Unique DNA helps keep New Year's Resolutions
That's right - use your unique DNA to help you get a jump on your New Year's Resolution. If you are over 15, you probably have a New Year's resolution to lose weight. I don't necessarily agree that we all have to be a Size 2; but I do agree that a healthy weight contributes to a more healthy life style and thus a happier individual. What? OK, if you are overweight according to the Body Mass Index and you have been struggling with diet and exercise, perhaps it is your genetic make-up contributing to the extra bit of giggle in your wiggle.
I remember taking a weight lifting class in th early 1990s and asking the instructor on how to get my abs flatter - even back then at 115 pounds - I thought I had to improve my appearance - which is why today I don't think we all need to be a size 2 but we do need to be happy with our size and healthy. Anyway, the very kind Physical Education teacher told me "you're fighting genetics" - just keep lifting weights and without explanation he moved on to the next student - I didnt' find him to be very motivating and I never took weight lifting again. The thought that I was "fighting genetics" gave me no incentive to continue to lift weights and go for that flat, tight ab look. At the same time I had an employer who was a weight lifting buff and he insisted if I did situps and leg crunches I would get that flat ab. It never happened.
However, today, with the onset of inflammatory diseases, hypothyroidism and just plain aging I think I have a better understanding of what the Physical Education teacher was saying. And today, we can perform a non-invasive DNA collection and test for your genetic predisposition. Do you have an increased endurance capacity? Then a sports physician or trainor might recommend specific supplements and/or exercises to help you over come what is inherent in your DNA.
Perhaps your muscles are more likely to have increased abilities in sports requiring strength and a good consult with a sports physician can educate you on best diet/exercise/supplement/vitamin combination to reach your goals. Your DNA has the code to how your body was made and how it will perform.
If your bones have an impaired ability to absorb calcium or Vitamin D, then you are putting yourself at risk of injury if your goals have been focused on intensity rather than duration. Increase in exposure to sunlight - especially during the winter months in the Northeast (with sunscreen, naturally) will help you absorb some real Vitamin D. And as we have learned over the last 5 years, the original Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin D has increased - please check with your physician after you have your Personal Genetic Profile completed so that he/she can interpret and advise you on what is best for your body.
Lipid Metabolism, Folic Acid Metabolism, Iron Absorption and Storage, Salt Sensitive Hypertension, Alcohol Metabolism, Caffeine Metabolism and Gluten Tolerance - if you have dieted at some point in your life - you have heard these terms. Non Invasive DNA Testing can determine your best course of action on reaching your goals in 2012.
To determine your Body Mass Index, use the following:
Using an average Resting Metabolic Rate of 655 (*) - follow the formula below and add your own information to obtain your maintainance caloric intake:
655 PLUS (4.35 times your weight in pounds) PLUS (4.7 times your height in inches) MINUS (4.7 times your age) = ________ - is the total number of calories your body requires on a daily basis to maintain your current weight.
If you want to lose weight, you need to create a deficit or decrease your caloric intake or increase your calories spent (via exercise that increases your metabolic resting heart rate).
(*) RMR or resting metabolic heart rate determines how many calories you should consume each day to properly maintain your body's functions and still lose eweight. Your body needs a specific number of calories each day for basic functions like breathing and cell repair.
This is an average formula - if you are a member of a gym, or thinking of joining a boot camp - get your DNA Profile done ahead of time (4 week turnaround time) so that your coach knows exactly what type of workout will produce fastests results. We all know that fast results creates motivation. If you are able to get your DNA profile done in the first week of January, start your boot camp or exercise regime - just about the 2nd week in February, when you have loosened up your muscles, increased your lung capacity through some low impact aerobics and perhaps added some lean muscle mass - your DNA Profile will be returned and will assist you over the next coming months in keeping your New Year's Resolution. As you move into February, you are in better condition to really start training in a manner that your body will respond positively.
Depending on your budget and your commitment, you can test for one gene or you can test for 100 genes. Obviously the more genetic information collected, the more detailed a report can be produced and targetted to your needs.
What is your Genetic Risk for Lupus?
First, please understand this blog is written by a small business owner who has a somewhat personal relationship with Lupus. Lupus is a chronic automimune disease that causes inflammation and can afect various parts of the body, especially the kidneys, skin, joints and blood. The body's immune system normally makes proteins called antibodies to protect against viruses, bacteria and other foreign matter. In lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues and begins to attack the body's healthy tissues and organs. Lupus is not infectious, rare or cancerous. While researchers do not know what causes lupus, they believe there is a genetic predisposition to the disease and that environmental factors play a role in triggering the disease. (Stress, diet, lack of exercise, environmental poisons)
At the offices of The DNA Lady, most of the clients are coming in to determine a biological relationship. Paternity, so that children can obtain benefits and get to know their whole family, Maternity, to confirm the right to terminate parential rights in the case of a mother who is willing to give her baby to a family unable to have their own children, Silbingship tests Half vs. Whole vs. No Relationship - because young adults have heard rumors for years and now they want to know the truth. Families going through the Immigration process are often told that their documentation is not sufficient to satisfy USCIS requirements. DNA Tests are offered as an option to confirm the biological relationship. And finally, if an alleged father is not available for testing, we often have grandparents come in and provide their DNA to determine if they are genetically related to a child. These biological relationship DNA Tests are the most well known, of course.
But, with the improvement in technology and with the aging population, other DNA tests are available to help defray costs of healthcare, improve quality of life and prepare family members for the future. The DNA Lady offers predictive DNA testing to provide insight into your genetic risk as compared to a similar group of individuals in the population. The results will indicate your genetic predisposion toward Lupus as well as 25 other genetic diseases and provide reasons why you are considered a genetically low, medium or high risk candidate. The testing is private, not covered by your insurance (and therefore confidential). Results are not reported to anyone but the participant who may then chose to share the information with a medical doctor if there are any concerns.
In fact, having a bit of knowledge about your predisposition to certain diseaeses may influence you, or a loved one, into a more positive and active role in preventing the on set of the disease by improvoing your quality of life. It is also IMPORTANT to understand that a predisposition toward a genetic disease does not necessarily mean you will ever show signs or symptons of the disease.
If you are diagnosed with any of the genetic diseases that can be predicted in your DNA markers, be sure to research all and any medications offered. While it is possible to alleviate pain now and further damage to tissue, muscle or bones - side effects of some of these commercially sold drugs are serious and sometimes more deadly than the disease itself. Always, always understand the side effects of any drug offered to you and if your doctor or specialist does not take the time to explain then find a doctor who will treat your questions with the same concerns you hold.
Simple test for signs and symptons of Lupus:
1.) Achy, painful and/or swollen joints for more than three months;
2.) Fingers/toes become pale, numb or uncomfortable in the cold;
3.) Sores in your mouth for more than a week;
4.) Low Blood Count, Anemia, low white cell count or low platelet count;
5.) redness in your face or color change in the shape of a butterfly across the bridge of your nose and cheeks;
6.) unexplained fever over 100 degrees for more than a few days
7.) Sensitivity to the sun where your skin breaks out after bing in the sun (not a sunburn)
8.) Chest pain with breathing for more than a few days (pleurisy?)
9.) Protein in your urine
10.) Persistent, extreme fatigue and weakness for days or even weeks at a time even after 6 - 8 hours of restful nighttime sleep.
If you answer yes to 3 or more of these questions, your best bet is to contact your primary care physician. Your primary care physician can run a series of blood tests to determine antibodies present for Lupus, as well as many other genetic conditions. The DNA Lady's Predictive Genetics tests provide insight for those of us who want to take active steps today to insure quality of life as we age and to use today's most up to date technology. Perhaps you have had a loved pass away from a genetic condition and you want to know your own predisposition or perhaps you are an adoptee, and do not have access to your medical records. Today's DNA Tests are not just the "Whose Your Daddy" type. DNA Tests, performed by accredited laboratories are valuable tools to managing your life today.
Alzheimer's Disease and DNA Tests
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It is, currently, incurable, degenerative, and terminal. Generally, Alzheimer's is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less prevalent early onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier.
In the United States, there are currently 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, including their caregivers. Over the next 40 years, with the expected aging of the U.S. population, Alzheimer's disease will exact a significant toll on the United States, both in terms of health care costs and number of people diagnosed with the disease.
A simple DNA test can evaluate your risk of an Alzheimer's diagnosis. As mentioned above, today there is no cure for Alzheimer's but an Alzheimer's Association report demonstrates that small and perhaps more readily available treatments to delay the onset or slow the progression of the disease are available. Small steps taken today may help to improve the quality of life of the person diagnosed with the disease as well as lessen the emotional and financial cost on the family.
It is estimated that Medicare costs are three times higher for the Alzheimer's patient and private health insurance premiums are 26% higher. Having a DNA test performed by a private DNA collector, (as opposed to your insurance company's designated laboratory) will not impact your health insurance premiums as the report is confidential and only available to the participant. I don't know about others, but lately I've received "informative pamphlets" from my private health insurance company regarding my health which is obviously based on blood work and/or prescriptions. I pay them a monthly fee to keep my costs down, not to get involved in my private health issues. I can't shake the feeling that someone (other than my doctor) is reading my private laboratory reports and compiling information about me that will somehow impact my future. (Perhaps I won't be allowed to live in a "assisted living faciltiy" or an "over 55 community" based on today's tests.)
If you participate in a private DNA test and the results indicate you carry a higher lifetime or genetic risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimers, it is certainly recommended that you consult with your physician. You have the option of letting your private health insurance know about your condition by limiting the tests your doctor orders. Your physician can do an initial assessment of symptoms and determine whether you actually have the disease or it has not yet developed. It is important to understand that a genetic risk does not necessarily mean the disease will fully develop in certain individuals. There are significant environmental factors over which you do have control in order to either delay onset or avoid onset.
Congress is currently reviewing an act to develop a federal plan to address the future impact of Alzheimer's disease on the U.S. population. (H.R. 4689). For more information, you can contact the National Alzheimer's Project Act via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Predictive Genetic Testing
Today, your local DNA collector
doesn't just let you know "who's the daddy" but your local DNA collector
can also provide what is known as Predictive Genetic Tests.
Are you predisposed to colorectal cancer or does your DNA
tell us that you have a predisposition to Celiac's disease?
Your local DNA collector
can collect a small sample of your DNA via finger stick blood drop (think of a diabetic test strip) and within days provide you with your risk factor expressed in terms of a percentage for developing the following diseases. It is important to note that although you may have risk factors for these diseases, there is no concrete evidence that you would develop the symptoms or full blown diseases.
However, a few preventive measures taken today may contribute to your quality of life later on. Diseases on the Preventive Genetic Test
- Graves' disease
- Celiac disease (** change your diet now)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart disease (** change your diet now)
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Venous thromboembolism
- Alzheimer's disease (remove sources of Aluminum in your household)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (increase use of tumeric in foods)
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes (increase activity; cut down on carbohydrates)
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
When we hear a diagnosis of cancer, many of us still think it is a "death sentence". But cancers are curable and in some cases preventable based on diet and exercise. Much of the treatment today, (although nothing is pleasant) is not as debilitating as it once was. Diagnosis and early detection are once again key to improving your quality of life. Are you prone to skin cancer - use high strength sun screen creams, use a foundation with SPF in it and avoid strong hot sun hours between 11 am and 2pm in your teens, 20s and 30s and improve your chances of avoiding any serious skins conditions. Are you prone to gastric cancer - go easy on the hot liquids, caffeine and hot, spicy foods.
After you have a predictive genetic test, it is always best to consult with your Primary Care Physician in order to determine any steps you should immediately take based on results. Minors should not be subjected to Predictive Genetic Testing.
DNA Sensitivity and Personalized Medicine
This blog is written by a small business owner. The message is presented only as part of gathered information from different DNA Testing facilities and hopefully put into language that everyone can understand. If you have any health concerns, you should contact your primary care physician. If you are interested in a private DNA collection to determine your predisposition to certain genetic diseases and/or your drug sensitivity you can contact the DNA Lady for assistance in obtaining a non-invasive DNA Test.
Personalized Medicine (PM) has a long way to go until we are all enjoying the benefits but as with all advancement in medicine, the sooner the better. The writer of this blog remembers the painful visits to the dentists yet only one generation later, children who's parents had a minimum knowledge fo dental hygiene enjoyed virtually pain free visits to the dentists because of a better understanding of fluoride and gum disease. Had I been born yet 10 - 15 years later, I would not have such a fear and dislike of dentists and the screeching sound of their drills. Still, I think dentists can learn a little about a patient, and offer anxiety reducing assistance and/or just give us the gas. (Didn't some Swedish study indicate those of us with red hear (real red hair that is) actually have a lower threshold for pain and thus higher tolerance for pain management?)
Personalized Medicine (PM), or the use of your own DNA to minimize risk of adverse drug reactions is but a few short years away from every day practice. PM, takes your unique DNA make-up and lets your healthcare provider know the best dose and drug for you - based on your DNA - not on the big, pharmaceutical company's idea of a dosage and use. Doctor's have to engage the assistanceof either a DNA Testing company and/or a good genetic counselor to handle this portion of the medical treatment. If you know a genetic counselor, get friendly with them as they about to be in high demand. Medicine is not one size fits all anymore. My height, weight, age, other medical conditions, family history, ancestral make-up and current environmental factors all have an influence on the outcome of my response to a drug - so why not consider one more very important factor in my make-up - my DNA. The unique set of building blocks that run my engine.
Did you know if you are prescribed, clopidogrel - commonly presribed after heart attacks - that your DNA can determine the dosage and time frame for your prescription. In fact, as of March 2010, the FDA had added a warning to advise physicians of the importance of genetics and the availability of DNA Tests to best determine usage, dosage and timeline of treatment using clopidogrel (commonly known as Plavix).
Similar DNA testing can be used to indicate your best dosage of antidepressants, breast cancer drugs, chemotheraphy drugs, ADHD and blood thinners. Your private DNA test can determine if you are a Poor Metabolizer, meaning you have a greatly reduced ability to clear or metabolize certain drugs. Intermediate Metabolizer indicates you have minimal ability to clear or metabolize drugs and finally an Ultra Metabolizer indicates you have an increased ability to clear or activate a drug. Before you (or perhaps your child or parent) take their next Paxil, nsaid, tamoxifen - ask the prescribing physician - does he or she know about your CYP2C9 or CYP2D6 or CYPSC19?
As with anything new, not widely used, not part of a media blitz - there will always be resistance and ignorance. Today's patient, has to be their own best advocate and be armed with questions about the doctor's advice in order to have the best outcome. If you experience any long term use of a drug, that does not appear to be bring out about positive effects, talk to your doctor about getting a Private DNA Test to determine if you are a Poor or Ultrametabolizer. Share some of the burden of your healthcare, no one doctor has the answers to all your health related issues.