Family and diabetes
Excessive consumption of calories, cholesterol-laden or high-glucose foods, without getting adequate exercise, can make you susceptible to diabetes. While these are controllable causes, certain predetermined factors might also increase your risk of diabetes. These are the genetic factors inherited from your family.
Though there is no one gene that determines for sure whether or not you will get diabetes, a combination of certain factors or genetic mutations can increase the likelihood of its occurrence. Therefore, family history plays a crucial role in determining whether you’re at risk of developing the disease.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own insulin-producing cells. The HLA gene, which provides instruction to the body to make a protein for protecting the immune system, plays an important role in the occurrence of type 1 diabetes. However, several versions of this gene exist, and the type of HLA gene you get from your parents determines the likelihood of getting diabetes. It is not just the immediate family, even ancestry, in the form of ethnicity and race, can be an influencing factor.
Type 2 diabetes, arrives much later and can be attributed to factors like obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, among many others. However, family and genetics still influence your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Family as environment
It is not just the genes, a family can increase your chances of getting diabetes with the unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle choices. Thereby, making it difficult to point out the exact root cause of your diabetes, in terms of family.
Involving family in treatment
A family can also play an important role in the treatment of diabetes. Here are some ways in which your family can help you manage your life with diabetes:
- They can accompany you to the doctor and learn from them first-hand, on how to manage and treat it
- They can keep an eye out for the symptoms of low blood glucose and take immediate action whenever necessary
- Although their eating pattern might be different, they can make space for your schedule. They can help you stick to a diabetes diet plan, and even adopt some of the healthy eating habits themselves
- You can have your family’s company and assistance when you go to get blood sugar and cholesterol tests done
- In case you forget to take your medication or insulin on time, they can remind you and ensure that you don’t miss a single dose
However, if someone else in your family is suffering from diabetes, it can be stressful for you as well. The stress of living with someone dealing with a chronic condition can be too much to take. In such cases, help is always available. If you think you’re at risk, go ahead and get all the basic tests done at a reputed diagnostics centre like Apollo Diagnostics With accurate, authentic results, your doctor will be able to formulate a good plan to help you deal with diabetes.