The Importance of Your Family Health History
Did you know that National Family Health History Day falls on Thanksgiving? This awareness day was declared by the Surgeon General in 2004. As we get closer to the holiday celebration, it is a great time to consider the information that you have about your family health portrait.
Why does it matter if you have information about the history of health in your family? Common diseases often run in families, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. If a doctor can trace the history of the disease in your family, then the information can be used for preventive treatments. Doctors will have a better chance of predicting the disorders that you might face. Then, you can take action to protect your health and avoid these diseases.
Not only can trends be identified for common health concerns, but doctors can use the information for other rare conditions as well. For example, a medical professional might look for the risk of sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis.
Complete Family Medical History
If you want to gather a complete history of the medical conditions in your family, then it should include:
- Records of your medical history
- Records of your parents’ medical information
- Details from 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-degree relatives: siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews
- Ethnicity information
A complete medical history should include three generations, with as much information as possible.
How to Create Your Family Health Portrait
The Surgeon General has created an easy tool that can be used to compile your information. Click here to access My Family Health Portrait. You can enter the information, and then see details about your risk for specific health concerns.
The information gathered in this tool can be given to your healthcare provider. Make sure to save the information so that it can be updated as things change in the future.
Help Finding Medical Resources
It can be a challenge navigating the health care system. If you need someone to help, then you are welcome to talk to our team at Windward Life Care. We provide the tools and resources that you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.