Family Health History Matters

Family Health History Matters

Knowing your family health history can prevent unnecessary surprises for you and future generations.

Do you know what health conditions and diseases are being passed down to future generations in your family? If you do, in an odd way, you’ve been blessed! If you don’t, you can discover some not-so-nice surprises as you age. Knowing your family health history is like a time capsule that unfolds in your life and future generations. This information can equip you to speak with your doctor productively and prepare for, avoid, or manage serious health problems. Your health history also has the potential to help your children, grandchildren, and future generations avoid, prevent, and even take advantage of cutting-edge medical treatments. Knowing your family health history can prevent unnecessary surprises for you and future generations.

Surprise, Surprise!

Throughout the years, I’ve opened unwanted genetic health presents. As a child, I had terrible canker sores in my mouth, blamed on the herpes simplex virus, as well as a profuse scalp flaking diagnosed as impetigo. Throughout my life, I’ve learned that I’ve probably had celiac disease and some undiagnosed allergies with eczema since I was three years old. If we had known then what I know now, more effective treatments could have spared me untold pain and embarrassment.

The plot twists have unfolded throughout the years. A few years ago. I felt unrelenting fatigue like I could barely keep my eyes open as I drove my mom home from a doctor’s appointment in another city. Pulling over to the side of the road, I quizzed my elderly mom, who had given up driving years prior, “If I passed out, could you handle pulling the car out of traffic and stopping?” I sat hunched over the steering wheel, looking over at her.

“Yes, I can.”

“Mom, I don’t know what’s wrong. This is ridiculous!” I took a few deep breaths and started back on our route traveling back roads.

“Your dad had dealt with that for years.” Surprise moment!

“Really!?!?” The plot thickened. As if Pandora’s Box opened, revealing several boxes nested together with an awful surprise waiting inside each one. That’s how my health condition journey has been.

I learned more after she died, but it raised more questions than my discoveries answered. I found a very old pill bottle mom used to store white dress shirt buttons. The bottle was a prescription for Dad with “heart pills.” He was forty years old and on heart medication! I knew he had arrhythmias, but I remembered helping him with his medications toward the end of his life. He was on heart medication, but I thought it was part of his congestive heart failure treatment. Now, I’m beginning to see more revealed in my health journey. If I had known more about his and my mother’s health, I could have better managed my health sooner.

Sharing is Caring

My kids, niece, and I discuss what we are dealing with and ask each other questions about health conditions. We share several symptoms and conditions. My niece knew very little about her dad’s health since he was killed in a hit-and-run accident when she was a little girl. I can imagine how people who were adopted or IV babies get surprises because either their parents’ health is unknown or glossed over.

Recently, I was clued into getting my DNA information from an ancestry site. It was free to download, so I did. My eyes were wide open as I scrolled through hours of information about what lurked in my background. I sent the information to my children so they, and my grandchildren, at least had genetic details on hereditary health conditions on my side of the family. At least they could watch for symptoms of conditions to ask better questions of their healthcare providers. My dad died at age seventy-three. If he had proper treatment, he could have lived into his eighties or nineties since his parents lived into their mid-eighties. Now I know more about managing my health, and so can my family.

I’m not the only one digging around for better health information for future generations. My Boaz has made many discoveries that could have prevented his dad’s sudden cardiac arrest. He regularly shares information with his brother, sister, and son so they can watch for the same conditions he has. It has also helped them watch for new treatment options currently in clinical trials.

Secrecy Can Be Deadly

Older generations kept secrets like “so-and-so had spells” and “it’s no one else’s business” needlessly hurt future generations. Doctors who put themselves on pedestals and dispensed medications from their offices in small manila envelopes marked “nerve pills,” “heart pills,” and “whatever pills” also did us no favors. Secrecy has led to needless premature deaths. Let’s do our part to prevent those kinds of fatalities and disabilities by sharing our health histories with our families.

If you are wondering where the faith part comes in, it would be trusting God with the outcomes of our conditions while not obsessing over possibilities. We don’t want to be overly concerned about so much information. Yet, we want to be good stewards of our health to continue serving God well in our homes, communities, and churches. We can trust God to help us manage what we’ve got while looking confidently toward our future and future generations. I think Ephesians 2:10 sums it up,  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” He knows our health issues past, present, and future. We can continue doing the good works that God already has set for us trusting Him.

If you want to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle from a Christian perspective, join us for the free Healthy Living Summit 2024 on March 12, 2024. I will be presenting a segment on Christian wellness. Register now at You’ll be glad you did!

Blessings to you!

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