Is Diabetes Hereditary?

Tuesday, 03 Sep 2013 10:19 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: Does diabetes run in the family?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Yes. Diabetes is a genetically inherited condition. Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes cannot yet be prevented. Type 2 (associated with obesity and insulin insensitivity) does not always require insulin and can be managed through diet, weight control, exercise and oral agents, some of which actually help you lose weight and reduce sugar cravings.
 
Sometimes insulin is required for Type 2 patients who are not responding well to oral agents and lifestyle changes.
 
We are now seeing an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes related to obesity and its adverse effects of reduced sensitivity to insulin. But this by no means implies that all obese patients are diabetic. In other words, Type 2 diabetes is not inevitable, and it can be prevented, modified, or at least delayed by a sensible diet and regular aerobic exercise to manage weight.

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