Your immune system comprises white blood cells, immunoglobulins, chemicals, and a network of organs working tirelessly to ensure optimal health.
Unfortunately, you're only as young as your immune system, which weakens as you age. This is why tracking your immune system's age using a DNA health test is extremely useful.
» Want to learn more about your genetics? Check out our top 10 picks for the best DNA testing kits.
What Can a DNA Health Test Do?
DNA testing is a significant step forward in precision medicine, where your medical adviser tailors treatments according to triggers that affect your immune system.
Using a DNA health test, you can:
- Track how far your immune system has aged
- Identify genes responsible for this aging
- Spot risks of future health complications
- Learn about your body's responses to infections
Here are 10 ways DNA test results can help you boost your immune system naturally.
1. You Can Manage Autoimmune Disease Risks
DNA tests reveal your chances of developing an autoimmune disease. Thankfully, studies have shown that T-cells are actively involved in preventing autoimmune disease risk.
Knowing your susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, you can apply natural and proactive ways to boost T-cells, and thus, your immune system. For example, there’s evidence that sleep stimulates proteins that activate T-cells in the body, so you should ensure you get enough rest to boost your immune system naturally.
2. You Can Preempt Potential Health Complications
Genetic tests detect underlying conditions that can cause secondary illnesses. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause lung diseases if left untreated. A DNA health test can reveal genetic triggers associated with rheumatoid arthritis, such as the HLA-DRB1 gene and anti-CEP-1 antibodies. These antibodies also identify interstitial lung disease risk.
Therefore, to naturally strengthen your respiratory health, it’s advisable to avoid alcohol abuse, vaping, and cigarettes, all of which suppress your immune system. In addition, you could consider doing flowing exercises like yoga to give your immune system that extra boost.
3. You'll Find Out About Diseases Related to Your Ethnicity
Studies show that some ethnic groups are more prone to certain immune-mediated diseases. For example, people of South Asian or African Caribbean descent are more susceptible to certain diseases like diabetes mellitus, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease. Furthermore, systemic sclerosis is also more common in people of African descent than those of European descent.
These immune-mediated diseases show how ethnicity affects health. Remember, if you test positive for any of these ailments, the first step is to see a doctor for tailored treatment. However, getting enough vitamins E and C is a great preventative way to help strengthen your immune system against these diseases. Natural sources of these vitamins are avocado, kiwifruit, and mango.
4. You'll Know About Your Diabetic Vulnerabilities
DNA tests can detect if you have diabetes or whether you could develop it. For example, a DNA test for diabetes mellitus can detect a mutation that may have led to an insulin deficiency, thereby causing hyperglycemia. Therefore, to boost your immune system naturally, you’ll have to switch to a healthier eating pattern.
Start by adding more vegetables, fruits, proteins, and whole grains to your meals. Also, keep your carb intake at a moderate level to help balance out your blood sugar levels. In addition to this, doing cardiovascular exercises will help you lower your glucose levels, lose weight, and reduce your risks for complications associated with diabetes.
» Improve your lifestyle by knowing about what DNA tests can tell you about your nutrition.
5. You Can Curb Habit-Induced Defects
Habits like smoking increase nicotine levels in your body. Nicotine suppresses T-cell responses, which impact your immune responses and cause neurological disorders. Some immune diseases, like acute respiratory infection, periodontitis, and bacterial meningitis, are also caused by high nicotine levels.
If you test positive for these diseases, avoiding smoking and refined sugars will help in boosting your immune system. Junk- and processed food also cause inflammation, which interrupts your immune system and leaves you prone to obesity, heart attacks, and stroke. So, it’s advisable to avoid binge eating and junk food.
6. You Could Reverse Alopecia Areata
DNA tests detect the tendency to develop alopecia, which is triggered by inflammation. So, the idea is to avoid diets or lifestyles that could cause inflammatory responses in your body.
If you test positive for alopecia, consult with your doctor first on what to do for your health. However, you could change your diet and increase your antioxidant intake. Biotin, healthy oils, and probiotics would also help.
7. You Can Test for Celiac Disease
A DNA test for celiac disease checks for the presence of two genes — human leukocyte antigens (HLA) DQ2 and DQ8. You may be prone to celiac disease if either of these genes is present, meaning you'd be allergic to gluten.
By detecting celiac disease early, you can find practical ways to manage it and live on a gluten-free diet. If you’ve ever noticed a food allergy, consult a medical professional first. You can also take a celiac DNA test to see what you should eat to help your immune system.
8. You Can Get Psoriasis Treatment
Psoriasis is a disease that occurs when T-cells begin to attack the immune system. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, over 8 million people have psoriasis, so it’s only ideal that you take a test for it. If you test positive, it means there’s a variation in your HLA-C genes. So, the early detection of this disease would help with its management.
It would be best to improve your nutrient intake by taking vitamin D to prevent your immune system from fighting itself. You can also eat kale salads as they contain immune-boosting compounds that can help protect you from viruses and infections that may trigger psoriasis.
» Want to preempt potential health complications? Here are diseases that can be detected through DNA testing.
9. You Can Manage Obesity
A DNA test can detect genes associated with obesity and even tell if it's genetically inheritable.
Even better, with a DNA test for obesity, you can carve out the right diet plan to lose weight. DNA testing can also improve genetically matched training since exercise regulates the immune system.
10. You Can Manage Sickle Cell Diseases
Newborns undergo DNA tests for sickle cell disease, so you'll know its health risks and how to manage them at that stage. If your child tested positive for sickle cell disease, they inherited a copy of the sickle cell gene from one or both of their parents.
With this knowledge, you can manage sickle cell disease by preventing infections and conditions that can weaken the immune system. As someone living with sickle cell anemia, your child already has a weak immune system, so they need to drink enough water, sleep well, and take vitamins to strengthen their immune system.
As with all health-related conditions, it's best to consult with your doctor before treating yourself. However, DNA tests like LetsGetChecked help with the early detection of health-related issues. With these results combined with the right diet, exercise, or sleeping pattern, you’ll be able to live a healthier life.
If you want a more broad-spectrum test, Futura Genetics would be a better option. This way, you can tailor your lifestyle to improve your immune system and fight against triggers that may arise from these diseases.
» Want an affordable way to check your genetic health risks? Try a cheap DNA test.