Diabetes Genetics: How Is Diabetes Inherited?
An estimated 2.5 to 3 million Americans have type 1 diabetes. My father was one of them. Diagnosed around age 10, he spent most of his life injecting insulin into his arms, stomach and legs. Eventually, his eye sight and heart could no longer function properly, and he passed away when I was in high school. Around this time, I was introduced to the subject of genetics. I thought back to all those check-ups at the Joslin clinic (now Joslin Diabetes Center) and realized that genetics was the reason everyone watched me and my sister so closely. Genetics was the reason my family was so scared when I starting gaining too much weight in middle school and freaked out every time my foot fell asleep or I was thirsty. Genetics. The loss of my father and timely introduction to genetics drove my decision to become a genetic counselor. Part of a genetic counselors job is to assess disease risk using what we know about family history, the genes and mutations involved, and sometimes, genetic and non-genetic testing results. We then use that information to help individuals and families make more informed decisions about their health. The Genetics of Diabetes Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are both cons Continue reading >>