Family Medicine, Uncomfortable life saving questions

Doctors are not gossiping: Why your old Health History Matters now?


Having regular check ups, you can help practitioners establishing a baseline understanding of your health. On these encounters your physician collects some information about you so if there are problems later on, they can often refer to your medical history for clues about the diagnosis and a personalized management. This might save you a lot of trouble down the road. But what exactly is a Health History?

Formally is a collection of information about a person’s health.

Our Health is the result of the biological, psychological and social balance in a good interaction with the environment and we are a connected unit where what happens in your head matters to your foot; that’s why the personal medical history may include information about allergies, illnesses, surgeries, immunizations, and results of physical exams, tests, and screenings. It may also recollect data about medicines taken and health habits, such as diet and exercise. It might record aspect even from your birth date or from the period that you were in your mothers womb.

The also called personal health record, gathers some private information about your sexual behaviour, social conditions, job, family situation that could seem to you uncomfortable and extremely personal but believe me when I say that all of these matters to understand your health status; but let’s check it out step by step.

Personal data

Undeniably your age or genetic gender determine your predisposition to have certain health conditions. As we age the risk for many diseases increases so we are not asking about it with the animosity of giving you a birthday present. Don’t forget I say genetic gender, you can’t lose sight from the fact that transgender patients could have problems concerning to the sex which they were born.

Birth details

Even if most of the effects of preterm birth are seen at childhood, some studies claim that in persons who were a result of premature birth,  the overall evidence indicates that this is associated with modestly increased mortality in early to mid-adulthood; also the incidence of diseases like Hypertension, growth and intellectual or learning development are somehow affected, prematurity and long hospital stays were related to poorer health, life and job satisfaction in adulthood, also relationship dissatisfaction. Of course, there is genetics and then we have individualities and particular environment.

Family History

A complete record includes information from three generations of relatives, including children, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, and cousins. Families have many factors in common, including their genes, environment, and lifestyle. Together, these factors can give clues to medical conditions that may run in a family. By noticing patterns of disorders among relatives, healthcare professionals can determine whether an individual, other family members, or future generations may be at an increased risk of developing a particular condition.

Personal Illnesses

Diseases from birth date that could be communicable like Chickenpox or chronic like Asthma. Mental Health related disorders are also included. Recurrent conditions without an specific diagnosis like a recurrent lumbar pain or persistent headaches are significant too.


It’s always good to inform your treating doctor if you are taking any medication to avoid interaction with a new one, or to ensure that  an indication given will not do any predictable harm.


Surgeries may be the reason why you have that abdominal hernia now; also it help to exclude diagnosis like when you have an abdominal pain but your Appendix was removed so doctors immediately look for another cause. It may also indicate that you haven’t react to an anesthetic before.

Blood Group and Transfusions

It is important saying if you have had blood troubles before or hemorrhages or severe  anaemia that required transfusion and if you did react in a bad way..


Any fracture, accident or physical aggression suffered might be the cause that you have a post-traumatic pain now. Sometimes the origen is on a trauma from childhood but now that we have more “accumulated youth” the sequels are starting to bother us.

Toxic Habits

The link between legal or illegal substances use or abuse, and diseases like cancer, infertility or mental disorder is way demonstrated.

Food and medicine allergies

To avoid reactions to treatments or to exclude and substituting certain items from a diet.

Life habits

Includes sleep habits, recreation, activities timing, etc. that may be an indicator of stress or anxiety.

Psychosocial history

Includes Patient identification and personal data, Conditions of the interview, Birth and development, Family environment, School History, Labor History, Psychosexual and Marriage History, Interests, religious, philosophical and political attitude and How do you feel regarding your current health status.

Whenever you suffer a sickness you can’t magically separate your past health history from what is happening now or even with how your body is expected to react ; there is always a link between the answer to those uncomfortable questions and the indications that your physician will give you.

Growing a good relationship with your practitioner based on the universal variables of trust and honesty may guarantee positive outcomes when dealing with health issued.


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