Knowing Your Health Inheritance

health inheritanceAs we celebrate our individual heritages this week, I thought it prudent to bring up the topic of our Health Heritage.  Meaning, what we inherit from our past generations and what that could imply for our future. A common theme to many of my articles is the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors in order to live a long healthful life. I also add the disclaimer that sometimes our genetic inheritance plays a crucial role in this and we not have control over our bodies reaction to certain foods. If you’re interested in learning more about your ancestors I would suggest also digging into their medical histories as well to give you a good idea of what MAY lie ahead for you. Genetics can be convoluted and complicated but basically there are a handful of metabolic diseases/disorders that have been shown to have a genetic or inherited link. Some examples of inherited diseases are Heart Disease, Hypertension, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, obesity and some cancers (breast, prostate, colorectal and melanoma to name a few).

What does this mean? Well, in a nutshell, most metabolic conditions can be prevented by proactively and consistently assuming healthy lifestyle behaviors such as active living, good nutrition, no smoking and low to no alcohol. Generally 80% of the causes of metabolic diseases can be controlled (or caused) through behavior choices, however, about 20% of the cases are genetically caused, thanks mom, dad, grandma and grandpa. This means that you are at greater risk of developing said conditions BUT the good news is you can still live your life in a preventative manner to decrease the chances that you will end up with hypertension, obesity or whatever it may be. You just have to be more aware and even more diligent. For example, if both of your parents and grandparents had/have high blood pressure then you will probably want to watch your salt and fat intake and maintain moderate cardiovascular activity most days of the week. If you’re concerned or just curious, get as much health history as you can from your relatives and then discuss this with your doctor. For a more comprehensive look at all inheritable diseases, click here.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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