How Researching Your Ancestry Can Help You Stay Healthy

Researching your ancestry can help you stay healthy by clueing you in to certain genetic histories and tendencies you should be aware of

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April 22, 2019
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Thomas Jefferson said, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” While this is a positive and liberating message, looking into the past is useful, instructive and enlightening. Researching the family tree can explain much about current familial dynamics, as well as medical history. Through the right channels, you could essentially learn how to prevent certain medical conditions, improve your health, and extend your life.

Family Origin

Many of us have ancestors whose names differ from our grandparents because of a deliberate and legal name change. To find out more about a surname meaning, you can search what a surname meaning or history is online. You may also learn the following interesting facts through a last name search, such as where your family lived in the U.S. or when your family immigrated to the U.S.

As not all countries don’t have the medical resources to treat or prevent certain medical issues finding out more about where your family originated from can help you to determine if your relatives were susceptible to a foreign disease that could be passed down.

Medical Predispositions

Some families are more likely to develop diseases throughout their lifetime. Essentially, this means that while you may not have anyone in your family who was born with these conditions, their genetic makeup increases the chances that they could develop diseases like cancer or diabetes over time.

If your ancestors do have such predispositions, you can safeguard yourself against developing these diseases. For example, if you found out your family is prone to having heart disease you can alter your diet to reduce your risks.

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Hereditary Genetic Diseases

There are some diseases that are passed down through generations simply because of your sex, race, and other contributing factors. Such diseases like Sickle Cell Anemia and Huntington’s Disease, for example, are life-threatening and challenging to live with. While some of these conditions are easy to spot at birth, others don’t manifest for years. So, the sooner you find out the faster you can begin working with doctors and other medical experts to ease the complications.

You can have your DNA tested at a medical facility to find out if you possess such genes. This information may also be vital to those who are trying to conceive. Knowing you have genes that link you to potential hereditary diseases might cause you to consider other options for starting a family like surrogacy or adoption. This way, these genes don’t get passed down to your children.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, sometimes diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle. As you can see from the text above, there are certain medical conditions that you could be exposed to. By doing thorough research of your family’s medical history, getting tested, and requesting DNA results, you can unlock medical information that could potentially save your life. With this renewed information you can use it to make adjustments to your lifestyle that will help you to be a lot happier and healthier.