A lot of people are prone to diabetes and it is usually based on lifestyle, poor food habits, etc. But genetics has a crucial role to play in diabetes too, especially type 2 diabetes, which is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. The overall understanding or the contribution of genetics towards diabetes depends on a majority of factors. Some of these are discussed below-
Over the years scientists have linked gene mutations to risks of higher levels of diabetes. However, it doesn’t imply that everyone with genetic mutation would be prone to diabetes. But if you have one or more of the mutations it is possible that you are prone to diabetes. These mutations are not hereditary, but happen over time because of external and internal factors.
Heredity and family links
The next genetic factor that plays a crucial role here is family history. The genes from the parents are carried forward to their kids and that is why genetics has an impact on those who get diabetes. However, in case of medical history of the parents, there are more than just one genes to be blamed. For instance, someone who has very lazy and sedentary parents would likely be getting those genes from them. The same theory applies to their food habits and lifestyle. Obese parents tend to have obese kids because of the genetic factor. So diabetes is not really caused because of a gene in this case, it does lay the foundation of getting the disease.
What research shows?
Researches were conducted on twins, which revealed that (to a certain extent) it was the combination of genes, with environmental factors, which caused diabetes and not genes alone. But some genetic mutations are highly to be blamed for being a hindrance in glucose regulation. Some of the genes responsible for diabetes are TCF7L2, that has a direct impact on the insulin secretion and glucose production. Then there is the ulfonylurea urea receptor (ABCC8) that aids in regulating insulin. Along with this, certain races are more prone to some genetic mutations. These include calpain 10 genes, which are found in many Mexican Americans who are diabetic.
How to determine if you have those genes?
Ideally there is no need to undergo strict processes or tests for these genes. You can check your-
• body mass index (BMI)
• family history
• high blood pressure
• elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels
• history of gestational diabetes
The above-mentioned factors give you a clearer picture of you being prone to diabetes. Genetic impact is something that cannot really be changed. But what you can do here is focus on preventing the same. Opting for a healthier lifestyle that includes eating fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and adapting a more active lifestyle is highly recommended here. With these lifestyle changes, you can reduce the impact of the genes and minimise your risks of getting diabetes.
genes and heredity