Does diabetes run in your family? It does in many—most often with type 2 diabetes, but sometimes with type 1.
No matter the type, we wanted to hear from our Facebook fans how diabetes can affect the different generations of a family. All week long, we will feature their stories!
Name: Jennifer Delgado
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
You could say diabetes runs in my family! My maternal grandmother, my mother and I all have had type 1. And my 10-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with MODY (maturity-onset diabetes of the young).
My grandmother was diagnosed at age 21. Before that, the only other family member with diabetes was a distant uncle, so it would seem that the trend may have started with her. My mother and I were both diagnosed with type 1 at age 13. And then there is my daughter, who does not show the antibodies for type 1. Her blood glucose numbers are not normal, but her body is still producing insulin.
It never crossed my mind that I would develop diabetes, until it happened. As a matter of fact, my mother was told that it would probably skip the next generation. Growing up, I thought taking a shot every day was a normal thing. Though when I was very little, it was definitely scary to see her have some serious cases of low blood glucose (needing to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance).
My mother and I were extremely close. She taught me how to take my insulin shots, helped me keep it regulated and helped me cope. She would tell me that I have diabetes, but diabetes doesn’t have me. However, both my grandmother and mother were hit hard by diabetes. When they were first diagnosed, there were not as many advances in medicine and education, so they had to be very strict with their control. They just didn’t know enough to give themselves the best care. Unfortunately, they had serious cardiovascular issues related to diabetes; both had heart attacks and strokes and died too young.
So far, I am the only one who hasn’t seen any impact from diabetes complications. I saw how it affected them, and I am determined to not allow it to control me.
And then I had children of my own. I worried about my son, my oldest child, developing diabetes. When he hit puberty, I started having him tested regularly, but he has no signs of it. He is now 17 and other than asthma he is in good health.
Then there is my daughter, who at the beginning of the year told me for several nights in a row that she was extremely thirsty. No amount of water could ease the thirst. So I tested her with my glucose monitor and her level was 270. The next morning it was 150. I immediately got her into the doctor, and we got her diagnosis. I hope that diabetes stops with her.
So if diabetes runs in YOUR family, be sure to get regularly tested or monitored for it. You just never know.