Medical Advisors on How to Prevent Hereditary Diseases
There are things we don’t choose. For example, parents. They can give us not only love and affection but sometimes hereditary diseases.
What diseases do we most often inherit? How can we minimize risks and protect ourselves in time? How can we stay healthy? Read our article.
Heart disease – how to protect yourself
According to cardiologists, cardiovascular diseases continue to occupy the first place due to mortality in the world.
For example, 30% of hypertension cases are inherited. 50% is due to external factors. But what are these factors? Sedentary lifestyle, stress, addiction to salty food. These factors also come from the family. How can a child know that regular physical activity is needed if his parents had dinner in the evening and then sat down to watch TV? He did not go to sports sections, he ran away from physical education. How can a person reduce the amount of salt if mom has been salting food too much all her life? How does a child know how to cope with stress if he has not seen an adequate model of behavior from his parents?
With all this baggage, children go into life and get hypertension. Moreover, 2/3 of people are not even aware of this problem. They learn about it when they already have to compensate for it with heavy medical artillery.
Therefore, if you know that your family members have had hypertension or other cardiovascular problems, then it is in your best interest to think about your future. First, see your cardiologist regularly and take the medications you are prescribed. Second, change your lifestyle. Regular physical activity – running, swimming, gymnastics, whatever. Reduce your salt intake and remember that there is hidden salt in common foods – ketchup, cheese, ham. And learn to live stress-free.
Watch your weight
Nutritionists note that in families where both parents are thin, obesity in children is almost never found (only 8% of cases). With obesity of one of the parents, it is likely in 40% of cases, with obesity of both parents – in 80% or more. 85% of obese daughters have the same physique as their mothers.
Childhood obesity is often defined as an abnormality in the weight / height ratio exceeding the ideal body weight by 20%. A skin fold on the abdomen will help to estimate the child’s weight – if it is more than 3 cm, then it is time to lose weight. By the way, a double chin and too chubby cheeks are also not a sign of normal body weight in a child.
Heredity ranks third in the causes of childhood obesity, the second place is taken by endocrinological problems, and the leader is nutritional traditions adopted in the family.
Obese parents tend to carry on their eating habits and shape stereotypes in their children. And the good appetite of the child always pleases the parents. Parents in families sometimes practice food forcibly – the plate must be empty. Remember! There are no voluntarily starving children. Kids eat exactly as much as their body needs. And food in excess is safely deposited in the fat depot.
The tips are simple – change your own eating habits and at the same time form healthy habits in your child. Do not use food as a lever of education – do not punish or reward with it. At the table, encourage conscious eating – remove the TV and gadgets while eating. Prepare with dietary recipes while maintaining the daily requirement of all nutrients. Physical activity is essential for a child. It is not necessary to enroll your child in the professional sports section. For starters, you can run with him or her in the park.
Motivation and self-control are usually weaker in children than in adults. But children usually lose weight faster than adults. This is due to the intensive metabolism, with the active growth of the body.
Sports against varicose veins
Another common hereditary disease is varicose veins. As noted by the vascular surgeons, today it has been proven that a number of genes are responsible for the development of this disease. If there is a genetic factor for this disease, then sooner or later varicose veins will manifest itself.
How can you prevent it? There is only one answer. Today there is not a single reliable method of prevention. If this pathology is transmitted genetically, then the development of clinical manifestations will occur sooner or later. But it is absolutely reliably known that the earlier a person begins to play sports, the less chances that the disease will manifest itself early. The fact is that movements in the limbs, the work of the leg muscles (muscle-venous pump) normalizes venous pressure. This means it prevents the development of the disease at an early age. The mechanism has not been scientifically studied. But the practical observations of doctors speak of this. The best sports are swimming, running, yoga. This is how a person is made – he or she must move. And we live in a world where our children move less and less.
Today we can safely say that some types of cancer are hereditary. These are some types of “female” cancers (mammary gland, ovaries). In some cases, the BRCA1 gene is responsible for the development of these cancers. If there is a mutation in this gene, then the risk of developing breast cancer is 50% or more. The risk of developing ovarian cancer is 15% or more. Therefore, if women in the family had similar cancers, take a genetic test and find out your predisposition. You can take such a test in the first years of a girl’s life. Now let’s talk about both women and men. It has been proven that intestinal cancer is inherited in 10-15% of cases. This formidable disease has already moved up to 2-3 place due to mortality worldwide. It’s a shame, because 95% of cases could have been prevented. Therefore, if your family has had at least one case of polyps or bowel cancer, this means you should be especially wary. The sooner you see a coloproctologist, the better. We recommend that everyone, without exception, do an annual colonoscopy after the age of 45. Many people have a panic fear of this procedure, and of course, they are ashamed of it. Meanwhile, modern techniques make this procedure comfortable and painless. Also, now you can conduct an independent study – an immunochemical test of feces for occult blood. These tests are sold in pharmacies, and everyone is obliged to do this test regularly. If the result is positive, if there is latent blood in the stool, then it is simply indecent to postpone the colonoscopy.
Diabetes is genetically transmitted
Probably everyone has heard that diabetes is inherited. But modern medicine now gives us more information. A certain gene is responsible for the violation of fat metabolism, impaired glucose uptake and the development of type II diabetes mellitus. Genetic analysis will help you find out if this gene is broken and will determine your predisposition to diabetes.
By the way, observation can also protect against diabetes. If you don’t have diabetes in your family, look closely at your relatives. The combination of these signs should be alarming: the waist is more than 90 cm, the elbows are brown, pressure is often increased, and the toes are deformed. These are the first signs of diabetes, although tests may still be normal.
There are also diseases of the thyroid gland with a hereditary factor. Most often, these diseases occur in women, therefore, are transmitted from mother to daughter. If you have problems with the thyroid gland, if there are nodes, then monitor the health of the child. In fact, even if a child has some problems, in many cases it is possible to correct the functioning of the thyroid gland with vitamins and minerals.
And finally, osteoporosis (that is, fragility of bones) is also a hereditary disease. If you know that you had such a diagnosis in your family, someone often had fractures, then you need to first get tested for the vitamin D receptor gene VDR, the level of vitamin D. VDR is responsible for strong bones. If the analysis shows that your body lacks vitamin D, then you need to take it additionally. By the way, many people think that if they sunbathe in the summer, they get a huge amount of vitamin D. In fact, it is only absorbed before the first signs of sunburn. When your skin darkens, the vitamin passage is blocked. Therefore, vitamin D is prescribed to be taken even in summer.
How to prevent hereditary eye diseases
The number of children with eye diseases is growing every year. And heredity plays a significant role in this. People with astigmatism give birth to astigmatic children, people with myopia give birth to children who not only inherit poor vision, but their degree of myopia will be greater than that of dad or mom. According to the children’s eye surgeons, poor eyesight for a child is not only the need to wear glasses but also often one of the reasons for school failure, psychological problems with peers and even limitations in choosing a profession. It’s hard to imagine a runner or ballerina with glasses.
It is impossible to prevent a child from developing vision problems. Earlier such hereditary diseases as strabismus, astigmatism, hyperopia, etc. were practically a sentence, but today you can successfully treat these diseases. In some cases, glasses can be removed at an early school age and, as a teenager, the child will avoid problems associated with his/her own attractiveness for the opposite sex. We can manage to stop myopia at small degrees and prevent growth to minus 6-7-9. The most important thing is to detect the disease in time and start treatment in time, and then the child will be able to look at the world with a clear eye.
As you know, we do not choose parents. But it is within our power to choose what our life will be like and what our health will be like.
Tags: genetics, hereditary, medicine, treatment