Some health problems that are connected to heredity follow fairly straightforward patterns of heritability. Other health conditions, while still connected to heredity; do not follow a predictable pattern. This can make things difficult for people who are charting their family medical history because when you find out that one or more relatives have a certain condition, you will not likely know right away whether it is a condition that follows a pattern or one that does not until you have a chance to ask a doctor or do a little research.
Diabetes is one health condition that does not follow a predictable pattern of heritability. Some people are inherently more likely to get diabetes than others because of their genes. The family history aspect of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can best be described as a combination of being born with a predisposition to develop diabetes and environmental influences that trigger the development of diabetes.
The incidence of Type 2 diabetes appears to be much more closely connected to family history than the incidence of Type 1 diabetes. Fortunately, the development Type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. If you have Type 2 diabetes in your family tree, you may want to make some changes in the areas of diet and exercise sooner rather than later to decrease your risk for developing diabetes.
Diabetes is one health condition that we now know and understand quite a bit about. Over the years, research has helped us find out more about what causes diabetes and also what we can do to prevent diabetes, and to manage the condition if we develop it. Learning your family’s health history is important for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and for knowing your risk for other health conditions too. Once you learn your family medical history, share it with your doctor so that he or she can help you take the best possible care of your health.