Since our MyHeritage DNA Health kit was released in May 2019, countless users have made important and sometimes live-saving discoveries thanks to their results.
Here are just a few of their stories.
MyHeritage DNA Health may have saved his life
One user, who prefers to stay anonymous, planned to buy a MyHeritage DNA test to learn more about his ancestry. As he was about to complete the purchase, he noticed a promotion for the MyHeritage DNA Health test, and decided to take advantage of the sale.
That last-minute decision likely saved his life.
“To my surprise, after the Health kit results came in, there was an indication of a high risk of hemochromatosis,” the user wrote to us. Hemochromatosis is a genetic condition that causes iron poisoning and is potentially fatal — but is easily treated if discovered early. “I also realized that the symptoms actually matched the health issues I’d been suffering from for many years — fatigue, abdominal pain, enlarged spleen and liver, joint pain, and more. I’d been trying to address these before with various doctors who put me through various screening procedures, but the root cause was never found.”
The user checked for the condition, and was found to be positive. He started treatment immediately, and within just a few weeks, his health improved considerably. “I am feeling much better now,” he told us.
“I understand that my case is quite rare,” he went on, “but if you could discover more about your own health and genetic features, it’s worth it. I hope this can help someone out there.”
The mom who discovered a life-threatening blood clotting disorder
Nikki, a 30-year-old woman from Ohio, decided to purchase the MyHeritage DNA Health kit in hopes of learning more about her health. She had been suffering from increasing back pain and many other health issues, and so far, hadn’t gotten any answers from her doctors. She hoped that MyHeritage Health would help.
“I am very happy I used MyHeritage to find more about my past, but also, more recently, their Health DNA tests,” Nikki told us. “I have been waiting a long time for there to be a company that helps people monitor their carrier and risk status on many diseases.”
Her results showed an increased risk for DVT clots, giving her care provider a new direction to examine. “My family care doctor referred me to a hematologist, and they ran blood work… and I am indeed Protein S deficient.” Protein S deficiency is a blood clotting disorder, consistent with Nikki’s MyHeritage Health results. The disorder, when left untreated, can lead to dangerous and even life-threatening conditions, like pulmonary embolism.
“Doing this test for myself allowed me to learn that I am more likely to have DVT clots than most people, so now I know what to watch out for, which could potentially save my life,” Nikki told us. “It also lets me know for my children. Thanks again.”
“The results completely contradicted everything I’ve ever been told”
Jeremy Moore, a 39-year-old federal officer and father of 4 from Austin, Texas, believed he knew all about his heritage and his family’s medical history.
Then he took a MyHeritage DNA Health test… and learned that everything he thought he’d known was wrong.
“The results completely contradicted everything I’ve ever been told,” Jeremy told us. “The results imply that I am not related to my family, which obviously requires more introspection; for me, it was the answers about my genes and what I might pass down. Now I really want to know my story that much more. Who am I and where am I really from?”
“The health portion was enlightening as well,” Jeremy says. “Doctors had been struggling with a genetic diagnosis which was confirmed by the tests. This insight was very meaningful and helped us assess the path our younger kids need to pay attention to. Understanding carrier genes and genetic predisposition is key to living your best life.”
Jeremy says that his results have made him much more health conscious. He plans to investigate further to be able to pass on the information to his children. “I plan to have more testing to clarify the current confusion,” he told us. “I want to know if the kiddos are at risk.”
Discoveries that can save lives
Yifat S. from Sydney, Australia, discovered that she carried the BRCA mutation: “As upsetting as it is to learn about your chances to get cancer, I now feel empowered by the ability to take things into my own hands and be proactive about preventing this, instead of possibly falling victim to it at a later stage,” Yifat told us. “I have 3 girls, so it was my responsibility to make sure I take care of this and know whether or not they are at risk. I’m currently taking my first steps into this BRCA journey with more tests and medical advice.”
Mikhail Vasjukov also learned that he is a carrier of the BRCA mutation: “My great-grandfather and grandfather passed away from cancer at a young age. Thanks to the MyHeritage test, I learned that I’m a carrier of the BRCA mutation and have a high risk of developing this disease. Now I will pay even more attention to my health and have regular checkups with my primary care physician.”
Branko, a 43-year-old hospital pharmacist from Sydney, Australia, said he felt empowered by his results. “Although it’s not a certainty that I will suffer from these conditions (and I certainly hope I won’t!), it is good to be aware of the increased risk, and if there are any signs or symptoms, I will know to follow up ASAP.” He was surprised to learn that he is at increased risk of hereditary thrombophilia. “This knowledge may one day save my life.”
Mary Mpiliou, a 47-year-old mother of 3 and grandmother of 1 from Greece, also discovered that she had thrombophilia thanks to her MyHeritage DNA Health results. “From now on I will be on aspirin, and on long trips of over 2 hours, I will administer anticoagulant injections prophylactically.” She plans to ensure that the rest of her family will get tested, too. “I want to thank you — I owe you a lot!”
Ingo Rodriguez also discovered that he has a high probability of developing thrombophilia: “Something that scares you in a way, but also alerts you to the precautions you need to take,” he told us. “Being aware of the likelihood of the health risks you are carrying serves, in a way, as an alert and helps in prevention.” Ingo showed his results to his doctor, and they outlined a prevention and care strategy. “I recommend that couples who are thinking about having children take this test. Thank you, MyHeritage team.”
Sarah Hempstock was not surprised to learn that she had a higher risk of heart disease, since two of her brothers and her dad had heart problems. She was surprised, though, to learn that she was at increased risk for other conditions, too. “Ever since discovering the findings from my MyHeritage DNA test, I’ve started to live a healthier lifestyle,” Sarah told us. “I will follow up with my doctor to carry out tests. The report has given me knowledge of my health I may not have known otherwise. These results do not scare me, but rather help me make some lifestyle changes.”
Knowledge is power
Anders Jensen’s MyHeritage DNA Health results correctly identified an increased risk for hereditary hemochromatosis — a condition he had actually been diagnosed with a year earlier. “I wish this health evaluation had been available several years ago. Then my treatment would’ve been a lot simpler. However, at least now I’m aware of a lot of other genetic conditions, which feels reassuring,” he told us. “Finding out your genetic predispositions is something everyone should do — it’s so simple with MyHeritage.”
Katarina Tilnakova, 51, from Slovakia, was relieved to discover that she had a decreased risk of having celiac disease, especially since she sometimes suffered from stomach pain and was thinking of having tests done. She was also grateful to learn that she has a higher risk of developing late onset Alzheimer’s Disease, because this motivates her to decrease her risk by continuing to learn new things, new languages, and keep her brain active. “I am lucky to know it, and not scared,” she told us.
Rosalie Schurgers really appreciated the genetic carrier reports that MyHeritage offers: “I like to have clarity and to know where I stand. That gives just that bit of extra information that I’m looking for. I am also really happy with the results that show whether or not you are a carrier. My boyfriend also did the test, so we can now safely try for a baby with confidence.”
Francesco Santo discovered that he is a healthy carrier of non-symptomatic hearing loss: “I already have two children, but I recommend this test to all couples who want children. Being a healthy carrier of a disease is not a drama, but knowing it beforehand allows you to make more informed choices.
“The DNA health kit was a game changer for me,” Vinicius Ribeiro wrote to us. “As soon as I got my test results, I became more interested in researching the conditions I am more likely to develop in hopes of maximizing my chances of dodging them. It has also made me more appreciative of how far science has come, and how much we discover about ourselves through something as simple as a cheek swab. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into what my future could be, MyHeritage.”
Robson Custódio says his experience with MyHeritage Health was quite helpful and interesting: “Knowing which problems you are most likely to have in the future is very helpful for taking even better care of yourself by changing certain habits,” he wrote. He found the website very easy to use: “The layout of the website is very intuitive, which helps you understand the information, percentages, and data about yourself and other people with the same genetic disposition. I really enjoyed learning about all of this.”
MyHeritage DNA Health has been empowering users to take charge of their health and create a better future for their children. Whether it’s discovering an unknown condition, becoming aware of one’s carrier status, or being inspired to choose a healthier lifestyle, MyHeritage Health customers all over the world are continuing to benefit from the important insights and invaluable knowledge the test provides them — information that sometimes even saves lives.
Source: My Heritage