Diabetes mellitus, both the first and second type, is a chronic pathology that is incurable. The illness of the first type can develop at any age, and the second type of the disease is most often registered at the age of more than 40 years.
The appearance and progression of the disease is associated with impaired synthesis of pancreatic cells by the hormone insulin.
The first type of illness is characterized by a deficiency in the body’s own hormone, and the second by a change in glucose tolerance, when insulin is produced in sufficient quantities, but insulin-dependent tissue cells are not able to respond to the presence of the hormone. As a result of this process, normal utilization of glucose from blood plasma does not occur, as a result of which its level in the body rises.
The presence of an incurable pathology in the body makes many patients planning the birth of offspring think about whether diabetes is inherited?
It should be said right away that the answer to this question is positive – the disease is inherited, the risk of transmission of pathology is especially strong in the presence of an ailment simultaneously in both parents.
How is diabetes inherited?
Insulin-dependent diabetes occurs as a result of the development of an autoimmune process, the nature of which is still not fully understood. An insulin-independent pathology appears due to malfunctions in metabolic processes.
Is diabetes inherited – yes, but its transmission mechanism differs from the usual one.
In the event that one of the parents is ill with the disease, the gene material is transmitted to the child, including a group of genes that provoke the appearance of pathology, however, the child is born absolutely healthy.
In this case, the activation of pathological processes requires exposure to provoking factors. The most common triggering factors are as follows:
- pathology in the pancreas;
- the impact on the body of stressful situations and hormonal disruptions;
- violation of metabolic processes;
- use in the treatment of certain diseases of drugs with a diabetic effect as a side effect.
In this case, the appearance of an ailment can be avoided if the effect of negative factors on the body is minimized.
The described situation is true for children in whom one of the parents, dad or mother, suffers from a disease of the second type.
The Importance of Hereditary Predisposition in the Occurrence of Diabetes
To answer the question whether diabetes is inherited from the father or mother, it is difficult to answer unequivocally.
It has been reliably established that the gene responsible for the occurrence of the disease is transmitted most often along the paternal side, but, nevertheless, there is no one hundred percent risk of developing the disease.
Heredity plays an important role, but not fundamental in the appearance of pathology.
At the moment, it is difficult for science to answer how inherited diabetes and what to do to those people who got such a gene. For the development of the disease requires a push. If in the case of non-insulin-dependent pathology such an impetus can be an incorrect lifestyle and the development of obesity, then the main causes of the insulin-dependent form of the disease are still not exactly established.
There is a misconception that type 2 diabetes is a hereditary disease. This opinion is not entirely true, this is due to the fact that this type of ailment is an acquired pathology that develops in a person with age, while among relatives there may not be patients suffering from this pathology.
The likelihood of a child developing a disease
In the event that both parents suffer from diabetes, the probability of transmission of the disease by inheritance is about 17%, but it is impossible to unequivocally answer the question of whether the child will become ill or not.
In the event that only one of the parents, for example, the father, has a pathology, the probability of passing it on to a child does not exceed 5%. It is almost impossible to prevent the development of a disease of the first type. For this reason, parents should, if there is a likelihood of transmission of a violation by inheritance, strictly monitor the condition of the child and conduct regular measurements of the amount of glucose in his body.
Due to the fact that non-insulin-dependent diabetes and metabolic disorders are autosomal signs and can be transmitted from parents to children, the probability of transmission of such disorders is about 70% if both parents suffer from these pathologies.
However, for the development of this form of the disease, an obligatory component is the effect of provoking factors on a person. The role of such factors may be:
- Keeping sedentary age.
- The presence of excess weight.
- An unbalanced diet.
- The impact on the body of stressful situations.
Lifestyle adjustment in such a situation contributes to a significant reduction in the risks of developing the disease.
Very often people can hear questions about whether diabetes is transmitted through the blood or is diabetes transmitted through saliva? Regarding these questions, the answer is negative, since the pathology is chronic, it is not an infectious disease, therefore, when healthy people come into contact with diabetics, infection does not occur .
At the present stage of development of scientific knowledge, it is not always possible to understand the connection between diabetes and generations. Sometimes cases of inheritance of pregnancy morbidity in each generation are recorded, and at the same time, situations of formation of pathologies of carbohydrate metabolism through the generation are often recorded, for example, there is a violation in grandfather or grandmother, their daughter and son are absent and appear again in the body of a granddaughter or grandson.
This property of the disease to pass from generation to generation confirms the assumption that, in addition to heredity, environmental factors and a person’s lifestyle play a huge role in the development of the disease. In fact, a person is inherited by susceptibility to the disease.
Is gestational diabetes inherited?
In addition to types 1 and 2 of the disease, doctors distinguish one more of its special types – gestational diabetes. This pathology develops in a woman during pregnancy. The disease is registered in 2-7 percent of women bearing a child.
The development of this type of disease is due to the fact that during pregnancy a serious hormonal restructuring is observed in the woman’s body, which is aimed at increased production of hormones that ensure fetal development.
During the period of intrauterine development of the child, the mother’s body requires significantly more insulin to maintain the required plasma glucose level. The need for insulin increases, but in some cases the pancreas is not able to synthesize a sufficient amount of the hormone, which leads to an increase in the sugar content in the body of the expectant mother. As a result of these processes, gestational diabetes develops.
Most often, the normalization of the female body after delivery leads to the normalization of the carbohydrate metabolism of a woman. But with the onset of another pregnancy, the pathological process can again arise. The presence of this special form of pathology during pregnancy may indicate a high likelihood of developing diabetes in later life. To prevent such a negative development of processes, it is necessary to pay great attention to the state of health and, if possible, to exclude the influence of negative and provoking factors.
At the moment, the exact reasons for the development of this special form of pathology during the period of intrauterine development of the child are not reliably known. Many disease researchers agree that hormones associated with the placenta contribute to the progression of gestational diabetes. It is assumed that these biologically active substances interfere with the normal functioning of insulin, which leads to an increase in blood sugar levels.
The appearance of gestational diabetes can be associated with the presence of excess body weight in women and non-compliance with the rules of a healthy lifestyle.
Preventive measures for diabetes
In the presence of diabetes, both parents are at high risk of transmitting a predisposition to the disease from them to their offspring. To prevent the occurrence of pathology, such a child should do everything in his power throughout his life, so as not to provoke the progression of the disorder.
Most medical researchers argue that having an unfavorable hereditary line is not a sentence. To do this, from childhood, you must follow certain recommendations that can eliminate or significantly reduce the impact on the body of certain risk factors.
The primary prevention of pathology is to comply with the rules of proper and healthy nutrition. Such rules require the exclusion from the diet of most foods containing fast carbohydrates. In addition, procedures should be carried out that harden the child’s body. Such events help strengthen the body and its immune system.
The principles of nutrition should be reviewed not only in relation to the child, but also to the full family, especially if close relatives have revealed the presence of diabetes mellitus.
With proper nutrition, and this is a diet with high sugar , it should be understood that this is not a temporary measure – such a review should become a way of life. Proper nutrition should not be a limited amount of time, but throughout life.
From the diet should completely exclude the consumption of such products:
- chocolate and sweets prepared with its use;
- carbonated drinks;
- cookies, etc.
it is not recommended that the child give snacks in the form of harmful chips, bars and similar food products. All of these products are harmful and have a high degree of calorie content, which has a negative effect on the digestive system.
Preventive measures should be started from early childhood, so that a child from an early age is accustomed to limit himself in the consumption of harmful components of food.
In the case of a hereditary predisposition, it is necessary to protect the child as much as possible from exposure to all risk factors that contribute to the development of a pathological condition.
Such measures do not give a full guarantee that the disease will not appear but significantly reduce this probability.