Pharmacogenomics and epigenetics is a new emerging field. Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 we have the technology to map your DNA- the strands that contain all of your genes. This leads to more personalized medicine. Sometimes it leads to earlier diagnosis. Other times it can help you make decisions to postpone or avoid certain medical conditions.
So who needs to get genetic testing?
1) Any patient with a personal or family history of breast or uterine cancer. Hormone levels influence breast and uterine cancer. There are certain genes in our body that can change, making the enzymes that help get rid of estrogen not work as fast. This results in higher levels of estrogen that could potentially stimulate growth of breast and uterine tissue. If unbalanced, this could increase the risk for cancer.
2) Anyone who has had an adverse reaction to a medication, especially an antidepressant. We have a genetic test that tests your enzymes that metabolize medications you take. If these enzymes work too fast or too slow, it will affect how you feel on medication. For example, if you took a pain medication and your enzyme worked faster, you would not have as much pain relief since the medication would be out of your system too quickly.
3) Someone who is on antidepressants or has anxiety. The Alpha Genomics test lets you know if the medication you are taking is the right one for your body. Also, certain enzymes that deal with your neurotransmitters (or hormones in your brain). If you can’t recycle these neurotransmitters, they can leave you anxious or depressed. Natural therapies can help.
We at Forum Health Akron offer two types of genetic testing. The first, EpigeneticsRX, tests about 30 different genes and is aimed at seeing how your body detoxifies.
The second test is a more comprehensive test. It looks at over 300 genes, and looks at detoxification, allergy, neurotransmitters, cardiac and lipid diseases. This one is not covered by insurance and costs $340.