Why Maintaining Family Health History Is Crucial

Knowing the health risks that run in your family is one of the most crucial things that you can do to help your doctor understand and diagnose potential genetically-linked health issues of your family member. When it comes to certain illnesses like diabetes or heart issues most people do not think that they could affect children but because many genetic disorders first become obvious in childhood, knowing about a family health history of a genetic condition can help find and treat the condition early. So how do you go about collecting accurate family health history?

Ask questions. The first step is to call up your family members: Your siblings, your own children, your parents, your aunts, your uncles, your grandparents, and your cousins. Ask them, what was it that they had? What year was it that they had it? How was it treated? It’s important to know what was actually diagnosed.

The age factor. You must know what age did the person develop their health issue. There are some illnesses that are a product of an advanced age.

How far back should you go? Usually a three-generation family history is enough. You need to know if something occurred on just one side of the family or was it on both sides of the family. That would make a difference in defining your risk.

However, having a family history of a health issue does not mean that you or your child or any other family member will definitely get that illness. Everyone who has a family health history of an illness can benefit from good lifestyle habits like exercising and eating healthy. These habits can benefit the entire family and might even help prevent the health conditions.

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