My sister, mom, and me
My mom and I talk about everything -- just about everything. But I realized I need to ask her more about her health history as well as my family health history.
Health magazine points out the importance of knowing things about mom so it can lower your risks for certain issues and also help you know important information that would be good to share with your doctors. Here are the top 4 questions to ask:
1. When did you enter perimenopause and/or menopause?
Why it's good to know: If your mom suffered hot flashes, it may be a signal to you to make changes in your 30s and 40s to lessen your risk. Note: It doesn't mean you will have the same experience as your mom -- these are all preventative measures. Changes could be cutting back on caffeine, adding exercise and stress-reduction techniques into your routine, and increasing soy in your diet.
2. Did you have trouble getting pregnant?
Why it's good to know: If your mom had a hard time conceiving, it doesn't mean you will, but your risks may be higher, particularly with egg production or endometriosis. It good to know so you can get tested early on.
3. Did you have preeclampsia?
Why it's good to know: Preeclampsia is a condition some pregnant women have and it can lead to early birth and other ailments. If your mom had it, you are at a higher risk for it. Your OBGYN should know if preeclampsia runs in your family -- she may want to monitor you more closely when pregnant and you can help prevent by easing off sugary and salty foods.
4. Do we have a family history of any disease?
Why it's good to know: Dr. Pinkerton, a doctor quoted for this Health story, noted that it's important to know both your parents' health histories, "but the links to these diseases are often stronger on the maternal side for a daughter." Knowing helps you lower risk by modifying diet, building bone density, or other preventative measures depending on what your history entails.
Visit Health to read more.
Do you know enough about your family's health history?