Why do generations of families develop diabetes? Have you been wondering whether your children will develop it too?
Have you thought genetics play a big role? Genes alone are not enough. Other factors are to blame.
Although, type 1 and type 2 diabetes have absolutely different causes.
There is the likelihood that you will inherit the disease. Something in the environment will trigger it.
According to the American Diabetes Association, identical twins have identical genes. Yet one twin can have type 1. The other will get it only half the time.
Yet, if one twin has type 2 diabetes, the other twin’s risk is maybe 3 in 4.
TYPE 1 DIABETES
In many cases of type 1, people inherit the risk factors from both parents.
The cold weather is a trigger for type 1 diabetes.
In addition, a virus with mild effects on people could trigger type 1 diabetes.
So, it could take many years to develop type 1.
Experiments followed relatives of people with type 1.
Researchers found those who got diabetes had certain autoantibodies in their blood. (Antibodies are proteins that destroy bacteria or viruses. Autoantibodies are antibodies gone bad; attack the body’s own tissues).
TYPE 2 DIABETES
Type 2 diabetes has a much stronger link to family history. A very strong likelihood that genetics plays a role.
Also, the development of type 2 diabetes may be influenced by lifestyle.
For example, if obesity runs in the family; most families have similar eating and exercise habits.
Whether lifestyle factors or genetics, it could be difficult to figure out which one.
DOES GENETICS PLAY A ROLE?
Finally, we can see why generations of families develop diabetes. There are many factors that play a role. Certainly, genetics alone are not enough. In other words, family history, genetics, cold weather, viruses, and autoantibodies could all play a role.
Do you have a family member that has diabetes?