Myotonic Dystrophy is a medical condition that can cause weakness in every muscle group. With our article on Myotonic Dystrophy, you can learn about how DNA test kits can identify the condition.
Myotonic Dystrophy is a medical condition that belongs to the same group as Muscular Dystrophy. Though it often runs in families, you can develop the condition rather suddenly without having a family history of the condition. Doctors divide the condition into Type 1 and Type 2. Though both types affect chromosomes, Type 1 involves the 19th chromosome and Type 2 involves the third chromosome. Also called DM, it leads to something called muscle wasting. This is when your muscles break down and can reach the point where you cannot use those muscle groups. The more you read about the disease, the more you may worry that you’ll eventually develop it.
As you read through our site, you’ll find that Best DNA Testing Kits for Ancestry can tell you more about yourself and your family history than you expected. A select few tests such as the Health+ kit offered by 23andMe can reveal more about your chromosomes and genes too. Some of these kits will identify any markers or genes that you have connected to common disorders. We created this article on Myotonic Dystrophy and DNA tests to help you understand why you might want to order a test and send your sample in for a complete evaluation.
The symptoms of DM can vary depending on the type that you have and when the doctor diagnosed you. Both DM Type 1 and DM Type 2 can begin when you reach adulthood and not cause any symptoms during your early years. It often affects the brain and leaves you feeling more tired than you should. Even if you get eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, you may still find yourself falling asleep in the middle of the day. The condition can make you feel so tired that you need to quit your job or stop going to school because you no longer have the energy that you need.
Muscle weakness is another major symptom of DM, though it more commonly impacts Type 2 sufferers. In addition to feeling so weak that you can’t get out of bed or go for a walk, you can also suffer from weakness in your mouth and lungs. Many sufferers develop sleep apnea, which causes them to stop breathing in the middle of the night. Your doctor may recommend that you use a CPAP machine to regulate your breathing. Many people also experience heart pains and have weaknesses in their heads and faces.
One sign of DM that affects older patients is cataracts. Cataracts are essentially cloudy patches that form on top of your eyes. Many people who suffer from cataracts notice warning signs early such as squiggles in their field of vision and clouds that seem to float in front of them. If you wear glasses or have vision problems, you have an increased risk of developing cataracts later in life. Those who also have DM have an increased risk of developing cataracts in their 40s, 30s or younger years. Cataracts can make it hard for you to see and do simple activities and to recognize the people around you. Depending on the severity, those cataracts may prevent you from renewing your driver’s license too.
Cataracts are a clear sign of DM, but doctors and medical experts do not yet understand the connection between the two. You may have problems with one eye and notice that your problems worsen before you experience any issues with your other eye. Other people develop cataracts that form and progress in both eyes at the same time. Cataracts can also interfere with your sense of balance. You may need surgery to save your eyes and stop cataracts from progressing.
If you look at your eyes closely in a mirror, you can see that cataracts look like small cloudy spots.
When you or a loved one receives a DM diagnosis, you might worry about what the future holds and wonder which treatments are best. One thing you need to keep in mind is that there isn’t a treatment designed for DM. Doctors and medical professionals can treat some of the symptoms of the condition such as recommending that you undergo surgery to remove cataracts. Though you cannot treat the condition, you can learn how to manage the disease and live a long and happy life with it.
Managing DM may include the use of certain medications. Doctors found that patients noticed a reduction in symptoms when taking the same medications that diabetics do. These drugs will lower your blood sugar levels and can reduce some or most of your symptoms. You may want to take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling too.
Therapy and specific devices can help with the management of DM also. Rehabilitation centers offer programs for individuals and group sessions that show you how to stretch your muscles. Regular sessions can build up your muscles and make you feel strong again. You may want to use devices that help you breathe at night and others for walking too.
Types of Devices for DM
Many television shows now focus on finding out where you came from. “Who Do You Think You Are?” started in the UK and inspired a similar show in the US. It features researchers checking into the backgrounds of celebrities and telling them about their families. While you probably can’t afford to hire a family researcher, you can easily afford the cost of a DNA test. You can choose between tests that use a simple sample collected from the inside of your cheek or one that uses a saliva sample you create in a small vial. The results of your test kit will appear online and only to those who have your login information. Both 23AndMe and Ancestry offer some good tests. You can read our AncestryDNA Review to learn more about the test.
Some of the reasons to get a DNA kit done include:
A few of the top DNA kits also let you sign up for additional testing of your genes and chromosomes. You can find out the health risks that might impact your future and the future of your children through one of these tests.
What Can a Health DNA Kit Tell You?
When you have a family history of Myotonic Dystrophy or any other condition, you might worry constantly about developing the same condition and how it will affect your life. DNA test kits let you stop worrying and get answers quickly. You can use DNA testing to determine if you have a risk of developing Myotonic Dystrophy and other conditions based on your genes and chromosomes.
The best DNA testing kit for home health information is easily 23andMe. When you check out some of the other pages on our site such as our 23andMe review or our comparison between that kit and the Ancestry DNA kit, you can see some of the information you can learn through those tests. These are far from the only kits and tests that you can use though. You may want to consider other testing sites and companies, including:
If you take the Mayo Clinic test, you can view information about your genes and how those genes relate to different medical conditions such as Myotonic Dystrophy. The test can even help you see what the risks are that you’ll pass those genetic conditions down to your children. It takes anywhere from four to seven weeks to get your results back from the testing company. Even those that claim it can take six to eight weeks to process your results will often get in touch with you faster.
HomeDNA is the cheapest testing company and offers tests for as little as $99. If you want a full screening though, you’ll need to pay more. 23AndMe charges $199 for a detailed health analysis of your DNA and results that you can view online. The Futura Genetics test is the most expensive at $375, but this test can also determine whether your genes relate to conditions such as Myotonic Dystrophy. Whether you view some of the symptoms of this condition in your body or a loved one, you can use some of these tests to see whether you carry the genes for the disorder.
What Do You Need to Take a Home Health DNA Test?