My Family Health History Essay Structure

How to organize

The family health history information you collect can be written down or typed into the computer. It is important to write down all of the information so it makes sense to you, your family, and your healthcare provider. We have included some ideas below to help you organize your information.

Family health portrait

A family health portrait is like a family tree showing family members and their health. Because it is a simple picture of your family health history, it can be easily shared with your healthcare provider. Turn to page 18 for more information.

Isabel’s story

My grandmother died of a massive heart attack when she was 39 years old. Even though my mother was so careful about healthcare for our family, she did not know that she had a very serious heart condition. She felt just fine, but during a routine checkup two years ago, a doctor discovered my mother’s uncontrollable heart arrhythmia. Mom was taken to the hospital immediately, and a cardiac pacemaker was implanted the following day. Since the doctors knew my grandmother had died of a heart attack at a young age, they took my mother’s symptoms very seriously.

This knowledge about my mother’s and grandmother’s health scares me, but I feel it is good to know. I know you can feel healthy but have a serious health condition. Whenever I go for my checkups, I always talk to my doctor about my grandmother’s and mother’s heart conditions. She checks my heart thoroughly and always runs a special test on it because of my family health history.

Though I can’t change what happened to my mom and grandmother, I can use the information to manage my health better and lower my risk of heart disease.

Healthcare Provider Card

Online (, you will find a card to fill out and bring to your provider. The card focuses on concerns you have about your family health history. It also gives your provider more information on how to best use your family health history to figure out your risk for getting a disease.

Family health portrait

If you have access to the Internet, you can use the U.S. Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait to create a family health history tree on your computer.


You can also draw your own family health portrait. Use the example on the next page to help guide you.

Instructions for drawing a family health portrait

• Write your name and the date at the top of a large piece of paper.

• Draw yourself at the center using a square if you are a man or a circle if you are a woman.

• Draw your parents above you and label each symbol with his or her name and birth date (or approximate age).

• Draw a line between them and then draw a line down to you.

• When possible, draw your brothers and sisters and your parents’ brothers and sisters from oldest to youngest, going from left to right across the paper.

• Add the health information you collected for each individual.

• Add the ancestry and any other information you have collected.

Kim’s story

Essay on Family Health History

1475 WordsMar 9th, 20116 Pages

Americans today are faced with a number of health issues, mainly as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, and lifestyle choices; but, of course, genetics does play a part. My family, for example, has a history of several issues. My father suffers from diabetes and asthma, which my children have as well. My older sister and I both suffer from stress, which is most likely causing our chronic heartburn and my headaches; and, both my husband and I are borderline obese, which is a gateway disease to many others. While some of these issues are linked genetically, many of them are due to lifestyle, which can be viewed as both negative and positive. Negative because we brought these ailments onto ourselves, but positive because we can…show more content…

This results in severe attacks, requiring a trip to the hospital emergency room. As stated earlier, my three children also have asthma, which is in no doubt genetically linked to my father— their grandfather. Fortunately, they have mild symptoms, and inhalers are only needed during cold and flu season as a preventative measure. However, they are at higher risk of developing pneumonia or bronchitis due to their asthmatic predisposition, and unfortunately, there has been previous winters when this has happened. Because of this, as soon as any of the children have signs of a cold, they are immediately treated with their inhalers.

Stress is simply a fact of nature—forces from the outside world affecting the individual. These forces are related to both internal and external factors. External factors include the physical environment, such as one’s job, school, or home, relationships with others and all the situations and challenges one confronts on a daily basis. Internal factors include one’s overall health and fitness levels, diet, emotional well-being and the amount of sleep one gets. How an individual responds to these factors vary, as well as the symptoms associated with it. My sister and I both have stress for various and different reasons, but we do share similar symptoms. We have both reported sleep disturbances and lack of sleep, as well as chronic heartburn. Other symptoms I have experienced are moodiness, headaches and bruxism

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