Runs in the Family: What to Consider in Your Family’s Medical History

family doctor holding a clipboardMost people are well aware of their health, but clueless about their family’s medical history. It’s either because it’s sensitive to talk about health conditions or it’s just never have been discussed. It’s important, however, to know your family’s medical history. It will give your doctor insights as to the diseases you may be at risk for and from there, recommend interventions for prevention or treatment.

For this reason, many are enlisting the help of a family physician. South Jordan specialists, for instance, are able to monitor generational health trends that help them make better evaluations. If you’re keen on knowing your family’s medical history, family doctors recommend considering these things:

Get as much data as you can.

Many people ask whose medical history exactly matters. The principle here is the more you get, the better. Begin with your immediate family, your parents and siblings, then move to your grandparents, uncles and aunts, and nieces and nephews. If you’re an adopted child, though, ask your adoptive parents for any information your birth parents have shared. Medical history is often disclosed in the adoption process. You may also get records from the adoption agency, but make sure to observe your state’s laws about securing such documents.

Ask about major medical conditions.

Remember that certain illnesses are hereditary, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, dementia, and depression. Knowing this will help your family doctor recommend a plan to cut down your risk. This can be done with regular screening for diseases, check-ups, or medications. They may also recommend genetic testing to further determine risks. Do note, though, that even if the tests say you’re vulnerable to a certain disease, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll develop such.

Fill in the details.

Aside from major health issues, you should be able to know the cause of death of your relatives. This may be an uncomfortable topic to talk about with family members, but for the sake of being proactive about your health, initiate the talk. Knowing at what age loved ones developed the disease is also a crucial detail. If you could describe the environment they’re in, the habits they’ve adopted, and the life struggles they’ve gone through (like divorce or abuse), that will also give your doctor additional insights to your health.

Your family’s medical history can be a predictor of health problems you may face later on in life. Make yourself aware. Partner with a family doctor to take charge of your health better.