Sonia was taken by surprise when she gained insights from data points provided exclusively from DNA testing.
Despite all her efforts and discipline in lifestyle choices, the former Miss Macau realised that there are certain aspects of oneself that one is unable to foresee when considering motherhood and family planning. That is, until now…
And now, Sonia is ready to reveal her story! Read more & join her journey of family planning.
Sonia is an inspiring example of someone who has overcome personal challenges to live consciously and to be a healthy modern woman. During her days studying in the U.S, Sonia was diagnosed with bulimia, as a result of which she experienced a surge in body weight. This struggle was a significant cause of insecurity and depression, and was not proving beneficial to her mental health. But today, Sonia is a bulimia survivor-turned-pilates instructor, and an "Aspiring Mom".
Those challenging times taught her to be more mindful about the correlation between mental and physical health. They inspired Sonia to live her life with intention, and always plan ahead for everything that she wanted to attain.
Once she got married last year, she knew it was time to take action and start family planning early. "I always wanted kids, the more, the merrier", she said. This next stage in her life's journey is to be her most important yet.
As a newly-wed, Sonia has been transitioning from her free-spirited days as a passport collector who only had to prioritise herself and her health, to thinking and planning ahead for her potential future family's wellbeing. Her previous physical and mental health challenges have taught her to leave nothing to chance.
Although Sonia has always led a healthy lifestyle, she knew that life could be unpredictable. There were too many unknowns with her DNA and future of health. She wanted to know what lifestyle measures were within her reach to work on, instead of waiting on fate.
Motherhood would be one of the things that she never wanted to go into blindly, so she took measures into her own hands: Sonia decided to take a DNA test to begin her and her husband's family planning process.
Sonia's intention was clear: "I wanted to find out if I carry any genetic condition that I may pass on to my future baby. It's best that we take every precaution so we can give our children the best possible start in life". It was also crucial for her to uncover if she had a predisposition to chronic diseases that might risk her chances at a healthy pregnancy.
And as Sonia got her results, a “surprise” kicked in.
Everything looked fine for the pilates trainer, except when it came to the Family Planning section. Sonia was alarmed by her results when she found out that she was a carrier for two rare conditions: HFE-associated Hereditary Hemochromatosis and Hereditary Fructose Intolerance.
In some rare cases, carriers for the HFE gene may experience milder forms of symptoms such as joint and abdominal pain, fatigue and skin discolouration.
Being a carrier of these conditions implied that Sonia has a chance of passing them onto her next generation. To further narrow down the probability of that happening, Sonia's husband would need to get tested, too. If he also carried a genetic mutation of the same gene, then it would be 25% probable that their child could inherit the gene mutations.
On the bright side, such conditions are preventable through regular screening and making dietary changes. After a complimentary consultation session with CircleDNA's genetics experts, Sonia quickly identified her next steps and preventive measures, thus learnt that things were still within her control.
While Sonia can periodically check on her serum ferritin concentration levels, iron levels, and other necessary clinical tests to maintain her health, her husband's part to play is to find out his carrier statuses through DNA testing.
And even if Sonia's future baby did inherit both conditions, it is not the end of the world. The good news is that Hereditary Fructose Intolerance can be easily managed by diet correction, given its fair prognosis. So even in the case of Sonia's future baby having inherited Hereditary Fructose Intolerance, early dietary interventions such as removing fructose, sucrose and sorbitol from the diet would suffice to set the baby symptom-free.
For more severe conditions such as HFE-associated Hereditary Hemochromatosis, modern-day technologies like in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are the best solutions. IVF safely allows fertility specialists to look at the genes of several embryos, and choose only those that will not be affected by the inherited condition to place in the mother's womb, hence avoiding such conditions to be inherited.
With a clearer picture of her and her husband's health, Sonia is now more confident about her family's overall wellbeing and happiness.
"We can't control how our children live their lives, but at least we can give them a great start", said the "aspiring mom". Sonia took the test so that she didn't have to risk putting her future kids at a disadvantage with a low quality of life by exposing them to preventable conditions that were left untreated.
On top of that, a DNA test will also allow her to take charge of her overall health and wellbeing. She believes that "physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness, and you won't be able to enjoy life fully, especially motherhood, if you have a lot of health problems".
Sonia has now found peace of mind knowing that if she ever becomes a parent, she can provide the best possible life to her kids.
Trying to plan a family? Look no further - just look within. Get hold of your DNA insights: the in-depth discovery of what your body encompasses. Find out your carrier status of potential health threats - your babies will thank you later.