Why do we gain weight? Why does my husband lose weight and I can’t? Why can’t I keep weight off after I lose it? These questions and many others associated with health, weight loss and wellness are found in your genes. The wave of the future in healthcare is genetic testing, and we now are offering it here at the Advanced Life Clinic. We have partnered with Pathway Genomics to offer genetic testing that will help us formulate a plan to help you achieve your wellness and weight loss goals.
What is genetic testing?
The human gene map, commonly referred to as the “Human Genome Project”, was completed back in 2003. We now know that all humans are about 99.9% similar in their genetic makeup. The 0.1% that is different is what makes us individuals. This technology is now being used to tell patients what their particular genetic makeup is for many different things. This genetic “map” is specific to you and how you may be predisposed to certain conditions, how you may react to food, exercise, or even vitamin deficiencies.
How do we use this information?
When we receive your test results back, we bring you in to assess your results, and give you feedback on possible changes you should make to your diet, exercise, or even the supplements you are taking. This customized approach lets you take better control of your health and well being, as well as possibly saving time and money that is spent on things that your body does not respond to. This quote from the National Genome Project sums it up well.
“Physicians, nurses, genetic counselors and other health-care professionals will be able to work with individuals to focus efforts on the things that are most likely to maintain health for a particular individual. That might mean diet or lifestyle changes…”
How is the test done?
The testing and sampling are very easy and convenient. We provide the kit for you and the sample can be done in the comfort of your home. A collection tube is used to collect a saliva sample from you, which is then mailed back to Pathway Genomics. In about 2-3 weeks the results will be sent to me here at the clinic, and then we will call you to set up a time to come in and prepare a game plan for any changes you may need to make in your exercise, diet, or supplemental regimen.
What are some of the things tested?
There are several options from Pathway Genomics for testing, but we use their Pathway Fit test because it gives the most information concerning diet, vitamin deficiencies, exercise, and overall wellness. I took the test and just received my results back yesterday so I thought I would share some of them with you.
- Matching Diet Type – Low Carb Diet. I have a genetic predisposition to not process carbs well, so I should limit my intake of carbohydrates. Along with this, I received a low carb diet plan with nutritional information, how to measure your protein, carbs, and fat intake, as well as recipes and meal plans.
- Response to Polyunsaturated Fats – Increased Benefit. My genetic predisposition is to have a lower body weight when eating a diet containing more polyunsaturated fats. So I should increase my intake of polyunsaturated fats which can be found in plants, nuts, and fish. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are types of polyunsaturated fat supplements that I could take as well.
- Endurance Training – Enhanced Benefit. After years of strength training and not doing as much running, I now find out that I would have an enhanced benefit to my overall fitness, weight loss and wellness by doing more endurance training. Most of you would say that this is typical, but there are people who do not benefit in weight loss from endurance training. I guess it’s time for me to make a change!
- Genetic Risk for Decreased Vitamin E – Optimize Intake. I have a genetic variant that shows I tend to have low levels of Vitamin E. This means I need to increase my intake of vitamin E so I should eat more green leafy vegetables, eggs, and nuts.
These are just a few of the 41 different tests that are done concerning health, diet, and fitness. When I received my test results it really opened my eyes, and it has changed the way I look at exercise, food and eating habits, and the supplements that I take.
How do I Learn More About Genetic Testing?
You can call out office at 256-882-6555 to set up a consultation on the testing. We will go over all of the tests, what they mean, and the costs involved, much of which is covered by some insurance companies. When we get your results back we will call you to set up a follow up visit to go over your results, and form a plan of action. Once your plan is in place, we can continue to monitor things for you and re-assess at later dates to take note of progress.
This is the wave of the future in medicine, and we are glad to it offer to our patients here at the Advanced Life Clinic.