November 24, 2011

U.S. Surgeon Urges - Update Family Medical History

The holidays are here and it is time to update family history when you have seldom seen family members around. Corner you favorite uncle or aunt and asks some hard questions about the family medical history. Read my blog from about a year ago on obtaining family history.

This year the U.S. Surgeon General declares Thanksgiving as the eighth annual “Family Health History Day”. I say it may take the entire holiday season, but family medical history is important. Earlier generations were often very silent about serious health problems and early deaths. This could be important in your medical history and you need to get relatives alone to ask them about specific health questions.

Get as much information as you can and record this if possible on the spot. By carrying a voice-activated recorder in my shirt pocket, I did get a lot of valuable information one year, but the family found out I had family medical history and will not talk to me since. But, added with the information I had in my own research, I have more medical history than much of the family is aware. This has proved valuable and helps me understand why I developed type 2 diabetes.

Heart disease is not part of my health history, but cancer is and many types of cancer including colon cancer. This has proved very valuable and I have been able to prevent this so far.

So if you are short of family health history, use the holidays and family gatherings to increase your medical history knowledge. Read this article about a Dutch study and the U.S. Surgeon's notice and gather your medical history.  But don't stop there, keep on digging when you see or hear from family members.

For my US readers have a great Thanksgiving and everyone else, have a great day.

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