4 Important Family Traits To Note

Family traits are genetic likenesses that can be passed down from one generation to the next. Scientifically, these are known as phenotypic traits but are often simply called just traits. Traits are not guaranteed to be passed down. They can also be passed down in an inert form, which is often casually referred to as skipping a generation. A trait can be as simple as the shape of your nose or the color of your hair or as complex as a health disorder or disposition to alcoholism. With that in mind, there are four family traits that we all should heed.

1. Genetic Health Disorders 

There are multiple types of genetic inheritance. These inheritances include monogenetic, multifactorial, chromosome abnormalities and mitochondrial. Monogenetic means single gene, and these disorders can include cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis. Some disorders can manifest early in life. Others can emerge as we grow older, and these are the ones we should heed. If a particular disorder is common in your family, you can be tested it for it throughout your life as well as take precautions, such as a particular diet that may potentially stave off the complication. Note that such genetic dispositions don’t have to be demonstrated and can be determined through DNA testing as well.

2. Genetic Mental Disorders 

Disorders passed down from one generation to the next are not necessarily physical in nature. Even the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recognizes that alcoholism is in some part genetic. Such dispositions can be identified through genetic testing as well, or they can be witnessed firsthand. If potential problems exist, then a person can take steps to avoid bad behaviors or at least seek professional assistance when those behaviors are unavoidable.

3. Traits Related to Aging 

Something that may not be so apparent via DNA testing but can be monitored by noting family members is how your family ages in general. If you’re a male and most of the men in your family begin to bald in their forties, then this can be a warning sign. Balding may not be a concern for you, but if is, there are preventative steps that you can take, including dietary additions and scalp massages. If you’re a female and the women in your family often have issues with osteoporosis in their senior years, then this is something you can monitor for as well.

4. Negative Personality Traits 

All of us are better able to note personality flaws in others than ourselves. It’s human nature. However, if you note a personality characteristic common among your family that you don’t like, watch for it in your own behavior. You may be exhibiting your Uncle Bob’s inclination to interrupt, for example, without even realizing it.

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