The more we learn about our personal DNA and genetics, the more power we have to boost our chances of a long and healthy lifespan. We all know that our family history can increase our risk of issues such as diabetes, heart disease, or certain cancers, but seeing the big picture of your family’s health history isn’t easy to do. One way to understand your health forecast is to create a medical family tree, which documents the health issues of your ancestors and gives you the tools to make smart preventative decisions. Keep reading to understand more about how you can create your own medical family tree and use it as a powerful tool in your health journey.
Why Create a Medical Family Tree?
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When you know what your body may be predisposed to, you have the option of resigning yourself to it, or tackling it head on. Many health issues may be prevented by targeted self-care, exercise, diet changes, or natural supplements. Having a well-documented family history not only gives you ideas for prevention, it can also give your health care team a clearer picture of you as a patient and a better pathway to treating you effectively and holistically.
How to Start Your Own Medical Family Tree
You don’t have to purchase a pricey DNA test to understand your genetics and health risks. Start by talking to your parents and grandparents to gather information about your family’s medical history. Perhaps you have an uncle with a rare genetic condition or a parent who died of heart disease. These are all leaves that should be added to the branches of your family tree. As you begin these sometimes difficult conversations with your family, be sure to explain your project and ask them which health issues and diseases they feel you may be more genetically predisposed to.
A medical family tree starts with creating a traditional family tree – documenting siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Be sure to use shapes and color coding to make it easier to read and keep a key for reference. Include death dates and ages as well of causes of death for all deceased relatives. For those relatives still alive, be sure to note any relevant health conditions they struggle with, as this can be a key piece of your own genetic puzzle. Even if you are predisposed to certain genetic ailments, you may be able to help maintain optimal health with regular exercise, good nutrition, and dietary supplementation.
Supplements that Support Optimal Health
Countless research has proven that fish oil and fatty fish can be a powerful part of preventing stroke and heart disease. If you have a family history of heart disease, try Ultimate Omega by Nordic Naturals, which contains 1,280 mg of total omega 3 essential fatty acids from purified deep sea fish oil.
Vitamin D is crucial for supporting many of your body’s health functions, and studies show that many of us don’t get enough of it naturally. Supplements such as D3 Serum 1000 IU from Premier Research Labs can help you boost your daily intake of vitamin D.
Probiotics and antioxidants play a powerful role in your overall health, giving you the energy you need to be active, prepare healthy meals, and live your best life. If you’re looking to up your antioxidant intake, check out Just Thrive‘s Probiotic & Antioxidant supplement, which contains three beneficial probiotic strains to promote gut health and support antioxidant properties.
Have you created a medical family tree for yourself? Please share your tips and ideas with us in the comments section below.