All people are not the same, and so, should be treated as individuals.
Medicine is making a shift to personalized care. Personalized care has been defined as examining each person and choosing the right interventions or treatments for that individual person. You may be thinking, “how is this different from what my doctor does now”? The current medical system assesses a disease and treatment is prescribed to address that disease. The treatment is based on what was helpful for “most” people. But, people react differently to medications, supplements, food, and everything else.
Genetics are only partly responsible for health or dis-ease.
Genomics is the study of how our environment interacts with and effects our genes. Genetics play a small role in the development of a disease, but modifiable lifestyle factors play a much bigger role in that process.
What is Genomic Testing?
Genomic testing looks at your individual genes, the genetic material passed down to you through your parents from all your ancestors. Knowing your genetic makeup can help assess the risk for developing certain diseases. You may recognize these as diseases that run in your family. It can also identify any changes that have occurred down the line. These changes are called SNPs (pronounced snips).
How is Genetic Testing Different from Genomic Testing?
Genetic testing looks at what genes are present and tells you if you are genetically predisposed to developing a disease. For example, the BRCA gene can identify women (and men) who have a higher chance of developing breast cancer.
Genomic testing doesn’t just tell you what diseases you are predisposed to or are more at risk for developing, it can help you devise a plan to lower your risk for developing a given disease, stop it’s progression, or reverse it completely. With our BRCA example, genomic testing will reveal whether it is helpful to eat soy products or not.
Why is Genomic Testing Important?
The results of the genomic test will show you what diet and lifestyle modifications you need to make to lower your risk of developing a disease or reverse it if a disease is already present. Diet modifications may include eating more of one type of food or reducing your intake of another type of food. It may involve learning new ways of preparing foods. Lifestyle modifications may involve exercise, sleep, stress reduction, relationships, and general selfcare.