The Link Between Family History and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can run in the family, but it doesn’t have to. If you have an immediate family member (parent or sibling) with diabetes, you are more likely to get diabetes or prediabetes. Family history is just one of the many risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
A family history of diabetes is usually influenced by genetics. Certain genes can influence insulin resistance, beta-cell function, and glucose metabolism, which are all key factors in type 2 diabetes development. Understanding the link between family history and type 2 diabetes is important. It highlights the role of genetics and provides an opportunity for early detection and prevention.
Do you come from a family where multiple generations have dealt with this condition? It may have started with your family, but it can end with you. Lifestyle changes have been shown to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, even if you have a family history of the disease. You can take charge of your health and make informed choices to reduce your risk.
Understanding the Connection
Genetics and family history impact the development of type 2 diabetes in different ways.

You may inherit genes that increase your risk.
You may have gene changes that contribute to insulin resistance, a key factor of type 2 diabetes.
Genetic factors may affect insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Families not only share genes but also lifestyle and environmental factors such as eating habits and physical activity that can also contribute to diabetes risk.

What we know about the genetic component of type 2 diabetes is constantly evolving.
Assessing Your Risk
Diabetes risk is influenced by a combination of factors, including genetics, family history, and lifestyle. You can assess your risk by collecting information about your family’s health history and determining which relatives in your family, if any, have diabetes.
Genetics and family history can increase your risk, but they do not guarantee you will develop diabetes. By assessing your risk and making informed choices, you can take proactive steps to reduce your risk of developing diabetes or manage the condition effectively.
Consider taking the American Diabetes Association’s type 2 risk test. You should also seek guidance from your healthcare team to help further assess your risk and develop an action plan.
Reducing Your Risk
By maintaining a healthy weight, adopting a balanced diet rich in whole foods, staying physically active, and completing regular health checkups, you can lessen the influence of genetic and family history factors.
A family history of diabetes increases the risk but does not guarantee the development of type 2 diabetes. Always seek medical guidance when it comes to managing your diabetes, even with lifestyle improvements.
With the right knowledge and lifestyle choices, you can begin your journey towards a healthier future.
Lilly is also working to help you take control of your health through clinical trial participation. Click here to learn more.


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