Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder where individuals with the condition are unable to regulate the sugar levels in their blood.
While it is not curable, type 2 diabetes is both manageable and preventable. Simple lifestyle modifications such as managing your weight, reducing fat intake, regular exercise, and switching to a healthy diet are useful for both managing and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Uncover your genetic risk today, so you can take preventative measures to reduce your risk.
Factors that increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes
• Genetic variation
• Family history of type 2 diabetes
• Obesity and fat accumulation (around the abdomen)
• Lack of physical exercise
• Ethnicity (Africans and American Indians have a higher risk)
• Prediabetes – elevated blood sugar
• Gestational diabetes
• Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Genetic variants tested
Genetic is one risk factor associated with type 2 diabetes. This DNA test detects the following variants linked to an increased risk of developing this condition.
ACC2 – Reduced response to insulin
ADCY5 – Inhibited secretion of insulin
FABP2, FTO – Increased uptake of saturated fats
ADIPOQ, FADS1, GLUT2, MTNR1B and TCF7L2 – Increased fasting glucose levels
GCKR – Reduced fasting glucose levels
GCK, HNF4A – Reduces beta cell function
SLC30A8 – Disrupted insulin signalling
SOD2 – Increased reactive oxygen species
MADD – Impaired proinsulin-to-insulin conversion
Regulating blood sugar levels
Glucose is the primary source of sugar found in our blood, and its levels are tightly controlled. Following a meal when blood glucose levels are elevated, the pancreas releases insulin, which signals for the removal of glucose from our blood so it can be stored as glycogen in our muscle, liver, and fat cells for later use. Between meals glycogen is broken down to provide energy, to keep our hearts pumping and our muscles moving.
Type 2 diabetes is an extreme example of this careful control going awry when our bodies are either unable to produce insulin or no longer respond to insulin (aka insulin resistance). When blood sugar levels become severely high, the kidneys, which normally filters waste from our blood into urine, start excreting glucose into our urine as a last-ditch effort to lower blood sugar levels. Extremely high blood sugar levels can also damage the kidneys, resulting in some of the other symptoms associated with diabetes such as weight-gain because our bodies retain more water and salts.