Health History 101: What it is and Why It’s so Important

Has anyone ever told you that you look like your dad, or you have your mom’s eyes? Of course they have, because family members share similar traits! However, that’s not all they share. Genes not only pass down how we look, but also how we feel and our health. 

Did you know that 6 out of 10 people will be affected by a genetic condition? Putting together a record of your family’s health history can give us clues to our own risks of developing certain conditions and ones that may pass down to our children. 

Here is a List of Common Hereditary Conditions and Diseases. 

  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Down Syndrome
  • Cystic Fibrosis

Family Members You Should Include in Your Family’s Health History 

To get the full picture of your family’s health history, your records should include three generations. This can include grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews.

Your family’s background, lifestyle, and environment can also be indicators of what runs in the family. This information can help your doctor determine if you are at an increased risk of developing a certain condition and if you should consider frequent check ups or preventative screenings. For example, if you find a certain type of cancer runs in the family, your doctor may ask that you start mammograms or colonoscopies at an earlier age.  

To be clear, our family’s health history gives us information about the risk of a condition. However, just because a family member has a certain condition does not mean you will have it too. 

Information to Gather for Your Health History. 

Get your family together and have a conversation about their health. Here are some questions to ask to help you get started. 

  1. Have you had any health problems, and when did they occur? 
  2. What did [family member name] die from? What other issues did they have?
  3. What medications are you taking and why?
  4. Have you made any lifestyle changes that have helped your condition?

Once you begin compiling your family’s health history, it should be stored in a safe place where it’s accessible. You’ll need this information at a first appointment with a new doctor, during a  medical emergency, starting school, going to camps and more. 

To ensure your health history records are secure and accessible at all times, upload them to a custom lockbox in your POM Vault. No more misplaced paperwork and digging through files for your family’s important paperwork! Your information is available to you when you need it.
To learn more about what else you should put in your vault click here, and don’t forget to sign up for your free 30-day trial of POM Vault today!

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