Learn more about your family's health to protect yourself
Whenever you go to a new doctor, you fill out a variety of new patient forms and are frequently asked about your:
- Mother’s health.
- Father’s health.
- Siblings’ health.
- Paternal grandparents’ health.
- Maternal grandparents’ health.
You may be left wondering what you forgot. Did you accurately name all family illnesses? Which conditions are actually important to mention? Knowing your family’s medical health history allows your physician to better care for you. Your family's health history is important. Your medical history helps your doctor predict and prevent future illnesses.
Every family shares genes, which are units of heredity passed from parent to child. Due to your genes, if something impacts the health of a parent or grandparent, it could impact your health or that of your children.
The surgeon general’s website offers a great free resource, My Family Health Portrait, which helps you put together your family’s medical history in one place and continue adding to it. It includes a guide on how to begin collecting your family’s health history.
If you discover a disease such as breast cancer, diabetes, colon cancer or other medical condition in your family history, it doesn’t mean you or other family members will get the disease. Knowing your history simply raises awareness and allows you the opportunity to speak with your doctor and be proactive in lowering your chances of getting the disease. You should act now and learn your family medical history so you can accurately share it with your doctor.
Thanksgiving Day in 2004 was the first official National Family History Day. Since then, there has been a greater push for families to talk about their health histories. Beginning a discussion with your relatives can uncover stories and medical issues. If you are unsure about which conditions you should concerned about, Velocity Care can help. Stop by one of our walk-in clinics and speak to a health care professional. And, this Thanksgiving while you feast, discuss your family’s health history to ensure a healthier future for you and your family.
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