Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Family Gatherings and Medical Histories

Dear Dr. Walt,

As we head toward the holidays, I think I remember you writing in one of your blogs about using family gatherings to gather information about the medical history of various family members. Am I remembering correctly? If so, what was your point?

Planning a Gathering in Georgia

Dear Organizer,

You remember correctly. In fact, I blog about this important health tip most every year before the holidays. I start out something like this: So, imagine your living room filled with family, great food, and holiday cheer. You dim the lights, light a fire … and talk about diabetes, cancer, and other medical conditions. Okay, that’s not exactly the scene in most homes around family gatherings, but trust me, it’s a great idea to consider for this holiday season.

Heredity plays a big part in your health. Many diseases run in families through the generations, yet many of us don’t know about them.  Knowing the illnesses that run in your family help your doctor predict what you may be at risk for—and take action to keep you and your family healthy.

The holiday season is filled with family gatherings. So consider talking about and writing down the health issues which run in your family. Learning your history may help you have a longer, healthier future—and that’s a great gift to the entire family.

This Q&A was originally published in the December 2016 edition of Today’s Christian Living.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2017. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.