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Dec 5

Why You Need a Family Medical History

Family history isn’t just for genealogy! Knowing the details about your family’s health from your great-grandparents to your generation can keep you and your family safe!

Why should I know my family’s medical history?

Knowing the details of your family’s health history gives you better preparedness for common disorders or diseases. Tracking down these details lets you combat the risk you otherwise couldn’t control.

Catch Problems Early

Knowledge can be your best weapon when it comes to health. You can prevent the more dangerous effects of disorders like:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Cancers
  • Diabetes

More than physical disorders, you can keep an eye out for emotional, mental, and learning disorders that may be genetic or show up later in life, such as Alzheimer’s or ADHD.

Testing

If you’re more likely to get certain kinds of cancers, you can start testing at a younger age, or more frequently. This can be helpful for tests like mammograms or colonoscopies. However, it also applies to many tests if you’re likely to develop a condition or disorder.

Lifestyle

Knowing that you have a higher risk helps you adapt your lifestyle accordingly. We all should already keep track of our diets and exercise, but the risk is higher for some than others. Preparing ahead of time by changing your lifestyle helps you lower these risks.

Talk to your family today

Talk to your relatives about their health. What medical problems have they have, and at what time of life? This can give you a head’s up if you may experience problems later in life, or prepare now if they’ll come early. Also, if you can get your hands on medical records, obituaries, or death certificates, you can gather more information about other ancestors or family members with health issues.

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