Listen to advice and accept instruction,
and in the end you will be wise.
Proverbs 19:20 NIV
After taking a photo of my grandson at five months of age, I can already see dramatic changes in his appearance, his awareness of the world around him, and his responses to people and things.
It’s amazing how quickly babies change. Along those same lines, I’m similarly amazed how much change occurs in an adult’s emotional, mental, and physical health as well. Time never stands still. Whether a person is five months, five years, or fifty, our bodies are always adapting to what we put in them and what we put them through.
One of the most proactive steps we can take to stay our healthy best is to know our family history and pass along that information to our family and our physicians. As I age, I want to be sure I’m considering my parents’ health history and making wise choices for my health, with theirs in mind. I also want to be careful to pass on possible problematic areas of concern to my own kids so they will grow up and stay strong too.
After consulting with my friend and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Foetisch, and getting his perspective as a physician, I realize how essential it is to know and understand the physical history of your immediate and extended family members. Even when we might fear the worst, knowing is best.
Here are some top reasons: While risk factors for disease can be attributed to numerous factors such as age, nutrition, and environmental exposure; genetics or family history is likely the most compelling factor for risk of disease.
- Knowing your family history can provide valuable information for your physician. Certain cancers and medical problems require routine screening per recommended guidelines that are often accelerated for certain medical problems based on family history.
- To the patient, this means that those individuals with a strong family history often require earlier or more frequent screening. Family history of colon cancer is one such disease. If early screening is instituted, it may allow diagnosis and treatment of a condition when it is at an earlier, more treatable stage.
- Knowledge of family medical history can assist your physician in making a diagnosis that may not otherwise be considered. Therefore, whenever possible, it is valuable to document the medical problems of your parents and siblings and take this information to your physician.
Sometimes, we want to bury our heads in the sand and ignore warnings all around us. Ask God to help you be courageous enough to take a close look at your family history and make wise choices based on what you discover.
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Join the conversation by adding your comments below!
How are you using your family history to protect your health?
One Size Fits All
by: Michele Howe
Normal Price: $9.95
Michele Howe is the author of twelve books for women and has published over 1600 articles, reviews, and curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, First For Women, Single Parent Family, Christian Single, and many other publications. Michele’s single parenting titles include, Going It Alone and Still Going It Alone. After having undergone six shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for a women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released in 2010 and from which Prescription for Life, their health, medical and surgical informational book, is based.