Genetic Test Review: Circle DNA For Chronic Illness
Do our genes really play a part in our chronic illness? Does knowing this information paint a good picture what our lives look like? Can it be a helpful tool in reaching our diagnosis sooner or at all?
If you are here for the discount only:
These are all questions I had and wanted to investigate it a bit more!
YES, I already have my main diagnosis of Myasthenia Graves (a rare neuromuscular disorder), but what about my other issues?
You know how it goes… we get one diagnosis and it doesn’t match all of the symptoms we experience and we are left to deal with them the best we can.
I wanted to figure this out once and for all. I mean, it has been over a decade in my invisible illness journey, so what was one more round of testing?
I started my research into the at home DNA kits that required a saliva sample.
Easy. Everything can be done at home, no blood draws, and maybe the results could help me better manage my chronic illness.
I know, I was optimistic.
When making my decision I considered the pricing on all of the kits that were pretty popular and being advertised on the internet and other places.
Other than pricing, accuracy was my main focus.
I figured that if I could not find answers, I could at least compare my results to determine just how accurate the other results were for the next person… YOU.
I was asked in the IG community to review this product in depth and that is exactly what I did.
Here is what I have come up with…
Which Company Did I Choose For My At Home DNA Kit?
I spent a few weeks reading through the descriptions on every at home DNA kit I could get my hands on.
Most were similar in what they offered with the exception of a few special tests included in each one.
Now, if I were looking for ancestry information my choice would have changed, but that isn’t what we are doing here.
Chronic illness was my main focus, so I chose Circle DNA.
They included the panel of the mitochondrial results that no other test I found offered.
Also, it was important to me that they used the whole exome sequencing.
I then needed to see if taking the test would effect any chance I had at filing for a disability or even a job if that became an option in the future.
I found a lot of helpful information via the “Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).
Simplified, this protects you from reporting your genetic information to an insurance company or adjust any of the premiums.
On the privacy topic, there was also an option to use an alias or remain anonymous if you choose to.
Circle DNA Testing Options
In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to do this all the way or not at all.
There were four different test kits to choose from.
Each testing kit would include the instructions, shipping label and packaging, a buccal swab (really big freaking Q-Tip), and a tube for the actual collection… AKA the spit!
Choosing The Right Test: The 4 Kit Comparison:
This did not include the “family planning” section that focused on the mitochondrial DNA
This did not include the “family planning” section for the mitochondrial DNA
This had the mitochondrial portion, but did not include the “health risks”, “Dementia & brain health”, “cancer”, or “nutrition” sections and was very similar in price to the Premium kit.
The only kit with a lifetime subscription and drug response portion of testing. I wanted the mitochondrial DNA plus all of the other information.
This is how I made the choice. I did the go “all in” approach. Besides, I needed to do a review for others so it made the most sense.
Performing The Actual Test:
I made a step by step instruction from receiving the kit to sending it off in a video that I will link below.
The chapters are available if you are only interested in viewing that portion.
I do compare my personal lab results in this video that you may be interested in seeing. This was one way I checked for the accuracy.
If you do not feel like watching the video, there is a guide that comes with the kit and it is very simple.
For the results, you will download a phone app. This is how you will activate your kit.
My Circle DNA Results Compared To My Chronic Illness
Now, let’s talk accuracy!
I used some of my old blood work and imaging from previous medical visits to compare. You need more proof, correct?
For the purpose of this review, I made sure to include more “definite” results that could not be interpreted any other way.
Hemochromatosis - this result was one that I had not yet had a medical appointment for. It is genetic and a family member had recently been diagnosed with it. Given the specific type of DNA mutation, this showed that yes, I had hemochromatosis or was a carrier.
Celiac Disease - I have included a scan that shows the flattened vili in the small intestines, a classic and tell-tell sign of celiac. This result was interesting because my antibody bloodwork test did come back negative, so the diagnosis was “in limbo” when taking the test.
Orthostatic Hypotension - I have lived with this since my teenage years. I am unsure how this would relate to Dysautonomia (POTS) specific to the genes, but I can say that it was accurate in my blood pressure fluctuations/ heart rate fluctuations.
Carnitine Deficiency - As simple as this result is, IT WAS HUGE and EXACTLY the information I was looking for. My bloodwork came back “low” in multiple areas of this enzyme. So yes, Circle DNA was accurate, but they went one step further. They included the mutated gene which is helpful in determining the cause for this deficiency. As I am diagnosed with a Mitochondrial Disorder, but do not know the specific type, this will be the only route we know to look further. I could only have found this result in the family planning category, so it also justified the purchase for me.
Tooth Decay - All I can say to prove the accuracy on this one is… I have dentures… a full set… yeah…
Other results pointed out Irritable Bowel Syndrome and high cholesterol.
Yes, I have been diagnosed with both of these, but as blood work fluctuates and there is no “for sure” test for IBS, I wanted to remain neutral on these results.
All in all, I found this to represent my health on paper in a most accurate way.
However, I did have some questions on results I was NOT expecting in the nutrition category.
For example, the test will show you what you may need more of in your diet and mine showed iodine.
Now, add that to a thyroid cyst that was found about 8 months ago and it makes you wonder…
I knew that even though my neuromuscular condition may not show genetically (there is not test for that unless it is a specific kind), that I may find my answers in this area.
There are very specific medications I cannot take and should avoid because of how they effect the neuromuscular junction.
There is a scale of “never take these” to “these may be safe, but be cautious” and this list is fairly long.
And YES the anti-cholinergic drugs WERE LISTED!
Not only were they listed, but I saw a few that I had reacted very poorly to in the past.
The report stated that I should avoid was “Singulair”. This is a drug that I am allergic to! The only one I have on record for the past decade.
Pain medications were listed and it was suggested that I try a lower dose of specific medications. YES!
I have a very difficult time taking strong pain medications and have remained on a lower dose each time I have been on them!
I feel like the medication response section alone was enough to warrant this purchase and prove the accuracy to myself.
This information will be beneficial for my son who has not yet tried medications. It is at least a road map of what to avoid.
Cons of Circle DNA Testing
If you want your ancestry information in detail, this is not the kit for you.
I saw other options that dove a little deeper on that topic and seemed to provide more of a trail to follow down your history.
Yes, Circle DNA does include some of the info, but not near enough to justify buying the premium kit for this alone (in my opinion of course).
Another con would be the pricing. This is not cheap.
Some people can get the genetic testing covered under health insurance. I will say that the price comparison would depend on your co-pay obviously.
But here is another issue… my co-pay was zero dollars for the geneticist appointment, HOWEVER, it wold have taken my a total of a year to get referred, get tested, and then I would have to wait 6 months for the results.
With the amount of visits and copays I would have paid, along with the time, I decided against this route.
I’m also impatient.
I love how the categories were easy to navigate, but I do wish there was more information on what they were testing for by gene.
They do go into depth on the mutated results, but not so much on the "normal" results.
Yes, it includes this if you read further, but maybe the organization of it would have been a tad bit more helpful for someone who wasn’t familiar with reading information about genetics.
All in all, these were the negatives I found with this kit.
So, what did I do from here?
Circle DNA Final Thoughts
One of the first things I did after getting my results was make an appointment with my primary. I wanted to have extra lab work done for the hemochromatosis result.
Also, I changed my meal prep a bit. Although I didn’t have too many nutritional issues show here, it became very clear that gluten was not my friend.
The carnitine deficiency was the one supplement I needed to add so I could properly absorb the nutrients... but that is a story for another day.
The salt I have to add for my Dysautonmia? Yep, it is still working for me and will be a part of my daily routine.
Other than the obvious choices, I have to add that my 16 year old son also took the test.
I do not want to share too much of his information here, but I will tell you that his results were the perfect reflection of mine (as they should have been).
I then became an ambassador for this company. This allowed me to offer a 30 % discount for anyone who wanted to purchase the DNA kit.
And I will say if I could do my whole journey over, I would have started with this on the top of my list, genetic testing.
If you are still searching for a diagnosis and have the option to do some genetic testing, I would very much consider it.
Check with your insurance first if the cost is a factor. If it is not, this was a wonderful place to start and confirmed some suspicions about my own health that I had.
I am all for packing in every single tool in the toolbox that would be beneficial in our journey and this should be one of them in my opinion.
I hope this was helpful and that you can now make a better decision if you were going back and forth on doing this.
Again, the video shows the demonstration of the test itself and my lab work breakdowns for more information.
For more reviews of products and services, visit the chronic illness revised portion of the website.
I hope you have a better kind of day today!
Disclaimer: The C Spot does not offer any medical advice. This review is not intended to replace any form of medical treatment of medical testing. All information is subject to the personal experiences of the founder/author. An affiliate program has been used for promoting Circle DNA where The C Spot receives compensation from the referral program. For more info see the terms and conditions.