27 Nov Know Your Family Health History
Thanksgiving isn’t just a day to gather with friends and family for a sumptuous feast—it’s also the perfect time to discuss everyone’s health so you can stay informed of any serious diseases that run in the family. National Family Health History Day and Thanksgiving take place concurrently on November 28th this year. By remembering to ask about any pertinent diagnoses among your family members, you’ll be prepared to fill out your family health history at your next doctor visit!
Your Family Health History: Why It Matters
Most people in the United States know that the end of November brings the Thanksgiving holiday. Every family may celebrate this holiday differently, but the one thing most people have in common is that they spend the day with someone. The Surgeon General declared that Thanksgiving is also National Family Health History Day. This day was created in order to help families know their risk for colorectal and colon cancers so that they can help prevent these cancers.
The day is also dedicated to learning more about your individual family health history of any and all chronic disease or conditions so that you can prevent and effectively treat them in the future. Why share a day with Thanksgiving? Because you are surrounded by family! This is an easy time to collect information from parents and siblings. Often, medical professionals want to know first generation health problems (as you will see on many medical office forms) so that your treatment plan is more precise and successful for any health condition you develop. However, the recommendation is to try to gather the health history of your family going back 3 generations, if it is possible.
Tips for Your Thanksgiving Conversation
Some ideas for your Thanksgiving family health history discussion include:
- Make a genealogy chart. This can come in handy for knowing your family line as well as longevity of life, tracing gene, and mapping out origins of specific health conditions and diseases.
- Create a binder or list of all current conditions in the family. This can come in handy when you have to fill out another medical form about your parent’s and sibling’s family health history.
- Write down health concerns family members share. Does everyone struggle with losing weight? Are all family members experiencing joint pain associated with arthritis or do they have prediabetes? Current health concerns, lifestyles, eating habits and more can help paint a picture of your own health.
Studies show that many conditions run in families due to genetic traits. However, health conditions that stem from lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and habits can run in families simply because people live under the same roof and have been raised the same. Learn what you can so you can know what areas need attention for your health.
What Family Health History Should You Gather?
Have you ever filled out a form at a doctor’s office and it asks questions about your parents and siblings? Most offices will have a section devoted to your family health history, so it’s good to be aware of this and to be prepared.
If you haven’t already done so, this Thanksgiving, sit down with family members and gather as much information you can about your family health history. Information to focus on includes:
- Current diseases, chronic conditions and health problems siblings and parents have.
- Addictions that run in the family or histories of drug, tobacco or alcohol use (plus your own history).
- Allergies that run in the family or have developed recently.
- Existing genetic mutations or chromosomal abnormalities.
- Rare conditions that may run in the family, such as specific cancers, vision problems, autoimmune disorders, dental issues and more.
- Treatment methods and plans for family members working with medical professionals and if those treatment plans are successful.
- Your heritability. How strong are your genes? Do all children in the family look like one parent or seem to inherit their genes? Does everyone have the same allergies and chronic conditions? Find out what is shared between family members and what is not.
For yourself, if you come into an office such as Mile High Spine & Pain Center, we will want to have your family health history as well as your own. Do you have current injuries or chronic conditions? Have you been in a car accident recently? What are your questions, concerns and current health symptoms? Bring any lab tests, x-rays and MRI scans you have available so that we can create the best treatment plan possible for you.
Treatment Plans Effective for Health Symptoms
We can help treat most chronic conditions and symptoms of diseases simply because we have so many holistic therapies to choose from. We approach medical treatment and healing with physical therapies instead of masking symptoms of inflammation and pain with narcotics or surgery. Holistic therapies include chiropractic care, regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy, neuropathy treatment, anti-inflammatory/joint injections, dry needle therapy, non-narcotic pain management and help for diet, exercise and nutrition.
Patients that invest in holistic plans can help prevent chronic conditions from developing, even if they run in the family. These plans can also help significantly diminish pain and symptoms from current conditions and diseases. Have questions? Want to give therapy a try? Call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080 for your free consultation!