Genetic Testing for Diseases of the Immune System


There is a genetic test available which can tell you whether there are any diseases causing mutations in your DNA that could cause disease relating o or affecting the immune system. The test is often referred to a genetic predisposition test, a type of genetic analysis which estimates how likely it is that you will develop a given autoimmune disease over the course of your lifetime.

Your immune system is important because of its role in the prevention or the fighting of diseases. A complex system of organs and tissues work together in to defend the body against foreign, disease causing organisms or substances. There are cases when the immune system turns upon itself, as happens in cases of allergic reaction or asthma. An overactive immune system leads the body to attack the very same hormones it produces or its own organs and tissue; it basically mistakes its own cells as foreign bodies. However, on despite these occurrences, on must also consider how effective our immune system is at identifying thousands of different microbes, viruses and other pathogens; a sound testament of its efficiency.

Using a blood sample and genetic health DNA testing, geneticists and other experts can determine whether your DNA contains any mutations which code for a given disease. The normal method of sample collection is by collecting a small sample of capillary blood. This sample can be collected by pricking the tip of the finger using a medical lancet and collecting the blood onto sterile filter paper or gauze.

Immune system diseases revealed by DNA analysis

Celia disease: a condition that affects the lining of the small intestine. The condition is particularly common in cultures that consume foods containing gluten, a protein found in many foods derived from grains. Celiac can cause severe discomfort in the abdomen as well as diarrhea. Effects are often experienced shortly after consuming a gluten-containing food. Long term, the effects can result in malnutrition, due to a poor absorption of vital minerals and nutrients. The bones, liver and the peripheral nervous system are all affected. The genes associated with celiac disease are the Human leukocyte Antigen related HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1. People suffering from celiac disease exhibit an abnormal immune response to a specific protein found in gluten known as gliadin. Many people are unaware of suffering from celiac disease. Confirming whether you suffer from the illness can help adopt an appropriate diet.

Multiple sclerosis: Sometimes abbreviated as MS, multiple sclerosis is an immune disease affecting the nervous system (the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves). The disease is known to have a strong genetic component although environmental conditions and factors also play an important role in the onset of the illness. The condition targets a fatty substance which cushions and protects the nerves making up the nervous system. This fatty substance is known as the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath plays a very important role in enabling the efficient transmission of synaptic impulses. Damage to the sheath means the impulses are slowed down. A poor conduction of impulses is associated with MS. People who have sufferers of MS in the family are more likely to develop the condition themselves. The disease has been linked to interleukin-7 receptor which has a complex effect on biochemical pathways. Genes located on chromosome 20 and chromosome 21 is also linked to the illness. If the results show a high predisposition of the illness, certain dietary changes can be taken. Poor intake of vitamin D seems to be the most salient factor; low levels of this vitamin have been linked to the illness. Consuming red wine in moderation as well as green tea has also proved beneficial.

Other autoimmune diseases that can be reveled by DNA analysis include lupus, psoriasis and grave’s diseases. When done with the assistance of a health nutritionist and medical specialist, genetic testing for disease can be a huge step in taking control over your health and well being.

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