Genetic testing from a company such as Pathway Genomics provides insight into a broad wide of health, nutrition and wellness aspects. Genetic markers can be identified for an enormous array of traits. For instance, they can be used to help a person understand which pain medications are likely to be most effective for his or her biological makeup.
Typically, markers identified through this type of genetic testing for general consumer use indicate probabilities and general tendencies. The information helps people take action that can improve their health and, in some circumstances, prevent disease.
Consulting a Doctor
When it comes to looking at the effects of medications on an individual’s physical system as influenced by genes, doing so in consultation with a physician is advisable. A doctor is usually better able to view the broader picture in regard to health conditions, medicine, lifestyle and genetic factors. The physician also understands the limits of genetic testing in this realm as well as the potential advantages that patients hope for.
Preferences for Medication
It’s no secret that people have different preferences in regard to over-the-counter pain medication. One person states that ibuprofen is most helpful while another gets better relief from acetaminophen. Sometimes this relates to the problem they are trying to correct, but it also can relate to genetic makeup.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen work in different ways, but their primary effect is the same: to prevent the release of certain chemicals that cause a person to feel pain. In some cases, people find one medicine to be more effective because of the way the body metabolizes it due to genetic structure.
The main difference when genetics are involved is that a person metabolizes one of these drugs more slowly, which makes the medicine more effective. Once someone knows this, he or she can make a more educated choice between ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Physicians look forward to improvements in genetic testing that help them more precisely determine which prescription pain medications will be more effective for each patient. Patients will be able to avoid frustration as they try a relatively ineffective medicine first that seems like it should work, yet doesn’t help very much.