As we age, our bodies become more prone to developing a range of conditions that could affect our overall health. From cardiovascular disease to weaker bones, it’s important to take steps to think about how we can mitigate these risks, or at least become more aware of whether they will develop in the future.
Genetic testing offers a window into the future of our health, particularly telomere testing. In this article, we’ll explore what telomere testing is and what the benefits are.
What are telomeres?
Telomeres are located at the end of every chromosome in the body, capping both ends. This capping protects the genetic material that’s found in each cell and prevents us from losing the material.
The focus of telomeres is to stop chromosomal ‘fraying’, which is a process that occurs when a cell is replicated. Over a period of time, telomeres become too short to replicate as cells age and eventually die. This process is completely natural and happens as the body ages.
What is telomere testing?
Telomere testing involves a blood test that’s presided over by a genetic specialist. The cells in the blood are then analysed to gain an indication of the state of your telomeres and provide insight into what your health might be like in the future.
What are the benefits?
Early detection of age-related diseases
One of the major benefits of telomere testing is that it highlights any potential diseases that may crop up in the future. Telomere length has been connected to certain types of cancers, metabolic conditions, oxidative stress and cardiovascular problems.
By having this early warning system in place, you’ll be better prepared to deal with these issues and potentially make some lifestyle changes.
Risk assessment management
Telomere testing can provide valuable risk assessment information for patients who are contemplating certain procedures such as liver or lung transplants.
Analysing telomere length can determine whether a patient is more likely to suffer in the long term from a transplant and may contribute towards the final decision.
Improving clinical knowledge
Another benefit of telomere testing is that it contributes towards a better understanding of different conditions and therefore improves overall clinical knowledge.
Researchers can study the state of the telomeres from different cells and develop new insights into possible cures and treatments for various diseases.
A tailored service
The cells within the body are unique and everyone has different genetics. What this means is that telomere testing can be tailored to individual genes and the results may vary from one patient to another.
For more information about a tailored telomere testing service, it’s worth considering one of our experts who can help to understand your individual needs.
Book a genetic testing consultation today
From acting as an early warning system against certain diseases to providing valuable risk assessment data, there are many benefits to telomere testing.
Having a better understanding of your genetics is a useful step towards living a healthier lifestyle and we’re here to help at Omniya Clinic. Book in with us today to learn more about genetic testing services.