If you have an immediate relative with type 2 diabetes, this increases your risk of developing the condition by 2-6 times.
However, this doesn’t have to be your fate, because you can control your risk through diet and lifestyle changes.
Dr Paul Mason and Dr Peter Brukner explain the most important lifestyle elements to minimising your risk, and how the Defeat Diabetes Program can help.
Dr Peter Brukner: Paul, what do you say to a patient who says my mum's got diabetes? Does that mean I'm gonna get diabetes as well?
Dr Paul Mason: Well, we know that if you've got a first degree relative with type 2 diabetes then your personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased by two to six times. But the thing to understand is that genetics is not fate.
Dr Peter Brukner: Genetics is not fate. Now what do you mean by that?
Dr Paul Mason: Well, like with most chronic diseases, there's a lot we can do to control our risk. Outside of who our parents are, it comes down to lifestyle. So everything that we're trying to address with the Defeat Diabetes Program - eating well, exercising, sleeping well, these things can do a massive amount in reducing your personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes, irrespective of who your parents are.
Dr Peter Brukner: Well, my dad had type 2 diabetes and I was certainly pre diabetic. I was overweight, I had a lot of metabolic abnormalities. Change my diet, and I'm no longer pre diabetic, but I'm pretty sure I've dodged the bullet. I'm not gonna become diabetic. Purely it's changing my lifestyle.
Dr Paul Mason: So that's really a case in point. You're living proof that you can actually take control, and reduce your risk factors.
Dr Peter Brukner: Yep, I'm pretty happy about that.