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My family has a history of diabetes? Does that put me at a genetic risk for the same?

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posted Jun 8, 2016 by Swaroop

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1 Answer

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Unfortunately, it is true that genetics does impact your sugar levels and thus diabetes can be blamed on heredity. There is no doubt that many factors are responsible for causing diabetes and these include nutrition, the kind of lifestyle you have and even obesity. But type 2 diabetes is often caused because of a hereditary component.

In most cases, those who are diagnosed with the type 2 diabetes are likely to blame genetics for the same. Comparatively, the chances of getting type1 diabetes because of genetics are lower. However, it cannot be ruled out completely.

  • Type1 diabetes is not something that is inherited but some genes can be passed on at a 1st degree level. There is a 6 in 100 chance of an individual getting diabetes, as compared to 1 in 300 - for someone with no diabetic medical history in the family.

  • For Type 2, there is a 1 in 7 chance that you will get the same by the age of 50, if your parents had it. If both your parents had the same, then there is a much higher chance of you getting it too. But along with genes, type 2 diabetes is also blamed on obesity and sedate lifestyle, which makes a contribution here.

That said, several gene mutations have been associated with type 2 diabetes risk. None of these genes cause diabetes on their own. Instead, they interact with environmental factors — for instance, toxins, viruses, and foods — and each other to increase your risk.

The genes that are responsible for diabetes include-
• Ones like TCF7L2 that are involved in production of glucose and insulin
• Genes like sulfonylurea urea receptor (ABCC8) that determine how the levels of glucose are sensed in the body
• Other genes like glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) and glucagon receptor (GCGR) that take care of the regulation of insulin and remove insulin from pancreas.

So based on these, you do have a higher risk of getting diabetes due to genetic factors.

answer Jun 8, 2016 by Joseph