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What Is Genetic Counselling And Do I Need A Session?

What Is Genetic Counselling And Do I Need A Session?

You’ve got your Atlas Biomed DNA test results back, now you can ask an expert what they mean from the comfort of your own home.

If you're too busy to read the whole article, here it is in a nutshell so you decide whether genetic counselling is right for you:

  • Discuss your overall results and genetic health risks
  • Ask how and if it can affect your children
  • Know if you need to consult your GP for diagnostic testing
  • Explain how recommendations improve your disease risk profile

DNA testing for the masses is now ubiquitous, and we should know: Atlas Biomed is the UK’s foremost providers of DNA testing for preventive health and the gut microbiome. But now that everyone and their dog (well nearly) can access the information locked in their DNA, we have a duty of care towards every Atlas Biomed user.

That means it’s important to us that you fully understand the genetic secrets of your body, how to handle this information and offer you access to expert advice if you need it. And that’s exactly what genetic counselling is for.

What is genetic counselling

Genetic counsellors are qualified and accredited experts that can explain the results of a genetic test and guide you on what steps to take if a health risk has been identified.

Disease risks: A genetic counsellor can also advise you on how your genetic results impact your risk of multifactorial diseases like Crohn’s. They are also the best professional to consult if a hereditary cancer risk is identified in your genome.

Having children: They work with families that are carriers of hereditary disease and advise parents on what this means for their children or future children.

How does it work?

If you’ve taken the Atlas Biomed DNA Test, you gain access to at-home genetic counselling services. That means you can book a genetic counselling session at a time that suits you, because it will be held over the phone or on Zoom (online conferencing).

To purchase a session, just email us at [email protected]. We'll help you select a date and time so you can meet your counsellor. Here’s how it works:

Step 1 Email [email protected] to book a 30-min session at your chosen time. The genetic counsellor reviews your results before getting in touch
Step 2 Get a professional opinion. Learn about the value and importance of your genetic data, confidentiality and what it means for your family and siblings.
Step 3 Ask your questions. The counsellor can tell you if you need to make an appointment with your doctor, how to manage a vitamin deficiency risk, what risks for your children, etc.

True stories from our users

At Atlas Biomed, we have been given the opportunity and the skills to change lives in ways that didn’t even exist a few decades ago. It is our immense honour to share the stories of our users in the hope that more lives can be changed and saved.

Because at-home genetic testing allows you to take control of your health, and maybe even your family’s health too.

To safeguard the identity and privacy of our users, we do not disclose their names.

Planning a family

A couple did our DNA test and discovered that they both had the same genetic variant of a spherocytosis type I, a condition that affects the shape of red blood cells. Anaemia is a common side effect: the majority of newborns with this condition have severe anaemia during their first year.

As they were planning a family, they were concerned about the 25% risk that their future baby would have this hereditary disease, so they contacted a genetic counsellor to explore their options. The counsellor advised them on assisted reproductive technologies, and as a result, they conceived a healthy child - free from the burden of illness.

Without a genetic test, they would have never known about this risk. Without a genetic counsellor, they would not have known how to turn this result into a positive outcome. But they did and they have, and for that, we are delighted.

Hereditary breast cancer

Our user, a 40-year-old woman with a family history of breast cancer took the Atlas Biomed DNA Test. The results indicated that she was a carrier of a BRCA1 gene variant that is associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

However, a genetic predisposition to disease does not necessarily mean it will emerge, so our user contacted a genetic counsellor to ask what next.

That consultation with a geneticist started off a series of additional examinations, screenings and diagnostics that ultimately led to a mastectomy as the most effective option to prevent risk cancer.

Now this could seem like a sad story, and one that makes you want to bury your head in the sand. This woman wanted to share this story, as one of hope because she caught her risk in time to prevent disease. And sometimes radical surgery is the best option, especially when 1 woman in 8 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Britain according to Breast Cancer UK, a charity.

Common disease risks

This user took our DNA Test out of sheer curiosity, and let’s be fair, we’re all a bit curious to know what secrets are lurking in our genes. Sometimes the results are not as good as we expected. In this case, our user discovered elevated risk of Parkinson’s and hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones.

After studying the results for several hours, our user booked an appointment with an endocrinologist to do a thyroid ultrasound and blood tests, as well as genetic counselling session about these risks.

So it wasn’t all bad news, because it was the Atlas Biomed DNA Test results that brought her to this discovery and allowed her to take the next steps in identifying potential thyroid problems and making sure she received the right care.

How do I book a session?

£159 for 30-min genetic counselling session
exclusive introductory rate

Right now, we have an exclusive rate for Atlas Biomed DNA Test users, just £159. Just send us an email with the subject line Book my genetic counselling session to [email protected].

We’ll send you an exclusive link to check out for this special rate. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be sent a link to the calendly app where you can choose what time and day suits you.

Remember to select a time where you can have privacy and quiet to discuss your DNA Test results. Choose your favourite spot in the house and make sure your telephone and/or internet connections are working well. Sit back, relax and get ready to finally get answers to those questions you have.

If you want to know more about your genome, you can purchase the Atlas Biomed DNA Test right here

Leigh Stewart
Leigh Stewart Head of Atlas Biomed content, trained chef and avid fermenter of edible bacteria.

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