What to Do If a Genetic Disorder Runs in Your Family?

What to Do If a Genetic Disorder Runs in Your Family?

A disorder might be described as ‘Running In The Family’ if more than one family member has the condition. 

Now, some disorders are triggered by gene variants or mutations that are generally inherited. 

Other diseases that appear to run in families are not caused by genes but are a result of environmental factors, including dietary habits and pollutants. 

Many families have one or more conditions running in their family. But should you be worried about it or not? 

In this article, we will be sharing expert-recommended tips if you think you or your family member is at risk of developing a genetic disease. 

Take a Look at Your Family Health History

The first thing you should do is take a look at your family health history. If there are any genetic disorders in your family, it is possible that one of them could be carrying the same trait as you.

For example, if you have an older brother who is overweight and has high cholesterol, then it is likely that he has a similar genetic problem with his body fat and cholesterol. If he has the same problem as you, then the chances are that you will have a similar disease as well because of inheritance from him.

Figure Out Diseases That Can Be Inherited

Oftentimes, the pattern of inheriting a disease is quite straightforward, but in some cases, it could be tricky. You might inherit a disorder by inheriting a gene change from only one parent, which is called an autosomal dominant single-gene disorder. This type of disorder includes conditions such as crouzon syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Marfan syndrome, and neurofibromatosis type 1. If one of the parents has any of these diseases, there is a 50% possibility that it will pass on to your children. 

In other cases, both parents need to have a change in the same gene for their child to develop the genetic disorder. This category is named an autosomal recessive single-gene disorder and includes diseases such as cystic fibrosis, beta thalassemia, spinal muscular atrophy, sickle-cell anemia, and tay-sachs disease. 

Talk to Your Primary Doctor

If more than two or three members of your family have any of the disorders listed, be sure to talk it out with your doctor. That being said, not every inherited disease is serious. Yet, it is safer to consult your primary doctor. 

Depending on the disorder, your doctor might ask you to incorporate lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. He might also ask you to go for regular disease screenings and go for genetic counseling.

Final Thoughts 

Within any given family, there are a multitude of genetic traits that are spread around. This can be good, but it can also be bad depending on the trait in question. One of these traits may be a genetic disorder that is hereditary. 

This could mean that you, or a family member, is more likely to develop this disorder at some point in your lives. And, by being proactive you can minimize the chances of inheriting the condition.

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