Family Medical History: When it comes to health, being careful and conscious pays a lot. People exert efforts to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle which will aid them to have a healthier life in general.
Health is wealth indeed, and it is a treasure you can keep for a long time if you are aware and mindful. Vitamins, food supplements, right meals, proper sleep, regular exercise these are just some of the elements within the road to a healthy life that you yourself might be paying attention to.
Together with a good environment and self discipline, you are not far from reaching your health and fitness goals!
All those are chief for the health, but here’s something you must be aware of. Sometimes, even when you are taking many of these health-protecting steps, your family’s medical history gets in the way.
Family Medical History Information
Family members share genes, yet lifestyles, surroundings and habits can also be mutual. From those, one’s health can be affected. Your family’s medical history can tell a lot about your present health and future too.
Genealogists are experts who can help you trace your family history. Your doctor needs significant data to help you understand more of your personal health relating to your family. Together with these professionals who can aid you, your efforts in collecting data are important.
Below is a list of the types of information to collect from your family members so you can learn about their family’s health history.
 Major Health Conditions
Sicknesses and diseases are sometimes transferred from generation to generation due to heredity. It becomes a huge health risk when you are prone to catching the same problems your ancestors experienced.
What major health conditions could be in your family’s generational illness? Asthma in which the airways constrict and bloat; they may extract more mucus. Difficulty in breathing is inevitable in asthma. It could be minor or major on different people.
Diabetes (with different types) is when sugar levels present in the blood cannot be controlled. Hypertension is the increase in blood pressure which can lead to more health hazards. Different types of cancer fall under this as well.
Many heart diseases are acquired through inheritance. They can be passed down in the family unfortunately. They include congenital heart disease and coronary artery disease. Some of these cardiac issues can lead to sudden heart attacks or stroke.
Knowing that some concerning conditions like the ones previously mentioned is likely to run in the family can help indicate if you are at high risk.
 Ethnic Background
If it runs in the blood, your family’s ethnicity, your ethnic background is part of it. Ethnicity stems from many factors of difference. Culture, nationality, race, customs, lifestyle choices and social influences could be involved. Your family might belong to one or more ethnic groups.
For the ethnic background that you have, doing research and in-depth reading about it would highly help. Genealogists can professionally assist you with this, and you will surely get relevant information that you are looking for.
Keep in mind that distinct ethnic groups carry distinct health needs. Another key information to take note is that ethnicity will not conclusively dictate your acquisition of a particular ailment or disorder, however, there are cases when specific ethnic groups more often catch some health conditions than other classifications.
Where you come from matters too with regards to your health, so do not set it aside if you are looking into your family’s medical history.
 Age Of Disease Genesis
If through your consultation with a genealogist or through personal research you find out that there are grave diseases in your family history, check out the ages of those family members.
What’s the age of that person when he/she was diagnosed with that health issue? Did your grandmother acquire diabetes when she’s already a senior citizen? Was your eldest uncle younger than 50 years old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer?
What age was your great grandfather when they found out he had Duchenne muscular dystrophy? Know when those sick family members’ particular health issues were found out. This may help your doctor identify the early genesis of diseases in your life.
For people at a high risk of certain illnesses like cancer, kidney, liver and blood diseases, healthcare experts may suggest more regular screening and check-ups from a young age. Also, this could make you more mindful about the way you live your life when you reach those ages.
 Health Causes Of Death
Discover the reason behind the death for family members who passed away because of medical concerns. You may also get hints and information related to the medical history of your family.
In case none in your family knows the health history of someone who died because of a health problem, you can look for public records such as death certificates and obituaries.
 Mental Health Conditions
Mental health is never a joke. It’s not being overreacting or dramatic. It is real, and it needs attention and care. Healing takes time, and the finish line will be reached no matter what!
Not only personal problems, traumatic experiences and surrounding influences lead to mental health conditions. It could also be part of your family’s medical history. You should also search this conditions category within your bloodline.
What mental health conditions are hereditary? Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder wherein a person finds it difficult to differentiate what is real and what is not. Autism is a complex condition wherein one experiences serious challenges in behavior and social and communication skills.
Bipolar disorder involves drastic mood swings; the person might encounter emotional highs and lows. Major depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are also considered genetic.
Furthermore, when alcoholism or drug use might be present in some of your family members, you should know if there are mental health issues connected to them. Actually, these bad habits can be caused by or can result in mental health conditions.
If mental illness is part of your family medical history, do not worry, and do not overthink! You must take good care of your mental health, and look after it in the best ways you can! Eating right, exercising regularly, sleeping properly, having someone to talk about your problems and avoiding stress are all-important!
Family Medical History
These are some of the main information that you should gather to know about your family’s medical history. You can ask them directly or do some research using medical documents. For professional help, call doctors and genealogists.
Bear in mind though that even if some health conditions may run in your family records, it does not mean that you will automatically get those too. Do not be pessimistic and paranoid! That’s why responsibly taking care of your health (and your family’s as well) is not to ignore!
Knowing your family medical history is important, so you can be more cautious about your lifestyle. It will help you avoid the dangers that you may face in certain situations that may affect your health. Be informed about the past of your family, so you will know what’s up with your present and future health!
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle and business are among the many subjects she writes about. She is a daytime writer for Worthington Clark, an expert genealogy research and asset firm. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.