The Blog

November 23, 2023

Family Health History Day: How Talking to Family Can Help Your Health

During the holidays, when families come together, is a great time to talk about something very important – your family’s health history. As a statewide public health nonprofit, we’re all about providing support and resources to improve health and wellness. In this blog, we’ll explain why knowing your family’s health history is so important and give you simple questions to ask your family during the holidays. 

Why Family Health History Matters: 

  • “Family Blueprint”: Think of your family health history like a blueprint that can tell you about your chances of getting certain health issues like heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and more. This information can help you take better care of your health. 
  • “Early Warning”: Knowing what kinds of health problems your family has can help your doctor find issues early. Catching problems early can save lives. 
  • “Personal Health Plan”: Your family’s health history can help you make a plan for your own health. You can decide what you eat, how you exercise, and how often you visit the doctor. 
  • “Stay Healthy”: By knowing your family’s health history, you can do things to lower your chances of getting sick. This helps keep you and your family healthy.  

 Questions to Ask Your Family Members: 

  • “Do we have any sicknesses that lots of people in our family get?” Start by asking about health problems like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or mental health issues. 
  • “Do you know how old our family members were when they got sick?” Find out how old your family members were when they first got these health problems. This can help you know when to start checking for them. 
  • “Did any family members have bad reactions to medicine or allergies?” Ask if anyone in the family had problems with medicine or allergies. This is important information for your doctor. 
  • “Did anyone in the family have to go to the hospital or have surgeries?” Find out if your family members ever had surgeries or had to go to the hospital. 
  • “How does our family usually live? Do we eat certain foods or do exercises?” Ask about what your family eats, how much they exercise, and if they smoke. These things can affect your health. 
  • “Has anyone in our family ever felt really sad or worried all the time?” Mental health is also important to ask about. 
  • “Do we have health problems that seem to happen to lots of people in the family?” Check if the same health problems happen in different generations. This can be important too.  

Your family’s health history is like a map that can help you understand your health better. This Family Health History Day, take some time during holiday gatherings to talk to your family. By asking these easy questions, you’ll learn more about your family and how to stay healthy. Remember, this information can help you have a longer, healthier life.  

Looking for additional support for your health journey?

Try our free virtual Stronger Texas exercise and nutrition classes! Need accountability to stay on track with your wellness goals? Try our free Telehealth Coaching services! Looking to pursue better health in community alongside your friends or colleagues? Join us for Community Challenge!  Our 8-week statewide health competition to build and log daily health habits, starting January 8th. 

 Additional resources: 

  • CDC’s Family Health History Toolkit: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a Family Health History Toolkit that provides valuable resources and information on how to collect and use your family health history. You can find this on the CDC website. 
  • NIH’s Know Your Family Health History: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has information on the importance of knowing your family health history and its role in assessing disease risk. Check the NIH website for relevant articles and resources. 
  • American Medical Association (AMA): The AMA often provides information on the importance of family health history in healthcare. Check the AMA website or resources for relevant information. 
  • Your Healthcare Provider: Don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider about the significance of family health history. They can provide you with guidance and resources specific to your individual healthcare needs. 

Stay Connected

We use social media to share resources, tools, and information to help you, your family, and your friends live healthy lives. It’s also a great way to join and connect with a growing network of Texans committed to making living healthy easier in our great state!