1. Is it possible to treat a genetic disease?
Yes, genetic disorders can be treated but cannot be cured as they are hereditary or occur due to genetic mutation. The treatment may include gene therapy, treatment with antibiotics, dietary supplements, vitamins, blood transfusion, enzyme replacement therapy, etc.
2. Are the treatments for all the genetic diseases the same?
The treatment strategy for genetic disorders is designed to improve the disease associated symptoms and varies depending on severity, root cause of the genetic disorder, and individual health needs. For example, genetic blood disorders like sickle cell anaemia are treated with bone marrow transplant whereas heart defect associated genetic disorders are treated with surgery or heart transplant.
3. Is there a specially qualified healthcare professional to treat genetic diseases?
First visit your primary healthcare doctors who upon studying your symptoms and performing some tests can refer you to a specialist doctor. In case of genetic disorders, one should visit a geneticist (clinical geneticist) with specialised training in genetics who can evaluate, diagnose, and manage genetics, and after completely studying the case can further refer to a medical specialist if needed.
4. Can oral medicines help in treating genetic diseases?
There are very few genetic disorders where oral medications can provide treatment aid. There are different oral medicines for different genetic diseases like tetrabenazine, chlorpromazine, risperidone for the treatment of Huntington's disease, penicillin antibiotics for cystic fibrosis, and cough medicine taken to kill bacteria; NSAID's to treat sickle cell anaemia, etc.
5. What are the side effects associated with treatments of genetic diseases?
The side effects may include back pain, dark urine, chills, fever, skin flushing, anaemia, lung problems, allergies, decrease in blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, headache, etc.