Someone in My Family has Diabetes

Someone in My Family has Diabetes, What Should I do so that I do not get this Disease

Diabetes has a strong link to family history and genetics play a very strong role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Yet it also depends on environmental factors and lifestyle. Families tend to have similar eating and exercise habits. If you have Type 2 diabetes, the risk of your children developing it varies from 8-14 %. A child’s risk is greater when the parent with diabetes is the mother. The risk for getting diabetes goes up to about 50% if both parents have it.

Apart from family history, other factors increase the risk of developing diabetes, including:

  • An age of 45 years or older
  • Excess weight or obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle that involves limited physical activity
  • High levels of cholesterol in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • History of gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Depression

Dr.A.Ramachandran’s Diabetes Risk Score for Indians can be used to identify people having undected diabetes. The likelihood of detecting diabetes in people with a score of 21 or more is high and require testing with an oral glucose tolerance test.

Variables Risk Score
Age (30–44) yrs 10
Age ( 45–59) yrs 18
Age (> 59) yrs 19
Family history of diabetes 7
Body mass index (≥ 25) kg/m2 7
Waist (M ≥ 85, W ≥ 80cm) 5
Sedentary physical activity 4
Maximum score 42

People who wish to prevent diabetes should follow some basic principles:

  • Attempts to lose 5%-10% of body weight if overweight or obese
  • Participate in physical activity (e.g., walking) for at least 1 hour daily.
  • 6–8 h of sleep daily
  • Stress management
  • Avoidance of alcohol and tobacco
  • Dietary interventions including high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, fibre-rich, and protein-rich diet
  • Monitor both fasting and post prandial blood sugars regularly, once in 3 months
Dr. Amitesh Aggarwal
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