I have a family history of various diseases. Would my DNA show me if I'm at risk? - Heal.me
Alzheimer's Disease

I have a family history of various diseases. Would my DNA show me if I'm at risk?

5 Answers

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While genetic testing is viable, it is yet to be a preventive standard. Currently, genetic testing is per request by your medical doctor from a specific medical concern. Single gene, panel, and large-scale genetic or genome testing are the primary types. For general information about testing, you can go to the Center For Disease Control & Prevention’s page: https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/gtesting/genetic_testing.htm

About risks, genetic markers can reveal predispositions of conditions or diseases before the symptoms occur. However, as Dr. Joyce Rockwood noted, plant-based diets can significantly protect you from many diseases, including those that are inherited. Why plant-based foods? For our bodies to function optimally, plant-based foods contain most of the nutrients our bodies require. When our gut is healthy, we are healthier.

In addition to our genetic disposition, there are many environmental factors to consider too. For example, the quality of the air, water, and food interact with our genes, producing modifications, noted by Dr. Val Prahl, by way of epigenetics. Suffice to state that you can influence your genetics through routine activities. For example, ask yourself, is there anything you can do each day to promote your health? Ultimately, you are the decider.

Of course, there is more to health than the physical. From a 3P view, your health begins in the psyche. Each of us thinks our way through life with a conscious mind. Our experience may vary each moment, yet there is a direct link between spirit and body.

In this sense, our genetics, such as its modifications, rely on our well-being. For example, did you know that your immune system is more robust when you are happy and absorb nutrients more efficiently than sad?

An attitude of gratitude can make a difference in your life and is a powerful remedy to genetically inherited diseases.

Keri Sitrick, MA, FMCHC, NBC-HWC
Find the old YOU who has been lost, the one with energy, confidence, and independence from medications. Get back to doing things you are passionate about and find healing in return.

Yes your DNA would show you if you are at risk, however, in many cases these risks can be avoided through diet and lifestyle choices. If you are interested in looking into cognitive health
and Alzheimer's/dementia, I would strongly suggest the online community at www.apoe4.info. Here you will find carriers of the gene that have been able to prevent any symptoms from developing even into their senior years. You will also find many resources for preventing all disease and chronic illness, not just cognitive.

I teach you how to master gut health & detoxification naturally, so you can be independently healthy, experience astounding energy, & make a profound impact on those you feel called to serve.

Yes, your DNA is a way to let you know this. Now, if that's the case, the amazing thing is that through advanced research and technology, it has been discovered that a plant-based diet (this doesn't mean you have to be vegetarian or vegan but if you are then you're ahead of the game), can reverse up to 90% of human disease as most disease is triggered by the food on the end of your fork. So, if you do get tested, then the beautiful thing is that you have the power to address this from the inside out so you can live a life of freedom and be independently healthy. I often work with women who are looking to: 1. reverse their genetic disposition and/or do what they can to prevent any sign or appearance of disease or 2. heal an existing disease by taking the proper steps to heal their bodies through proper nourishment, detoxification, and rejuvenation. Once you have the test results, we can begin to address the issue at the root cause and it would be my honor to guide you on your journey.

It was once believed that once you grew to adulthood it was impossible to change your brain or your body. You were dealt the genetic cards you were given and there was nothing you could do about it. If Mom had breast cancer or Dad had heart disease then you were just hoping and praying that you were not the unlucky one who got the “bad genes.”

We all have genetic variants, inherited traits that impact our health. However, recent research in the field of epigenetics, the study of the changes caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself, shows that it is how we treat our genes that makes the difference We can modify how our genes express.

What does that mean for you? It means you don’t have to develop the same diseases as your parents! It also means that you can influence the DNA in your body by how you think, how you move, and by what you eat.

Using the latest research into our genetic make-up has given great insight into the true causes of chronic diseases. Armed with this information, we can begin to help our bodies work like they are supposed to. I do that by giving support where it may be lacking nutrients due to these genetic variants. This simple concept has dramatic effects on overall health.

Unfortunately, in this world of processed foods and factory farms we often don’t eat enough of the right foods to get all of the nutrients that we need. Others of us have these genetic variants that create a lack of specific nutrients.

This is where testing comes in. I look at your genetics, the individual SNP’s, single nucleotide polymorphisms, that represent the strengths or weaknesses of your genetic expression. If there is a weakness that you inherited from one of your parents, it is possible to plug-in specific nutrients to make your body work better.

The method of determining genetic variants is now more affordable and easier than ever. I begin by doing a saliva test. Results generally take 4 to 6 weeks to return.

Once I have your “raw data”, we put that through a filter and pull out the information that can help us design a nutritional program specifically for you. This technique of holistic methylation is being taught to professionals around the country and I have taken extensive coursework to understand and apply this information.

I am not looking to see if you are going to develop a specific disease. I am looking to see if there are ways, working together, that we can get your body to function better for a lifetime.

I admit, this testing does not look at every bit of your DNA. Science is continuing to explore and expand this field of information.
This testing does look at multiple processes that occur in the body including:

How efficiently you make energy
Whether you have a tendency for inflammation
How well you sleep
How happy you are
How well you prevent diseases; such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer
Your ability to eliminate environmental toxins

If you have chronic problems of your own, have a family tendency that you want to avoid, or you just want to have more energy and age more gracefully then this testing is for you.

Dr. Chris Paliszewski
Natural Health for Overachievers and Workaholics

In short, yes, but it would highly depend on which specific diseases you want to know about and how those patterns show in your DNA. Some diseases have a very strong predictability factor based on our hardcoded genetics (such as Huntington's Disease, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia), while others are primarily lifestyle-based (such as diabetes and heart disease). Most are a combination of the two.

The science is very new, and we're still learning! For most heritable diseases, if you have a family history, I would err on the side of caution and implement preventative lifestyle changes to accommodate that predisposition.

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