Knowing Your Family Health History

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Knowing your family’s health history can make all of the difference in detecting diseases and illnesses early on. And talking with your family members to see what health issues run in your blood line can sometimes prevent you from getting them.

We may know about our family history, but what about our family health history? While some health issues can be hereditary, detecting what you are at risk for early on will increase your chances of receiving better treatment.

“And so we have diagnosed people with breast cancer before the age of 40. Which 40 is the age you should start screening mammograms, and if we can start before that because someone in your family was diagnosed with it before that, that’s a way we can find it,” says Krystal August, Family Nurse Practitioner.

One way to find out your health history is to visit with your family health care providers. Use the information they tell you to formulate a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to decrease your risks of illness.

“We have heart health history and kidney health history in our family. So, I feel like it’s important to follow up with my parents. I attend their physician appointments and I tell my physicians everything I learned when I attend theirs,” says Crystal Bard, Mercy X-ray Tech.

And early detection is key, the earlier you know about health issues can put you on track for preventive treatments. Physicians suggest that bringing your family health history to your visits will help them determine what measures need to be taken to keep you in good health.

“Anytime you do uncover new family history, it’s a good time to tell your doctor about it so it can be added to your medical record,” says Krystal August.

With the holidays coming up, medical experts say you should ask at your next family gathering what runs in your family line.

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