Ever wonder how your body processes the things you eat and drink? Your body’s engine for this is called your metabolism. Here is how it works with most medications: After you take your medication, it goes through your blood stream to your liver. Your liver then takes the medication and processes, or “metabolizes” it using a type of protein called an enzyme.
These enzymes are microscopic machines, which come in many different types. The types of enzymes in your liver are decided: by your DNA! Some enzymes metabolize certain things faster than others. Let’s think of your liver as a faucet, and these enzymes as the lever, that controls-the-flow. Some enzymes open the faucet just a little, allowing the medication to tríckle through your liver. This, can lead to a build up of more medication in your body than expected, causing toxicity.
Some enzymes open the faucet so that the medication is released in a steady flow, as intended. Other enzymes open the faucet like a fire hydrant, and blow the medication through your body so quickly that it does not have time to work.
By knowing your DNA, you can know your enzymes, which can help you figure out how fast or slow your faucet will flow. How is it possible to know your DNA? With new DNA testing called Pharmacogenomics – or PGx – you can learn how your body will respond to certain medications before you take them.
PGx testing used to be very expensive. Not any more. Today, a patient can use PGx right from their phone. Smart patients no longer use guesswork when taking a medication. They use the predictive science of PGx.