Certain genetic conditions can have major impacts on peoples’ lives, and it’s important that you and your spouse know of any genetic conditions that either of you may pass to your offspring. Making yourself aware of these genetic conditions will allow the two of you to take precautions to ensure a better life for your children as well as yourselves. Here are four potential genetic conditions that may affect you or your spouse.

Cancer

Certain forms of cancer are known to be hereditary, and it’s important for you and your spouse to review your family medical histories to identify any possible genetic links that might put either one of you at greater risk. Breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers are among the most common hereditary cancers. Certain gene mutations that can be passed to offspring are known to increase the risk of developing specific cancers and are more commonly found in people who have Ashkenazi Jewish, French, Dutch, or Norwegian ethnicity. These are also forms of cancer to be aware of for you and your spouse in the future so you can do regular preventative testing.

Fibromyalgia

This condition causes widespread pain throughout the body and affects more women than men. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but the condition can often be managed well with medications and physical therapy. Regular exercise and getting enough sleep can also alleviate symptoms. Even if you and your spouse haven’t been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, either one of you could be carrying genes that put any future children at risk. A reliable MTHFR home test kit can be used to look for any genetic indicators that are linked to fibromyalgia. Check with your relatives to see if you have a history of fibromyalgia on either side of your family.

Huntington’s Disease

People who suffer from Huntington’s disease experience a breakdown of the brain’s nerve cells. The breakdown of cells can result in severe physical and mental dysfunctions. Psychiatric disorders may also develop from Huntington’s disease. Symptoms of the condition often include involuntary body movements, a lack of behavioral awareness and irrational thoughts of death or suicide, but these symptoms can also be related to other conditions and should be evaluated by trained health care providers. Currently there is no treatment for Huntington’s disease, but symptoms can be managed by some prescriptions.

Mental Illness

Even mental illness can often have genetic causes. Certain genetic factors can put people more at risk for developing depression and severe anxiety in their lifetimes. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are also known to be hereditary in some cases. Having a genetic makeup that increases the risk of developing any of these conditions doesn’t mean that a person will automatically be affected by them since environmental factors also play contributing roles. These are all good things to know a history of, particularly if you have children who are entering their teen years. The teen years are prime time for mental illness to begin to display.

Knowing the genetic conditions that can be inherited and getting the proper testing can give you and your spouse some peace of mind. This knowledge can be used to plan for your lives as well as for the lives of any children that you may have better.