Long Island

How Strongly Do Genetics Influence Health?

How Genetics Affect Your Health

The genes that are in virtually every human cell account for why we generally take after our parents in terms of physical traits, skin tone and hair color. Genetics can also have positive effects on certain health traits, including our longevity. However, there are plenty of bad traits that can also be inherited, including certain diseases and a proclivity to other ailments. These are considered genetic disorders. It is for these types of problems where help is available at the Sisselman Medical Group on Long Island.

When Genetic Principles Go Bad

Thousands of genetic disorders have been identified by modern medicine, some of which are extremely rare and others easily recognized. Asthma and epilepsy are among the more common conditions that are thought to be inherited, as is the susceptibility to cancer and heart disease. Some inherited diseases affect a person’s metabolism, which is the way the body absorbs food products and converts them into energy. Genetics are believed to be a factor in diabetes, which is a relatively common metabolic ailment in which the body fails to produce or properly at least utilize the hormone insulin.

Facing the Reality of Genetic Disorders

Understanding your predisposition to disease based on your family history is important to your general well-being. Although you may have inherited a parent’s susceptibility to heart disease, you can still take steps to reduce your own risk through lifestyle changes. Your diabetic condition may have been inherited, but you may still be able to control the symptoms through diet and proper weight maintenance. However, your ability to cope with these types of health issues may also require intervention by a doctor who specializes in genetic disorders.