You may have your dad’s eyes, your mom’s nose, and your grandmother’s smile. You may also be prone to get their health problems someday. Diseases can be passed down through family members — all thanks to genetics. We’ve gathered some information about how genetics can impact your health from genesinlife.org.
The Problems Genes Can Cause
The genes that we get from our parents are usually perfect copies, but what happens when they aren’t so perfect? Non-perfect copies are called mutations; some make no difference at all and some cause problems for people.
Mutations can be given to a child from a parent, and these are known as hereditary mutations. Another type of mutation is acquired, and an example of this would be skin cancer; you have gotten it over the course of your life due to environmental factors but you cannot pass it down to your children.
Even though genes are a huge part in diseases, you must also factor in your lifestyle choices and your environment.
Why Mutations Can Lead to Disease
1. In every new cell that your body makes throughout your lifetime, a new copy of your genes is made. Problems occur when these copies contain mistakes.
2. When the genes that tell the body how to make proteins have mutations, the whole body may take a toll for it.
3. When you hear people say that you “have the gene for that disease,” it really means that the gene has a genetic mutation. Everyone may have a gene for a disease, but only the ones that are mutated are when it can leave people diagnosed with it.
Your body creates billions of new cells in your lifetime, and the ones that have mutations can sometimes still function.
Are There Other Types of Mutations?
We typically get one gene from each parent to give us two total, but some people have one, three, or some missing. These are called Copy Number Variation (CNV). Not having the correct number of genes can cause problems as well.
Chromosomes are where genes are stored. When there are issues with the number of chromosomes a person has, this can cause issues as well: especially with development.
There are many diseases and conditions that can have a correlation with a person’s genes. Genetic testing may be a valuable option for people wanting to know more about their health.