An ancestry DNA test kit often come with an option to see how your genes are affecting your health. Please look at out reviews to see which we think is the best ancestry dna test kit for this.
23andMe looks for possible illnesses that can occur.
Vitagene looks at the best foods, exercise and types of dietary supplements for your DNA.
What to do if I find out about a health issue, from an ancestry dna test kit
The first thing is to find out the possibility of a problem
In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques that are designed to prevent a person from panicing, one of the questions a person asks themselves is ‘Just because it is possible, is it probable’. For example, although thee plan could crash, how likely is it to happen.
Some genetic things have been found to 100% cause things and others have a lesser percentage such as 15% or 80%.
Things which cause infertility tend to closer to 100% sure.
Things which cause cancer can be anything from 15% to 80%.
Some other discoveries are newer because only recently have scientists been able to test more of the human genome in people, so they have less people to test the results against. As a result, where they have found a certain genetic condition can cause a risk of cancer, they do not yet know what that percentage is.
However where they do not know the percentage chance, at least you can regularly monitor that part of that body which is at risk. In practical terms that would mean regular scans of the part of the body that could be effected.
Often DNA testing does say that a person has certain risks and temperaments. The advice though is often to exercise more, have a better diet, loose or gain weight to a level in the Body Mass Index of recommended weight and so on. This is because most genetic testing does not cover the more in depth risks at this time, that a geneticist doctor would scan for if there was a reason to.
It is found that many men are buried after death. When they are buried it was found that they had prostate cancer. This was not what killed them though and they did not even know they had it. This cancer was very slow growing and did not noticeably affect their life.
This is a real thing. It is so that a person can be told the real possibility of any problem from something in their genes and how to deal with it.
It is often a separate person to the geneticist. This is because geneticists can be quite cold and calculating people as fits a person in such a job. So they do not focus enough on people’s feelings and behaviours like a counsellor does.
A person may be at risk of a disease, but it does not mean they will get it.
There have been stories of people that have been so worried about getting something a genetic test shows there is a risk of, that they have gone for all kinds of test and risky procedures. As a result, they died early from something else because of the damage caused to their bodies from all these other new and experimental medical procedures or drugs. Also the thing that was predicted from the genetic test, never could happen, because they never lived long enough for it to happen.
It is said that if a person has a hurting knee, but does not need an operation. If they go to enough doctors wanting an operation for their knee and push for it enough, eventually a doctor will say that they need it. So they get surgery that they will not need.
With other people it can be the stress of being worried about it, is what causes their health problem.
Doctors will say that you should know about your genetic risks and they are right so that you can monitor, prevent and resolve any possible issues.
However everything in balance and behaving in a paranoid and stressed way from any results, will do more harm than good. This is of course easier said than done.
Ancestry genetic testing issues
This is a real thing. Anything from needing early hip operations, heart attacks and problems with person’s spleen can be an inherited disorder.
If you have this in your family, then a genetic test is a good idea to see if you have interited this genetic condition.
If you are prone to early heart attacks in your family and a genetic thing is found to back it up that you may have that. Then you can be made aware and so exercise and look after your heart in the correct way.
Again a genetic counseller can help you stay on track with this, or another professional. It is easy to start on the right track, but then loose your way if you do it by yourself.
Genetic testing cannot tell you everything about your health
When many medical things are discovered, people think that they will be the answer to everything. The 1997 filmi Gattaca showed a future with this with a person who would have a short life because of his DNA. We now know things are not that clear cut.
However the more we discover, the greater we discover the universe is and how little we actually know.
As we know very little about he world, it means that each thing we discover does not cover everything. Sorry if that is a bit much!
Basically genetics tells us a bit, but not everything.
There are other factors like environmental, life choices, lifestyle choices, psychological behaviours and so on. The adage, it is not just what we have, but what we do with it.
Genetic testing can tell us about certain conditions, but when we will die is up to many other factors.
As well as not being able to tell the risk that a gene may cause a condition. Genetic testing cannot predict all the conditions and diseases a person may get. There are so many factors that can cause a person to get diseases and die from things that genetics cannot predict. For example if a person smokes, gets stressed, is emotionally unbalanced, takes drugs and so on, are also all increasing their risks in many areas.
The limits of consumer as opposed to professional genetic testing
There are 6 billion nucleotides. Currently consumer genetic testing, only tests hundreds of thousands.
It is just too expensive for consumer tests to do more. This of course limits the information that can come back.
If you have a condition and go to a geneticist doctor, they can do analysis of all 6 billion. However it will cost a lot more.
Currently for consumer health companies that diagnose possible genetically caused illnesses, there is just 23andMe.
The FDA in American has also limited what genetic testing companies can do. 23andMe are currently only allowed to say the risk levels for 10 conditions. For other conditions they can say the genetic situation and what it might effect, but then the client has to go to other websites to say what that conditions is and what it means.
This is not hard though, there are great free websites like WebMD that say the information that 23andMe would probably say in a similar way. It is just another step for you to have to do.
This is massive progress though, because in 2013 the FDA stopped them from selling genetic testing for health altogether.
So we do recommend it as a good idea. However if you have a serious issue that you are concerned about, we recommend going to see a geneticist who is a doctor. They can then tailor the analysis to those needs and make suitable recommendations.
Dogs getting better results than humans. This shows the limits the FDA have placed, on ancestry dna test kits for health results.
People are often quite surprised, when they are shown with a demonstration, how much an ancestry dna test kit can show for health, if there were no limits set by the American Food and Drug Administration government department, known as the FDA were removed.
One real and practical example of this, is a dog dna test kit.
Compared to human dna, dog dna has probably had 1% or less as much research.
Quite understandably, human DNA health, has always been a bigger priority for government funding and the medical profession.
While human DNA research goes back to the 1950’s. Dog DNA research only started in the 1990’s.
Dog dna research has had budgets of millions of dollars, compared to hundreds of millions or a billion for human DNA.
Dog DNA is similar, in that it has genetic codes on chromosome strands. However dog DNA has a different number of strands and genetic codes.
So there are similarities between dog and human dna, but they are nothing like as similar, as between humans and monkeys.
The first lab to look at dog dna on a commercial level, was Genoscoper in Helsinki, Finland. Their work was turned into a kit sold by Mars Vetinary in around 2005. It is sold with the brand Wisdom Panel.
Then in the 2000’s, Cornell University in America started as well, theirs is called Embark.
Genoscoper has about 10 genetic researchers and Cornell University about 20. They are both connected to universities which also gives them more resources. This is of course nothing compared to the thousands of people and billions of dollars spent working on human DNA.
Also dog dna test kit researchers, have put a lot of their resources into being identify dog breeds through dna. So even less of it goes into disease health research.
The main motivation for human dna analysis, is curing and finding out the sources of human disease.
It may come as a suprise that a dog dna test kit, can detect over 150 diseases that could occur in a dog, because of genetic diseases.
Currently for humans it is just over 30.
The the dog dna test kits can detect, cover most of the areas that humans are also concerned about. Heart, cancer, skin, blood, dental, eyes, hormones, nervous system, immune system, lungs, muscles, skeleton and urinary. Even if the dog’s genetics could cause it to be sensitive to drugs commonly used in mediciene.
Of course there are reasons for this:
1, People have different morals with dogs than humans.
For example, it is acceptable for breeders to only breed the healthiest of dogs. This is to create the healthiest dogs and not get ones that will have problems from inherited diseases.
This is not in the main socially acceptable in humans, it is called eugenics. These views have also lead to inhuman far right political behavior.
However there are certain levels where it has become acceptable. It is now possible to determine if a child will have downs disease in the early stages of pregnancy. The mother then has the option to terminate the pregnancy, due to the nature of this genetic condition.
Another reason for different legislation, is how a person may behave if they are told about a problem by a test kit and not a trained medical professional. Such as, if a person finds out they have a genetic condition that could cause them a serious disease.
It could be something that does not have a 100% chance of causing the problem and the person does not appreciate this. They could react in a way that is not helpful to themselves or others. They could try for treatments or methods that are more harmful than good. People are less concerned about these issues with dog owners and their dogs and are less likely to react in these ways.
As a result it is understandable that the American Food and Drug Administration legislates so much more with human health in an ancestry dna test kit, than with a dog dna test kit.
2, Human dna test kits report things that are of more interest to humans than dog owners. For example genetic risk of Parkinson’s Disease, or Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. For full information on this, please do look at our page for the best ancestry dna test kit.
Dog dna test kits are being able to detect more and more as each year passes. Also the amount of diseases shown by an off the shelf human dna test is also increasing quickly due to government legislation moving on and lots of research funding.