Most people don’t realize how strong the link is between our health and genetics. Sure you see that everyone in your family has a potbelly or they are predisposed to certain health issues. But do we really connect that our relatives are our fate? Can we really do anything to head off any health problems that we are heading towards due to our genetic makeup, or are we stuck with it? If you don’t have real information on a parent or grandparent, consider doing a “people search” to begin the process.
What am I in for?
Knowing your family history is the key. By mapping out the medical issues that your family on both sides has gone through, you can look through it to see a pattern. If you want something more specific, there is genetic testing that can be done with for identifying adult-onset inherited diseases. Some people may not want to know what diseases they may be harboring but those who do may be able to influence a disease’s outcome by taking preventative measures.
Types of Genetic Screening
There are recommendations for all types of genetic inquiry but some may be at a higher risk than others. The current recommendation is to screen for breast, ovarian and colon Cancers. There is also screening for diabetes. General screening is for the general population, next there is testing for people with a family history of a specific health issue. Lastly there is advanced screening for those who have already been diagnosed to carry the BRCA gene or hereditary colon cancer syndrome. You can actually do your genetic testing through online programs such as gtldna.net and 23andme.com, and there are genetic counselors at nsgc.org who can help you to interpret your results.
Nature vs. Nurture
Scientists believe that our health and …