How Is Diabetes Inherited?

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Type 1 diabetes can be inherited if both parents have the factor that causes the diabetes, but type 2 diabetes is generally more influenced by lifestyle. Avoid high-fat and high-calorie diets to prevent type 2 diabetes with advice 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

You may be wondering how is diabetes inherited. Hi I'm Amy Bull, Professor and Family Nurse Practitioner at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. For type 1 diabetes you must inherit a factor from both parents. This factor itself doesn't cause diabetes, an environmental trigger actually causes the body to attack the pancreas and prevent the body from producing insulin. This is what causes type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is totally different. Type 2 diabetes does have genetic component. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes you are at risk for developing the disorder. More important than a family history of type 2 diabetes is the individual's lifestyle such as following a Western type diet which is high in fat and high in calories, also following some of our common behaviors of not getting regular exercise are really the key to developing type 2 diabetes so even if you have a family history of diabetes and regardless of how strong it is the most important thing an individual can do is to follow a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy and exercising on a daily basis.


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