We are all aware that the choices we make on an everyday basis can affect our health and wellbeing. Smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of exercise and poor nutrition can all contribute to poor health. You may also believe that because you avoid the bad and embrace the good that you are at the peak point of health. But you may not be as safe as you think. You know your own history, but what do you know about your family history?
Your gene pool can shape your future health as well, so knowing the health history of your family members can also help you and your doctor predict what possible health issues you may face in the future. And being knowledgeable may also help you avoid some potential health threats altogether. The United States Department of Health and Human Services points out that knowing your family history can help determine potential susceptibility to such diseases as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even rare diseases like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia.
Check out your family history for your own health benefit and that of your children. Visit the CDC’s National Office of Public Health Genomics to learn more about how important family history and gene studies are to your health. Also, for help creating your own chart of family health history you can visit My Family Health Portrait, created by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative to help individuals compile a useful tool to help manage their health and family history. Any information you gather can be discussed at your next health appointment. Making your health a priority really can be a family affair.