23andMe Test Helps Boston Woman

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who received their health information prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will only have access to ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data. These new customers may receive health reports in the future dependent on FDA marketing authorization.

Boston CBS station WBZ ran a piece this week about 23andMe customer Kristen Whitaker, who took our test and learned something that changed her life.

She told us that she’d signed up for 23andMe at the request of her doctor, Mark Costa, who used the test to help him develop a wellness plan for her.

Dr. Costa runs a small “concierge” medical practice outside of Boston called Enhanced Medical Care. In working with patients he tries to tailor wellness plans for each individual and the test is one of the tools he uses to help him do that.

“If we know about what disease they are at risk for before they become ill, we can take steps to prevent it,” Dr. Costa said. “That’s where 23andMe’s test came in.”

The test helped Kristen and her doctor figure out that she had celiac disease. She then tested her kids and found that her youngest also had the disease. Years of stomach pain and discomfort that she and her daughter had were suddenly explained. She had the information she needed to make changes to their diet and live a healthier life.

“I had no idea what it would reveal and certainly was not prepared for how it would change my life,” she said.

Do you have a 23andMe story of your own? Let us know. We want to hear about it. Drop us a line at Stories@23andMe.com.


Results not typical. Results vary due to unique differences in each individual’s DNA. On average, users receive at least one or two results that may help with proactively managing health.  23andMe’s services are not a substitute for professional medical or diagnostic advice.