Family is an important pillar in our life. It is not just about sharing blood but love , affection, care and memories. We all have those wonderful memories of get together and celebrating important days such as marriages, Festivals, New Year or Christmas with utmost enthusiasm.
When we talk so much about good times, it is grateful to mention, family as a great support during tough times be it crisis, incidents, accidents, situations or health. When Family can give you so much strength, why not to help Family back. Why not to share vital information which can help not just an individual but whole family.
One such information is revealed through our genes – the ‘information carriers’ that are passed on from one generation to the next. These ‘Genes’ or ‘DNA’ carries all the information for our normal body function and regulation. Name any body structure or function and I will tell you the genes that are working to make it come true!
When all functions can be associated to genes, can health conditions and diseases be related to genes ?
The answer remains Yes !
So, what information can identify role of genes for health conditions –
- Family history (more than one member) with neurological symptoms, color blindness or full blindness, skeletal problems or skin related . blood related issues.
- Multiple abortions (two or more)or infertility.
- Development delay or seizures or autism in children.
- Pregnancy at or more than 35 years of age.
- Family history of cancer (breast cancer, ovarian cancer or any other)
- Genetic syndrome diagnosed in any family member.
If any of the above is Yes or doubtful then you should consult your medical practitioner . medical geneticist or a genetic counselor.
A genetic counselor can aid in making your family tree and analyse and discuss individual queries related to risks associated and management.
It is more of health related discussion through which you can make an informed choice.
This is all about the ‘knowing your family’. Next will be Case examples with role of genes and how it can help in making health related decisions.