The types that bind

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you know that I have quite a history of diabetes in my family. (Beauty, intelligence, and, of course, wit, are also prevailing family traits).

I thought I’d document the history (but leave names out to protect the innocent):

My family history

My family history

The people within the circles have diabetes. I’m in the second row, #3 from the left (so 4 of 6 siblings are diabetic, 3 T1D, 1 T2D).

Of these 4 generations, 10 out of 21 relatives have diabetes. My nephew’s 20-month old son was just diagnosed T1D.

So what does this mean?

  • I fear that my children will be receive the dreaded diabetes diagnosis.
  • My family is really, really sweet.
  • It’s kind of funny when we all get together, all the paraphernalia we have to carry with us and use.
  • A family that’s diabetic together, (finger) sticks together?

I personally would like to understand the genetics of diabetes better. According to the ADA web site:

  • In most cases of T1D, people need to inherit risk factors from both parents. These factors must be more common in whites because whites have the highest rate of T1D.
  • T2D  has a stronger link to family history and lineage than type 1, although it too depends on environmental factors.
  • In general, if you are a man with T1D, the odds of your child developing diabetes are 1 in 17.
  • If you are a woman with T1D and your child was born before you were 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 25; if your child was born after you turned 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 100.

Both my children were born after I was 30, so hopefully that’s one positive factor in their favor.

Anyway, wouldn’t it be cool if IBM Watson chugged on and analyzed all the diabetic big data that I know is out there and help come up with a cure for this disease (or at least better ways to manage it). While we’re building that Smarter Planet, let’s build a Smarter Diabetic.

What’s your family history? Comment and let me know – I’d love to hear from you. Remember, we’re all in this together – we’re the “types” that bind.


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