Your future health: Having a conversation with mom

Archive, Month, November

Knowing mom’s health and history can help in preparing for yours.

When looking toward the future, planning out years and decades ahead, one of the biggest — and, potentially, most impactful — aspects of life can be your health.

For any woman, the answer for what’s to come can be found from a very familiar source: Mom.

Mom always seemed to have the answers to life’s big questions, so why shouldn’t she be the first place to look when trying to plan for your future well-being?

She may also prove to be the most reliable and accurate source: women are more prone to several health conditions based on their genetics.

To plan for your future health, the best thing all women can do is to have a conversation with Mom.

Some questions to ask

How’s your heart feeling?

Has there been any history of heart attacks or stroke in her family? Also, is she feeling any symptoms that are often associated with heart disease (which present differently in females)?

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stomach pain

Any issues surrounding pregnancy and birth?

This can extend from the beginning of efforts to conceive to postpartum and through breastfeeding, any notable issues or complications can also be experienced a generation later.

Did you ever have chronic migraines?

Not the average headache, migraines can come with nausea, sensitivity to light and sound and significant pain that can last hours and leave the sufferer with lingering effects for days.

Approx. 90 percent of migraine sufferers have family that also experienced the condition.

How was your menopause experience?

The mother-daughter menstrual experience is closely related. A daughter’s cycle can (and often does) reflect her mother’s.

Which (if any) cancers have run in your family?

The most common forms of cancer among women — ovarian and breast — can be passed via genetics from mother to daughter.

Knowing which cancers daughters have an increased risk for will allow them to notify their doctor and potentially receive a revised screening schedule.

How’s your current behavioral health?

As anyone ages, the chances increase that struggles with emotional health come about, and can be signaled by a history of depression, anxiety or other mood disorders.

Knowing Mom’s history and current condition, as well as seriously considering your own, will allow daughters to discuss any issues with their physician.

Has your height changed?

In what is most likely a sign of poor bone health, a shrinking height can be a sign that preventive measures can be taken by the daughter to increase bone health.

These activities include:

  • Exercise
  • Low-fat diet
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements
  • Soy and dairy products