This coming week, you may be attending several family functions – spending time with loved ones, enjoying holiday festivities, and exchanging your favorite recipes. And I hope you cherish every moment! I also encourage you to really listen to the conversations around you…even when Grandpa is going on and on about the cost of his heart pills or when your sister is asking why no one brought a sugar free desert knowing she has diabetes! Listen and realize that this is all part of your genetic make up – your family recipe. Knowing your family medical history is an important tool which allows you to better understand your health risks.
However, knowing this information will not change your medical outcome. You need to defend yourself with the following preventive measures:
- Correct any unhealthy lifestyle habits that are associated to the conditions which you are at risk
- Discuss your family history with your medical provider
- Get regular screenings for the diseases that are part of your recipe
When reviewing your family medical history please focus on the following diseases which are known to run in families:
- Mental illness