Gathering Your Family Health History
By: Wendy Ray
There's a good chance by now you've asked a relative at least once, to pass the turkey, but have you asked them how they feel? It's a good bet you don't know that Thanksgiving is National Family History Day. The holidays are a perfect time to learn about your family's health history.
There's an easy way you can learn about your family's health history. Just ask a few questions and fill in the blanks of a family medical tree. Southeast Hospital nurse manager LaDonna Wills says all of us should do it. "That information is important for doctors and nurse practitioners as they help watch people's health and they watch for health illnesses they might be at risk for getting," Wills says. Not everyone is getting that information though. A surgery finds only one third of Americans have tried to get their families' health history together. Wills says knowing what illnesses or diseases run in your family make you more aware of the symptoms that go along with them. "It certainly helps them do some things to help decrease the risks, for example with diabetes, you can make healthy choices to decrease those risks," Wills says. Healthy choices that could ensure you have many healthy holidays to come.