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I Have a Family History of Many Health Concerns: Should I Seek a Precision Medicine Approach?

I Have a Family History of Many Health Concerns: Should I Seek a Precision Medicine Approach?

Genetics is a significant part of your life and health. You get your genes from the chromosomes your parents pass to you. These genes determine your physical traits and some aspects of your long-term health.

You can't change your genes. However, even when you have a long history of medical issues in the family, you can avoid complications and achieve optimal wellness through precision or personalized medicine.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, precision medicine uses genomics — a study of your genes — to address your specific needs and concerns to create a customized approach to your health. Dr. Inga Zilberstein is excited to offer personalized medicine at her office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. Here’s what you should know.

Genetics and your health

Part of your overall health is determined before you're even born from the genes you get from your parents. These genes predict many aspects of your health, body, and appearance.

Genetics is an important area of study that focuses on how people inherit certain conditions through chromosomes and DNA. Researchers categorize genetic problems by the affected chromosome that has the changed or affected gene. The two major categories of genetic disorders are autosomal and X-linked.

How do these issues affect your health? Certain types of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis may occur due to a gene mutation, which runs in families. If you have the mutation, you're more likely to inherit the condition.

Genetics provides a good insight into your health, which is why doctors can test for certain genetic disorders when you have a family history of a particular disease. For example, testing the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes for mutations can determine your breast cancer or ovarian cancer risk.

What is precision medicine?

Many things affect your health other than genetics, including your environment and your lifestyle. For example, people who eat a healthy diet and exercise are typically healthier than those who eat fast food and live a sedentary lifestyle.

However, diet and exercise are only one piece of the puzzle. Many factors affect your body, organs, and overall health and wellness. Precision medicine takes all of these factors into account in addition to results from diagnostic tests to tailor a medical plan specifically for your needs.

Precision medicine isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to your health, and it has numerous benefits:

Precision medicine is an excellent tool for anyone. It’s especially beneficial to people with a family medical history of various chronic diseases or problems. Dr. Zilberstein can use specific testing to determine your risk for these diseases and find the best treatment for your body and needs.

Precision medicine testing

If you're concerned about your family medical history and want to delve deeper into your health and wellness, Dr. Zilberstein recommends diagnostic testing as a starting point. She can test for certain mutations or issues that point to a specific health problem and tailor a treatment plan to keep you healthy with personalized care.

Various tests provide the foundation for precision medicine:

Organic acid testing

Organic acid testing (OAT) is a specific evaluation of the metabolic processes within the body. Each metabolic process produces certain organic acids, which are excreted in the urine.

OAT shows Dr. Zilberstein how your body functions, produces energy, eliminates toxins, and metabolizes essential nutrients. She can utilize organic acid testing to identify metabolic problems, evaluate how certain treatments are working, and monitor disease progression.


The gut regulates many of the body's functions, which is why it's crucial to health. However, many people have issues with intestinal flora and bacteria, which can lead to issues with immunity, metabolism, and digestion.

The GI-MAP test is a fecal test that allows us to evaluate for parasites, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that may be causing problems with your health. The test can provide invaluable insight into chronic health issues and mental health problems.

Dutch test

This is a complete urinary test that gives insight into a woman's hormones and cortisol levels and can even show metabolites that indicate a risk for hormone-driven cancers.

Dr. Zilberstein uses the Dutch test to help fine-tune hormone therapy, determine when you're ovulating, and assess your stress level. All of this information is beneficial in helping you be healthier, address medical concerns, and live a better life.

To make an appointment for a precision medicine consultation, call or text Inga Zilberstein, MD, at 830-254-5941, or you may request a consultation online.

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