Health Conditions That Were a Gift From Your Parents

Have you ever wondered why you and your sibling(s) have some common problems like acne, tendency to gain weight, a gluten allergy or even rosacea? You can thank one or both of your parents for that because these and some other conditions can be hereditary in nature.

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the health conditions that our parents unknowingly pass on to us.

Hereditary Health Conditions to Look Out For

While it might be a good thing to inherit your mother’s beautiful eyes or your father’s height, conditions like wheezing, heart diseases and bipolar disorder are not welcome gifts.

Here are common hereditary conditions that you didn’t know you could inherit from your parents:

  • Breast cancer

It is common knowledge that breast cancer can be hereditary, even among extended family. But it is important to understand that personal risk is determined only by your own health conditions and lifestyle. So, make it a point to talk to your doctor to understand your personal risk of developing breast cancer.

  • Toned muscles

Having toned muscles is everyone’s dream, but for some, it is a natural feature. Experts believe that specific gene patterns help people get toned even without much physical exertion.

  • High cholesterol

If you are wondering why your cholesterol is high despite your healthy eating and exercise habits, your genes may be to blame. A condition called familial hypercholesterolemia can hamper the body’s ability to process cholesterol and may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • Alzheimer’s disease

Do you know what polygenic inheritance means? It defines conditions like Alzheimer’s disease that are caused by a combination of genetic patterns, personal lifestyle habits and environmental factors.

  • Postpartum depression

Studies show that nearly 10 percent of mothers can develop postpartum depression (PPD) and experts believe that there is a genetic connection to this condition. So, if you are pregnant and have heard your mother talk about her PPD, it may be beneficial to talk to her and your own doctor about possible ways to handle it.

  • Melanoma

Specific gene mutations have been known to cause hereditary melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Your risk can be greater if you have other traits like extremely fair skin and a higher tendency to get sunburned.

  • Celiac disease

Celiac disease may run in families and can increase your risk if you have a parent or parents with the condition. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that diminishes the body’s ability to process gluten. Even if you skip through childhood without any symptoms, watch out for adult symptoms like osteoporosis, depression and weight loss.

  • Asthma and wheezing

Nearly three-fifths of all diagnosed cases of asthma and wheezing may be hereditary and studies show that having one parent who suffers from the condition can increase your risk by six times.

  • Rosacea

If your facial skin has a tendency to be red and inflamed, you may want to blame your parents for giving you rosacea. Your ethnicity might also increase your chance of developing rosacea, so, if you are Scottish or of eastern European descent watch out for symptoms.

  • Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and experts have listed over 50 markers that confirm the genetic link of heart disease. The positive aspect is that your personal lifestyle can, however, help lower the risk.

  • Osteoporosis

Studies show that there is a genetic link to osteoporosis and if one or both of your parents have low bone density, you may want to take precaution by taking the right supplements and exercising regularly.

While these and other conditions like alcoholism, morning sickness, early menopause, color blindness, skin allergies, dental problems and bipolar disorder may be hereditary, it is up to you to understand your risks and learn how to deal with certain diagnoses.


17, S. S. (n.d.). Things Your Parents’ Health Reveals About You. Retrieved from