Why Knowing Your Family Medical History Is Important

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The famous HBO series Game Of Thrones is in the news again and not so happy one this time. Emilia Clarke who played the role of young princess Daenerys recently shared about her life-threatening brain condition and her personal account of what she had to endure at the age of 24.

While there are many causes for this condition, one of the causes is a family history of brain aneurysms. While this is an extreme example of how your genetics can play havoc there are many others which are not that dangerous but affect your quality of life nonetheless.

Most of us dismiss that bloated feeling in the tummy and embarrassing rumbling sounds emanating from there in the midst of a client presentation thinking it must be that roadside panipuri which caused it. And when someone says the word heredity all we can think about is the risk of going bald like dad. Let me tell you the risk is more than skin deep!

Scientists in the 1960s discovered lactose intolerance in some races. In the past 10,000 years, a genetic change allowed the ability to digest milk to evolve in humans, but only where dairy farming was the norm. If you can’t tolerate milk, it is probably because your ancestors left cow udders alone.

lactose intolerance

So that rumble in the tummy is not the usual suspect panipuri but could be your lactose intolerance as deep-rooted as your DNA. Most of us might tend to overlook the fact that many of our health problems can be traced to hereditary or genetic causes. Medical research reveals that many serious health issues have their roots in the patient’s family medical history.

Many serious diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular ailments, rheumatoid arthritis etc. have been found to be caused by a combination of lifestyle and hereditary factors, i.e. there is a high chance that the family members or close relatives of the person who have been afflicted by those diseases also suffered from them.

Pass this precious information of family health history to your doctor and help timely diagnosis, preventive measures or right treatment for many health complications.

Genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger. All we can ensure is the gun is not pointed towards us!

Credits: Newyorker, Healthline

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Ashwini Bhat

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Nice article , just wondering if this genetic pattern can be changed is there already any technology of medication which is definitive . I am aware of genetic studies done for certain deseases . I assume we have a long way to go .

    • Genetic engineering is a tricky topic and it is debatable whether it is ethical and hence banned in many countries. Once man starts meddling with nature to pick and choose traits it may cross the thin line between preservation of human race and the fundamental premise of natural selection.

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