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A good number of us here might think that the lifestyle of our ancestors had a role in our becoming diabetics. Is that true? Who were your ancestors?

In the case of most Indians, it is easy to find out who the ancestors were and what type of professions they were engaged in, because caste endogamy was more or less widely followed till recently. Variyam is an office in the ancient version of my mother tongue and a variyar (pronounced vah-ri-yer) was an office bearer. By tradition, my ancestors were the managers of the Hindu temple, hence were variyars (it is likely that a British school master spelt the last name of a forefather of mine as Warrier so that a native English speaker would pronounce this Indian word as close to its original pronunciation as possible.) Besides temple administration, my ancestors engaged themselves in secular professions as teachers, physicians of the Ayurveda system of medicine, astronomers, mathematicians, literary figures and so on. In short, their profession was sedentary. Was it this sedentary life of our ancestors that caused the defective, diabetes causing genes to thrive among us, their descendants?

Looks like there is another side to this question. In the experience of my younger sister who is a doctor, diabetes is now rampant among the descendants of the agricultural labourers of the bygone generations. These descendants became sedentary only in one or at the most two generations. Their ancestors, as landless agricultural labourers, had to toil hard to make both ends meet. So, in their case it appears that the physical activity of ancestors didn't keep diabetes away from their sedentary descendants.

Regards,
Rad
 

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my family history is pretty limited but my fraternal grandfather was a carpenter and his wife was ahousewife who developed Type 2 diabetes at the age of 70. so yes i blame her. sorry to throw you under the bus grandmom

actually at the time of diagnosis i was training for my first triathlon and was in pretty decent shape
 

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My grandparents on my mother's side were farmers and both lived into their mid 90's without diabetes. My fathers's parents were city dwellers, my grandpa was a civil engineer and my grandmother was a seamstress. They died at 86 and 100, again no diabetes. I am one of 6 children, the only one with diabetes so far. My parents are both alive and 91. My dad just was dx'd with diabetes 2 years ago at the age of 89 from taking prednisone for many years. So I don't think I can blame my ancestors, they seemed to live a pretty healthy life.
 

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The diabetes shows up on my mom's side of the family, and Mom did eventually develop type 2 in her later years - I think she was about 70 also when she was diagnosed. I know there was diabetes in her father's family, but our history goes back only 2-3 generations, so beyond that is a mystery. Her father died of Hodgkins disease at the tender age of 25, so no telling what might have happened if he'd lived to be old.
 

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Tracing family history is a major passion of mine, so I have extensive information about my ancestry, back dozens of generations.

My immediate ancestors (parents, grandparents, great grandparents) were all farmers, not a sedentary soul among them. Research indicts the kind of diets we adopt much more than activity level. The change to highly processed foods and emphasis on meat and fats is usually cited as a major contributor to the increase in diabetes in America, and in some other parts of the world.

So, who among our ancestors had diabetes? I think that is very difficult to determine. For most of them, we have no idea of the efficiency or lack thereof of their sugar metabolism. We may know they died of heart disease but not the cause of that problem. The same is true for other immediate causes of death.

In my family, only my mother's sister (and two of her sons) developed diabetes. My aunt was always very overweight, a problem of most of my maternal relatives. My mom was somewhat overweight but lived to 93 without diabetes.

In my case, I have a hypothesis that I'll probably never be able to verify, but I believe last September I had pancreatitis. I was critically ill for weeks, and during the recovery developed frequent urination and unusual thirst. Those were problems I had never experienced before. That was my clue that I needed to explore my blood glucose.

My age is also against me; I am older than dirt.
 

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NO family history. None whatsoever.

My father allegedly weighed 12 lbs at birth, and his mother was hefty and spent a lot of time complaining the doctors could never find anything wrong with her, but ... no diagnosis.

As to long term ancestry, no idea what any of them did. Mostly northern Europeans.

I DO find it interesting, my father's Y-chromosome is haplogroup R1a1, and as far as anyone can tell right now, it originated in India, 12,000 yrs ago. R1a1 is commonly associated with the spread of agriculture into western Europe.
 

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having grown up german/irish/stubborn, it was only AFTER diagnosis that i learn that most of my fathers side have or had diabetes
 

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I wish I had more information on my family history... I probably could look it up since the family on that side is well documented as my ancestors are pretty famous in their area of the country.

I do know that I am the genetic clone of my grandmother, and one of my cousins is as well. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 10, and insulin resistance in my teens...both conditions my grandmother had. I don't believe there were any lifestyle factors that contributed to it, just plain ol' genetic predisposition... her grandmother was Native American, so it could be something to do with that. There is no diabetes on my mother's side of the family...they are irish and farmers. My father's mother's side were military men and very active.
 

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A good number of us here might think that the lifestyle of our ancestors had a role in our becoming diabetics. Is that true? Who were your ancestors?

In the case of most Indians, it is easy to find out who the ancestors were and what type of professions they were engaged in, because caste endogamy was more or less widely followed till recently. Variyam is an office in the ancient version of my mother tongue and a variyar (pronounced vah-ri-yer) was an office bearer. By tradition, my ancestors were the managers of the Hindu temple, hence were variyars (it is likely that a British school master spelt the last name of a forefather of mine as Warrier so that a native English speaker would pronounce this Indian word as close to its original pronunciation as possible.) Besides temple administration, my ancestors engaged themselves in secular professions as teachers, physicians of the Ayurveda system of medicine, astronomers, mathematicians, literary figures and so on. In short, their profession was sedentary. Was it this sedentary life of our ancestors that caused the defective, diabetes causing genes to thrive among us, their descendants?

Looks like there is another side to this question. In the experience of my younger sister who is a doctor, diabetes is now rampant among the descendants of the agricultural labourers of the bygone generations. These descendants became sedentary only in one or at the most two generations. Their ancestors, as landless agricultural labourers, had to toil hard to make both ends meet. So, in their case it appears that the physical activity of ancestors didn't keep diabetes away from their sedentary descendants.

Regards,
Rad
Both my parents and my grand parents too for that matter passed their diabetic genes. Being Indian/Andhra Brahmin/ rice eaters totally may be one of the cause..but they were not sedentary. My father was a police officer and very strict one too with his duties but not with his diet, my mom a polytechic was tryng hard to meet the ends and look after 4 kids too, so stressed out all the time may have a reason for being a diabetic. For that matter we have all sort of cases in our family, cancer deaths, heart attacks, depression leading to dementia too but none died of diabetis till now!:cool:
 
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