Is Type 1 Diabetes Hereditary?

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes Unfortunately, figuring this out isn't quite so simple.

It would be convenient if you could simply say that parents have diabetes, then so will their children. But there are other factors that come into play.

Type 1 diabetes is a condition caused by an autoimmune disorder. Certain cells in the pancreas are mistaken for a foreign matter so the body responds in the same manner that it responds to any other foreign matter - by attacking it with an immune response. This causes these cells to stop producing insulin. So far, scientists do not have a clear reason what causes the expression of this autoimmune disorder.

Since type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 there is a tendency to believe that hereditary factors play a much larger part in type 2 development than they do for type 1.

So far, the only connection that can be made is through the father. If a father has type 1 there is a greater chance that the child will also develop it than if the mother has type 1. For type 2, the percentage is much higher. Even having a sibling with type 1 doesn't seem to dramatically increase the chances of the other children also having it.

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