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Family Health and History: Why It’s Important

Your family genes give you more than just your physical looks. You may have your mom’s blue eyes, but if your mom has a health condition, she may have also passed on an increased risk of you getting that same condition.  Many health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer tend to be passed along to children and even grandchildren. It’s important to become familiar with your family’s health history, and that means not only the history of your parents, but extended family’s as well. If you discover any health conditions in your family tree, it’s important to share them with your doctor. 


How is your family’s health history useful?

Knowing your family’s health history will allow you and your doctor to be cognizant of various symptoms and give you the opportunity to lead a preventative, healthier lifestyle. Your doctor can help plan ways to reduce your risks of developing inherent health conditions. That can be done by making lifestyle changes, including the food you eat and making efforts to decrease any stress in your life. For instance, if your dad has diabetes, you can fight against it by eating healthier and exercising more.  


Additionally, if you know about any diseases that run in your family, your doctor can start screening for them, and often delay or prevent them from happening to you. Your doctor will be more efficient at assessing symptoms and connecting them to an illness. Your doctor may suggest taking certain tests to stay on top of potential hazards and at the same time, be able to eliminate unnecessary testing based on your family’s history.  


What does your family’s health history include? 

Keep in mind that your health includes physical and mental conditions. If your family history includes depression, that is important to relay to your doctor as well. Knowing your family’s complete health history allows your doctor to treat you on a whole level. The more your doctor knows about your family’s health history, the higher quality of care your doctor can provide. 


Your family’s history will also be useful if you do develop a hereditary disease. It’s common that if a treatment worked well for a family member, it will most likely work for you as well. Alternatively, if a family member had a bad reaction or experience with a treatment, it may deter your doctor from using that treatment with you. 


Take the time to chat with your family and record your family’s health history. If you have children, it will be helpful to them too. You may not be able to change your genes, but you can make changes to better your own health journey.  


Be prepared. 

Schedule your appointment with one of our experts today by calling 307-634-5216 to make sure you are protected against hereditary conditions. 

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