Obesity is a condition which is characterized by excessive fat. The disease is genetically linked although most cases of obesity are more of a result of improved living conditions and access to food, lifestyle and eating habits. The disease has been linked to a gene which is known as the FTO (fat mass associated gene) – this has been confirmed by various important human genomic studies. This gene is directly responsible for the control of appetite and the storage or break down of fat. People with the FTO gene or rather a certain variant of the gene, are less able to detect feelings of satiety which makes them consume larger portions and get hungry more frequently.
People who have a high genetic predisposition to obesity can take better control and eschew developing the illness (not to mention all the diseases associated with obesity) by seeking professional help to learn how to manage their diet and eating habits as well as consuming foods that can help curb the appetite. Moreover, living an active lifestyle and incorporating the right exercises into your daily life is associated with a considerable reduction in your chances of becoming obese.
Obesity is cause of many other serious diseases including:
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Type 1 diabetes
Diabetes 1, (referred to as diabetes mellitus or juvenile diabetes), affects almost 3 million people in the UK alone. It is a chronic condition that causes a spike in sugar levels. The body stops producing insulin and due to this inability to produce this important hormone, blood sugar levels rise. Sometimes the levels of glucose can be dangerous high if left uncontrolled. Control and regulating the disease is by diet and insulin injections. The disease can lead to serious complications, including kidney disease, increased chances of strokes, and many more.
Symptoms include fatigue, frequent urination and weight loss.
The risk of disease is increased by hereditary genes and is in fact, in many cases, due to it. You may have a high genetic predisposition to the disease due to certain gene that you would have inherited from your parents. There are however, also environmental triggers which play an important role in the development of the disease.
Genetics of type 1 diabetes
Children with a father who suffer from type 1 diabetes stand a 1 in 17 chance of having the illness themselves. In women who get pregnant before the age of 25, the chances of their child having diabetes type 1 is lower; around 1 in 25.
The following are two of the genes which have been found to recur in white people with type 1 diabetes:
In black people, the HLA-DR7 gene is believed to be responsible and in Japanese, genetic studies have confirmed the HLA-DR9 to be linked to diabetes mellitus type 1.
We test for a total of 4 general health diseases out of the total of 26 diseases we test for. Our genetic health predisposition test will tell you whether or not you stand a high chance of developing the diseases at some point in your life. To be noted that although all these diseases are genetically linked, not all people who suffer from the disease suffer from it due to their genes. In fact, in some cases, the genes can be altogether absent.
The diseases we test for in out genetic health test are the following:
Why not consult a genetic counsellor about your results?
Our genetic counsellor is ideal if you have any concerns about your DNA test results. They can understand and interpret all aspects of your DNA test results, helping you maximize your own wellbeing and that of your relative. Genetic counselling is ideal in cases where you opt for a clinical test or health test but you can also consult our counsellor for any other test including parentage testing, prenatal testing and relationship testing. Genetic counselling is available at an additional fee.
Our glossary of terms
We have compiled a glossary with many useful terms related to genetics, genes and many other relevant terminology and jargon. View our genetic glossary.