It’s a question that might sound easy to answer but it’s a bit more complicated than meets the eye. Here is what to consider before you have genetic testing done.
What Will It Change?
If you get tested and find that you are at a higher risk for breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, or a disease or condition you’ve never heard of—what will it change? Will it inspire you to take a proactive approach and make a few healthy lifestyle changes, or will it leave you living a life of fear convince that you will 100% get sick? Not a fast or easy question to answer. And one you may not know the answer to until you are on the other side of the test.
What Questions Will It Lead To?
Genetic testing often leads to more questions. From why my sister and not me to what else do I need to know, and what does increased or decreased risk really mean? For many, the results become a Pandora’s Box that causes a lot more stress than they realized, as we are all at higher risk of something.
What About Environment?
Another risk of genetic testing is that genes aren’t the only factor. You might not be at risk for cancer or major disease, but your lifestyle may increase your risk. In other words, genetic testing must not be used to create a false sense of well-being. No matter what the results you must focus on health, happiness, exercise, mental health, quality sleep, low stress, and eating healthy whole foods.
While it’s good to be proactive and aware, it’s important to understand that nothing is certain. Whether or not to get a genetic test can be a big decision to make.