What You Should Know About Your Health At Every Age
I hope you don’t mind me asking: Do you worry too about your health? and what do you know about your health or how it differs as you age?
Well The Huffington Post is just now publishing a guide about that very question and below is an excerpt of the first part of that guide which looks this will be rather interesting and well worth your time:
Health complaints change over the decades. What worries us at 25 is very different from our concerns at 40. We asked the HuffPost Lifestyle Facebook community to tell us what they worried about most, and then conferred with experts.
Whether you’re barely 20 years old or pushing 65, health stewardship is a part of being an adult. Everyday decisions, repeated over a lifetime, can mean the difference between a long and active life and one confined to a couch or hospital bed.
While many people assume you can’t do anything about your genetic lot in life, that’s not true. Armed with better behavior and educated, preventative measures based on family history, you can be your most healthful self.
While there’s no precise figure for the impact that genetics plays on health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that from a population-wide perspective, less than 12 percent of health outcomes are genetic. The rest is a mixture of environment, behavior and access to quality health services.
Genetic knowledge is power
While you can’t change your genes, you can arm yourself with the specific knowledge that might help you. Use your next family gathering as a chance to learn more about your genetic risks — even if your family is generally healthy.
“It’s never too early to start with a good family health history,” said Dr. Charis Eng, a cancer geneticist at the Cleveland Clinic. Her advice? Touch base with whomever has the most comprehensive knowledge of your extended family’s health — it’s not necessarily your parents — then draw up a family health blueprint.
“Certainly with parents or first-degree relatives, parents, siblings, kids, you can start building: Have you ever been ill? How old were you when you were diagnosed?” Eng said.
You can also take stock of genetic red flags, or factors that might increase your chances of developing a disease or condition. “Age is very important,” Eng said. “If a disease typically starts in the rest of us at 60, and your mom is like, ‘No, I actually got it at 30,’ that’s a red flag.”…
Another red flag is a cluster of similar disease types. For example, if all of the women in your family died of breast cancer, you have a higher risk of developing the disease yourself.
Once you have the your family history in hand, bring it to your doctor and discuss any concerns you have with her. It’s also good idea to update your history periodically — a new Thanksgiving tradition, perhaps? — to ensure it remains up to date.
“As research goes on, we will see that the sooner one knows whether one is at risk for disease X or Y, the more effective either prevention or early detection will be,” Eng said.
Here’s a helpful tool to build your own family health blueprint….