If you’ve heard about genetic testing in the past decade, it’s probably been through the marketing of ancestry companies. There’s the allure of finding out where you came from (or uncovering family secrets!), and at-home kits provided by these companies have shown everyday people how easy it is to test their DNA.
But unfortunately, due to the popularity and widespread marketing of ancestry tests, most people aren’t aware of the other benefits genetic testing can provide. While ancestry testing simply tells you where your family came from, genetic testing for health and wellness can lead you to a whole array of actionable insights into optimizing your eating, exercise, lifestyle choices, and more. Being able to understand how your genes, diet, and lifestyle work together, allows you to make better decisions on everyday lifestyle changes that will improve your wellness, diet, longevity, and more.
Here are some reasons why health and wellness genetic testing is a powerful tool that provides insights into how your unique body functions.
1. It can give you clarity into who you are:
Knowing your genetic code, and specifically what genetic variations you have, can help us better understand how your body responds to the world around you, to certain foods you eat, certain activities you do, and more. It can give us better clarity into things like how your body handles inflammation, or if weight loss will be a challenge for you. Better clarity into how your cells and systems work, how your body processes nutrients, and how it burns energy is the start of personalized health. I have noticed that this knowledge often empowers my patients who want to take control of their health.
2. It improves the ability to personalize treatment:
Having clarity into how your body uniquely functions is the first step, and with that clarity we can create a more personalized approach to your healthcare. For example, if your genes tell us that your cells have a hard time getting rid of toxins, then we can look at making food and lifestyle choices to minimize the introduction of toxins into your body. By having the blueprint of your genetic makeup, we can start building the right foundation.
3. It has predictive value and allows preventative measures:
Genetic testing can give clues to what may happen in your body so you can take preventive steps and mitigate future problems. Knowing your genes and how they affect your body’ can give you insights into many different aspects of your health and wellness so that you can make better choices each day about actions that affect you.
4. It can facilitate a more focused approach on root causes of problems:
In addition to understanding how your systems work best and how to tailor lifestyle and food choices to your unique body, genetics can also help us better understand and treat disease at the root of the issue, instead of just treating downstream symptoms. By doing so, we can choose better options for more targeted screening and testing. Instead of generic or blanket testing that may leave us searching for how to help you, genetics can help us pinpoint exactly where to look — like having a map to where we need to go, instead of just guessing.
5. It can help you make better food choices:
One of the most impactful changes a person can make on their health is changing what they eat and the way they eat. But the age-old question has been, “what diet is best for me”? The best diet is the one that aligns with your genetics. Insights into your genetics can determine if you need more of certain vitamins, or if you need to cut out foods that cause you inflammation, or if your body holds fat easily, or if you need to cut down on your caffeine intake.
6. It can point to what exercise is right for you:
What if you’ve been hitting the gym and trying to get fit, but you’ve been doing the wrong exercises all this time? Getting insights into your genes can actually show you whether your body is more suited for endurance activities, like running or bicycling, or whether your body is more suited for power activities like sprinting or weight lifting. Knowing more about how your body works means being able to choose the right activities for you.
7. It informs targeted and customized supplementation:
Similarly, knowing your genetic makeup can help us find the right supplements for your genes. For example, if we know that your genes store iron too well, we can recommend the right intervention, instead of a trial-and-error process that would happen without those genetic insights. Once again, knowing a person’s genetic makeup, and how their genes affect their systems, metabolism, cardiovascular health, and more, allows us to make more personalized and customized recommendations for you.
Genetic Testing is Personalized Healthcare. The world is becoming more personalized — so why shouldn’t healthcare? Genetic testing is the beginning of a journey towards discovering how your body optimally works, and what food and lifestyle choices can give you the wellness and longevity you’re looking for. Knowing your genes can reveal a lot more to you than just where you came from. It can give you insights into many different aspects of your health and wellness, so that you can make better choices each day about actions that affect you.
We at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, have been utilizing 3×4 genetic testing with our patients for a while now, and have found it extremely helpful for optimizing the health and wellness of our patients