Did you know discovering your roots can greatly assist in your present day health? Many conditions are hereditary and/or psychosomatic. Knowing and understanding your genealogy can help you diagnose, treat and even avoid these conditions in ourselves and our children. Additionally, knowing your regional heritage and lifestyles is a great help in consuming the proper foods and exercise, and avoiding those that are harmful.

It is well known that some diseases favor certain ethnicities. Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of Eastern European descent) stand a far higher statistical probability of having certain diseases including Gaucher disease, Bloom syndrome, Canavan disease and Tay-Sachs disease. This higher percentage probably comes from the history of these people being a small population who intermarried. Sickle Cell Anemia occurs more frequently in African Americans. If both parents have the disease, all their children will have it. If one parent has it and the other is normal (not a carrier), all the children will be carriers. (A carrier does not suffer from the disease itself but “carries” the gene that could pass the disease on to descendants.) In addition, people of Mediterranean descent more often have thalassemia, and cystic fibrosis is more often found in persons of central European ancestry.

Source: Tracing Your Health History, It’s In Your Genes, by Donna Przecha, http://www.genealogy.com; Fitness Book of Lists, Marc D Thompson, www.marqthompson.com