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.
.Dx,ed at 55.Mother had diabetes diagnosed at 60.Both brothers diagnosed in early 50,s.So definite family connection there all type 2