Are You Confused By Your Genetic Test Results? (You are not alone.)
At-home genetic testing (like 23andme) is increasingly popular amongst the health-savvy consumers. But when the results are back, many of our clients report feeling confused, frustrated, and sometimes scared by the report. We are here to turn your genetic information into improved health and personal understanding.
DNA testing to confirm paternity/maternity can be performed at-home or by legal means. Traditional tests typically use 15 designated sites in your DNA to calculate a likelihood that you are the parent. These tests were developed in the 1990s and though they are used by the legal system, many errors have been reported. Thankfully there are newer and more powerful DNA tests available to our clients. A Vibrant Gene consultation can help you to review perplexing results, help you get follow up testing done, and confirm important family relationships.
What Could a Consultation Do For You?
This is the age of personalized medicine. Technological advancements have allowed scientists to identify genetics’ role in many diseases. By understanding your genetic information, you can be empowered to make smarter, more proactive decisions about your health and/or have a healthy pregnancy.
At Vibrant Gene, we offer genetic consultations over the phone and with Skype. In-person consultations are available at select clinics in the Boston area.
Health consultations typically include:
- A review of your personal health history and any pertinent medical reports
- An in-depth discussion about your family history of medical conditions and wellness
- A personalized summary of relevant genetic inheritance patterns
- Recommendations for follow-up testing (when appropriate)
- A review of laboratory results and explanation of their impact on your health and your family
Paternity/maternity DNA testing reviews may include:
- A personalized review of your case
- An interpretation of all DNA paternity and/or maternity test results
- A summary of options including additional DNA testing (when appropriate)
- Coordination of additional testing (if necessary)
- A final report
Vibrant Gene receives no financial support from DNA testing laboratories or corporations, ensuring you receive independent, cutting-edge care.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling empowers people to make informed choices about their genetic health and sometimes the health of their family members.
Genetic testing for your health can determine whether you, your partner or your child carries genes for certain inherited disorders or common diseases. Often DNA testing is used to confirm a relationship, as in the case of paternity or maternity testing. Genetic Counseling then helps you to understand the technical genetic information in clear, concise language so you can be proactive about your life decisions.
2. When should I seek genetic counseling?
If you are seeking genetic health assessment for preventative care, the timing is quite personal. Some seek consultations to help meet new years resolutions–nutrigenomics can help personalize nutrition, diet, and exercise plans. We do not recommend a personal genetics health consultation during times of acute stress, such as familial conflict, work/financial troubles or major health issues.
If you (or your partner) are considering pregnancy or experiencing fertility complications, the time is right for genetic counseling. Pregnancy can be an emotionally charged experience. Having your genetic screening done prior to becoming pregnant can alleviate stress and help to open medical treatment options.
If you (or your partner) are already pregnant, you still can benefit from genetic counseling. Some couples seek emotional support while facing difficult decisions due to complicated pregnancy. Other women request additional information about genetic conditions they, their family members or their pregnancy were diagnosed with. Regardless of the situation, the sooner you are able to seek a genetic consultation, the better.
For immediate assistance, contact Vibrant Gene or try locating a genetic counselor in your area via the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
3. Can my partner or my friend be present?
Having emotional support during a consultation can be helpful, so we permit you to invite up to two individuals. Your session is yours, so you can decide whom to have present — we welcome friends, partners, parents or children who are over the age of 18.
4. What if I was adopted, or do not have family history information available to me?
While a family history is a useful aid to your genetic counselor, it is not essential. Your consultation will be enlightening whether this information is available or not. In fact, many adoptees seek genetic counseling specifically to better understand their personal risks, and to help plan for the future.
5. Will you tell me if I shouldn’t have children?
Some people mistakenly believe that genetic counseling promotes “designer babies.” This is not the case! Vibrant Gene genetic consultations offer personalized insights into your genes so that you can proactively prevent serious disease for yourself and your family. Your genetic counselor will provide non-judgmental support and unbiased information so you can make better decisions aimed at preventing genetic disease.
6. What if I am found to be a carrier of a serious genetic condition?
Sometimes genetic testing can produce surprising results. Regardless of what comes from your test results, your Vibrant Gene genetic counselor will be there for you. When you are ready, you can discuss a variety of options, such as testing your partner or exploring cutting-edge reproductive technology.
7. How can I pay for services?
We offer a private pay system and accept major credit cards. We gladly provide clients with CPT codes so you can submit a claim to your insurance provider or FSA account for reimbursement.
-Christiane Northrup, MD OB/Gyn, New York Times bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’ Wisdom
After watching my father go through a long, heart-wrenching decline with dementia, I pursued genomic testing and needed support with the interpretation. Kayla Sheets helped me to understand the genetic nomenclature and to feel empowered to explore with the assurance that she is available to answer questions in the future. She listens carefully and she doesn’t talk academic gibberish. She is exactly what I needed. Thank you, Kayla!”
“The workshop provided a holistic approach to the whole process of preconception health planning. I really valued the additional considerations that the standard American healthcare practices currently ignore. My partner and I feel much more empowered about our ability and capacity to create healthy human life when we choose to start trying. I know that we’re doing our best now to prepare, thanks more to Kayla’s advice than to anything else.”
–Lilian, Preconception Health Workshop Attendee
“Kayla is an empathic, good listener, who almost intuitively knows how to balance information giving with a simple, yet powerful ‘I’m here for you.'”
Genetic Counselor, Associate Professor, Ohio State University
“Kayla is always current on new genetic/genomic concepts and research. Anyone working with Kayla will be in good hands.”
-Cassie Buck,Genetic Counselor, Advisor for Genetic Counseling Research at Brandeis University