You know the term “I got it from my mother?” Well as well as hair colour, eye colour and your ‘unique’ laugh, you can unfortunately apply that to some unwanted health conditions too.

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The health experts from The Whiteley Clinic have highlighted five surprising but common conditions that you might have inherited from your mum or dad.


If one parent suffers from migraines then, unfortunately, you will have a 50% chance of developing this too.

And if both your parents suffer, there’s even more chance you will.

A health expert commented: “Although there is a good chance that genetics play a role in someone being prone to migraines in the first place, there are several common factors which are known to trigger them off.

“These include fatigue, overexertion, processed foods, cheese or changes to daily routine.”

Varicose veins

Internationally leading varicose veins expert and founder of The Whiteley Clinic, Professor Mark Whiteley says that, contrary to popular belief, the biggest influence on varicose veins is your parents – and what genes they gave you.

“In reality, up to 30% of all adults will be affected by varicose veins in their lifetime and they can strike at any time of life. As with the majority of medical conditions, they are more common the older one gets but that doesn’t stop young people getting them if their genes determine it,” he explains.

“I recently operated on a 12-year-old boy with severe varicose veins and have had many patients in their teens. Weight has no influence on the development of varicose veins whatsoever and it is also not true that men are more likely to get varicose veins than women.”

Grey hair

Scientists at the University College London recently discovered the first gene - known as IRF4 - for turning hair grey, and in the process revealed that some men are probably born with an inherited tendency to go grey before their time.

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Dr Kaustubh Adhikari, from University College London, says: "We already know several genes involved in balding and hair colour but this is the first time a gene for greying has been identified in humans, as well as other genes influencing hair shape and density.”


According to The Whiteley Clinic, the chance of developing Eczema is increased if your parents have it and 50% of children with eczema have one or more atopic parents.

Atopy is the inherited predisposition to the development of eczema, asthma and hayfever as an allergic response.

As well as genetic factors, eczema does also have a couple of key triggers such as cold and dry environments and eating particularly allergenic foods including dairy products.

Dr Susan Mayou Consultant Dermatologist at leading London clinic Cadogan Cosmetics comments: “Many people find their skin condition gets worse in the summer, due to sweating. In these situations eczema usually occurs in the body’s creases, for example behind the elbow and knees.

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“In these situations you need to make sure the areas are kept clean and dry, and use an anti-inflammatory cream.”

IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Research from the University of Sydney has revealed that people who suffer from IBS are more than twice as likely to have a close relative who suffers from the condition too, than those who don’t says The Whiteley Clinic.

A diagnosis is usually reached by process of elimination – after some other, more serious, problems such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease have been ruled out.

Although there is no cure as such, IBS can in most cases be managed by simple lifestyle changes including dietary alterations.