The healthier your family, the happier you are
You would have often heard the terms ailment and disease and have perhaps wondered “what is the difference between them?” To put it simply, an ailment is one that is not serious. For example, allergies, colds & flus, diarrhoea, headaches, stomach aches…are all ailments.
A disease is an abnormal medical condition that affects part or the whole of your body. It is often associated with a few signs and symptoms.
When it comes to diseases, they can be infectious, deficiency-triggered, congenital, lifestyle-related, etc.
Your family’s medical history
Your family’s health history can shed some light on about the risks you may be prone to. Just like features – like dimples, curly hair, skin colour, etc. – the diseases your family members (especially elders) had can throw a few clues. . Risks of asthma, diabetes, cancer and heart disease run in families, and each of us has a unique family history.. So, knowing your family’s medical history helps reduce risks triggered by diet, allergies, hypersensitivity, etc.
Get to know your family’s health history well
Ask elders in your family about their medical history. It is a good thing to talk to your grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts of major medical conditions, ethnic backgrounds, dietary habits, diseases the earlier generation combated, age of onset and so on. When you have these details handy, it becomes easier for your doctor to:
- Profile the risk factors based on your family’s medical history
- Map other likely triggers/risks
- Recommend changes to your lifestyle and habits
- Prescribe screening tests for early detection and initiate needful treatment/medication plan
Prevention – after all – is better than cure. Family’s medical history helps zero-in a likely disease – be it inherited (read: congenital) or acquired due to your lifestyle (such as Type 2 diabetes or other autoimmune disorders). In such cases, the treating physician may refer you to a specialist to assess the risks in depth.
Genetic testing may also help determine if your family members are at risk, and to take needful steps to mitigate their impact.
Awareness leads to preparedness
Medical science – no doubt – has evolved over time. Along with the progress made, costs of treatment too have raised. So, getting the right treatment to cure a disease can be an expensive matter. Such prohibitive costs can be avoided if each of us stay aware of our family health history.
However, risks may arise even without a family disease history due to a variety of factors:
- Lifestyle, personal habits and other such factors
- Lack of awareness among family members
- One-off events such as a family member succumbing at a young age before developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer
So be aware, be prepared and that’s half the battle won!
Remember, everyone needs a building to live-in… But it’s a healthy and happy family that turns brick-and-mortar into a blissful home!
This International Family Day – 15th May 2020 – Tikotra wishes your family and you healthy and happy days ahead!