Today, 8/29/2018, we share the information Dr. Oz gave us on finding out whether or not you may have a genetic condition. When doctors ask you to fill out a form with all the diseases and conditions your family members may have, it’s not without reason. Knowing about your family history can really help you live a healthier life.
What health conditions are inherited
Unfortunately, heart disease is a condition that doesn’t usually get diagnosed until you have a heart attack. Therefore, it is important to know if you have a family history of heart disease so you can look out for symptoms and see a cardiologist for a check-up. A history of heart disease can increase your risk of heart disease in general, but that risk increases even more if a close family member developed this condition at an early age. Symptoms of heart problems that could indicate you need to see a doctor include fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. Hypertension can also lead to more severe health issues like heart disease or stroke. While certain risk factors include being overweight, your age, and exercise habits, family history is also a big factor. It is very common for high blood pressure to run in families, so if it runs in yours make sure to notify your doctor so you can stay on top of it.
Alzheimer’s disease is a slow deterioration of the brain caused by plaque buildup. Research has shown that genetics play a determining role in whether or not a person will develop Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are two categories of genes: “Risk genes increase the likelihood of developing a disease, but do not guarantee it will happen…” and “Deterministic genes directly cause a disease, guaranteeing that anyone who inherits one will develop the disorder.” Additionally, if you have a close relative (parent, sibling, etc.) that has the disease you are more likely to develop it – that risk increases if the number of family members that have Alzheimer’s increases. If you think you may be genetically at risk, talk to your doctor and try preventative measures such as proper diet and brain exercises to decrease the rate of growing plaque.
Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high which, if left undiagnosed or untreated, can cause other problems like stroke, blindness, leg amputations, and heart disease. If someone in your family has diabetes you are at a high risk of developing prediabetes – which is the precursor to being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes later in life. If this is the case for you, your doctor may want to monitor your diet and your blood sugar a little closer to keep you healthy and potentially reverse the symptoms of prediabetes.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by eating gluten. This can damage the body and in more serious cases, can cause other issues like cancer. Celiac disease is a genetic health condition. In fact, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “First-degree family members (parents, siblings, children), who have the same genotype as the family member with celiac disease, have up to a 40 percent risk of developing celiac disease. The overall risk of developing celiac disease when the genotype is unknown is seven percent to 20 percent.” There is a test to see if you have celiac, so if it runs in your family and you’ve also been having digestive problems it may be a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor.
Fibroids are benign tumors located in the uterus that can cause pain, bleeding, and eventually may lead to a hysterectomy. Some research has shown that a woman’s chances for developing fibroids may increase if she has a family history of them. If this applies to you, make sure to visit the gynecologist on an annual basis for an exam and make him or her aware of your family medical history.
The more aware you are of health conditions and diseases that are in your family, the more your doctor can help you take preventative measures to stay healthy.
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