Recent advancements in genomic medicine have brought testing into the hands of most people. Simple saliva samples can now be used to map entire new understandings about our health. With these advancements, personalized medicine is now truly "personalized." However, this area of medicine is difficult for most to understand. Here at the Health Integration Center, our providers can help you make sense of what your genes are actually telling you and with this information craft individual prevention plans.
At our health center, we have access to specific genetic testing. In particular, there are three seperate areas of testing currently available. The three areas are classified into Conditional Genomics, Nutrigenomics and Pharmacogenomics.
This area of genomic medicine focuses on risk factors for developing certain health issues. For example, based on your genetic data, how likely are you to develop high cholesterol based on your genotype and other associated risk factors. If certain lifestyle choices are causing your genotype to up-regulate these risk factors, then chances are you most likely will manifest a high cholesterol clinical picture given the criteria. However, what if there is a way to prevent this from manifesting? Well there may be. By knowing what your risk factor is, we can possibly prevent certain health issues from arising. This is one area of the three areas in genomic interpretation.
Nutrigenomics is the second area of genomic medicine. "Nutri" implies nutrition, "Genomics" implies genes. That is, how does my body handle nutrition from a genomic perspective. One example that many people are aware of and that has gained much attention is "Methylation" status. Methylation is an important step in the human body that serves many biological purposes. However, many people have inherited genotypes that express less methylation activity that is required for normal homeostasis. Methylation requires normal function of the gene MTHFR. This gene regulates DNA synthesis and repair, neurotransmitter production, glutathione synthesis and homocysteine detoxification. If this gene is under expressing, health conditions may arise. Such conditions could include migraine headaches, depression/anxiety, chronic fatigue, cardiac dysfunction and in females, estrogen dominance. By getting tested here at the center, we may be able to figure out if your genetic inheritance may be causing some of the issues described above. Based on your genotype, this can be easily treated and instead of using medications to just manage symptoms, we can correct the under expression of MTHFR. Other nutrigenomic genes include MTR, MTRR, BHMT, CBS, VDR, COMT, MOA-A, MOA-B and NOS.
Pharmacogenomics testing reveals how your body handles prescription medications. There are certain labs that can generate a personalized report showing you how you would possibly react to medications that have been documented. For example, say you have high cholesterol and your doctor recommended atorvastatin to lower your cholesterol. The doctor is following generalized guidelines here. But let's say shortly after you were using this medication you became abnormally fatigue or experienced muscle pain that is not normal. In this case, if you had a pharmacogenomics report, the report may reveal based on your genotype that you have a much higher risk of developing muscle pain if using this medication. The report would reveal this to you and your provider and may suggest that you use a different statin that you have a "Normal Response" to. In this case, you now can lower your cholesterol while minimizing side effects. Here at the Health Integration Center, we can order a pharmacogenomics report and check over 300+ medications that are commonly prescribed. This report is good for your entire life and can prevent serious adverse reactions from prescription medications.