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Does Type 1 Diabetes Run In Families

All In The Family: Life With Multiple Kids With Diabetes

All In The Family: Life With Multiple Kids With Diabetes

Living with diabetes is a challenge for anyone, but imagine caring for a family in which six of eight children are living with type 1! Yes, that's right: A family in Utah has six of eight brothers and sisters living with diabetes, and that could very well be a record (!), though not one that any family desires. Amazing D-mom Kirsten Schull has been advocating on behalf of her six children with diabetes (CWDs) since the first diagnosis came 15 years ago. Since then, they've gone through every level of schooling and just about every type of D-situation imaginable. Not to mention the basic issues of differing D-routines and what must be the extraordinarily high cost of medical supplies for the family. We are truly in awe -- and delighted to be sharing their story today, via our correspondent Mike Lawson: Special to the 'Mine by Mr. Mike Lawson I struggle to find matching socks. It's not that I don't own many pairs of matching socks and therefore the task is challenging. My problem is that on many mornings, before drinking my coffee, the act of opening the sock drawer and using my mental energy to pick out two identical socks is just too much to bear. For this reason, I am blown away when I hear about parents who wake up each morning and not only remember to feed their children and put matching socks onto their young feet, but even sometimes manage to find a matching pair for themselves. Now throw diabetes into this mix, and I'm dumbfounded. There are many great diabetes advocates who have became engaged and involved because their children have been diagnosed with diabetes, but what's even more astounding to me are the super-parents out there who juggle multiple diagnoses in their families. Did you know that having one child with diabetes statistically raises the risk of yo Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a disorder characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels. In this form of diabetes, specialized cells in the pancreas called beta cells stop producing insulin. Insulin controls how much glucose (a type of sugar) is passed from the blood into cells for conversion to energy. Lack of insulin results in the inability to use glucose for energy or to control the amount of sugar in the blood. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age; however, it usually develops by early adulthood, most often starting in adolescence. The first signs and symptoms of the disorder are caused by high blood sugar and may include frequent urination (polyuria), excessive thirst (polydipsia), fatigue, blurred vision, tingling or loss of feeling in the hands and feet, and weight loss. These symptoms may recur during the course of the disorder if blood sugar is not well controlled by insulin replacement therapy. Improper control can also cause blood sugar levels to become too low (hypoglycemia). This may occur when the body's needs change, such as during exercise or if eating is delayed. Hypoglycemia can cause headache, dizziness, hunger, shaking, sweating, weakness, and agitation. Uncontrolled type 1 diabetes can lead to a life-threatening complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. Without insulin, cells cannot take in glucose. A lack of glucose in cells prompts the liver to try to compensate by releasing more glucose into the blood, and blood sugar can become extremely high. The cells, unable to use the glucose in the blood for energy, respond by using fats instead. Breaking down fats to obtain energy produces waste products called ketones, which can build up to toxic levels in people with type 1 diabetes, resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis. Affected individuals may begin breathin Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Genetic? Facts About Hereditary Risk

Is Diabetes Genetic? Facts About Hereditary Risk

Diabetes is a complex set of diseases with no single cause. Genetic factors make some people more vulnerable to diabetes, particularly with the right environment. In addition, certain lifestyle factors can cause type 2 diabetes in individuals with no known family history. This complex interaction between genes, lifestyle, and environment points to the importance of taking steps to minimize individual diabetes risk. Is type 1 diabetes hereditary? Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means that it causes the body's immune system to attack healthy cells. It is often called juvenile diabetes because most people are diagnosed in childhood, and the condition then lasts their lifetime. Doctors used to think type 1 diabetes was wholly genetic. Newer studies have shown, however, that children develop type 1 diabetes 3 percent of the time if their mother has the condition, 5 percent of the time if their father has it, or 8 percent if a sibling has type 1 diabetes. Consequently, researchers now believe that something in the environment has to trigger type 1 diabetes. Some risk factors include: Cold weather. People develop type 1 diabetes in winter more frequently than summer. It is also more common in places with cool climates. Viruses. Researchers think some viruses might activate type 1 diabetes in people who are otherwise vulnerable. Measles, mumps, coxsackie B virus, and rotavirus have been linked to type 1 diabetes. Research suggests that people who develop type 1 diabetes may have autoimmune antibodies in their blood for many years before showing symptoms. As a result, the disease may develop over time, or something may have to activate the autoimmune antibodies for symptoms to appear. Is type 2 diabetes hereditary? Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the d Continue reading >>

Does Type 1 Diabetes Run In Families?

Does Type 1 Diabetes Run In Families?

There maybe a family component but with Type I diabetes you will find that there are both genetic and environmental risk factors for developing diabetes. With the genetic component, forty percent of people in the United States carry the gene that is related to diabetes from one parent. It's called the HLA genes (human leukocyte antigen). However actually developing Type I diabetes is dependent on whether the person has duplicate HLA genes, one from each parent. With that said, diabetes in the family only increases one's chance of being diagnosed with diabetes by 10 to 15%. At this point in time there are only causal relationships between diabetes and family. One thing is clear is that 85% of those diagnosed with diabetes do not have a history of diabetes in their family. People with a family history of type 1 diabetes do have a slightly higher risk of developing the condition. Certain gene combinations appear to increase the risk of type 1 diabetes, and environmental factors likely play a role, too. Unlike the more common type 2, type 1 diabetes is most likely an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. An infection or another trigger may bring on this autoimmune response. The tendency to develop type 1 diabetes can be inherited. Maybe. We used to view Type-1 as a very lone wolf affair. Often patients had no blood relatives with the disease. Sometimes one identical twin will have T-1 and the other will not. That said, over recent decades T-1 seems to be clustering with multiple sibs and intern-generational cases. One theory is that there may in fact be a genetic component that can be passed on; but it is taking several generations to reveal itself. Recall that prior to 1922 (when insulin appears on the scene) a Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Genetic?

Is Diabetes Genetic?

Diabetes is a complex disease. Several factors must come together for a person to develop Type 2 Diabetes. While genetics may influence whether you’ll get this disease or not, other factors like environmental risk factors and a sedentary lifestyle also play a huge role. So, is type 2 diabetes genetic? And if not, which type of diabetes is genetic? Those are the questions we are faced with today. And unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. Yes, genetics can play a role in increasing the risk for both Diabetes Type 1 as well as Diabetes Type 2, but genes alone will not determine whether you will develop diabetes or not. Will You Get Diabetes If It Runs In Your Family? If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, chances are that you’re not the first person in your family who has diabetes. The details of whether diabetes can be inherited, and how this occurs, are not clear yet. About 10% of patients diagnosed with insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes have a first degree relative with this type of diabetes. By first degree relative, we mean father, mother, sibling, twin and child. However, when it comes to the more common type of diabetes, which is Diabetes Type 2, it has a tendency to occur in families, but this is also not very strong and not predictable. A Swedish study on Metabolic Consequences of a Family History of Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus concluded that abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and decreased resting metabolic rate are characteristic features of first-degree relatives of patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (in other words, Diabetes Type 2). And that the decrease in resting metabolic rate is partially related to the degree of abdominal obesity. Many doctors with clinical practice treating diabetes believe that thi Continue reading >>

Diabetes: 10 Deadliest Myths

Diabetes: 10 Deadliest Myths

Myth: Diabetes Doesn't Run in My Family, So I'm Safe Many people develop diabetes despite the fact that they have no family history of the disease. Heredity certainly plays a role, but studies involving identical twins show it is not the only factor. When one twin has type 1 diabetes, the other has a fifty-fifty chance of having it, too. For type 2 diabetes, twins are more likely to share the diagnosis - the odds of the second twin having it can be as high as 75 percent. But even then, the reason may be that their diets and weight gain are similar. Bottom line? To minimize your risk for diabetes, you need to exercise and watch what you eat no matter what your family history is. Myth: Diabetes Is Caused by Eating Carbohydrates Diabetes is least common in the population groups whose diets emphasize carbohydrates. Take Japan, where rice is a traditional staple. Prior to 1980, fewer than 5 percent of the adult population there had diabetes. But once fast food and meat started to displace rice, diabetes became much more prevalent. By 1990 the prevalence of diabetes in Japan had doubled. In the U.S., the risk for type 2 diabetes is highest among frequent meat-eaters. Vegans have the lowest risk, and other groups (semi-vegetarians, fish-eaters, and lacto-ovo-vegetarians) are in between. The real problem seems to be not carbohydrates, but fatty foods. Myth: I'm Not Fat, So I Won't Get Diabetes Staying slim cuts the risk dramatically, but thin people can certainly develop diabetes. The condition arises when the cells in the body become resistant to insulin, the hormone that escorts blood sugar (glucose) into cells. Doctors think insulin resistance is caused by the build-up of microscopic fat droplets inside cells - especially muscle cells and fat cells. This can occur even in so Continue reading >>

Diabetes And The Family

Diabetes And The Family

The World Health Organisation now advises that the relations of people with type 2 diabetes should take precautions. The dietary and exercise advice really apply to every person (whether related to people with diabetes or not), but regular sugar checks are not usually necessary for relations of type 1 diabetics. Some of the genes that are passed on from parents to children have been found. Visit the American Diabetes Association for further information, as they publish new reports each month. A recent study found that losing weight, and having a healthy diet with regular exercise, can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 50%. here. We need to change the way we live...and Government and local Government needs to help at a local level. For everyone (but especially the relations of type 2 diabetics) A healthy lifestyle can delay and even prevent diabetes, even if it is your family and you have inherited the 'diabetic' genes (Lancet 09). Regular exercise such as swimming, cycling, or walking helps to delay or prevent diabetes: 30 minutes a day is the recommended minimum, but 90 minutes a day is needed to lose weight. Exercise is proven to prevent diabetes. Gaining weight increases the risk of diabetes 2-3 times at least. A healthy diet helps to delay or prevent diabetes (see below). Smoking is harmful; it damages the arteries and can double the problems that diabetes can itself cause. Smoking doubles the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even passive smoking increase the risk. See For the relations of type 2 diabetics, the World Health Organisation recommends a fasting blood sugar test every 3 years. Sunlight also prevents diabetes, mainly type 2, but also to a lesser degree type 1. Thus Bangladeshi immigrants to the UK are thought to be very prone to type 2 di Continue reading >>

About Type 1 Diabetes

About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes. In the past, type 1 diabetes was called juvenile diabetes, juvenile-onset diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes. Today we realize those terms aren't accurate. People can develop type 1 as adults, children can develop type 2, and people with type 2 might need to take insulin shots. Type 1 diabetes is known as an autoimmune disease. It happens because a person's immune system destroys the body's beta cells, which make insulin and release it into the blood stream. These cells are located in an organ called the pancreas. When the immune system destroys the beta cells, the body stops being able to make insulin. Signs of type 1 diabetes start to show up when half or more of the beta cells have been destroyed. People who have type 1 diabetes will begin to take insulin shots right away, to replace the insulin their bodies no longer make. Type 1 diabetes is inherited, which means a group of genes that can lead to type 1 diabetes is passed down from mothers and fathers to their children. A person with a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes has a greater chance of also developing type 1 diabetes. Genes play an important role in determining who gets type 1 diabetes and who doesn't. But they might not be the only influence. Environmental factors, including viruses and allergies, appear to trigger type 1 diabetes in some people who have inherited the genes. These factors can trigger type 1 diabetes at any point in a person's life. That's why some people don't develop type 1 diabetes until they're adults, while others develop it when they're children. The symptoms for type 1 diabetes usually show up over a few days or even a few weeks and are caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. Urinating more than usual. The k Continue reading >>

Which Type Of Diabetes Is More Likely To Be Inherited And Why?

Which Type Of Diabetes Is More Likely To Be Inherited And Why?

Question: Which type of diabetes is more likely to be inherited and why? Answer: Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in childhood, while type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults. However, some adults develop a form of diabetes that looks very similar to type 1 diabetes, and now with the huge increase in obesity, many children and adolescents are getting type 2 diabetes. Now, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have a genetic component; that means of course, that they tend to run in families. However, we often regard diseases that develop in childhood as being more likely to be due to genetics. But this is not the case for diabetes, and in fact, studies show that type 2, which mostly commonly develops in adulthood, seems to have a greater genetic basis than the childhood form of type 1 diabetes. For example, as you know, identical twins share 100 percent of their genetic material; however, if one twin has type 1 diabetes, the chance of that the other twin will develop it is only 10 to 20 percent. In contrast, if one twin has type 2, or the adult form of diabetes, the other twin has up to a 90 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, we know that overeating and lack of physical activity are very important contributors. Meanwhile, for type 1 diabetes, it's more the exposure to toxins in the environment, possibly viruses, and other external factors that can increase risk to this form of diabetes. Next: What Is The Risk That A Child Will Develop Diabetes If One Or Both Parents Are Diabetic? Previous: What Are The Meanings and Significance Of These Terms Related To Diabetes: 'Beta Cells,' 'Islets,' 'Glucagon,' and 'Amylin'? Continue reading >>

12 Things That Make Type 2 Diabetes More Likely

12 Things That Make Type 2 Diabetes More Likely

You're more likely to get type 2 diabetes if: 1. Diabetes runs in your family. If you have a parent, brother, or sister who has it, your chances rise. But you can take action through everyday lifestyle habits, like exercise and healthy eating, to lower your odds of following in their footsteps. 2. You have prediabetes. That means your blood sugar level is above normal but you don't have the disease yet. To keep it that way, get more active and lose any extra weight. Your doctor may recommend you take the prescription drug metformin. 3. You're not physically active. It's never too late to change that. Check in with your doctor first, so you know what's safe for you to do. 4. You're overweight, especially around your waist. Not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, but extra pounds make you more likely to get the condition. Belly fat seems to be particularly risky. 5. You've had heart disease. 6. You have high blood pressure. 7. Your "good" cholesterol level is low. It's too low if it's less than 40 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). 8. Your triglyceride level is high. It's too high if it's over 150 mg/dL. 9. You've had diabetes during pregnancy before. That condition (called gestational diabetes) or delivering a baby over 9 pounds can make you more likely to get type 2 diabetes. 10. You're a woman who has PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). 11. You're age 45 or older. The chance of getting type 2 diabetes rises with age. But diabetes isn't a normal part of aging. 12. You're Hispanic, African-American, Native American, or Asian American. Diabetes is more common among these groups. Talk with your doctor to get a better sense of your risk. He can help you make a plan that will keep you in good health. Continue reading >>

The Sibling Guide To Type 1 Diabetes

The Sibling Guide To Type 1 Diabetes

The phrase Type 1 diabetes runs in the family has taken on a whole new meaning for me. T1D has genetic markers and certainly runs in my blood. In 1991, my dad was diagnosed with Type 1. 21 years later, I was diagnosed. In2015, my brother. One year later, my younger sister, in 2016. Type 1 Diabetes ran in the family and through the family, hitting us one-by-one. However, we have learned together to not let diabetes run us. Weve cried together, laughed together, tested our blood sugar together, and have even shared some good vent sessions every once in a while exclusive to only us T1Ds. Every time we learned of a new diagnosis in the family, we were equipped and ready to help, armed with confidence, not fear. So what happens when a newly-diagnosed sibling of yours suddenly learns they have Type 1 Diabetes? How can you help? Whether you are a T1D or not, here are 5 simple ways you can help your recently-diagnosed sibling: Do your own research to understand what T1D is and what it is NOT to guide you in best practices in offering the best support for your sibling. Your sibling will truly appreciate investing in their life by taking the time to learn their disease and how it will affect their new norm. Diabetes is a complex web and the internet and literature out there can be quite overwhelming. Take it one day at a time and perhaps commit yourself to learning one new concept a week. Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint! For starters, here is a list of major concepts to learn: What is T1D ? What are the other types of diabetes ? How do you treat T1D? What is insulin? How often does a T1D need to test their blood sugar ? What is the difference between a high ( hyperglycemia ) and a low ( hypoglycemia ) and what are the treatment methods? Warning signs? What are T1D-friendly Continue reading >>

Diabetes Runs In My Family. How Can I Lessen My Risk Of Getting The Disease?

Diabetes Runs In My Family. How Can I Lessen My Risk Of Getting The Disease?

Today, approximately 28.5 million Americans have diabetes, making diabetes a growing health epidemic. There are many causes of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Heredity is a major risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes, so it is important to know your family's medical history and other risk factors for getting diabetes. Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes greatly increases your risk for getting diabetes at some time in your life. There are some lifestyle changes you can make now to lessen your chance of getting diabetes. It is important for everyone - whether they have a family history of diabetes or not - to follow these steps in an effort to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, and to enjoy better health overall. A healthy, well-balanced diet should include high-fiber foods, whole grains (as opposed to enriched flour products), more fruits and veggies (preferably ones that are darker in color) and heart-healthy fats. Also, try eating certain foods like canola oil instead of vegetable oil, and whole grain pasta rather than regular pasta. Some other tips to follow: Avoid foods that are high in saturated or trans fats; choose low-fat dairy products; lower your salt intake by avoiding sodium-loaded foods like canned products, pickles, bacon and ham. Regular exercise is also important for someone who would like to head-off hereditary diabetes. Partaking in physical activity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week is key to preventing the disease. You do not need to own a gym membership to stay active. Try walking outside, using exercise DVDs, riding a bike or swimming. Even simple changes like taking the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator and parking far from the entrance to work or a store can help you increase your daily physical activity. Smo Continue reading >>

Genetics & Diabetes : What's Your Risk?

Genetics & Diabetes : What's Your Risk?

A school nurse anxiously wants to know if there is a reason why several children from her small grade school have been diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile onset) diabetes. Is it an epidemic? Will there be more cases? Is a recent chicken pox outbreak to blame? A man in his 50s develops type 2 diabetes. His mother developed diabetes in her 60s. Should this man's brother and sister be concerned, too? What about his children's chances of developing diabetes? A married couple wants to have children, but they are concerned because the husband has type 1 diabetes. They wonder what the risk is that their child would have diabetes. A couple has three young children. One of the children develops type 1 diabetes. There's no history of diabetes anywhere in either parent's families. Is this just a fluke? What are the chances the other children will develop diabetes? Chances are if you or a loved one have diabetes, you may wonder if you inherited it from a family member or you may be concerned that you will pass the disease on to your children. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center report that, while much has been learned about what genetic factors make one more susceptible to developing diabetes than another, many questions remain to be answered. While some people are more likely to get diabetes than others, and in some ways type 2 (adult onset diabetes) is simpler to track than type 1 (juvenile onset) diabetes, the pattern is not always clear. For more than 20 years researchers in the Epidemiology and Genetics Section at Joslin in Boston (Section Head Andrzej S. Krolewski, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator James H. Warram, M.D., Sc.D., and colleagues) have been studying diabetes incidence and hereditary factors. They are continuing a scientific journey begun by Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors

Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that may make it more likely that you’ll develop type 1 diabetes—if you have the genetic marker that makes you susceptible to diabetes. That genetic marker is located on chromosome 6, and it’s an HLA (human leukocyte antigen) complex. Several HLA complexes have been connected to type 1 diabetes, and if you have one or more of those, you may develop type 1. (However, having the necessary HLA complex is not a guarantee that you will develop diabetes; in fact, less than 10% of people with the “right” complex(es) actually develop type 1.) Other risk factors for type 1 diabetes include: Viral infections: Researchers have found that certain viruses may trigger the development of type 1 diabetes by causing the immune system to turn against the body—instead of helping it fight infection and sickness. Viruses that are believed to trigger type 1 include: German measles, coxsackie, and mumps. Race/ethnicity: Certain ethnicities have a higher rate of type 1 diabetes. In the United States, Caucasians seem to be more susceptible to type 1 than African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. Chinese people have a lower risk of developing type 1, as do people in South America. Geography: It seems that people who live in northern climates are at a higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes. It’s been suggested that people who live in northern countries are indoors more (especially in the winter), and that means that they’re in closer proximity to each other—potentially leading to more viral infections. Conversely, people who live in southern climates—such as South America—are less likely to develop type 1. And along the same lines, researchers have noticed that more cases are diagnosed in the winter in northern countries; the diagnosis rate Continue reading >>

Reducing Diabetes Risks For The Whole Family

Reducing Diabetes Risks For The Whole Family

Diabetes is a disease that affects more and more Americans every day: Almost 26 million children and adults in the United States now have diabetes, and another 79 million US residents are living with prediabetes, a condition in which blood tests show a blood glucose level that is higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Blood relatives of people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes also have a higher risk of developing the same type of diabetes as their family member. And people who have diabetes run the risk of developing long-term complications associated with diabetes. In some cases, being aware of having a heightened risk for diabetes enables a person to be proactive about reducing the risk. For example, people with prediabetes and blood relatives of people with Type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity, that burn calories, lower blood glucose levels, and encourage weight maintenance or weight loss. Close relatives of people with Type 1 diabetes can have their risk of developing the condition assessed through blood tests. While no one yet knows how to prevent Type 1 diabetes, people determined to be at high risk can be followed closely, so that if they develop diabetes, they can be diagnosed early and be started on treatment as early as possible. People who already have diabetes can lower their risk of developing long-term complications by taking steps to manage their blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels. Diabetes and genetics The reasons that diabetes runs in families are complex, and they differ between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. In both cases, ho Continue reading >>

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