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 >>
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 >>
I Have A Family History Of Diabetes. What Precautions Should I Take To Avoid It? Is It Avoidable?
Pre-Diabetics: Ditch the diabetes Or Have a family history of Diabetes? You may be Pre-Diabetic! Diabetes in India has reached an endemic stage with about 62 million people suffering with this debilitating disease. This often chronic and deadly disease is fast spreading its tentacles and is expected to affect over 100 million people in India by 2030. While a lot has been spoken about Diabetes, Pre-diabetes is an area which has not got required attention. According to a report of The Hindu There were an estimated 77.2 million pre-diabetics in India in 2014 1. Regularly check your blood sugar. If you are in your 30s, check your blood sugar at least once a year. If you are above 40, check once every 3 months. Blood sugar testing must be done for both FBS and PPBS (Fasting Blood Sugar and Post Prandial Blood Sugar i.e. 90 minutes after meal). In western countries, PPBS is not very common while in India generally both are suggested by doctors. In addition, do a HbA1c test every year. HbA1c test is not very common in India but common in western countries. 2. Keep your weight under control. Insulin Resistance and fat around waist are closely linked to each other. It is difficult to say if insulin resistance causes fat around waist or obesity causes insulin resistance. I believe it is former as in my case. Keep a healthy waist-to-hip ratio of 0.9 for male and 0.6-0.65 for females. If it exceeds, control it through weight lifting or diet or both. 3. Choose low GI food over high GI food. Have portion control in both cases of high GI and low GI food. 4. Do not worry about fat and protein rich food. Both are very indeed good for people who are at the risk of diabetes. The more you eat fat and protein, proportionately reduce carbohydrates i.e. limit rice, wheat and sugar to less qu Continue reading >>
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 >>
How To Prevent Diabetes
What is type 2 diabetes? If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, this happens because your body does not make enough insulin, or it does not use insulin well (this is called insulin resistance). If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you might be able to prevent or delay developing it. Who is at risk for type 2 diabetes? Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Your chances of getting it depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. The risk factors include Having prediabetes, which means you have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes Being age 45 or older A family history of diabetes Being African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander Having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more Having acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition in which your skin becomes dark and thick, especially around your neck or armpits Smoking How can I prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes? If you are at risk for diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay getting it. Most of the things that you need to do involve having a healthier lifestyle. So if you make these changes, you will get other health benefits as well. You may lower your risk of other diseases, and you will probably feel better and have more energy. The changes are Losing weight and keeping it off. Weight control is an important part of diabetes prevention. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose between 10 to 20 pounds. And once you lose the weight, it is important that you don't gain it back. Following Continue reading >>
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 >>
Using Family History Information To Promote Healthy Lifestyles And Prevent Diseases; A Discussion Of The Evidence
Using family history information to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent diseases; a discussion of the evidence Claassen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.2010 A family history, reflecting genetic susceptibility as well as shared environmental and behavioral factors, is an important risk factor for common chronic multifactorial diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and many cancers. The purpose of the present paper is to discuss the evidence for the use of family history as a tool for primary prevention of common chronic diseases, in particular for tailored interventions aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles. The following questions are addressed: (1) What is the value of family history information as a determinant of personal disease risk?; (2)How can family history information be used to motivate at-risk individuals to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles in order to prevent disease?; and (3) What additional studies are needed to assess the potential value of family history information as a tool to promote a healthy lifestyle? In addition to risk assessment, family history information can be used to personalize health messages, which are potentially more effective in promoting healthy lifestyles than standardized health messages. More research is needed on the evidence for the effectiveness of such a tool. Healthy LifestyleFamilial RiskHealth MessageIllness RepresentationCommon Chronic Disease Clinical trial evidence shows that lifestyle modifications (e.g. weight loss, eating more healthily, increased physical activity and smoking cessation) can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases [ 1 ], type 2 diabetes [ 2 , 3 ] and some types of cancers [ 4 ]. However, it has become increasingly clear that general health education programs aimed Continue reading >>
Diabetes Prevention: 5 Tips For Taking Control
Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it's never too late to start. Consider these tips. When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It's especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you're at increased risk of diabetes, such as if you're overweight or you have a family history of the disease. Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds. It's never too late to start. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association. 1. Get more physical activity There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you: Lose weight Lower your blood sugar Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range Research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes. The greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both. 2. Get plenty of fiber It's rough, it's tough — and it may help you: Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control Lower your risk of heart disease Promote weight loss by helping you feel full Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts. 3. Go for whole grains It's not clear why, but whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and cereals. Look Continue reading >>
Family Health History Quiz
Family health history is an important risk factor for developing a number of serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes. In fact, most people with type 2 diabetes have a family member - such as a mother, father, brother, or sister - with the disease. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) encourages all families to take advantage of family gatherings to share information about their health history - especially when it comes to diabetes. Knowing your family health history is important because it gives you and your health care team information about your risk for type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Four Questions You Should Ask Your Family About Diabetes & Family Health History Knowing your family health history is important. Here are some questions to help you learn more about your family history of diabetes. Does anyone in the family have type 2 diabetes? Who has type 2 diabetes? Has anyone in the family been told they might get diabetes? Has anyone in the family been told they need to lower their weight or increase their physical activity to prevent type 2 diabetes? Did your mother get diabetes when she was pregnant? This is also known as gestational diabetes (GDM). If the answer to any of these is yes, or you have a mother, father, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, you may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. True or false? If my parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes, I am at an increased risk to develop type 2 diabetes. True - A family history of type 2 diabetes is a strong risk factor for the disease. If you have a mother, father, brother, or sister with diabetes, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. But even if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, there are many things you can do to lower your risk. If you’re ove Continue reading >>
Is Type 2 Diabetes Caused By Genetics?
Diabetes is a complex condition. Several factors must come together for you to develop type 2 diabetes. For example, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle play a role. Genetics can also influence whether you’ll get this disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there’s a good chance that you’re not the first person with diabetes in your family. According to the American Diabetes Association, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is: 1 in 7 if one of your parents was diagnosed before the age of 50 1 in 13 if one of your parents was diagnosed after the age of 50 1 in 2, or 50 percent, if both your parents have diabetes Several gene mutations have been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. These gene mutations can interact with the environment and each other to further increase your risk. Type 2 diabetes is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Scientists have linked several gene mutations to a higher diabetes risk. Not everyone who carries a mutation will get diabetes. But many people with diabetes do have one or more of these mutations. It can be difficult to separate genetic risk from environmental risk. The latter is often influenced by your family members. For example, parents with healthy eating habits are likely to pass them on to the next generation. On the other hand, genetics plays a big part in determining weight. Sometimes behaviors can’t take all the blame. Studies of twins suggest that type 2 diabetes might be linked to genetics. These studies were complicated by the environmental influences that also affect type 2 diabetes risk. To date, numerous mutations have been shown to affect type 2 diabetes risk. The contribution of each gene is generally small. However, each additional mutation you have seems to increase your Continue reading >>
Family Health History And Diabetes
If you have a mother, father, sister, or brother with diabetes, you are more likely to get diabetes yourself. You are also more likely to have prediabetes. Talk to your doctor about your family health history of diabetes. Your doctor can help you take steps to prevent or delay diabetes, and reverse prediabetes if you have it. Over 30 million people have diabetes. People with diabetes have levels of blood sugar that are too high. The different types of diabetes include type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Diabetes can cause serious health problems, including heart disease, kidney problems, stroke, blindness, and the need for lower leg amputations. People with prediabetes have levels of blood sugar that are higher than normal, but not high enough for them to be diagnosed with diabetes. People with prediabetes are more likely to get type 2 diabetes. About 84 million people in the United States have prediabetes, but most of them don’t know they have it. If you have prediabetes, you can take steps to reverse it and prevent or delay diabetes—but not if you don’t know that you have it. Could you have prediabetes? Take this test to find out. If you have a family health history of diabetes, you are more likely to have prediabetes and develop diabetes. You are also more likely to get type 2 diabetes if you have had gestational diabetes, are overweight or obese, or are African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic. Learning about your family health history of diabetes is an important step in finding out if you have prediabetes and knowing if you are more likely to get diabetes. You can use the Surgeon General’s family health history tool, My Family Health Portrait, to collect your family health history of diabetes a Continue reading >>
- Have A Family History Of Diabetes? 6 Things You Need To Start Doing Immediately
- Mutual Involvement in Families With Type 2 Diabetes Through Web-Based Health Care Solutions: Quantitative Survey Study of Family Preferences, Challenges, and Potentials
- Seniors and Diabetes: Latest Info and Actions for Family Caregivers
12 Ways To Avoid Diabetes
Nearly 25 percent of Americans are thought to have prediabetes -- a condition of slightly elevated blood sugar levels that often develops into diabetes within 10 years -- but only 4 percent of people know it. What's worse, of those who are aware, less than half really tried to reduce their risk by losing weight, eating less, and exercising more. These are just a few of the good-for-you habits that can reverse prediabetes and ensure you never get the real thing, which can mean a lifetime of drugs and blood sugar monitoring, an increased risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other scary health threats. Read on for 12 simple tricks everyone can start today. More from Prevention: 12 Ways to Avoid Diabetes Shedding even 10 pounds can significantly slash your risk. Even extremely overweight people were 70 percent less likely to develop diabetes when they lost just 5 percent of their weight -- even if they didn't exercise. If you weigh 175 pounds, that's a little less than 9 pounds! Use our calorie calculator to see how many calories you consume -- and how many you need to shave off your diet -- if you want to lose a little. 12 Ways to Avoid Diabetes Eating greens with a vinaigrette before a starchy entrée may help control your blood sugar levels. In an Arizona State University study, people with type 2 diabetes or a precursor condition called insulin resistance had lower blood sugar levels if they consumed about 2 tablespoons of vinegar just before a high-carb meal. "Vinegar contains acetic acid, which may inactivate certain starch-digesting enzymes, slowing carbohydrate digestion," said lead researcher Carol Johnston. In fact, vinegar's effects may be similar to those of the blood sugar -- lowering medication acarbose (Precose). Before you eat that fettuccine, enj Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Family History: How Much Risk Is Genetic?
Whether you have Type I or Type II diabetes, there are several factors that could have contributed to the disease. Among these are your family’s lifestyle and your genetic history. By gaining a better understanding of these two issues, you may be able to control your diabetes with more ease, or possibly (in the case of Type II) avoid it altogether. At the very least, understanding the risks created by your genetic and family history will allow you to detect diabetes earlier and avoid the damage it can do if left untreated. How Family Affects Diabetes Risk Your family affects your diabetes risk in two different ways. First, of course, your parents contributed to your genetic heritage. But there’s also the way your parents, your siblings, and your extended family may have influenced the way you eat, exercise, and care for yourself, because these are habits you learn from the people around you as you grow up. Your genetic makeup can play a big role in both Type I and Type II diabetes, while the way a family cares for itself and the habits you’re taught in regard to diet and exercise are generally more related to Type II risk. To help prevent Type II diabetes if you don’t have the disease yet or if you’re prediabetic, there are four questions the NIDDK suggests you ask your family. These are: Does anyone in your family have Type II diabetes and if so, who are they? Has anyone in your family been told they may develop diabetes or are at risk for it? Has anyone in your family been told they need to get more exercise or lose weight in order to prevent diabetes? Did your mother have diabetes when she was pregnant, either with me or with a sibling? Type II diabetes can be greatly affected by the lifestyle a family lives. As you grow up and get older you learn a lot of Continue reading >>
Family History Of Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-based Screening Tool For Prevention?
Family history of type 2 diabetes: A population-based screening tool for prevention? Purpose: To evaluate the use of self-reported family medical history as a potential screening tool to identify people at-risk for diabetes. Methods: The HealthStyles 2004 mail survey comprises 4345 US adults who completed a questionnaire to ascertain personal and family history of diabetes, perceived risk of diabetes, and practice of risk-reducing behaviors. Using number and type of affected relatives, respondents were ranked into three familial risk levels. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) were obtained to evaluate associations between familial risk and prevalent diabetes, perceived risk of disease, and risk-reducing behaviors. Validity of family history as a screening tool was examined by calculating sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values. Results: Compared to those of average risk, people with moderate and high familial risk of diabetes were more likely to report a diagnosis of diabetes (AOR: 3.6, 95% CI: 2.8, 4.7; OR: 7.6, 95% CI: 5.9, 9.8, respectively), a higher perceived risk of diabetes (AOR: 4.6, 95% CI: 3.7, 5.7; OR: 8.5, 95% CI: 6.6, 17.7, respectively), and making lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes (AOR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.8, 2.7; OR: 4.5, 95% CI: 3.6, 5.6, respectively). A positive familial risk of diabetes identified 73% of all respondents with diabetes and correctly predicted prevalent diabetes in 21.5% of respondents. Conclusion: Family history of diabetes is not only a risk factor for the disease but is also positively associated with risk awareness and risk-reducing behaviors. It may provide a useful screening tool for detection and prevention of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90%95% of all cases of diabetes 1 and is a classic example Continue reading >>
What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that's characterized by high blood sugar, which doctors refer to as hyperglycemia. In type 2 diabetes, the two main contributors to high blood sugar are insulin resistance and a drop in your body's production of insulin. These two factors are what makes type 2 diabetes different from type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and other types of diabetes. What Is Insulin Resistance? Insulin — the hormone that allows your body to regulate sugar in the blood — is made in your pancreas. Insulin resistance is a state in which the body’s cells do not use insulin efficiently. As a result, it takes more insulin than normal to transport glucose (the main type of sugar found in the bloodstream) into cells, where it can be used for fuel or stored for later use. Insulin resistance develops over time, and as the body becomes more and more insulin resistant, the pancreas responds by releasing more and more insulin. This higher-than-normal level of insulin in the bloodstream is called hyperinsulinemia. For a while, the pancreas may be able to keep up with the body’s increased need for insulin, and blood sugar levels may stay within the normal range — about 70 to 100 mg/dl before meals and lower than 140 mg/dl after meals. Eventually, however, the pancreas can no longer keep up, and blood sugar levels begin to rise. What Causes Type 2 Diabetes? It's not known for certain why some people develop type 2 diabetes and some do not. There are several factors, however, that can increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes: Obesity Being obese or overweight puts you at significant risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Four out of five people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Prediabetes Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels Continue reading >>