One of the greatest predictors of diabetes is family history. Men and women with an immediate diabetic relative are far more likely to develop the condition. Although having a relative alone is not enough to guarantee a diabetes diagnosis, it does play a prevalent role in determining whether or not you need to take additional precautions against the onset of Type 2.
Type 2 Factors
Type 2 diabetes factors are typically more numerous and well understood than Type 1, and include genetics, diet, exercise, and general lifestyle habits. Many habits, however, are directly influenced by genetics, as weight and diet are typically the same within families. Some of this is due to genetic markings, and some is due more to environmental influences.
A single family, for instance, is likely to share meals and eating habits. Exercise is likely to be the same between parents and children, and children and siblings, as well. Each of these plays a role in how your body behaves and can be a force for strong or ill health.
4 Ways to Keep Diabetes Away from Your Legacy
If you have diabetes, you likely do not want your children following suit. Although that may seem an insurmountable task, at times, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of your illness reaching its way to your family.
#1. Make Exercise a Family Affair
Exercise does not have to be done locked away in a gym, or alone with headphones in the early morning. Exercise can mean taking a family hike a few times a week, or taking family bike rides each night. This will keep exercise fresh, fun, and simple enough to make it a long-term habit.
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#2. Make Meal Plans Together
Kids are far more likely to consistently eat well if they have a say in what they are eating. Instead of treating meal planning like a dictatorship, set aside time to make meal plans once a week or even once a month, and take your kids’ likes and dislikes into consideration.
#3. Talk About Your Illness
Diabetes should not be an off-limits topic. It might be uncomfortable or frightening to discuss diabetes with children—particularly when they are younger—but keeping an open discourse can help keep you abreast of any changes you might need to make to your own habits or your kids’.
#4. Check In With Each Other
Check in with your kids, and keep your door open. If you notice a sudden spike in your childrens’ weight, create an open dialogue. If you are having your own struggles in managing diabetes, communicate those, as well. This will allow your children to see the potential dangers and downsides of disease, and will relieve some of the tension involved in worrying in silence.
Diabetes does not have to dictate the lives of you and your children. With some diligence and communication, diabetes can remain your battle.