Why It’s Crucial To Know Family Health History

The moment one walks into a family practice to set up their health care, they are handed a stack of papers to fill out. Among them is the family history worksheet. Anyone that hasn’t done one of these will be extra thrilled to get it, actually they should be!

While it takes some time, a family health worksheet issued by a family practice can make a huge difference in the level of care that individual receives. Learn more about why this step in the endless pile of paperwork is so very important to keeping oneself healthy and happy.

What is a Family Medical History?

The family medical history paperwork is basically a record of health information concerning the new patient or a family member who is entering a new family practice. It is a complete record from three generations to include parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, cousins, brothers and sisters as well as children.

The reason it is so important is because families have many health issues in common. Their environment, genes, and lifestyle are typically much alike. Relaying any conditions or disorders may help a family practice determine risk factors for the individual, other members of the family and even future generations. They’ll use this paperwork to look for patterns and see if anyone is at risk when it comes to developing particular conditions.

What Disorders Are Checked For?

When examining the family medical history, people with a larger than normal risk of having common disorders will be analyzed. These include disorders such as:

• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Stroke
• Cancer
• Diabetes

Lifestyle choices, genetic factors and environmental conditions all play a role in determining what risks are at large. While it may never happen, it’s good to know in order for a family practice doctor to be aware and look out for signs. Conditions such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis through rare, can be caused by the mutation of only a single gene.

Reducing Risk

As stated before, having access to family medical history a family practice can help one take steps to reduce his or her risk. There is no guaranteed that anyone will for sure develop the condition of concern.

When it comes to those people who are at an increased risk to develop certain types of cancers, members of a family practice may suggest more frequent screenings. These include such things as colonoscopy or mammography, and more often. In fact, they may suggest the individual get these screenings at an earlier age than one is recommended.

Also, lifestyle changes including getting started on a healthier diet, quitting smoking or other bad habits, and participating in regular exercise will lower chances of getting common illnesses like heart disease or diabetes.

Talk to Relatives

This is the easiest way to collect the necessary information about family medical history. Ask if they’ve had any medical problems, or issues with their health. Find out about when they occurred and what the overall diagnosis was. Having all the family together when this is discussed will make it easier, and filling out that dreaded paperwork will be a cinch.

Another option is to take it with when leaving the family practice. It can always be returned later when it is thoroughly filled out. Medical records as well as other documents like death certificates or obituaries are great for adding to the history records. Keep all the info up-to-date, that way of it’s necessary to choose a different family practice or see a specialist it’s readily available so one is ready to receive the best health care possible at all times.

Today Is a Rest Day

It’s important to realize how vital rest between workouts are. They give the body a chance to rebuild and repair itself after an intense workout. Lifting weights and/or doing body weight exercises causes micro tears in your muscles. Resting allows the body to repair these muscles and because of the stress put on these muscles your body automatically rebuilds them a little stronger and bigger than before. Isn’t the body a wonderful thing?

BUT, a rest day doesn’t mean you lie on the couch all day drinking soda and eating potatoes chips! You need to do three things. These three things will speed your recovery and prepare you for your next workout session.

1. Flood your body with nutrients from real foo;. juice and or smoothies, lots of veggies, fruit, lean protein and water. Your body desperately needs these to repair & rebuild. You should make a point to drink plenty of fluids as your body needs to hydrate itself after an intense workout. I also like to add a scoop of whey protein powder to my smoothies giving my muscles a boost.

2. Do some physical activity! The one I like the best is walking. But you can also do gentle stretching, Yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi and/or swimming. This is not a time to push for your personal best like walking an extra mile. Take it easy!

3. Get plenty of sleep! We all know that sleep is the body’s way of giving our minds and bodies a chance to repair and heal. Don’t short change your fitness program by cheating yourself out of a good night’s sleep. If possible take a short “power nap” during the day. Your body will thank you for it!

Optional: This is also a great time to practice meditation, listen to soothing music or pursue a hobby like painting or drawing. Start a journal, it is a great way to unwind and organize your thoughts.

Keeping fit and following a well- planned fitness regime takes dedication. Allowing your body to rest keeps a balance between the physical demands a strenuous workout program places on your muscles and needed rest periods.

As I get older I am more aware of the importance of rest. I find that I need two and even three days between strenuous workouts. Listen to your body! The old saying about no pain no gain is outdated and an invitation for injury which would sideline your fitness program. So enjoy your day of rest. Follow these suggestions and you’re be ready to hit the gym refreshed and invigorated tomorrow.