a diagnosis already established by other methods – with its help, you can find out about diseases that have not yet shown themselves in any way, but can “crawl out” at the most inopportune moment. So, using DNA analysis, you can determine:
- predisposition to pathologies that have already occurred in relatives (for example, oncology or mental illness);
general “genetic alignment” (what diseases may occur in the future);
the cause of symptoms in the inability to diagnose in another way;
individual intolerance to a number of drugs;
the degree of genetic relationship with the alleged family members;
the likelihood of complications during pregnancy;
tendency to alcoholism or drug addiction;
the ability to engage in professional sports (with a certain degree of conventionality!);
General advice for everyone?
Gynecologists often offer one of the tests for women at the planning stage of pregnancy. For example, molecular genetic analysis of polymorphisms of four genes of the blood coagulation system revealed in the author’s genotype a combination of concepts that are difficult to repeat even in writing. Not so verbally. But the doctor gives a transcript on four sheets and, wading through the terminology, one can understand that a slight increase in the likelihood of thrombosis has been revealed, as well as a share of a predisposition to the development of coronary heart disease with age – mainly in the presence of obesity, and myocardial infarction.
Everything can be activated after 50 years and with concomitant factors, which include a family history (the presence of the listed diseases in relatives, by the way, they have completely different sores), the presence of other chronic diseases. Lifestyle: smoking, psycho-emotional overload, taking medications, diet, “occupational hazards”. In fact, similar test results can be applied to almost any …
Every person who has earned obesity and leads an unhealthy lifestyle is at risk. Therefore, it is worth remembering: genetics determines far from everything that happens to our body. There are very few genetic diseases. Yes, we read news about such pathologies, but these are still isolated cases. About 92% of diseases whose cause can be found in DNA are multifactorial. That is, a number of factors influenced the development of the disease.
Last resort Angelina Jolie
When exactly should genetic testing be done? For example, if you know that your close relatives have cancer. Here it is really worth calculating the likelihood of such a diagnosis in you and seeking advice from a geneticist. At the same time, it is worth remembering again that the presence of oncology in relatives does not mean that you will automatically fight the tumor in the future.
For example, breast cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors in women. Hereditary cancer accounts for up to 10% of cases of this disease. Everyone knows what Angelina Jolie did, whose mother and grandmother fought breast cancer – the Hollywood actress removed her mammary glands and ovaries to eliminate the risk of oncology. Doctors agree that it was a last resort. But it’s not for us to judge.
Thus, the purpose of a genetic test is to detect the presence of mutations in the genome in order to understand whether a patient has factors of increased risk for developing malignant neoplasms or other diseases. We add that the presence of cancer in a family member is not always proof of the presence of an oncogenic mutation in them. It can also be a result of lifestyle, bad habits, environmental influences (especially when it comes to skin cancer – the love of sunburn contributes to melanoma!)
A number of laboratories also offer parents to take a gene test with them and find out what talents and abilities their child has. Allegedly, the combination of genes can be used to judge whether a child will become an outstanding athlete in the future. Does he have that chance? But skeptics advise against believing sacredly such promises. The genetic basis of the psyche is the least explored area. Yes, and many famous athletes say in an interview that in childhood they were no different from their peers, did not have outstanding abilities, and achieved success largely thanks to willpower and many years of training. Often, parents, having heard about the predisposition of their child to any area, stop paying attention to the desires and needs of the child. Maybe he does not want to associate life with sports or art?
On the Web, you can also find reviews of people who did personality tests: among them were curly girls who did not have a “genetic variant often found in curly people.” And for representatives of creative professions, analysis does not always show the presence of a gene found in most creative people. At the same time, genetic tests are not cheap: on average, from 15 thousand rubles and much more … Often, users feel disappointed when they receive the test results in their hands. They wanted to know the secret, but received rather general recommendations. When deciding on an analysis, it is worth remembering: genes are a recommendation, and not a direct indication.
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