Saturday, January 10, 2015

Is Diabetes Hereditary?

Jan. 10, 2015

Dear Cathy:

My mother has been diagnosed with Diabetes after having a heart attack but she is doing okay.  My three brothers and one of my two sisters have also had heart issues.  Does this mean that the disease is hereditary?  I am 45 years old and like other men I don’t really like going to doctors but I do go in for checkups every couple of years.   Hereditary in the North

Dear Hereditary: 

It is true when you go to the doctor for your regular physical, the doctor want to know if anyone in your family have Diabetes but this doesn't necessarily mean it is a gene disease.  Diabetes like most diseases are ‘diet-related diseases’ and we know that most families eat the same foods so it doesn’t have to be hereditary.  However, because of your age you need to be checked for the disease on a regular basis. 

What you need to understand up front is that Diabetes is the 3rd largest killer of people in this country and the number one killer of African Americans.  Diabetes is one of those diseases that is extremely hard to diagnose so many people don’t find out they have it until something terrible happens like a heart attack, a stroke or many times people end up on kidney dialysis because of diabetes.

For best results, just don’t go to a regular doctor, instead try to go to an endocrinologist, a Diabetes specialist, so he can check your A1c number after 90 days.  He might want you to prick your finger and write down the results for at least 90 days so he can monitor your daily blood glucose levels before he can make a correct diagnosis.  Finding out if you have the disease will be key to living with the disease and managing it correctly.  You can learn more about the disease by reading the book "Diabetes 101: 3rd Largest Killer." 

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