Is Diabetes Hereditary – What Causes Diabetes

Diabetes is rapidly becoming one of the most common diseases of the western world. Type 2 diabetes, which is more common than type 1 diabetes, is growing at epidemic rates and with serious complications such as heart disease, stroke and gout it has left researchers and doctors scrambling for answers as to what causes diabetes and how best to treat it.

One of the questions that needs to be answered first is; “is diabetes hereditary?” this will help researchers develop treatment programs that can help prevent or cure this killer disease. While researchers are still not clear as to what causes diabetes there are many factors they have identified that provide a common link in the diabetes question.

Whiles the predisposition to get diabetes is hereditary, there are a number of heredity factors and environmental conditions that will play into if someone develops diabetes. Diabetes is what is classified as an autoimmune disease, where our body sees part of the body as an invader and attacks it.

Autoimmune diseases do tend to run in families and where you see one autoimmune disease you are likely to find others. So while nobody in your family may have diabetes, if members of your family have other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease or rheumatoid arthritis, it is possible to also see diabetes show up.

Aside from asking if diabetes is hereditary; researchers are also looking at environmental factors, such as obesity, lack of activity and age. Diabetes most often shows up in people over the age of 45 who are obese, and do not get enough exercise. This leads one to think that despite heredity that type 2 diabetes can also be prevented by proper diet and maintaining a normal weight.

With more children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at young ages, this is becoming more and more of a certainty. Children have become more sedentary and accustomed to a diet of processed, refined food and drinks leading to obesity and ultimately to diabetes.

Regardless of whether type 2 diabetes is hereditary or not, it is clear that it is both preventable and controllable maintaining a healthy weight and including a healthy diet and exercise into your life.