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Understand the Truth of Genetics and Diabetes


Each cell in the human body contains genes and around 20,000 of these are protein-coding. These genes are inherited from the parents and are similar to a blueprint since the human body will produce proteins and control its structure and functions based on this “blueprint.” Since there are variations among individual’s genes, they enable us to be different in appearance and physique.

Disassemble the Myths of Diabetes Heredity

As technology advances, experts have been trying to decode this genetic blueprint and studying genes and their relationship with diabetes and its complications. Studies have shown that if an individual’s direct relatives (e.g., parents, siblings) have Type 2 diabetes, they are up to 3 times more likely than others to get it later in life. Also, some genetic variations in individuals may affect the development of the pancreas, the generation and secretion of insulin, and the sensitivity of cells to insulin.

Currently, diabetes genetic studies have discovered over 400 genetic variations associated with Type 2 diabetes, in which diabetes and its complications are caused by multiple genetic variations. However, not all genetic variations will cause the disease instantly, other high-risk factors of diabetes also contribute to our well-being. In addition, studies from various countries have found that among different races, their diabetes-related genes are different. These variations may lead to different incidence of diabetes in different groups of people. Using Chinese as an example, 1 in 5 of Chinese patients with diabetes have developed the disease before the age of 40, which may associated with race-related genes.

Cause of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes results from genetic and variable risk factors. If an individual naturally has multiple high-risk genes related to diabetes, and is also affected by adverse environmental factors (e.g. obese, smoking etc.), all these factors would increase the risk of developing diabetes. On the contrary, if one has a limited number of high-risk genes and has a healthy lifestyle, the risk of developing diabetes is relatively low. Although genes are irreversible, variable risk factors (such as weight, smoking habit) can be changed to reduce the risk. Therefore, the earlier you know about your genetic risk and physical conditions, the better you can prevent yourself from developing diabetes.

True or False Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is mainly due to the islet autoantibodies in the immune system attacking β-cells, resulting in increased blood sugar due to the insufficient production of insulin. Studies have found that multiple genes are associated with Type 1 diabetes and the functions are mostly related to the immune system.

Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) is a monogenic diabetes induced by single gene mutation. As MODY patients usually show onset of symptoms from a young age, which is similar to type 1 diabetes, they are often misdiagnosed as type 1 diabetes and receive its treatment with unsatisfactory results.

Precise Treatment with Precise Diagnosis

Studying genetic blueprints not only can analyze different types of diabetes, but also provide indicators regarding the effectiveness and serious side effects associated with common drugs. In the past when we wanted to know the effectiveness of a particular drug on an individual, it took quite awhile to observe its benefits and side effects, and only then would the type of drug and dosage be adjusted according to the situation. However, with the help of genetic information, personalized and precise medication decisions can be made to avoid using drugs with poor or undesirable results, delaying the best time for treatment.

GemVCare provides a series of diabetes genetic tests for different people's needs:

DForesee® is suitable for people without diabetes, in which combines your genetic and health data to calculate your risk of developing diabetes. Personalized reports are accompanied by comprehensive health advice to help prevent diabetes and protect your health. Click here to learn more about the DForesee® test.

DProtect® is specially designed for people with diabetes. It combines genetic and health data to assess whether your diabetes is properly controlled and calculates the risk of future complications. The report helps doctors determine personalized treatment plan which help effectively control and stabilize your condition and reduces the risk of developing diabetes complications. Click here to learn more details about DProtect®.

MD35 can accurately identify the types of MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young), which can help doctors determine personalized treatment plan for patients, including replacing insulin therapy with oral drugs. Click here to learn more details about MD35.

​For further information or inquiries about our diabetes tests, please click the button on the bottom right to send us a WhatsApp message.

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