Family History: Three Ways to Better Manage Genetic Risk
Family traits and health genes we inherit are a fact of life. What if our family history is rich in heart disease and other heart related problems? When should you be concerned and what actions can you take to empower your own health?
Do your research, seek medical opinion and practice self-care to give your heart the best chance in life:
- Investigate heart health history
The American Heart Association recommends individuals investigate their family’s medical background for risks, incidents and increased awareness. Knowing your family’s history can better prepare you for problems that could occur later in life. A history of risks doesn’t make a person predestined for heart failure. Heightened attentiveness of potential threats could be a blessing so that all concerns can be addressed timely.
Seek medical assistance
If a red flag is raised during the family history audit, then make an appointment to discuss concerns with a physician. Don’t wait until an annual exam. Talk with your doctor about worries and risks. The physician will recommend any needed tests and help you formulate a plan to best benefit your heart. Doctors can educate on other widely known factors besides just family history that should be considered such as characteristics associated for women, men, ethnicity and age.
- Practice self-care
Stress level and care of one self also plays important factors in heart health. Persons with strong genetic links to heart disease or illness can combat health threats by eating good, wholesome foods and staying physically active.
A poor family history or a clean bill of health does not guarantee an outcome. Take time to learn the facts, educate yourself on heart concerns and gain control of a balanced lifestyle.