Genetic Testing in Ann Arbor, MI
In today’s day and age it’s becoming more and more difficult to make sense of all the viable health suggestions found on the internet.
What diet is best for me? Ketogenic? Paleo? Vegetarian?
Am I better off focusing on yoga, cardio, or strength training?
What illnesses do I need to be concerned about as I get older?
While there are many credible resources, it is overwhelming to decide what is best for YOU unless you know who you are genetically.
This is where next-level genetic and genomic testing comes into play for our patients. With ever-increasing access to cutting-edge genetic/genomic tests, some of which are capable of examining ALL 22,000 genes linked to nearly every conceivable illness, why wouldn’t everyone want this information?
For over a decade, Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center has been on the forefront of such ‘precision’ and ‘genetic’ approaches to complex health problems and preventive diagnostics. Every day our clinic assists patients with individualized strategies regarding diet, exercise, therapies, lifestyle, nutritional supplements, prevention, and anti-aging based on genetic testing, and cross-references this information to medical and nutritional diagnostic tests.
With genetic testing, your doctors at Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center do a series of laboratory tests to analyze your genes. Genetic testing is a highly effective tool for identifying potential health issues. It's also helpful for determining the appropriate course of treatment for illnesses, or for checking how your body is processing treatment. There are more than 2000 different genetic tests available today.
Genetic Testing FAQs
The general categories of genetic testing include:
- Diagnostic: Can determine what's making you sick
- Predictive: Can identify gene mutations like MTHFR that contribute to altered methylation systems
- Carrier: Determines if you have the genetic tendency for a condition, even though you may not have it yet
We offer a cutting-edge technology using whole exome sequencing which examines all 22,000 genes in the body. The exome is the expressed part of your genetic blueprint, or DNA.
This technology will detect point mutations (where a single nucleotide is inserted, deleted, or changed) as well as structural variations in the DNA; prioritize them for risk based on scientific algorithms; and link these findings to easy-to-navigate software that details the research on each pertinent mutation. What’s more, this software program is updated monthly with any new research, genetic discoveries, or findings that pertain to your genetics.
In stark contrast, other genetic tests available such as Ancestry or 23 and Me only examine select genes and their single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are just ONE type of mutation where there is a variation at a single nucleotide position. Thus the Preventive Genetic testing we offer allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the genetic cards one holds around the game-table of life. We also study SNPs to determine methylation, MTHFR, detox pathways, etc. However, we do so in a more comprehensive way to leave no stone unturned.
Your Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center team is there to support you through all aspects of the testing, so that you'll have the best possible understanding of your body and what changes are needed to promote wellness.
Genetic testing can give you peace of mind. Not knowing whether you have certain genetic mutations is always worse than knowing. If you carry a mutation, you can take proactive measures right now to protect your health.
In some cases, the results of your genetic testing may be something to share with other members of your family, since you share DNA and, therefore, susceptibility to certain metabolic issues or diseases.
Overall, genetic testing is an excellent way to get information that will allow you to take control of your health and your life. With your doctor's support, it can be an incredibly useful tool.
You will get a list of diseases in order of high-to-low risk susceptibilities. With each susceptibility, you will get valuable resource notes such as allele frequency and evidence-based articles related to each disease condition, along with appropriate diet and exercise recommendations.
Your genome will be compared to the rest of the population with susceptibilities and protections listed against common diseases such as various cancers, coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, and eye issues.
You will also get a carrier status for your genome. These are recessive traits for certain diseases that you carry but are not likely to express. This information is helpful as these traits may present in your children and allow you to take preventive steps for their health, as well.
The cost of health care has escalated tremendously over the past couple of decades. And while life expectancy has risen, standard medical interventions are not adding much in the way of quality to life.
If you learn where your genetic weaknesses are, you can create a personalized plan for YOUR longevity and health maintenance. Risk factors identified in your genetic mutations can help you take proactive steps towards preventing diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and hypertension, just to name a few.
The important thing to remember is that your genes are not your destiny. The cutting-edge field of epigenetics is proving the ability of a gene to turn on or off is dependent on a multitude of factors including nutrition, lifestyle, mindset, diet, environment, and social relationships.
We want to also teach you that specific proactive steps can be taken to avoid disease and prevent your specific higher-risk susceptibilities from expressing fully or even partially
Nutrigenomics studies how your genes and nutrients interact, and more specifically, how nutrients and other compounds in food can affect the expression of genes that regulate important metabolic activities in the body.
Through nutrigenomics, you can optimize your nutrition according to your specific genotype in order to promote health, which is at the heart of the Precision Medicine approach at Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center.
In order to obtain your sample, nutrigenomics testing at the center uses Q-tip cell collection, which is a cheek swab, blood spot, or saliva sample. It typically takes about seven weeks to get back the report with your test results.
The software we use to translate a variety of genomics tests, including 23andMe, Ancestry, and many others, focuses on identifying molecular-level weaknesses in an individual’s genome.
Nutrigenomics has also been described as the influence of genetic variation on nutrients by correlating single nucleotide polymorphisms (or SNPs), for example MTHFR, with a nutrient’s (i.e. folic acid) absorption, metabolism, or biological effects. Therefore, nutrigenomics aims to optimize nutrition with respect to an individual’s genetic weaknesses.
For our clinic’s purposes, SNPs cross-referenced to medical testing of blood, urine, saliva, etc. is the heart of our Precision Medicine approach, which attracts patients from all over the country to our clinic.
Genetic testing can alert you to gene mutations like MTHFR, which can play a role in chronic pain conditions, pulmonary problems, mood disorders, and many other serious conditions. Below is an example of Cytochrome P450 (phase 1 liver detoxification), where -/- means no abnormal gene, +/- means an abnormal copy inherited from mother OR father, +/+ means an abnormal copy inherited from mother AND father.
MTHFR Support, Cytochrome P450-Phase 1 Liver Detoxification (Saliva)
A full report is typically 80+ pages and provides information for thousands of critical metabolic steps related to everything from methylation-histamine to neurochemistry-hormone balance, and the list goes on extensively.
To learn more, please watch Dr. Boggess video on Precision Medicine.
Preventive Genetics Program Details
At Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our team can perform custom genetic testing to help you recognize potential health issues before they have the chance to develop.
This program is designed to create an individualized preventive wellness plan tailored specifically to your genetic susceptibilities and other lab findings. We work with you to create a plan that is achievable and maintainable based on your specific needs. As part of the process, we will educate you on how to best implement your plan.
Call our office to schedule a 20-minute meet and greet consultation with Dr. Soorya. The purpose of this meeting is hear your story initially and briefly tell you how we approach a wide variety of health problems and/or wellness strategies from a functional medicine perspective. Once you decide to proceed with the program, charges for this initial phone meeting will be credited toward your History & Physical Exam.
Prior to this appointment, you will have completed our online New Patient Questionnaire. The purpose of this face-to-face visit is to officially establish the doctor-patient relationship, undergo a complete history and physical exam, and to decide what testing is needed.
Lab Review visits range anywhere between 40 to 120 minutes depending on the complexity and number of labs to review. After all testing has resulted, we will discuss the findings and put together your treatment plan which might include dietary, lifestyle, and nutraceutical interventions.
These visits range from 20-30 minutes, approximately every month initially for the first 3-5 months while we proceed through the steps of your individualized protocols. This is for your safety and to ensure that you are tolerating all of the supplements, discuss any problems you may be having, and provide guidance and coaching.
After you are on all the supplements, we give your body time to repair. During this time, we do not require follow-up but should any concerns or issues come up, we are always here for you and want to see you.
Once we have successfully finished all pre-planned protocols, you will be taken off supplements in a structured manner. We will meet one more time to see how you are doing and provide long-term discharge instructions which include dietary and lifestyle modifications and periodic supplementation protocols if indicated.
Our clinic polices deserve a section all to itself and includes important information about working with our clinic, refund policies, payment information, cancellation policies, etc. We request that all new patients review this material prior to enrolling with our clinic.
As a medical center, it is our intention that your visit be recognized by insurance AND qualify for reimbursement based on your out-of network benefits. Our clinic’s ability to provide superbills for your visit and utilize insurance for testing is why we are able to save patients thousands of dollars compared to other practices run by limited license clinicians such as chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, acupuncturist, etc. That said, we are unable to guarantee your insurance will reimburse your visits. Nor are we able to project how much reimbursement you will ultimately receive.
For general pricing information, please see the table below. We offer follow-up visits via phone or video as a convenient way for you to reach your health goals without feeling like you have to take a lot of time out of your schedule. We have patients all over the US and abroad who love our clinic for this!
Please note: The fee schedule below includes preparation and post counseling with our nurses or clinical assistants, as well as direct collaboration with our physicians or clinicians.
We Are Here to Help You! Contact Us for our Custom Genetic Testing Program
On behalf of the Natural Balance team, we hope you have found this information helpful and we look forward to working with you.
If you’d like to learn more about genetic testing, use our online booking to schedule your new patient appointment or call (734) 929-2696 to arrange your visit to Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center today.