The Link Between Genetics and Type 2 Diabetes

The Link Between Genetics and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that can develop over time due to environmental factors or it can be inherited. What is interesting is that if you have a genetic predisposition, an environmental factor can trigger the expression or development of diabetes.

Did you know that it can take up to 7 years to be diagnosed with diabetes?

Often many of us are not even aware that we could have this disease as the symptoms can start quite mild.

In South Africa, it is estimated that over 4.5 million people are suffering from diabetes with an additional 5 million estimated to have pre-diabetes or insulin resistance, this is not including the many undiagnosed cases. Insulin resistance means that your body can’t regulate the amount of sugar in your blood.

Over the last few years, diabetes has become a major concern in the African continent as there are over 19 million cases with South Africa having the highest percentage of adult diabetics. These figures are estimated to increase by 135% by 2045. It has also become one of the leading causes of death as it makes up 7% of the total annual deaths with the main co-morbidities being overweight and obese.

Type 2 diabetes generally has a strong link to family history.  Studies have shown that genetics can play a large role in the development of this disease as do various environmental factors. Lifestyle is a major influence on these ‘diabetes’ genes being triggered.

There have been several gene mutations linked to higher diabetes risk. DNA testing can assist in determining your genetic risk and guide you to make specific environmental changes that could even assist in preventing it. Not only can a DNA test help determine your predisposition to diabetes, but it can also test for the risk of other medical conditions that can lead to a higher likelihood of developing diabetes.

If you are genetically predisposed to diabetes, there are steps that you can take to reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2.

GENEWAY™ provides tests that can reveal the underlying genetic variations that may cause diabetes. If you have a genetic risk, your practitioner may recommend further blood tests including the following:

Fasting glucose levels

The gold standard test for diabetes monitoring and diagnosis is a fasting glucose test. To prepare for it, you can’t eat or drink anything (aside from water) for eight hours prior to test time. This will help produce accurate results that can tell whether your glucose levels are naturally normal or above or below average. Glucose tests measure the sugar in your blood.

Fasting insulin levels

Just like with the glucose level test, a fasting insulin test will be conducted after 8 or more hours of fasting. An insulin test can reveal unusual or abnormal amounts of insulin in the body and is an indicator of pre-diabetes or insulin resistance.

There are a few lifestyle factors to keep in mind that increase the risk of diabetes:

  • Obesity
  • Stagnant lifestyle (lack of exercise)
  • High blood pressure
  • Age

It’s important to take care of your body regardless of susceptibility to certain diseases but knowing what you’re up against could motivate you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. GENEWAY™ offers a wide variety of DNA tests that can determine disease risks as well as supplements such as Carb Support that benefit those diagnosed with diabetes or is insulin resistant. Carb Support supports healthy blood glucose levels as well as insulin sensitivity.

For more information visit www.geneway.com or contact us on 012 002 0533 or email: enquiries@geneway.co.za


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