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Getting familiar with your family health history.

How well do you know your family health history? While you might look like your parents, what you don’t see are any underlying conditions or diseases that could be passed down from generation to generation. Further understanding the health of your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins could reveal the bigger picture behind your well-being.

Everything from your behaviors to your environment to your family’s similar genetic makeup contributes to your family health history. These combined traits could increase your risk of developing hereditary conditions and diseases like depression, cancer, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. That’s why it’s important to learn your family history early on. By doing so, you can know the conditions to be aware of and can take precautionary steps.

Once you have a better understanding of your family’s history, you’ll want to act. Talk to your doctor about what you have learned and what it might mean for your health moving forward. From there, your doctor can suggest ways of preventing certain conditions from arising, have you screened for related diseases, and start any necessary treatment.

Keeping a record of what you’ve learned will help you stay on top of your health. Online tools like FamGenix, a family history platform, let you store the information you’ve learned and share it with other family members while learning more about any conditions that run in your family.

As knowledge of your family’s health history grows, treatments for diseases are also evolving. Consider finding a clinical trial that might benefit you and your family today.