We’ve all wondered what the best steps are to effectively and sustainably improve our overall health. The emergence of a cutting edge, scientifically-based approach, known as precision medicine, appears to address this quandary – and will undoubtedly be used more and more in future. Precision medicine involves an approach to day-to-day healthcare, as well as disease treatment and prevention, that considers an individual’s genes, environment and lifestyle. It, therefore, empowers patients and physicians with genetics-based information to help make better overall lifestyle choices.
A significant part of this approach is gene testing. The tests are performed on a sample of saliva, taken from a swab of the mouth, and then screened for genetic variations that may affect your health and weight. A composite report is then presented to you by the doctor, providing scientific-based strategies that you can implement to reduce the susceptibility of the risks. The doctor also considers your personal medical history and family history, to give you the best possible feedback.
The gene overview uses a traffic light system from red to green – where red highlights serious areas of concern, orange identifies potential areas of concern, and green is rated as normal. The report furthermore identifies which nutrition best suits your genetic make-up and provides you with a specific eating plan accordingly, even taking into account special needs in terms of allergies or intolerances as well as cultural requirements, like kosher or halaal food. It suggests which physical activity is best for you, which supplements you should be taking, and what pathology and medical tests are required.
By recommending lifestyle changes you need to implement, this approach empowers you to know how to manage your life and how to design your own unique healthy lifestyle, all of which is based on science at a cellular level.
This part of precision medicine is in direct contrast to the “one-size-fits-all” approach, in which health choices, disease treatment and prevention strategies, are developed for the average person, with less consideration for the differences between individuals.
Gene testing in precision medicine is therefore about providing a lifestyle risk analysis so that you can effectively start structuring your lifestyle. It is a powerful tool in safeguarding your future health and wellbeing.