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Doing Life Together

ID-100237853My father has type 2 diabetes. His mother had it as well. Does this mean I will get it too?

Most of us look at our family history of disease and wonder if we inherited our parents’ illnesses. We worry that because our parents had cancer, diabetes or some other type of illness, that we will get it too. Well, the good news is that you may or may not!

And there may be something you can do to lower the risk of that problematic genetic information.

For some diseases, inherited genes up your risk of getting the disease, e.g., Huntington’s, ALS, etc. But for others, like type 2 diabetes, lifestyle can activate or inactivate those genes. In other words, our behavioral choices matter.

What are those lifestyle behaviors? The usual suspects:

1) Healthy diet

2) Exercise

3) No smoking

4) Weight control

5) Stress reduction

So while we can’t control our inherited genes (you get what you get), we can control our behavior, which can reduce our risk of getting certain diseases. The genes do not change, but our behavior changes the way the genetic information is used.

So stop worrying! That creates# 5 on the list! Instead, take action and do what you can to lower your risk!

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