Genetic testing is available to anyone who needs to learn the unique information carried in their genes, including the risk of developing a disease and vital clues about the best way to treat an existing condition. The team at Southern Kidney Specialists, with locations throughout Middle Tennessee, may recommend genetic testing to identify the cause of your kidney disease and guide treatment decisions. To learn if you should consider genetic testing, call the nearest office or request an appointment online today.
Genetic testing identifies changes (variations) in your genes (the structures that determine how your body functions). Any variation in one or more genes has the potential to cause a disease and influence the way your body responds to medications.
Over 30% of patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease have a family history of kidney problems. People with a family history pass genetic variants to their children. Performing genetic testing finds these variants, which serves several important purposes.
If your provider can’t find a cause for your kidney disease (which happens in about 15% of all cases), genetic variations can reveal the reason. The information is important because the cause often determines the best treatment.
Understanding the genetic component of your disease allows your provider to precisely target your treatment. That makes a significant difference when it comes to keeping your kidneys healthy and functioning for as long as possible.
If you know you have a genetic variant that increases your risk of chronic kidney disease, you can take steps to prevent it from developing.
There are different genetic tests. The lab may search for a specific gene or gene variant known to cause kidney disease. Or they may run a panel, which reveals variations in many genes. Another type of genetic test analyzes long lengths of your DNA, looking for extra, missing, or duplicated chromosomes associated with certain genetic conditions.
Genetic testing is a simple procedure. Your provider only needs to take a swab of fluids from your mouth or draw a blood sample, depending on the type of test.
After taking your sample, they send it to a lab that specializes in sequencing the genes, which refers to the process they use to expose the makeup of your DNA.
The lab sends the results to Southern Kidney Specialists; then, the team schedules an appointment to discuss the findings and what they mean for you.
If you have questions about genetic testing, call Southern Kidney Specialists or book a consultation online today.