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.

Once you have gathered your family medical history, you should not go too far in trying to interpret it as you could jump to wrong conclusions. For example, if the women in your family who had breast cancer were all on your father’s side, doctors say this does not increase your risk of getting cancer. If there is a serious genetic defect in your family and you have not started a family, counseling would be a good idea. First would be the decision of whether or not to have children at all. For some people a 75% chance of a normal baby sounds good while others would not want to take a chance on a 25% possibility of a child that could never have a normal life or might not survive to its first birthday. In the case of Huntington’s Disease, it would be very difficult to not know for many years whether or not you had passed on the disease. Even if you already have children, you may need to inform them of the family history and the fact that they may be carriers. More and more is being done with genetics. Many of these genetic diseases will be curable in the future but you will be ahead of the game if you can identify through family history the areas that might be a problem for you.

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