The Genetic Connection:
How Diabetes Runs
in the Family
WHEN any family gathers together, it's easy to see where heredity has left its mark: a brother and sister with the same curly red hair, a set of dimples that seems to have been passed down from one generation to the next, a child's wide smile reflected in her grandmother's. To hear "He looks just like his Dad" is a source of pride to most fathers, and surely one of the great joys of parenthood is recognizing a part of yourself or a loved one in your children.
However, unlike curly hair or green eyes, other traits that we inherit are not so obvious—or as desirable. Many diseases can also be traced along family lines, and diabetes mellitus (usually just called diabetes) is one of them.
If you've picked up this book, you probably have diabetes or have a close relative who has diabetes or had it at some point. Perhaps the knowledge that a parent died of diabetes or its many complications is already a concern in your life. Perhaps you worry that the same fate awaits you or your children, and you feel that developing the disease is an ever‐ present threat to your family's future.
These thoughts can be frightening, but they needn't be. Yes, diabetes is a serious, often life-threatening disorder