Though much is still not known about why some people get NTM lung disease and others do not, we do know that certain diseases can make someone more vulnerable to becoming infected.
Some of these underlying causes, such as Cystic Fibrosis and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, are genetic in origin and as such, usually run in families. Past generations did not have the advantages of testing for genetic markers of these diseases; however, knowing the symptoms that might have shown up in previous generations of your family can also provide clues to possible underlying susceptibility to infection.
This is why it is so important to have as complete a family health history as possible for your doctors. This information may provide vital clues as to your underlying vulnerabilities to infection, which may in turn impact the treatment you receive and how you adjust to mitigate possible exposure to NTM and other pathogens.
Click here for a comprehensive family medical history form. Though it is lengthy, it may prompt you to remember things about your family members’ health that you might have previously forgotten.