Almost everybody who is researching on diabetes wants a clear cut answer to this burning question; is diabetes hereditary? But unfortunately, the answer has to be both 'Yes' and 'No'. As medicine is not an absolute science, there is no telling that you will develop diabetes until you actually test positive. It has been proven without doubt that the causes of diabetes include your genetic predisposition (it runs in the family).
Finally it comes down to a game of numbers; it is all about chances and probabilities. But if you fear that you may get hereditary diabetes, then you must understand some basic points.
Is Diabetes Always Hereditary?
1. The first and most important thing to understand about diabetes is that, it is a very wide spread disease. Statistics says that every 1 in 10 adults are diabetic. Now that would mean that everyone of us have at least 1 family member who suffers from diabetes.
2. The point is, how close is blood relation that you share with your diabetic family members? For example, your mother having diabetes increases your risk substantially more than your maternal aunt having diabetes. But, it is also not unlikely that hereditary diabetes skips your mother and comes directly to you!
3. There are more chances of you inheriting type 1 diabetes than type 2. The causes of diabetes type are mostly associated with an unhealthy lifestyle and the hazards of it like obesity and stress. Diabetes type 2 happens due to insulin intolerance or the body's inability to utilize insulin.
4. If your father had diabetes, then there is about 1 in 17 chances of you getting it. But your chances improves to 1 in 24 if your mother was diabetic. However, there is a condition. This applies only if you were born before your mother turned 25.The older your parents are at time of your birth, the more your chances of inheriting the disease.
5. If your mother had gestational diabetes or high blood sugar levels while she was pregnant with you, then you will have a lot on your plate. You will have to worry about genetic obesity apart from hereditary diabetes.
6. The trick is to control the causes of diabetes. If you maintain a more or less healthy lifestyle and do not give in to excess, then you can be spared even if your entire family is diabetic. The corollary of this also holds true. You may develop diabetes due to an unhealthy lifestyle even if there is no diabetes in your family.
So, eating healthy and exercising enough are the only things that will surely keep diabetes at bay.