There are many ways that we can reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, through eating a healthy diet and regular exercise. Knowing your family medical history is another important way to reduce your risk of disease.
Even though you can’t change what genes you have or how they are expressed, knowing what risk factors you have through your family’s medical history can reduce your risk of developing some of the more common health problems.
Things to look out for in your family medical history are:
– Where there are people in your family that are diagnosed with a specific disease earlier than normal (for example, heart attacks at an early age);
– If more than one relative has the same disease or disorder;
– If there is a certain type of disease that affects certain genders within your family (for example, women in your family being diagnosed with cancer); and/or
– If there are trends where there are groups of diseases that is common within your family (for example, diabetes and heart disease)
Knowing your family medical history means that you can take steps to reduce your risk.
CFCDR have developed a Family Health Record form to help you document your family medical history. Click here and print the form, then talk with your family about your medical history.
Once you have completed your Family Health Record, you can take it to you General Practitioner to develop your own preventative health care plan.