Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What will a DNA test detect?"
I'm scared about my DNA test results. What if it tells me I have something they weren't even looking for?
It is hard to answer this question, because I am not sure what is going on for you medically and why you are having a DNA test done. DNA tests are emerging in many areas of medicine for specifically diagnosing various genetic diseases. The exact indication for doing the test, and the consequences of the result depend a lot on what your doctors are looking.
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Sometimes, you have symptoms for an unclear reasons, and a positive DNA test will allow your doctors to make a firm diagnosis of what is going on; this can be helpful, because it may provide information about how your symptoms are going to evolve over time or it might point the way to a treatment. Another common use of DNA tests is to look for 'carrier states' - meaning genes you posses that do not affect your health but that could potentially be passed on to and cause illness in any of your future children.. This is commonly used when there is a family history of a concerning genetic disorder or at the recommendation of your physician. If you have more specific questions, you should talk to the medical genetics or other specialist who ordered the test.
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