If granddad, brother John or any other immediate relative has had a heart attack or is living with diabetes or high blood pressure, YOU might just follow suit. Knowing which genetic conditions your parents or grandparents have passed on to you could affect your lifestyle.
Heart disease (heart attacks and strokes), diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer and obesity are some of the conditions that can affect several generations. You may be at risk of developing these diseases because a family member once suffered from it or is still living with it, or you may be at risk due to your poor way of life. The questions you need to ask to help you understand your family history are:
- If your grandparents are now deceased, at what age did they pass away?
- From what diseases do / did your parents suffer?
- What caused your parents’ / grandparents’ deaths?
The next seven questions will guide you as to whether you’re healthy or need to seek medical guidance:
1) Is there a history of heart disease or diabetes in your immediate family (parents, grandparents or siblings)?
2) Do you suffer from high blood pressure?
3) Do you have high cholesterol?
4) Are you a smoker or did you stop in the last six months?
5) Do you suffer from diabetes?
6) Do you suffer from obesity?
7) Do you exercise less than 30 minutes a day, less than 5 times a week?
If you answered ‘YES’ or ‘I DON’T KNOW’ to any of these questions, you need to see your doctor so that tests can be carried out to determine whether you are at risk of lifestyle disease development. If you’re still not sure what to do, make an appointment at Kingsmead Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre to see the Biokineticist for a basic wellness screening, which will give you guidance to your next steps in a healthier life.
The easiest way to keep in touch with how well you know your body is by visiting your doctor once a year for a medical check-up. This is especially important if you are a male aged 45 or older or a female aged 55 or older. Unfortunately ageing is one of the factors over which we have no control!
Some aspects of life are beyond our control, such as family history, gender and age. But you CAN do something about diet, exercise, smoking and your stress levels! If your car goes for an annual service, why shouldn’t you? Your body is your vehicle for life and is your most important asset. If you don’t take care of it and service it regularly as you would your car, it’s going to fall apart. So get behind the wheel and look after your most valuable asset!
Article Sponsored by Health International
Article by Kristy Delport. Kristy is a Zimbabwe and South Africa registered Biokineticist. You can contact her using email or phone at firstname.lastname@example.org and 0775 463 191.
Featured Image Credit: Ibuki San