Why me? What did I do to deserve this?
These are just two of the questions that people ask when they are diagnosed with any serious disease.
There are no clear cut answers to these questions when it comes to diabetes. Diabetes is not inherited in a simple pattern. There is also a lot of misinformation when it comes to the relationship between genetics and diabetes and what causes this common yet chronic disease.
Is Diabetes related to Genes?
It is however apparent that some people are born with a tendency to develop diabetes unlike others. There are different causes of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes but genetics play an important role in both. But, it is not just genes that govern diabetes. There is a predisposition of the disease inherited from parents but other environmental factors also play a major role in the disease.
The Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
We are sure that genetics is involved in causing the disease but there are some environmental factors that increase the risk of having the disease. Let us take a look at them.
Type 1 diabetes is found to occur more often in winter than in summer. People in countries with cold climates are at high risk of having Type 1 diabetes than the ones in warmer climates.
Viruses or Bacteria
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. According to scientists, viruses or bacteria or other infectious agents can be a cause of the disease.
People who have breastfed in the early years of life and the ones who have eaten solid foods later in life are at a lower risk of having type 1 diabetes than the ones who haven’t.
Type 2 Diabetes
Just as the case is with type 1 diabetes, the risk of type 2 diabetes is also affected by genetics. Identical twins have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes but there are environmental factors involved in it too. The onset of diabetes is affected by type 2 diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle and excess weight gain are the primary environmental factors involved in the onset of type 2 diabetes. Bacteria in the digestive system and environmental pollutants are also found to cause type 2 diabetes.
It has proven to be difficult to identify the environmental and genetic factors associated with both types of diabetes. However, research is still being conducted in the field. It is important to ensure that you keep getting tested for diabetes and other gene related diseases. The susceptibility of the disease and its complications increases with certain genetic factors, therefore, you should have a regular genetic test to know if you also lie in the risky range and take preemptive measures before it is too late to control the disease.
It is important to identify environmental and genetic factors that are responsible of causing the disease.