For many families, type 2 diabetes can develop in several members of the household. For some people, diabetes has been diagnosed throughout previous generations of family members. However, does this mean, you are bound to inherit the condition?
Over a period of 25 years, according to statistics, the number of people in the world who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has increased from 35 million to 240 million. Moreover, these statistics don’t take into account the number of individuals with undiagnosed diabetes. Many families have the relevant concern regarding whether they or future generations could genetically develop type 2 diabetes. While the magnitude of cases is quite significant, the reality is that the widespread issue of diabetes couldn’t have simply occurred through genetic or inherited means in such a short time span.
If genetic alteration is not the reason behind the dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes cases, then why has the condition been on the rise over the past few decades? As a matter of fact, diabetes is a condition that is almost entirely caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. Our genetic code itself may not be altered through these circumstances but our environment as well as stress and improper nutrition and fitness habits can influence the way those genes are expressed. Predisposed genes can certainly contribute to the development of diabetes, however, if you are not exposed to these environmental and lifestyle triggers, the diabetes gene may never fully develop.
Many people who have family members with type 2 diabetes are concerned whether they could be at risk of inheriting the condition. While studies have shown that predisposed genes could influence the development of diabetes, more studies have demonstrated that environmental and lifestyle factors are the true source of type 2 diabetes. However, changing these factors could prevent and even reverse diabetes. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.