Diabetes is a complex disease. Several factors must be present for you to develop type 2 diabetes.
For example, environmental factors such as obesity or a sedentary lifestyle play a role. Genetics can also influence whether you will get this disease.
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, chances are you’re not the first person in your family with diabetes. You are more likely to develop the condition if a parent or sibling has it.
Several genetic mutations have been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. These genetic mutations can interact with the environment and with each other to further increase your risk.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Scientists have linked several genetic mutations to an increased risk of diabetes. Not everyone who carries a mutation will have diabetes. However, many people with diabetes have one or more of these mutations.
It can be difficult to separate genetic risk from environmental risk. The latter is often influenced by your family members. For example, parents with nutrient-dense, balanced eating habits are likely to pass them on to the next generation.
On the other hand, genetics plays a big role in determining weight. Sometimes behaviors can’t take all the blame.
Studies on twins suggest that type 2 diabetes could be linked to genetics. These studies have been complicated by environmental influences that also affect the risk of type 2 diabetes.
To date, many mutations have been shown to affect the risk of type 2 diabetes. The contribution of each gene is generally small. However, each additional mutation you have seems to increase your risk.
In general, mutations in any gene involved in blood sugar control can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. These include genes that control:
- glucose production
- insulin production and regulation
- how glucose levels are detected in the body
Genes associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes include:
- TCF7L2, which affects insulin secretion and glucose production
- ABCC8, which helps regulate insulin
- CAPN10, which is associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes in Mexican Americans
- GLUT2, which helps move glucose into the pancreas
- GCGR, a glucagon hormone involved in glucose regulation
Your chances of
You are at increased risk of developing
Tests are available for some of the genetic mutations associated with type 2 diabetes. The increased risk for a given mutation, however, is small.
Other factors are much more accurate predictors of whether you will develop type 2 diabetes, including:
Interactions between genetics and the environment make it difficult to pinpoint a specific cause of type 2 diabetes. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your risk by changing your habits.
The Diabetes Intervention Accentuating Diet and Enhancing Metabolism (DIADEM) study, a large
Blood sugar levels returned to normal levels in some cases and most participants experienced diabetes remission. Other reviews of multiple studies have reported similar results.
Here are some things you can start doing today to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes:
Start an exercise program
Slowly add physical activity to your daily routine if you can. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther from building entrances. You can also try taking a walk during lunch.
Once you’re ready, you can start adding light exercise and other cardiovascular activities to your routine. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. They can help you create a plan that complements your needs and abilities so you can exercise safely and enjoy its health benefits.
Create a balanced meal plan
Cooking your own meals is the easiest way to make nutrient-dense choices.
Develop a weekly meal plan that includes dishes for each meal. Stock up on all the groceries you’ll need and do some of the prep work ahead of time.
You can also get comfortable there. Start by planning your lunches for the week. Once you are comfortable with this, you can plan additional meals.
Choose nutrient-dense snacks
Stock up on snack options to keep your body fueled and your energy levels high. Here are some healthy, easy-to-eat snacks you might want to try:
Knowing the risk factors for type 2 diabetes can help you make changes to avoid developing the disease.
Tell your doctor about your family history of type 2 diabetes. They can decide if genetic testing is right for you. They can also help you reduce your risk by making lifestyle changes.
Your doctor may also want to check your blood sugar regularly. The tests can help them detect blood sugar abnormalities early or identify warning signs of type 2 diabetes.
Early diagnosis and treatment can have a positive impact on your outlook.
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