While a majority of the illnesses and diseases are caused by microbes in our environment, a handful is caused due to the genes inherited from parents, and other ancestors. When a person has abnormal, missing, extra, or inactive genes, they are predisposed to health disorders.
It is possible through early detection of such genes to prevent these disorders from occurring, manage them, or at the very least slow their progression by a considerable margin. Towards this end a number of genetic testing centers have started providing services, so that one can learn about the genetic threats hidden in their body and take timely action, to prevent a lot of pain and anguish.
Genetic disorders are usually passed from parents to their children. On the other hand, some of these illnesses are formed due to mutations in the genes during the fetal stage. There are thousands of genetic diseases, most of which have a very rare rate of incidence, and manifest themselves from birth. Other diseases, like hereditary cancers, or heart conditions usually show only when a person is an adult. Such people can learn to prevent or manage the disorders through the help of genetic counselors.
Genetic counselors analyze the mutation of the genes their reactions to the person’s lifestyle factors. Based on what they learn customized plans are created for treatment and prevention of genetic disorders. These specialists can inform their patients on the steps to be taken to the prevent the development of adult-onset genetic issues.
Genetic tests are conducted by either taking a blood or saliva sample, which is studied to search for defective genes, that may be formed due to mutations or have been passed through heredity. Other tests for detecting problems in fetuses are carried out through processes such as ultrasound.
A genetic counselor can explain the variations between genetic tests, including any benefits and risks that can be so derived. They also help patients to interpret the test results and know what it means to their lives. Psychological counseling may also be included in this, depending on the need.
When genetic disorders are detected in time, treatment or prevention options are confirmed. Also, relatives of the patient can be warned of a predisposition to having the same illnesses, so that they can also be checked for their genetic health if they so choose.
Although it is not a sure thing, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to genetic diseases.