I’ve been working on a little project that might interest you. It’s been rather frightening for me, but perhaps in a good way. I’ve been compiling a family “health history” so that my doctor and I can see patterns of illnesses and conditions. I can tell you right now that my grandchildren might as well prepare for hypertension and headaches, because I can’t find a generation that hasn’t been plagued by both!
It’s rather alarming to see how many members of our family have also had heart problems or cancer, but it also serves as motivation to take better care of myself and get regular screenings. I suppose that is really the whole purpose of the project. You can’t protect against something until you’re aware of it.
I have noticed something good- most of the women in my family have lived well into their eighties or nineties. I plan to do the same.
If you haven’t done so already, this might be a good time to start your own family health history. It’s helpful to do it while you have elders who can remember things. I almost waited too long to write down some of mine. My grandparents are already gone, but luckily I have some aunts with good memories.
I would encourage you to try to go back at least four generations if you can. It helps establish patterns. It may also be helpful to you if you look at your first cousins. Our health is the result of genes and lifestyle. At least we have control over one of those! For more information see medical history.