Can Family Medical History Increase Your Risk of Certain Diseases?

Many of us know that to stay healthy and prevent diseases, we should be eating a well-balanced diet, quitting or not smoking at all, and incorporating regular exercise. What many of us are unaware of is that there’s one factor that can impact our chances of getting diseases. And that is our family medical history.

The experts at Premier Surgical know that your family medical history can increase your risk of certain diseases

Conditions such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer often run in families. You have a higher risk of developing these diseases if the following factors exist:

  • Diseases occur earlier than expected (about 10 to 20 years before most people would get it)
  • Diseases occur in more than one relative
  • Diseases occur in both genders 
  • Combination of certain diseases

Although you can’t change your genes, having an idea about your family’s medical history can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes. Many diseases that run in families can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. 

Being aware of your family’s history of diseases can also serve to alert you to what screening tests you should take. Screening tests like mammogram and colorectal cancer screening can help detect cancer earlier when they are most treatable. 

Learn about your family’s medical history

Asking questions, talking during gatherings, and looking into your family’s death certificates and medical records can give you an idea as to what diseases run in your family. Write down the information and share it with your doctor or medical provider.

Your doctor will assess your risk, taking into consideration your existing condition and lifestyle. He/she can then recommend the necessary lifestyle changes and/or screening tests. 

 

References: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK115560/

https://parkridgehealth.com/blog/entry/how-your-familys-medical-history-affects-your-health

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