Is Diabetes Genetic? Understand Diabetes Better

Most of the people who get diagnosed with diabetes wonder that if they got their problems from their parents or it’s just a bad luck.

They wonder what’s the real cause for this problem.
Is it a genetic effect?
Or is caused by bad lifestyle habit?

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Generally, the person who got diagnosed with this problem feel guilty about himself and regret not spending enough time in the gym.
They believe that if they would have exercised enough, they could have avoided this problem.

Sure, lifestyle factors are one of the reasons for getting Type 2 diabetes but it is not the sole ones. There are multiple factors which are outside your control and no matter how much time you spend exercising, you may still end up getting diabetes.

So, if you are just diagnosed, stop blaming yourself for this disease.

Another problem that crippled diabetics around the world is the genetic factor.
Will my child get diabetes due to my genes?
What are the chances?
What can we do to avoid this situation?

Sure, imagining your children suffer from this problem may be heartbreaking and every diabetic is fearful of this situation.

Here in this article, we will try to understand the genetic effect of diabetes.

Is diabetes Genetic? do genes play any role for development of this problem

Why someone gets diabetes?

You may have understood by now that there’s two major type of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2.
Both of them are very different from each other, while Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune problem caused by the development of harmful antibodies in the blood, Type 2 diabetes is generally termed as Lifestyle disorder.

In spite of being so different from each other, 2 factors are termed to be important for the development of diabetes.

1. Genes
2. Environment

Don’t get me wrong, multiple factors come into play for a person getting diagnosed with diabetes. These two’s are just part of them.


Type 1 diabetes heredity factors?
Type 1 diabetes which is also known as juvenile diabetes due to its crippling effects of children, may not be the most prevalent form of diabetes, but it still affects the lives of millions around the world.
Lets us try to understand what role genes play:

1. Genes
Genes are the most crucial factor that is responsible for the development of this problem. In fact, it’s been found that:
a. if the father has type 1 diabetes, there is 10% chance that the child will also develop this problem; while if the mother is Type 1 diabetic than the risk get reduced to 4%
However, if any of the parents got diagnosed before the age of 11, their child risk may increase more than the above-mentioned figures.

b. if one of your siblings is suffering from Type 1 diabetes, then the other sibling has 10% increased risk of getting this problem by the age of 50

So basically, the chance of getting type 1 diabetes increased by huge proportion if any of the parent or siblings are affected by this disease.
2. Environment
While genes do play a crucial role in determining diabetes risk, there are environmental factors too that are also important.
You may have come across cases in which you found that one of the twins suffer from this condition while the others do not; this can be explained by other environmental factors.

a. Cold Weather
Its been found that people living farther from the equator (in close climate) are vulnerable than others. That’s why Type 1 affected children living in the European nation (mostly Scandinavian countries) are more than their Asian Counterparts


colder areas have more people with Type 1 diabetes


b. Viruses
Some Viruses can activate Type 1 diabetes.
you may have come across a case where a child got diagnosed with Type 1 after recovery from viruses infections.

c. Early Diet
Some evidence has been found that early diet of the child can reduce the vulnerability of child to get Type 1 diabetes. It’s been said that those children who are fed with breast milk have slightly less chance to develop this problem.

You can see that there are multiple factors that come into play while determining the development of Type 1 diabetes in any child. And most of the factors are not under the control of the individual, hence its high time for people to understand that getting diabetes may not be the fault of that affected person.

Diabetics are already suffering a lot; there is lots of testing, medication and self-discipline involve in this problem. So if you know any person who is suffering from this problem, instead of criticising them try to understand their challenges and support them if they need any.

Remember, this can happen to your own family!!


Is Type 2 Diabetes hereditary?
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes around the world.
In fact, 90% of the people suffering from suffering from diabetes are Type 2.

There is popular notion that Type 2 diabetes only occurs when a person is not maintaining a

healthy lifestyle.

But, is it only a lifestyle problem?
Does a person living an active lifestyle will never get Type 2 diabetes?
or is there any gene play in this form also?

Genes do play an important role in the development of Type 2 diabetes.
In fact, the correlation is stronger than the Type 1 diabetes development.

That means, even if you live healthy lifestyle and exercise daily, you may still end up getting Type 2 diabetes due to genetic reasons.

There are research from American Diabetes Association that states that:

If one of your parents gets diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes before the age of 50, the chances that you will also develop the condition as well is around 14%
But if they get diagnosed after 50 years of age, then the percentage gets reduced to half i.e. 7%

However, one thing also needs to keep in mind that, apart from genes, a family also transfers certain habits to their children. For example, the way of thinking, outlook, eating habits etc are the things that children get from their parents.

Some child adopts fast food lifestyle only because their parents are used to that habit or some child use to take life more seriously and take a lot of stress because their parents also did that.
These unhealthy habits get transferred to generation and play role in causing problems like diabetes.

If you are a diabetic parent, check that your unhealthy eating habits are not getting transferred to your children. Your child is already susceptible due to your genes, so adopting healthy environment can somewhat help your children to adopt it at the early age.


How can we minimize the risk?
As I said earlier that genes do play important role in diabetes development and as of now we do nothing about it.

The best thing we can do is to understand things which are under our control and do something about it to reduce our diabetes risk.

Here I am listing some of the factors which can help you to reduce the risk

1. Adopt Low Carb Lifestyle
Try to avoid junk food or items that are high in carbohydrates.
This helps to reduce pressure on your pancreas and prevent it from further damage as the more carb you eat, the more pancreas has to work to produce insulin.

Also, if you are already diagnosed with diabetes, eating low carb can help you control your blood sugar effectively and also reduce your medication/insulin requirements.
Find out foods that don’t raise your blood sugar 

2. Exercise daily
you can visit a blog named diabetes strong
the blog is run by Type 1 diabetic and suggests different exercise options for people living with diabetes

3. Check Blood sugar

If any of your parents are diabetic, it is wise for you to get your blood sugar checked at least every 6 months. There are people who are living with diabetes for years with no idea that they have this problem, and when they get ultimately got diagnosed, the high sugar has already done damage to their body organs.
Blood Sugar Numbers that every diabetic should target

4. Don’t take stress

Taking too much stress can also activate your diabetic genes.

Understand your body requirements.
Do you get irritated easily?
Do you overthink any situation?
do you get stressed out easily?

If yes, then think about a life that doesn’t make you stressed out all the time.
Choose a profession that makes you happy and allows you to have some personal time with your family.


Final Word
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