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Family Health History

Updated on April 1, 2009

Family Health History

Collecting Information

The upcoming holidays are a perfect time, when many family members gather together. It is a good time to get some of your family history, you can organize your family tree, identify genetic risks and share information with your family members. Might be a good idea to have a recorder and then pass it around..or just leave it on while discusing your history.

Even with all the high tech tests, medicines and procedures that are available today, an accurate family history of health remains one of the most important tools in keeping yourself healthy.

This information can help you recognize, and even fend off, inheritable illnesses in their early stages.

To collect your family's medical history, you'll need some basic medical facts.Talk with your relatives down to your cousins.Get some specific ages when family members developed their health problems. For instance..heart disease,stroke,cancer,diabetes ,dementia,osteoporisis,asthma,blindness,depression,alcohalism and more.Also a good resource to help you find ancestor's unknown medical history is their death certificate from your state health dept. they list the cause of death and the age at death.

Having a parent or sibling with a particular disease doesn't mean you'll get it too, but odds are statistically your odds of developing it can be double.

Don't despair if you find that a serious health problem runs in your family.While you can't change your genes, you can change your habits to increase your chances of a heathier future. By eating a healthy diet. excercising and not smoking, you can offset or neutralize genetic vulnerablities. A family medical history can also alert you to get early and frequent screening tests,which can help detect other problems, in the early stages when they are most treatable.

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