The word ‘Family’ always brings a sense of warmth, compassion, and affection, and a discussion with the family members includes vacations, meals, reunions, or some heart to heart talks. But, does the discussion include health or disease concerns? The answer for some might be YES and some would say SOMETIMES. But, it does not always top the list of our discussion we have every day, unless and until it is serious.
Looking at the present scenario around the globe, shouldn’t health and healthcare be our main concern? If we can prevent the diseases or maintain our health by simply talking about them – even just for a while- or when we are aware of our genetic history, wouldn’t it be worthwhile? Wouldn’t it prevent our future decline of health or impairment? If not completely, but to some extent?
It is not necessary to restrict the choice of your lifestyle, but, instead, upgrade it to a healthier one so that you, your family, and your future generation can maximize survival, joy, and happiness.
As seen in our experience, the most common diseases that tend to run in the families through a defective gene are:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Allergies and Asthma
- Cardiovascular Disease (Stroke and Heart Disease)
- Mental Illness (such as Anxiety, Depression, Alzheimer’s, etc.)
- Cancer (esp. breast, colon, and prostate cancer)
- Autoimmune Conditions
Though these diseases run in families, it is not necessary that if you are suffering from any of the above then your children, grandchildren, siblings all are at the risk or if your ancestors were the victims then you are at risk.
Nobody can change or alter their genes, but the future of your near and dear ones is in your hands. Working together can pave the way for the good health of your family and create a healthy modus vivendi to lower the risks of these health issues.
Here’s what you can do
- Sneak Peek Inside Your Family Roots & Create Your Own Family Medical Tree
The National Institutes of Health recommend going back at least three generations for your family’s health history data, including your grandparents, parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews on both the sides of your family.
However, the family history of the disease is not only influenced by the defective genes but also certain behavioral factors are responsible for it. Behavioral factors, such as diet, lifestyle, environmental exposure, and activities and other factors, such as the condition, onset, age, circumstances, events, stories, deaths, and more are associated with them.
The collection of this information helps to determine the risk of a certain disease, prevention, and early treatment, and the need for genetic testing and future counseling to make healthy choices. You don’t have to collect everything! It is important to learn what you can.
- Figure Out the Risks
Knowing about the risks associated with your family helps you to identify their position in your life and gain the core of knowledge to protect and prepare yourself in case you experience similar symptoms or feel that you might be at risk.
Make your family members understand the risk of the known diseases that may crop up. It might make you nervous to tell them, as you do not want them to worry. But, they need to know so that they can take their associated risk factors seriously and follow the necessary steps for a healthier life. So, be proactive and make them aware, as ‘Prevention is better than cure.
- Make a Plan
Discuss the steps to take and come up with a plan together for an active and healthier life, by supporting and motivating one another in your family. For example, in preparing a menu for the meal, developing exercise plans, and others. Working towards a common goal brings family closer and people live better with the love, support, and understanding of their family and friends.
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Some Important Evidence-Based Healthy Tips For Good Health:
- Practice moderation in the diet – not too much and not too little, eat until you are only 80% full. Follow the concept of 1/3 for your food, 1/3 for your liquids, and 1/3 for your breath for your belly.
- Drink water or any other liquids slowly.
- Cleanse your mouth after every meal.
- Wash your hands before & after the meals, but do not to clean hands with a towel.
- Take proper care of kitchen utensils, and keep the lid on food utensils.
- Have a short nap in the afternoon after lunch for 15-20 minutes to give relief to your vital organs of the body.
- Eat a pinch of kalonji (in seed or powder form) black seeds every day on the empty stomach in the morning, as it helps to minimize the obesity, promotes digestion, reduces blood pressure, treats various digestive disorders, and treats congestion.
- Eat slowly by chewing each morsel before swallowing. Do not gobble the food and drink.
- Stay active. Participate in sports, such as swimming, cycling, and others. A walk in the park every day for 15-30 minutes is also beneficial.
- Avoid sleeping on the stomach, as it harms the internal organs and the spine.
- Sleeping early and waking up early in the morning helps you stay productive, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid serious health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases.
- Change is a part of life. So, have a peaceful mind and accept the changes. Do not get angry or worry yourself over certain matters, as it increases the problems rather than solving them. Anger & worry may put your health at risk, physically and mentally, and weaken your immune system.
- Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption or better refrain from having it.
- Minimize or quit the consumption of refined, processed, fried, frozen, highly seasoned, and canned foods.
- Include more fruits and veggies in your diet, particularly seasonal ones.
The above tips are not always easy, but it is worth the effort, as these health tips not only help to prevent but also lower your risk for the above disease conditions. Also, implementing them is not only healthy for you but also healthy for your family and the future generation as well. Families functioning together creates a good family-ecosystem fit.
You might be healthy now, but you need to know this information and start making healthy choices, as knowing things ahead of the time provides you the chance to screen, prevent, and treat these diseases earlier.
As it is rightly said, ‘Knowledge is Power’, and what’s more important than knowing your family health history to keep you & your family’s health in check.
So, start taking notes right away and be your family historian. Learn about your family’s medical history, follow a healthy lifestyle and preventive measures, and pave the way for your family to enjoy good health.