How Do People Get Diabetes?

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People get diabetes due to genetic factors and unhealthy behavior. Staying at a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise is one of the most important factors in preventing diabetes. Get information on how different types of diabetes develop from a family nurse practitioner in this free video on diabetes.

Part of the Video Series: Diabetes Symptoms & Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hi you may be wondering how do people get diabetes. I'm Amy Bull, Professor and Family Nurse Practitioner at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. There are different ways that people get diabetes. For instance type 1 diabetes we aren't exactly sure how people get it to be honest. In our understanding of genetics and science at this point we believe that you have to inherit a risk factor from both parents and then an environmental trigger causes the diabetes. We aren't even sure what the environmental trigger is. One hypothesis is that it is a virus, like a flu like illness that may actually cause type 1 diabetes to develop. However, type 2 diabetes we have a lot more information about that. Type 2 diabetes does have a genetic component so having a family history of diabetes does make you more at risk. However, research has shown us that more important than your family history is your health behavior. If you are a healthy eater and get regular exercise regardless of how many relatives have type 2 diabetes, you are very unlikely to develop the disorder. However, having only one relative and being very unhealthy in your behaviors puts you at great risk to develop type 2 diabetes. To prevent type 2 diabetes, weight management is crucial. It is really important for you to be your ideal body weight to prevent type 2 diabetes regardless of your family history.


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