Diseases Diseases

How Diabetes Is Caused Due To Inheritence

Published at 07/16/2011 09:17:47

 Many people wonder if diabetes can be passed down by inheritence. Genes can cause type 1 diabetes. Studies have shown that 20 genes can increase your risk for developing diabetes. The HLA region and the insulin gene are the most reviewed causes.

 The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) region is a part of our chromosome that houses genes that have immunological properties. They create proteins that are present in some cells found in our immune system. They assist in differentiating between local cells and foreign material. When this system is compromised, they start to attack other cells found in our body. This is termed an autoimmune reaction.

Diabetics who inherit DR 3 alone develop diabetes at a later age and are more prone to develop thyroid autoimmune disease. Individuals who have DR4 develop diabetes earlier and are immune to insulin. The unfortunate few who have inherited both DR 3 and 4 develop diabetes at a younger age along with the highest level of immunity against insulin.

 The DQ allele is found in the HLA region as well. It also contributes to passing down type 1 diabetes. Some variants of this gene put individuals at a higher risk while some seem to shield our body from the disease. People with both DR3 and DQ4 run a higher risk of inheriting the DQ that adds to their risk of developing the disease.

The Insulin gene is the part of the DNA responsible for coding protein insulin. DNA abnormalities near this gene can increase the chances contracting diabetes. The repeated section of DNA is termed the Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (VNTR). The lengths of these vary in different individuals. Individuals with two short VNTR regions are most likely to develop the disease in comparison to people with at least one long VNTR.

Tips and comments:

 Parents who suffer from diabetes should have their children genetically screened for their HLA type and for the presence of antibodies. Since developing the disease is inevitable when both parents have it, early detection is the best way to keep diabetes under control. Seek medical advice as soon as the results are obtained.


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