Checking into your family history can be an interesting journey and fascinating to find out about your ancestors and the mark they made on the world, but your family’s health history has great relevance in your own life.

Your family’s health history can be extremely revealing and having a detailed knowledge can even potentially save your life at some point. Although mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos, as claims specialists like Slater and Gordon know only too well, many other cancers are known to have a hereditary component.

The potential power of knowledge

It has to be considered an advantage that you know all about your family health history and there are numerous ways in which this information can prove to be extremely useful when it comes to your own health.

You and your family are close in more than just emotional ties, as you share genes which can influence and affect your risk of developing a specific health problem as well as leave more susceptible to certain conditions, if there is a history of a certain health problem throughout your family.

Throughout your life

Your family health history will be relevant at various different stages throughout your life and starts to influence certain health factors even before you are born.

If you discover that there is a history of birth defects or genetic disorders, this raises your own risk of having a baby that could suffer from the same condition as other family members. Knowing what these risks are and discussing them with your own doctor, can definitely help before and during pregnancy.

It is also important to understand and remember that many known genetic disorders are initially detected in childhood. Again, having knowledge of any known issues that tend to affect your family, can help you to seek medical advice on a proactive basis.

This strong connection continues into later life, and if your family health history reveals that there is a prevalence of breast cancer for example, extra precautionary screenings can help you to monitor any potential developments.

Gather the information

It may well be the case that you already know about certain elements of your family history, but you should also aim to fill in any gaps in your knowledge so that you build a complete medical health picture.

You particularly want to know about any history of chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes, and whether there are any incidents of serious diseases such as cancer or a high incidence of strokes.

Knowing how old your family members were when the developed these conditions is also highly relevant and cause and age of death of family members can also reveal specific traits.

Once you have gathered this information, you should aim to share it with your family doctor.

Your doctor will be able to evaluate your risk factors based on the information that you provide about your family’s health history, allowing them to look out for any anticipated problems that might have been passed on through family genes.

Amelie Edwards is Mom to four kids ranging in age from 2 to 14; family life can be manic! They live in the countryside on a dairy farm and in her spare time Amelie enjoys writing articles on farming life and family life.