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June 27, 2000

Genetics and Heredity

Question from the United Kingdom:

My father has diabetes (he can't have sugar and has to control his diet and take tablets). He has had this for five years. His mother has recently been diagnosed with the same but she is 80 years old. Do I have to worry about getting diabetes myself? I have a reflux problem with my kidneys and often get stabbing pains in them. Could this be a sign? I have inherited shortsightedness from my father and my brother hasn't, so I could be more susceptible. I'm 18 and female.

Answer:

It sounds like your father has Type 2 diabetes, which isn’t really related to developing Type 1 diabetes as a young adult. The pains are not really anything to do with diabetes but more likely to do with your reflux. If the pains are troubling you should have them checked over by your doctor. Finally, I would not be concerned that you are developing diabetes, because it sounds like you are not.

JS