Your Diagnosis is in the Mail
- Published: Friday, March 16th 2018
- in Living Well
These days, the entire world can come to you. Food can be delivered at the click of a button, and groceries sent straight to your doorstep. You can even order a luxurious massage in the comfort of your home, thanks to companies like Zeel. So why drag yourself to a hospital or lab for medical tests? It’s not surprising that personalized health diagnosis is a blossoming business and more people are sending their DNA samples to companies that test for genetic markers and recommend a health routine designed specifically for you.
There’s a Test for That!
Companies like EverlyWell, Wellness FX, and LifeNome offer a wide range of tests from fertility to personalized skin tests to a susceptibility to certain diseases. Seemingly everything relating to the human body – and your own health – can be analyzed. Plus, experts use your profile to create a wellness recommendation tailored specifically for you.
For example, WellnessFX, a testing collaboration between the Mayo Clinic and Thorne Research, combines a genetic test; comprehensive blood, body and biomarker diagnostics testing; and an intestinal biome test. The biome test shows the exact foods your body can absorb and benefit from. The end result is a sophisticated health profile.
It turns out the secret to a better you could be in your double helix all along.
The Future Looking into Your Past
You might be familiar with DNA testing sites like Helix, 23 & Me and AncestryDNA. These sites will test your genetic make-up and give you insight into where you ancestors came from. While you might be surprised you have Irish ancestors, these companies also provide a base level of health knowledge – including diseases you might be more susceptible to or things to watch out for.
Beware Opening the Pandora’s DNA Box
If you’ve ever accidentally overheard gossip about you, you probably know that sometimes it’s better not to know things. Well, the same can be said about DNA testing. These tests can tell you if you are more likely to develop diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, which might allow you to better prepare or take precautions. However, test results might also cause unnecessary stress and worry. Plus, according to the AARP, life insurance companies might require you to share your DNA testing results with them, which could affect your rates. So proceed with caution.
As WebMD points out, DNA tests do not take the place of a trip to the doctor. They can provide additional resources and some answers to questions but ultimately, it’s best to review the results with your physician.
As human beings, we’re 99.9% the same and it’s in that special .1% where our individuality flourishes. If you want to explore how your DNA might be affecting your daily life, jump in the genetic testing pool but don’t ditch your doctor just yet. She might not know your double helix but she definitely has your back – medically speaking.
 Global Wellness Summit, “Personal Biomarker Testing Takes Center Stage,” June 2017