Diabetes & Genetics

LadyDi - 26259Miller
By LadyDi - 26259Miller Latest Reply 2009-03-18 18:06:59 -0500
Started 2009-01-06 20:48:44 -0600

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different causes. Yet two factors are important in both. First, you must inherit a predisposition to the disease. Second, something in your environment must trigger diabetes.

Genes alone are not enough. One proof of this is identical twins. Identical twins have identical genes. Yet when one twin has type 1 diabetes, the other gets the disease at most only half the time. When one twin has type 2 diabetes, the other's risk is at most 3 in 4.

How many of you were aware that diabetes was in your family prior to being diagnosed? Do you know your family's history of diabetes? At what point of your life were you diagnosed?

96 replies

Judimar 2009-03-18 13:35:06 -0500 Report

Hi LadyDi,

My mom had 5 children prior to marrying my dad. I have 3 half sisters and two half brothers. Both my parents were type 2 Diabetics. I was diagnosised in 2004 or 2005 with type 2. Both my brothers have type 2 Diabetes. One of my sisters is hypoglycemic (sp). I have two sisters diagnosised with Lupus.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-18 18:06:59 -0500 Report

Very interesting. Definitely runs in your family, doesn't it. Mine too. Hope you're doing well and have yours under control. When you consider the consequences of not taking care of yourself, you realize how important it is to do all you can to control it.

JaredLahti 2009-02-01 11:33:47 -0600 Report

I knew that I had a cousin who had type 1 diabetes but did not find out until after I was diagnosed that we had multiple people with type 2 diabetes. My grandma is also prediabetic.

rbergman 2009-01-31 23:49:52 -0600 Report

I was the youngest in our family history of diabetes to get it at 32, (previous post in this discussions explains my history) and I still believe that my 7yr old daughter wouldn't have gotten it at such a young age if it weren't for her other medical issues with her immune system, so I still wonder if one of my other children could still "pop positive" for it in a more natural way then the way she got it.

Connie4849 2009-01-31 23:02:06 -0600 Report

Yes, our family has a history of diabetes on both sides. My Great Aunt on my mother's side had diabetes. (Type II) My Aunt on my father's side has diabetes. (Type II) My father, brother, and one sister have diabetes, Type II. I was fortunate enough to receive information from Toma Grubb; as a consequence I changed my eating and exercise habits. I continue to be off all diabetes drugs and my A1C was 6.0 only last week. I was diagnosed at age 55. My father is a disciplined diabetic. He's 83! He has had diabetes for over 15 years. He is very well controlled and a great role model. My sister just had lap band surgery. She hopes to beat diabetes. She is insulin dependent at this time. My brother still takes metformin. He has lost a significant amount of weight and is trying to get off metformin. Thank you, Toma Grubb for sharing your knowledge with all of us. We all were diagnosed in our 50's. Perhaps we could have avoided diabetes by exercising and eating correctly, however it's not too late. I'm retired now and have the time and energy to do what I need to do to control my blood sugar and keep my A1c low.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-02-01 06:58:52 -0600 Report

Your comments are encouraging and show that you can take part in your diabetic health and you can make a difference. It makes no sense not to try or, even worse, to give up. We have to do the best we can with what we've been dealt. Most of us will have lapses in our discipline over time, but we need to just keep pluggin' away.

highlandcitygirl 2009-01-31 20:59:59 -0600 Report

my grandmother on my fathers side had type 2, also at least one of her sons. both me and my younger brother have pre-diabetes. i am fat and he is thin!

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-31 21:06:12 -0600 Report

There just seems to be no rhyme or reasoning for some things, it seems. As I said on another discussion, science and medicine and the human body are very interesting - and very puzzling.

CD 2009-01-31 15:29:04 -0600 Report

My dad had type 2, my grandfather (his dad) had type 2 and my grandfather's dad had type 2. I guess I didn't have a chance. Bummer

maryann40 2009-01-31 13:15:44 -0600 Report

I was 6 years old when I was diagonised. I remember having chicken pox a few months before that. So did my older sister and younger brother. But they did not get diabetes. That was almost 36 years ago. The only other one in my family to have diabetes at that time was a distant uncle on my mothers side. My dad was diagonised at the age of 63 with type 2. Ihave 2 children and 1 grandchild and none of them have either type 1 or 2.

tabby9146 2009-01-31 13:00:32 -0600 Report

This is all very interesting. I had thought of bringing up this subject myself not long ago. I was adopted as an infant, so I found my birth mother and birth father years ago and I asked each one about possible illnesses or diseases that may run in the family. I was told a little but neither one seemed to think anything was passed down through the families that they knew of. Then a year ago, I learned from my biological half sister, that my birth father has type 2. I guess he developed it after the last time I spoke to him, which was years earlier. He is in his 60s. I am in my 40s. I was diagnosed in November of last year, so just a few months ago. It was a shock! I was overweight, but not by too much. However, I had LOTS of stress to deal with almost on a daily basis, from y teenage son for about three years. He got a lot better a year or so ago but I have wondered if perhaps the combo of my not exercising, not always eating right and the stress brought it on. I had been told by someone that it can. I was not sure as I have yet to ask a professional about this. I try my best to keep stress away and I exercise 6 days a week, my BS levels are always under good control, and I eat right everyday. I'm on Metformin 500 mgs. It was caught early and I thank God that it was everyday. I feel really good, better than I did before diagnosis. I have no symptoms really that I know of for sure, except that at times, most days off and on I have some mild pain other times I would describe it as discomfort in one of my feet but not sure that is due to the diabetes. I have lost almost all of the weight I need to and I plan to keep it off. I've discovered I have a lot of discipline with this and it has surprised me. I recently have been told by two people I know here in my town that they have been diabetic for many years, one over 30 yrs, and the other person about 20 yrs and neither is on insulin. They don't follow the diet and exercise quite as religiously as I do and they are doing fine. This gives me hope that perhaps, I might not ever need insulin either. Before they talked to me, I was under the impression that I would most likely go to insulin someday. However, my doctor said maybe maybe not. I go for my A1C test very soon. At diagnosis, it was 5.6 so now there is no doubt it is going to be even better than that. So far, no high blood pressure and no high cholesterol. I do have the occasional light headed spell (very brief) and each time I check my BS, it is always in the perfect range. I had one dizzy spell so far, but I think that was because I did not eat enough that afternoon and I was always prone to lows.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-31 16:35:54 -0600 Report

Sounds as though you have a good grip on your diabetes and that you're doing all the right things. Good for you. When you hear people complain about having to watch what they eat, do a lot of tests, exercise, etc., in order to control their BS, you have to remind them of the possible consequences if they do not even attempt to get their numbers under control. Being as good as you are about your numbers down, you certainly may never have to use insulin.

You'll notice that many people who now have diabetes (Type 2) were not diagnosed until late in life. In that case their children or grandchildren might not be aware of the fact that it is in the family as soon as they might otherwise have been. That's a good reason for testing on a regular basis in routine exams. Otherwise you could be one of those who go unchecked and out-of-control for many years. You might not find out about your diabetes until severe damage has already been done. Something to think about. Many people, too, do not have knowledge of or access to the medical histories of parents or grandparents, etc. It is important to keep good records of family health issues to be shared with future family members.

butler 2009-02-01 07:07:37 -0600 Report

I come from a generation where there were a lot of health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholestrol and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I never thought that I would be a type 2. It was rather odd to find out. I went to my gynocologist for a annual check. what da doctor notice is that my blood pressure was real high.He referred me to an internal doctor where they ran more test.I was 33 years old(I was very physically working out 4 to 5 days a week) when I found out. Yes, it was a hard pill for me to swallow because it was so much I did not know about diabetes. I did not know that it was hereditary. I have and am learning so much. yes, knowledge is very powerful if we would use it to better ourself.It has been 7 years, I am thankful and grateful for the information that has been made available and is still being made available. I also believe that stress has something to do with diabetes as we get older. thanks for such an interesting discussion. this helped me.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-02-01 07:17:58 -0600 Report

I'm so glad you've enjoyed this discussion and found it helpful. We can always learn more, can't we? I've learned a lot from it as well. This is a great site for sharing and learning. It's still good to check with your doctor regarding some information you see and to be careful about what you accept as fact. Thanks for your input.

LadyStarr - 19134
LadyStarr - 19134 2009-01-31 12:01:12 -0600 Report

Both of my grandmothers had diabetes and my mother had Type 2 diabetes so I always suspected that I would have it, too. It wasn't until after I used Chantix to try to quit smoking that I was diagnosed and now I've read that Chantix can cause diabetes. Any truth to that?

anitamusser 2009-01-31 11:35:39 -0600 Report

I was diagnosed as Type 1 when I was 28. My grandfather on my mom's side and my grandmother on my dad's side both died from diabetes My grandfather had to have one of his legs removed. I also have Turner's Syndrome which is prevelant in short people and i am 4ft5in. I think it is a thyroid condition. If anyone knows anything about Turner's Syndrome and its connection with diabetes, please let me know.

ORNURSETYPE! 2009-01-31 10:57:33 -0600 Report

I agree with ur thoughts.. I was 18 when dx with type 1. And for as my family history all that i can date back to is my grandparents that was dx as type 2 diabetics but only when they reached the age of 60 or up. There is no immediate diabetes in my net family. I do believe diabetes is an autoimmune disease. I can just about put my finger on the cause of my diabetes. I was a senior in high school and working after school hours and then when i graduated ( and still working) I took night classes but at this time I did have a cold going on.. not long after that I was the type 1 insulin dependent diabetic. Not to mention I had alot of stress going at the time… I'm glad to hear someone also thinks that its not always in the genes!lol

rbergman 2009-01-31 11:10:13 -0600 Report

I should have also added that my family had another factor that some don't, we are Cherokee, Native Americans, and as with many diseases race plays a factor, I myself am only considered 1/4 native, my daughter would then be 1/16 to 1/8 but the factor is still there, had I known my children would have so much stacked against them, would I have chosen not to have children??? I don't think so, that would only come into play if I was told with 100% positivity that one of my children would have major illness' and /or diseases.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-31 16:23:30 -0600 Report

Diabetes is not so dibilitating as to cause one not to have children, altho I suppose some might feel differently. It is not deforming, to my knowledge, or the type thing that makes it immediately life threatening. Obviously we would not wish our children to have to deal with it all of their lives, but one can live a pretty "normal" life with diabetes these days. Not fun to deal with, but not the worst thing to happen either.

rbergman 2009-01-31 10:48:41 -0600 Report

I'm a 5th generation Type 2 Diabetic, no siblings of mine have the condition and no siblings of past generations of Type 2 had it either. I don't know how its decided who gets the gene, I know in my case, I tend to look like and take after my father's side of the family, he had it, his mother, her father and his father. My sister tends to look like and take after my mother's side of the family, no diabetes anywhere there. After I had my 3rd child I was diagnosed, so yes I was concerned with one of them getting the gene, and sure enough it was our youngest child, our 7yr old daughter, however in my case I don't know what besides the gene caused me to get it. In her case she experienced auto-immune failure which first attacked her Thyroid and then her Pancreas, she was also a twin prior to birth but experienced twin-to-twin transfer where she absorbed her twin before birth, I'm sure that these factors play a role in her getting Diabetes and in fact she is being tested on Feb 6th for MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes in the Young). Several of the factors for having one of these 5 proven conditions she "qualifies" as having. I remember the days when it was just Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, now its those, plus pre-diabetes and 6 different forms of MODY, research sure has come a long way but it doesn't make it any easier on those of us with Diabetes of any form and it frightens me to know there are so many forms out there, like Type 1 & 2 weren't enough to have to deal with.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-31 16:17:01 -0600 Report

You're so right. There's a lot to think about if you have this gene running in your family, etc. However, as I've said many times, we're so blessed to live in this time of rapidly advancing medicine and technology. Yet there are still so many people today that are totally unaware that they are diabetic. Can you imagine how many there were years ago, when things were not so advanced? I really think testing for diabetes is an absolute necessity in routine exams today - especially where there's any indication of a family history. Catching it before extensive damage is done is key.

Hcampbell64 2009-01-31 10:39:27 -0600 Report

I had a great aunt with Type 2 on my dad's side and a grandfather and great aunt on my mom's with diabetes (not sure which type, though). Both of my parents are Type 2 and I was recently diagnosed in December 2008. I was aware of my predisposition, but never thought I'd get it as young as I did. I am almost 45.

2009-01-11 07:18:04 -0600 Report

My mom had diabetes' type 2, My dad had heart failure, blood pressure and cholestoral problems and I have a twin brother, of course we are not identical since we are boy and girl; we are fraternal, but I have straight hair, he has super curly, I have bad teeth, he has good; we have a lot of identical charteristics as well; but we both we predisposed to diabetes and heart disease of which we have both, my heart problems are the complete opposite of his, I have a pacemaker due to extremely low blood pressure, and he had a quadruple bi-pass due to blood pressure, diet and other problems. He is not overweight, he just did not eat right. I suppose we can blame that on the Italian food we were raised on. and love today. Anyway, you don't have to be identical twins to have consistent problems, the only difference is that we were fertilized in separate eggs, but identical are both in one egg. But, we all have the same genetic makeup

dj7110 2009-01-11 09:38:26 -0600 Report

the other day I watched an interesting special on tv.. think it was either national geographic or science channel.. had a show on identical twins.. covered genes and how different they can be than origanally thought.. unsure if its on again,, but worth the watch and I highly recomend it if it is.

Alex's mom
Alex's mom 2009-01-09 20:53:48 -0600 Report

Alex was diagnosed at 4 with type 1. What is so "funny" about this is that somewhere deep in my being, I was thinking it skips a generation. I knew my husband's brother was Type1 since about ten. It was devastating. Trying not to blame someone. When I was pregnant with Alex I felt like I was allergic to him. Swollen lips, itchy stomach, and the like. When he was born he was 8 pounds 12 ounces. I said "That baby is too big," My first son was 6 pounds 8 ounces. His paternal grandmother has rhuematoid arthritis. My husband's other brother just got diagnosed with Type 2- he's 39. So somewhere in my deepest being I think I have been blaming them. Now I have developed some kind of crazy rash on the palms of my hands, and so on- now it's me. I am the one with the auto-immune problem (at least that is my diagnosis) and have been rarely wrong at diagnosing anything for anyone. Really though.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-09 21:05:03 -0600 Report

These are things that you really should not blame anyone for. There are things you can do in some cases to lessen the chance or the degree of the illness(diet, exercise, etc.), but if something is genetic you are likely to have to deal with it at some point. It's not right or healthy to live placing blame on yourself or anyone else.

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2009-01-09 22:02:17 -0600 Report

You know, diabetes is now considered an immunological problem. So is reumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed MANY years ago, and at that time, my uncle was the only diabetic in the family. Of course, as I mentioned before, I discovered that my dad was before he died (late onset for him), and now my mom has reumatoid arthritis. Coincidence? I don't think so. Makes ya think!

GabbyPA 2009-01-09 18:57:29 -0600 Report

I was actually in a research program in Miami after my dad was diagnosed with type 2. That was the first I really knew of it, but as I look now, I see how things could be "in the family". Many of my dad's side struggle with thyroid conditions. Then my younger brother was diagnosed and the women of the family remained free and clear. I do believe stress has a lot to do with developing it, as after both my dad and brother died, my mom's stress and depression escilated to where she ended up with type 2. About 5 years later and a loss of job and a huge weight of stress, bam...I now have it as well.

Part of me just believes that the reason it is growing so much is that it has become the "culling tool" of the human race. We make our bodies do things they were never intended to do. We live past what we should and sometimes I just get a pang of feeling that it is the natural way of cleaning the genitic pool. I am weird, I know. But it seems that it is far beyond our reach to stop it.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-09 19:10:39 -0600 Report

Interesting perspective, Gabby. I feel our eating habits today and our hectic and hurried lifestyles have a great deal to do with the growing epidemic. As with everything, we hear more than we once did simply because of the media and technology that allow us to communicate better. Certainly there were always large numbers of folks walking around with diabetes who were never aware of it. I read somewhere that diabetes is not generally listed on death certificates, but the heart attacks, etc., that perhaps resulted from it. Our statistics even today are probably skewed. Years ago it might not have even been picked up by the doctor in a regular exam. In any event, heredity, diet and lifestyle are the culprits. Since they claim there are so many that have it today that are still unaware of it even with all the publicity, etc., obviously some are just electing not to be checked and to determine if they have it, or perhaps they just choose to ignore it.

GabbyPA 2009-01-10 10:25:34 -0600 Report

I know I am guilty of the "ignore it and it will go away" syndrome. I am not a great one for taking care of myself in a lot of ways. I am learning now, but I know how those people feel. I would be afraid to find out because I would be afraid that I had to change more than I was willing to do and then fail....it is stupid, but that is how I felt

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-10 12:13:15 -0600 Report

Your honesty is refreshing, and healthy. As so many on here have pointed out, you can't do anything about a problem until you accept it and face up to it. Seems to me, Gabby, that you have accepted your situation, because you have definitely taken action and control of your situation. You have not elected to sit back and hope it will go away or to feel sorry for yourself. You are such an inpiration.

GabbyPA 2009-01-10 16:55:27 -0600 Report

Thank you for your kind words Di. I belive that when I face my fears then I can overcome them. It's when I hide them, tuck them away that nothing gets done and I just feel guilty. Not a great place to be.

I see so many of you who have wonderful control of your disease and I want to be one of that crowd. I know how hard it is, and I know you have worked very hard to get there and KEEP it there. I get afraid sometimes that once I gain better control and have numbers I want, that I will get lazy...I hope not, but that is my M.O.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-10 18:02:30 -0600 Report

I've been pretty fortunate to be able to pretty well control mine, but, believe me, I have lapses too…times when I do not do so well, just like everyone. We're all different and our bodies act and react in varying ways, and so many people on here have other health issues to deal with too. I can see how, having so much to deal with, they can become discouraged, etc. Hey, we're all human. We could all - including me - do better. There are certainly times when I get so tired of it all that I want to just say what the !@$%…I don't care anymore. But I do care. And I do want the years that remain to be as good as possible. Keep doing all that you're doing. Don't ever stop trying. I really do think we all have strengths and abilities that we sometimes don't realize we have.

GabbyPA 2009-01-10 18:11:03 -0600 Report

Yes, I have to say you are right on that. There are new disciplines I have found in me that I didn't know I had before I was diaganosed. That is one of the reasons that in a weird way I am thankful that I have diabetes. It has given me a new purpose and a passion. It has also shown me what is important in life and simply stated, it is living the best I can with what I have left. I plan to kick some booty! LOL

Mom and boys
Mom and boys 2009-01-09 17:35:29 -0600 Report

I believe it is ethnic/genetic. I am a Cajun from southern Louisiana where diabetes is rampant. A few years back we took our boys on a find your roots vacation to Nova Scotia (where our ancestors are from). The very first restaurant we went into had a sign “Diabetic menus available”. Both of my parents were type 2 and 3/4 of my 20 aunts and uncles were type 2. I actually remember my aunt talking about my Grandfather and he had Kidney problems. When my dad when into Kidney failure he also had a cousin on dialysis. Afther having 2 gestational pregnancies I knew the signs to look for!

Meridian - 26751
Meridian - 26751 2009-01-09 17:39:07 -0600 Report

It sounds to me like you come from a whole line of "sweet" folks. :)

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-09 18:40:48 -0600 Report

I lived in New Orleans for a number of years and still have relatives there. Believe me it's not easy to live there and remain healthy! Too many fantastic places to eat…wonderful Cajun food! I really miss all of that!

Meridian - 26751
Meridian - 26751 2009-01-08 15:17:45 -0600 Report

My mother was diagnosed in her 70's. My older sister was diagnosed following an auto accident that injured her pancreas when she was in her 30's. I was diagnosed when I was 55. I am the first male to have been diagnosed with the disease on either side of my family.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-08 17:16:31 -0600 Report

I really find all of your answers so interesting. Hope you do too, and that it makes everyone realize, if they did not already, how important family history is in caring for your own health. It is so important to be sure you pass down information to your children, etc., so that they can be more knowledgeable and better prepared for what's ahead of them. Thanks so much to all have responded.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2009-01-08 11:11:45 -0600 Report

We did not have a family history of type 1 diabetes. My father-in-law was diagnosed with type 2 after my son was diagnosed. And my wife thinks she had a great grandma who was also type 2.

But there is some history of auto-immune disorders in the family tree, including lupus and MS. We've always thought that because type 1 is essentially an auto-immune problem that it was all related somehow.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-09 16:11:55 -0600 Report

I think you're probably right, John. I have read some articles to that effect, particularly discussing Lupus and a small inflammatory protein called interleukin-18 (IL18) that circulates in the blood.

caragypsy 2009-01-07 20:16:38 -0600 Report

My dad was told he was type 2 about 2 years before he died. My oldest brother is type 2 and so is my sister's son.

sparkysmom 2009-01-07 19:26:43 -0600 Report

I grew up with my Mom and Grandmother having type1. It runs on both sides of the family. I didn't know about my Dad's family til I was in my 30s. For many years we thought it had skipped a generation until I was diagnosed last year as type 2. My brother was diagnosed type 2 about 3 months before me.

Lisa Ann
Lisa Ann 2009-01-07 15:33:59 -0600 Report

I knew it was there, but didn't see it. My mom's side: her mom took insulin and her father took a pill. My mom also took a pill for about a year before she died in Feb 1996 2 months before her 49th birthday. I don't know about her brothers and sisters or my dad's family. She told me once that she had diabetes when she was pregnant with me and the dr had to deliver me 5 weeks early or I would have died. My mom had a uncle that was diabetic. He passed away this past June and was 83 I think. Actually I had my dr. appiontment before the funeral, that's when I was told I had diabetes. I was also told that if you have a baby weighing more than 9 lbs you had diabetes while pregnant and my last child weighed 9 lbs 11.5 ozs, she's 8 now. I also had pancreatits in 2005.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 15:48:00 -0600 Report

Yes, I had higher than ordinary BS during my pregnancies, but was not diagnosed with diabetes at that time. Just cautioned and watched. My 2 daughters were just an ounce or so under 9 lbs.; my son, 9lbs. 1 1/2 oz. People who have a likelihood of diabetes tend to have larger babies. Women who have larger babies tend to later be diagnosed with diabetes.

Your family history bears out again how it runs through families. Thanks for contributing.

gma 2009-01-07 19:03:43 -0600 Report

Lady DI do you think with having such a big baby and being told I was a Diabetic while being pregnet my son could be one to!!

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 19:12:03 -0600 Report

Hard to say. It is genetic, and there are numerous factors that trigger it. You are diabetic, and it runs in your family. The doctor should be given that info in any initial visit, so that they can always check him for that and keep tabs on him. Your daughter too, of course. Sometimes it skips family members, so they may never be diagnosed with it. It's a good idea to teach them healthy lifestyles, as a safety measure…good eating habits and to exercise, etc. Be an example for them, since you should also be doing these things.

2009-01-07 21:48:11 -0600 Report

I've always heard this too about large babies, my mother was an OB nurse her whole life so she saw many large ones over the years. Now for me, I had small babies and then later was still diagnosed with Diabetes. So it's a good predictor when it happens but doesn't happen to everyone.
Just an observation

dj7110 2009-01-07 15:09:59 -0600 Report

I knew about it in my family after my dad came down with it.. was unaware prior to this.. He was in his 40's when he found out and pretty sick from it. stubron on going to see a dr. Than my brother tested positive after he was in his 40's as well as myself and mother.. sister also is diabetic.. so it left none of us out except my own kids so far (knocking on wood).

2009-01-07 14:53:17 -0600 Report

I was definately aware that there was diabities in my family. My mother was diabetic, as I think some of her family members. On my father's side of the family, my grandfather was diabetic, and my great-grandmother lost a leg to diabeties. So, I definately knew that there was a genetic connection there.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-01-07 13:31:18 -0600 Report

When I was in graduate school I took a class called "Death & Dying" where one task had us researching our background to see what we might possibly die from. I learned that my paternal grandpa had 8 brothers and sisters, and 5 of them were diabetics, both Type 1 and Type 2. My grandpa was Type 2. Unfortunately, I did not heed that genetic knowledge as I gained weight during my career as a hospital food service director where my meals were paid for (and it DID taste good), and suddenly I realized that every afternoon, after huge lunches with my peer group of department heads, I had a funny headache. I complained to the headnurse who checked my blood sugar… the rest is history. In the meantime, my aunt (daughter of my grandpa) has been diagnosed with Type 2 at age 81, and my sister, age 63, mentioned that her glucose level is increasing.

My son, age 41, has other diseases of the immune system that keep him from functioning at full throttle. He had shingles when he was 33, and has adrenal fatigue. This really annoys him as he's the kind of guy who gives his all to whatever he opts to do, and had to drop out of several oragnizations due to his need to slow down a bit.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 13:35:35 -0600 Report

A good example of how knowledge of the medical history of our families are really very important. When we have to fill out all that info for a new doctor, etc., we get irritated at times. But to do their jobs they really do need that information. It is important to provide your children with good family medical history and encourage them to be diligent when it comes to annual exams, etc.

Anngelia 2009-01-07 10:43:12 -0600 Report

When I was a kid I went to diabetic camp. At that time they said diabetes tends to skip a generation. But in my family it didnt. My grandfather, my uncle and myself are all T1. My grandfather was dx'd at 32, my uncle at age 14 and me at 8 years old.

I was also told that you have to get the gene from both sides of your family. Some people would say "no no no it's only on my mom or my dad's side of the family". But in my grandmother's time people died and they never knew why. Insulin didnt exist back then. So its hard to say that even though a family thinks there isnt diabetes in their family that it doesnt exist somewhere.

My grandmother was in such a panic when my grandfather was dx'd. She had watched a little girl die from diabetes when she was growing up. They only fed her potatoes! So they fed the child nothing but carbs. But luckily we have more knowlege now than they did then. Who knows what they'll be saying about us 50 or 100 years from now. :-)

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 12:22:52 -0600 Report

Very interesting. But extremely sad about the little girls fed nothing but potatoes. Wow. As I've said many times, we are blessed to have all that we do today to help us get and stay healthy (or healthier, anyway). You're right about folks not knowing about the diabetes in their families back many years ago. Even today there are far too many who don't have a clue they are diabetic.

2009-01-07 07:42:50 -0600 Report

Great discussion Diane. I don't fit into the gene catagory. I don't have one family member with diabetes. Not even an aunt, uncle or cousin. This is why I think something else caused mine. My grandmother and mother both had/have Addison's Disease which they say you don't inherit. So far, I don't have it but I do have the symptoms. I was diagnosed with Type 1 on 12/01/2008. Thanks my dear friend, Angie

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 08:52:25 -0600 Report

If I understand correctly, someone back in your family must have had diabetes at some point, thereby causing you to be predisposed. I may be wrong. It's very possible that they never knew they had it too, as there are millions walking around today that are unaware they have it. I'm not at all versed on Addison's, but I pray you do not develop that as well as your diabetes. Have a great day!

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2009-01-07 08:57:01 -0600 Report

They are saying now that, if you're diabetic, most likely one of your parents probably was, too.

I didn't really believe that until I went to visit my parents one year and discovered testing supplies in the medicine cabinet at their house (and I hadn't lived there for YEARS and no one else (brothers or sister) is diabetic). I never asked them about (although I would now) because I figured, if they wanted me to know, they'd tell me.

I think it was my dad's.

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2009-01-07 08:59:14 -0600 Report

Also, my uncle was a brittle diabetic… and an alcoholic which REALLY complicated things. He lost a leg to diabetes and eventually died from it (with the alcohol adding to it).

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2009-01-07 13:05:17 -0600 Report

Well, he could have gotten help for the alcoholism… but I got the impression he "enjoyed" the "attention" (you know, "Oh poor me"). I'm not a believer in the "alcoholism as a disease" position. It's an addictive choice we make… he made the choice to stay an alcoholic.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 13:31:12 -0600 Report

I don't see where there's anything to indicate that he "enjoyed" being an alcoholic. Strange you would get that from what she wrote. Personally I do believe it is a disease. A "choice" - yes, in many cases. Whatever the reason, to me it is very sad.

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2009-01-07 19:18:20 -0600 Report

I didn't say anyone implied he enjoyed being an alcoholic. What I said is that I believed he enjoyed the attention he got from being an alcoholic and a diabetic. (It's called "secondary gain".)

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 19:26:28 -0600 Report

I wasn't trying to be smart or anything. I just couldn't see where you came up with the fact the he was enjoying the attention, etc. I'm aware that people often derive satisfaction from the attention, etc., but just couldn't see that in this particular post. It certainly could be true, however. I sure don't know. Thanks for your response.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-08 11:33:47 -0600 Report

Well! This will give you an idea of what my mind is like these days. I thought that post was from someone else. Didn't realize you were talking about your own uncle. Duh! Please forgive me. One of those times I should have kept my yap shut.

2009-01-07 09:00:17 -0600 Report

Now I'm really curious. I'm going to drill my parents to see if they can remember if any of their aunts, uncles, their mom or dad had diabetes. Maybe it skipped a generation. My grandparents all died when I was very young, so maybe there is a history I don't know about. Will let you know. Thanks again!

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-07 09:13:44 -0600 Report

I don't know if they actually had to BE diabetic, or just pass on the genes that predispose you to it, meaning your chances of it are greatly increased.

2009-01-06 22:20:20 -0600 Report

Hi LadyDi, my story is a little different and odd to say the least. I have had blood sugar issues since I was 6 years old. Not Type 1 but low blood sugar. It started when I started school, I passed out often in those early days. My mother said they checked me for diabetes back then but said no it wasn't. Checked a few years in a row too. Then roll the tape forward and I'm 44 years old and feeling terrible all the time so I agree to go to the doctor for a physical… bingo now I have Diabetes hadn't even noticed that over the last few years when I didn't feel good often, I wasn't having the low blood sugars anymore. No one on either side of my family has diabetes although the men on both sides all died early in their late 40's and 50's from strokes, heart issues etc.. so maybe they had it and didn't know it. Strange life I've had. :)

jaclyncrystal 2009-01-06 21:50:11 -0600 Report

Lady Di, what a wonderful topic thank you for bringing this to our attention. My sister is the only one who had diabetes when she was pregnant, over 18yrs ago, no problem since. I was originally found to be boarder line 15 years ago, diet and exercise worked until this past November now on metformin.

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