Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

I have mild diabetes in the family (my grandfather on my dad's side). He also has glycoma. Is diabetes a genetic disorder that might be passed to myself? Let's just say I have the symptoms.

A:

Yes, diabetes does have a genetic component. This does not necessarily mean that you will "get it", but if the conditions are right, your chances are better than someone without that genetic component. What are the "right conditions"? Lack of exercise, non-nutritious eating habits, an increase in body fat, maintaining a high-stressed life style...to name a few. Visit your primary caregiver to request a lab workup. This will give you fasting glucose levels as a place to start. If you are over 126, you may be asked to take a glucose tolerance test to further determine the presence of diabetes. If you are in the 100-126 range, it is a wake-up call to pay attention to your lifestyle to bring your blood sugar down to under100. An average fasting blood sugar for someone without diabetes is 80.

Remember, diabetes can be controlled in most cases without medication if some attention and discipline is applied. Stay well!

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