Our bodies are made up of unique codes of DNA that formulates the rate in which we grow. That genetic code is vital for us to function as human beings. You can imagine it as the blueprint of our whole lives. However we, as humans, are not built to be perfect beings. Sooner or later we will start to develop various sicknesses and with that, we would be relying on more on outside medicine that can impact the formation of our DNA. But what is the actual impact of these modern medicines to our DNA codes? Could they really alter our DNA to the point that it can be indistinguishable from most?
The first thing you should note is that medications have absolutely no impact on our DNA coding. The impact of a certain medication will vary depending on a person’s DNA structure, thus, it is impossible for a simple medication to affect the way our entire human blueprint to change.
Medical Treatments, However, Can Alter Your DNA
Medications themselves are not known to cause any side effects on a person’s DNA structure, however, that could not be said with medical treatments. There are a number of treatments that can cause your DNA to alter into a different formation which would cause the testing result to produce a different final conclusion. Do note that DNA testing after these medical treatments should be advised to a medical professional for extra screening.
Bone Marrow Transplants or Stem Cell Transplant
Stem cells are vital parts of your body in which they help the natural recovery process. However, medical treatment may cause the patient to require either bone marrow or stem cell transplant from a suitable donor. The stem cells are taken from the blood while the bone marrow is taken directly from the backbone or the marrow of a person.
These are commonly found to help cure or replace the dead cells of cancer patients with new and healthy cells. The transplant of the cells would them be injected into the patient in need and would cause the donor’s cells to produce additional white blood cells to help fight off diseases. Although, the production of the cells on the transplanted substance would produce in the rate of the donor’s DNA production. That would mean that the white blood cells produced by those cells would contain the DNA of the donor instead of your own.
The process could result in a significant change in the patient’s DNA testing. Your genetic profile will start to merge with your donor and would result in inconclusive analysis from the tests. Thus, buccal swabs or blood samples should be avoided at all costs when taking a DNA test as that would produce an inaccurate result. However, you can still provide other samples that are not affected by those treatments such as a hair root sample.
Blood-related treatments could potentially be grounds for failure in a DNA test. The receiver of the blood transfusion would share the same cells with the donor once the blood has been received. However, the donor’s blood cells have a short lifespan once the transfusion has been committed. Hence, the odds of the DNA test of failing would be insignificant as the transfusion has to be done very recently for it to have a significant impact. A period of more than 2 weeks is advised to prevent the impact of the transfusion to linger on the DNA test.
Although, a woman who will undergo a non-invasive prenatal paternity test should inform the facility about the transfusion as soon as possible to prevent any accidental mishaps on the results. This process would involve the use of a mother’s blood sample, as such, it is important to plan the timing of when you plan on taking the prenatal paternity test.
Most medical procedures and medications are incapable of affecting the overall genetic codes in our system. A stem cell or bone marrow transplant are some of the few invasive procedures that can cause any significant changes in one’s DNA. Although, a proper testing facility is well-equipped to handle such cases so there is no need to fret on inconclusive data. It is paramount, however, that you inform the medical professionals about any DNA-altering medical treatment that you have undergone before attempting a DNA test.
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