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Get To Know Your Family’s Medical History During The Holiday Season

Family gatherings during the upcoming Christmas and New Years’ holiday season can be a great opportunity to share each other’s health history.

Get To Know Your Family’s Medical History During The Holiday Season

During times when we are realising how our surroundings can potentially impact our wellbeing, it is also important to understand how our genetics impact our health.

Get To Know Your Family's Medical History During The Holiday Season

On the occasion of the National Family Health History Day which falls on Thursday, as families gather for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season, every American is encouraged to learn more about their family’s health history, especially from their aging relatives, which can hugely benefit the future generations in the following areas:

Routine and Preventive medical checkups

One of the first steps in achieving your health goals would be to know which departments you need to focus on, depending on your family’s medical history of ailments like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, etc. Preventive steps can then be taken to reduce the risks of these diseases by improving overall lifestyle by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and sleeping well, besides taking proactive steps like getting regular physical tests and cancer screenings. These simple steps will not only help avoid certain ailments but also help improve our overall quality of life in the long run.

During Family Planning

When it comes to a woman’s reproductive health-related concerns like infertility, pregnancy, and family planning, genetics can play a vital role in each stage of her growing years; right from menstruation up until menopause and further during old age. So, understanding what experiences the women in your family, including your mother, grandmother, aunts, and sisters have had during their reproductive cycles can be crucial information in helping you set your own health goals. 

Even for men, the medical history of their male relatives can provide crucial information regarding their own possible health risks, which can help them take timely preventive steps to avoid certain diseases.

Besides, if there is a family history of developmental disability, genetic disease, birth defects, or newborn screening disorder, your baby is more vulnerable to developing these conditions as well. Therefore, consulting a genetic expert can also be a vital step in drawing out information to guide you.

Selecting a Health Insurance Plan

If we are aware of our family health history, we will, by default have a better understanding of the possible health risks that lie ahead for us. This can prove to be very beneficial while deciding which health insurance plan would be ideal for your health care needs.

Having access to family health history also helps you chalk out a preventive health care routine, especially during old age, when one needs a health plan that not only supports their health-related needs but also does so within a set budget.

As an added bonus for understanding your family health history, the holiday season also happens to fall around the same time as the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which is between 15th October to 7th December, which gives aged people a chance to select a Medicare plan that is best suited for their individual health requirements.

Setting up a Family Health history 

The below questions about your family members can help you understand your family’s health history tree:

  • Age
  • Origin
  • History of diabetes 
  • History of Heart ailments
  • History of Lung diseases, Kidney ailments or osteoporosis
  • History of colorectal, breast or ovarian cancer
  • History of pregnancy complications like miscarriages, birth defects, stillbirth or developmental defects
  • Age of the family member when diagnosed with a health condition
  • Treatment taken for the health condition
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