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Is Type 1 diabetes hereditary?

Is Type 1 diabetes hereditary?

Is type 1 diabetes hereditary or not? This question may arise in your mind if you or your parents are type 1 diabetics. Definitely if you are a type 1 diabetic, then you will never want your children to inherit this chronic disease.

Many parents who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes especially when their parents had it as well, are very much concerned about their children.

Here are some of the facts and researches about type 1 diabetics that you must know.

Is type 1 diabetes genetically transferred?

Diabetes is still a very complex topic as it is a chronic disease with four types, according to some researches, five types. The cause of none of these types are clear but type 1 diabetes is most alarming. Though type 1 diabetics are very less in numbers, 5% of the total diabetics in the world but it is mostly diagnosed in children and young persons. Don’t get yourself confused with juvenile diabetics as an old name of type 1 diabetics.

Genes and type 1 diabetes

According to the doctors, there is no research through which we can say that diabetes is genetically transferred. However, if you are type 1 diabetic, the risk of this disease to be transferred to your children is much higher. But still, we have many cases in which both parents were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes but fortunately they were safe.

Not only genetics but the food you eat, how you eat, your routine, your family history and the environmental factors together can cause type 1 diabetes.

Possible genetic causes of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetic is a polygenic disease. It means that more than one gene is involved in this disease. Polygenic is a genetic disorder which is caused by more than one genes. These genes help our body to make proteins and these proteins are then used by our immune system to fight unwanted cells.

The beta cells inside the pancreas are used to make the insulin. When these beta cells are destroyed mistakenly by the immune system, the insulin making is disturbed. This is the reason why type 1 diabetes is also called an autoimmune disease.

HLA Genes

Human body contains thousands of versions of genes. HLA is one of the genes in gene groups that is known for destroying these Beta cells. If you inherit these genes and your parents have type one diabetes, there is much higher chance that you will be diagnosed with t1 diabetes.

There is no fix versions and number of genes transferred from parents to child. And we know that genes vary person to person and not all persons have same genes. Therefore, it is believed that race and ethnicity plays an important role as well.

Example: The chances of white people being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are higher than any other.

Type 1 diabetics facts and figures in terms of genes

Since 1989, type 1 diabetes is increasing in children by 3% every year. 15000 children are diagnosed with type one diabetes every year in the United States of America only.

Every year, one out of 250 children in United States of America has type 1 diabetic’s parent(s).

There is an increased risk of 5% that a child born whose parent(s) have type 1 diabetics will have it by the age of 20. But if you are born in a family with no one diabetic, there is only 0.3% chance.

Following are few statistics to easily understand the probability and risk a child may have:

  1. Only one child in 17 have a chance of t1 diabetes if father has it
  2. In case of mother having type 1 diabetes; one in 25 children will have it if age is under 25 years and one in 100 children are likely to have it if age 25 or above.
  3. The above numbers are doubled if one of the parent had diabetes at the age of 11 or before.
  4. Your chances of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are 1 in 4 if both parents are diagnosed with it.

But the thing you need to understand is that most people who are diagnosed with t1d had no relatives with same type 1. Therefore, it is a common believe of the doctors that it usually come from nowhere.

What if your sibling have type 1 diabetes?

The chances if any of your sibling has it, are 5% which is same as if your father have it. But if your twin sibling is diagnosed with type one diabetes, the chances will be 50%.

Other Risk factors of Type 1 diabetes

Earlier we stated that according to the doctors, not only your genes but other factors like environment, food, family history or an injury can also be the cause of the type 1 diabetes. Let’s see how much these factors play role in diabetes.

Viral infection or disease

Viral infections like German measles, mumps and coxsackie are among those few known diseases that can be the cause of type 1 diabetes. We have described above that type 1 diabetes is caused when our immune system mistakenly destroy the beta cells inside the pancreas.

In the absence of these beta cells, insulin making or proper use of insulin stop working. These viruses might affect your immune system and it may start destroying of these beta cells. Consequently, the development of type 1 diabetes may start.

Geography and environmental factor

Geography also reflect some strange facts about type 1 diabetics. It is believed that the type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in people of northern areas much more than the people living in southern areas. Researchers states that the only reason they understand is that the people of northern areas mostly live and work indoor due to cold weather.

This increases the chance of viral infections. Besides that, scientists believe becomes more firm after noticing that t1 diabetics are diagnosed in winter more as compared to summer. To decrease the percentage of susceptibility of type 1 diabetes in autumn or winter, try to fulfill the deficiency of Vitamin D.

Cow milk causing diabetics type 1

According to some of the researchers, there are higher chances of children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes who were given cow’s milk when they were young.


Earlier we discussed about the role of ethnicity in causing type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is more common in white people as compared to others in United States of America.

Prevention and Treatment

As we already highlighted that diabetes is a chronic disease and so is type 1. If unfortunately you are diagnosed with the type 1 diabetes, the only prevention tip for you is to keep your blood sugar level in control.

Uncontrolled sugar level can cause various complications depending on how often it happens and as a result type 1 diabetes can be dangerous.

That’s not all as environmental risks can be decreased by ingesting required amount of Vitamin D by any means. Because in winter and autumn, our body undergoes deficiency of Vitamin D.

Ask more about type 1 diabetics

Is type 1 diabetes hereditary or not? We hope you got the answer of this question. Our researchers always try their level best to highlight the most important factors regarding your question. Still if you have any query, you can ask below in the comment section or email us. Search for any other question or diabetes related post. We hope you will get satisfactory answers.

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