Diabetes Basics

Genetics Of Diabetes

Genetics play a key role in development of diabetes. Let us take a closer look at how your genes can influence the development of diabetes.

Whether it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes, both cannot be caused by hereditary factors alone. Both need to be triggered by some environmental factors too.

Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can be caused as a result of hereditary factors only when a person inherits the risk factors from both the parents. However, even if the child inherits the risk factors from both the parents, he may or may not eventually develop diabetes. In fact, most people do not have diabetes for years even if both the parents are dealing with the disease.

Apart from heredity, there are several other factors too that need to be present to trigger Type 1 diabetes. Once such factor is cold weather. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes commonly surfaces during the winter season. It is for this reason that type 1 diabetes is more prevalent in the colder regions.

There are some kind of viruses as well that can trigger the problem. If you are at a risk of type 1 diabetes, then a certain kind of virus can lead to the development of the problem. There are certain viruses that have a mild effect on others but lead to the development of type 1 diabetes in people who already fall in the high risk category.

Early diet is yet another factor that can trigger the problem. Individuals who are breastfed and eat solid foods at a later stage in life run a lesser risk of developing the problem.

Type 2 diabetes
As compared to type 1 diabetes, genetic factors play a pivotal role in type 2 diabetes. As a matter of fact, heredity is one of the strongest factors behind type 2 diabetes. But, this does not mean that the problem is caused due to heredity alone. Certain environmental factors also play a crucial role in development of the problem.

Amidst various other factors, it is a western lifestyle that is responsible for the development of the problem. There are certain attributes of a western lifestyle that can lead to type 2 diabetes such as excessive consumption of fat, little fiber intake along with negligible physical activity.

Americans and Europeans exhibit these traits the maximum, which is why type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in such American and European groups. In comparison, people who do not follow a westernized culture tend not to develop the problem even if they fall in the high risk category.

While there is nothing that you can do to control your genes, you can watch out for the environmental factors for sure and keep the problem in check.