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Use Your Family Health History to Stay Ahead of Chronic Disease

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Use Your Family Health History to Stay Ahead of Chronic Disease

Thanksgiving is a National Family Health History Day, a perfect time to discuss any serious diseases that run in the family. Staying informed could help you make wise health decisions to protect yourself from chronic disease. This Thanksgiving, you might be focused on turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, but don’t let food be the only topic of conversation.

 

 

How Can Family Health History Help Me?

Did you know that there are thousands of conditions a person could develop based on lifestyle, family health history, nutrition and environment? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the top chronic conditions throughout the United States include:

  1. High Blood Pressure
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia
  3. Heart Disease
  4. Depression
  5. Arthritis
  6. Osteoporosis
  7. Diabetes
  8. COPD/Allied Conditions
  9. Cancer
  10. Stroke

 

High blood pressure ranks #1 and affects close to 60 million residents of care facilities, while stroke (#10) affects between 10 and 20 million. These conditions come on over time, and you have a higher likelihood of developing one of these conditions if a family member—especially a parent—has been diagnosed with one of these conditions. Other conditions such as arthritis or diabetes can be developed based on your lifestyle and even how well you eat.

 

Knowing your family health history is the first step in knowing if you are at risk for developing a condition you could prevent or halt the progression of if you have a health examination early on.

 

Your Family Health History

Can your family member’s health really determine your own health? Actually, yes. Some conditions run in the family and you are much more likely to develop them if you’re not aware—even in adolescence. The National Institutes of Health report that a family health history is “a record of health information about a person and his or her close relatives.”

 

When organizing your family history for medical purposes, you want to go back 3 generations if it’s possible, in order to adequately map out what your future health could look like. Include your parents and siblings, as they are the highest indicators or your health risk factors, but also branch out to your aunts and uncles and especially your grandparents, as health conditions can skip generations.

 

But, why would your family member’s health ever affect your own? That’s a great question! Studies have shown that family members tend to have the same environment, which can have the same effect on their genes, making some express in ways that make a person more susceptible to high blood pressure or Alzheimers or arthritis. People also tend to live near family members, which would also make them share the same lifestyle and even eating habits if they live under the same room. Environment and nutrition play a major role in a person’s health over time, which is why family influence can make such an impact on your health. When you gather for Thanksgiving and other holidays this year, see what types of habits you share with your family members.

 

Health Information 101

When new patients come into the office, we have them fill out their health history as far back as it is known. If there are current injuries or diagnosed conditions, it’s always smart to bring in existing MRI’s, x-rays, lab tests and other diagnostics to know what types of therapies may be beneficial to your treatment.

 

Things you want to know about your family health history include:

  • Current disorders or diagnostics for other family members, especially first generation family members.
  • Any genetic mutations or rarer conditions (such as a specific type of liver cancer, macular degeneration, etc.).
  • Allergies.
  • History of tobacco/drug/alcohol use and addiction.
  • Who your parents are and who their parents are, which can be found on birth certificates.
  • Any existing chromosomal disorders.
  • The consistency of specific disorders or conditions among family members (such as every single person being predisposed to obesity or diabetes).
  • Treatment methods that have worked for family members in the past or currently.
  • Heritability. The NIH describes this as “how well differences in people’s genes account for differences in their traits.” Some examples include: Is every person in the family brunette even though one parent is blonde? Does each family member have allergies to nuts? Was every family member born with type 1 diabetes?

 

Your heritability for some conditions can make it much easier for a medical professional to determine what your health symptoms mean if you are currently experiencing symptoms different from what is normal.

 

Receive Your Health Consultation

The best type of patient is an informed one. As Thanksgiving is happening now and Christmas is coming soon, these are perfect times to get together with loved ones and learn about your health risks and health history factors you may share with others. If you already have a diagnosed condition, you can even trace it back to where it originated.

 

At Colorado Regenerative Health, we have formed a team of professionals that can offer holistic healthcare treatments to our patients. For some conditions, you may need medications and extensive treatment to curb symptoms of chronic diseases. However, holistic approaches help diminish your symptoms (such as inflammation and joint pain that stems to diabetes or arthritis) if you have them or help prevent symptoms from appearing early on in life.

 

Our team are trained in areas such as regenerative therapy, nutritional help, allergy testing and treatment, electrical stimulation therapy, regenerative medicine and many more areas specific to your health needs. Now that you know that your health history is important, find out what you are at risk for. Let our team help you become healthier to reduce your risk for chronic conditions, or let us help diminish the symptoms of conditions you already have. Call Colorado Regenerative Health today at (303) 872-7161!

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