Thanks to GeneFolio, Sioux Falls Man is Back to Camping
One blood test — that’s all it took to help Bob Ensz start recovering from debilitating muscle pain he experienced as a medication side effect.
At the recommendation of his doctor, Jason Knutson, DO, Ensz took the GeneFolio test to analyze his genomic profile. The test indicated he was one of the 8 percent who find it difficult to tolerate statins, which he already knew. But it also pinpointed one statin that was more likely to be a match.
And it worked. The new medication caused no negative side effects while still decreasing his risk for stroke and heart attack.
Ensz had come to grips with the pain as a side effect to statins he took. He started using a cane and walker and sold the camper he and his wife used to take out every weekend.
“I had unbelievable, constant muscle pain,” Ensz said. “Statins are known to decrease risk of heart attack and stroke. I want to extend my life as much as I can so I just put up with the side effects. But I’m sure glad I don’t have to anymore.”
This type of test is part of an exciting area of medicine called pharmacogenomics, which studies the patient’s DNA to understand how he or she will metabolize certain medications. GeneFolio analyzes multiple genes that impact medications in three main classes: pain, depression and other psychotropic disorders, and statins for cholesterol and certain types of blood thinners.
The test can’t tell providers what to prescribe, but it can narrow the options to a more personal level with less trial and error. Patients receive a report that categorizes medications by red, yellow and green — with green being the most likely to work with fewer side effects.
“It’s a fantastic tool for us,” Knutson said. “Over the years we’ve been treating the masses based on which medications work for most people. With GeneFolio, we can narrow down the options and treat the person.”
Ensz’s walker is now collecting dust in his basement and he and his wife, Michele, bought a new camper to get back into weekend camping trips.
The one-time test will allow Ensz’s providers to consult the report in the future if he needs pain medication in the Emergency Department or new prescriptions for another condition.
“It’s the future,” Ensz said. “I was looking at some of the other things I can’t take and it’s pretty fascinating because it’s common stuff. It’s so individualized, I would recommend everyone get it done.”