Judith, do you remember the kinectic toy that was five steel balls suspended from a wooden frame? If you pulled back one, two or three then let them go, they would strike the remaining suspended balls and create an opposite reaction of either one, two or three at the other end.
That's how MY planets have aligned...
So does this come down to 'what caused it?
Meeting with a new doctor here, told him I have type 2 (diagnosed years ago) and added that I have haemachromatosis (iron overload) and this possibly caused it ...
To my surprise he said, 'now that changes everything. that completely changes my attitude to you.' So if it was my fault (caused by obesity perhaps) ... what was he going to do? But as this wasn't really my fault, maybe even caused my obesity ... well that's different, he was willing to be nice to me.
Heamachromatosis, in theory, affects 1 in 300 of 'northern European' genetic extraction. As a fair-skinned caucasian, that puts me in the box.
When I was in the UK I went to a clinic to check my ferretin levels, and they were so excited to see me, and couldn't believe that (in Australia) I had already been tested and was aware of my condition. They said they are expecting to find a lot of people with the condition, but unaware of it, and displaying in in ways such as diabetes which it can cause. They go to diabetes clinics to find people with it - but it hasn't been turning out as they expected.
Anyway, the point is, people over 50 with haemachromatosis tend to have quite a build up of iron (especially women past menopause), and this can initiate diabetes ... apparently.
Hemochromatosis is a genetic condition that causes the accumulation of iron, and that accumulation takes place in the organs, including the pancreas (and the thyroid leading to hypothyroidism). This form of diabetes is called "Bronze" diabetes and is technically different than a pure T1 or T2. But this form of diabetes is just as severe and it is often complicated because hemochromatosis can cause damage to all your organs. It is my understanding that the treatment is to avoid iron laden foods and to submit yourself for regular bleeding (phlebotomy).
Some people estimate the the prevalence in the US is as high as 1 in 200. A simple test can be ordered by your GP to confirm the excess accumulation of iron, but many doctors think it is rare. Gosh, how could doctors be wrong?
As to the genetic link in diabetes, it is actually complicated. While Hemochromatosis has a specific identified genetic link and is expressed at a high rate, things are more complicated in T1 and T2. A modest number of genes have been identified in T1 (perhaps 20 or so), but only "some" people with the genes actually express the condition and get T1. There appears to be a range of environmental conditions which affect the expression. Dan Hurley explores some of this in his book "Diabetes Rising." There is a large list of genes implicated in T2 and the condition is much more complex. Below is a chart showing some of the odds for T1. Note that actually the inheritence rates are pretty low.
good luck with the pump, if diabetes attacked me today, I would go for it right away; it has made my kids' life so much easier to deal with.
Valerie- I was Dx'ed with T-1 when I was 55. Have had it for almost 13 years. There is no history of any D in my family on either side.