Is diabetes more common in some families?

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William Lee Dubois
Endocrinologist

Once you have the design for diabetes built into your body, something needs to trigger it. Your genetics are your diabetes hardware. Your age and weight are your diabetes software. If you are set up for diabetes, it shows up when you are old enough (usually about 40) or heavy enough. If you are really skinny, you probably got your diagnosis later in life. If you are a bit hefty, you probably got your diagnosis earlier in life.

Taming the Tiger: Your first year with Diabetes

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Taming the Tiger: Your first year with Diabetes

If you ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, this book is for you! It is a fact. Getting a diagnosis of diabetes has the same impact on your body and soul as having a heart attack. Right now you are...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Many people think that diabetes is a purely genetic disease, and of course, it sure would be nice to blame Aunt Mabel for the medical condition, but it doesn't quite work that way. For type 2 diabetes (type 1 is the juvenile form), your environment (that is, your lifestyle, your behaviors and those macaroons on the counter) is a much more dominant trait than genetics.

With that said, certainly, type 2 diabetes is a genetic disease. That is, if you were a twin and had an identical twin who gets type 2 diabetes, you have the genetics for it. Most people with type 2 diabetes have a family member who also has it.

Watch the video to learn more about type 2 diabetes.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.