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Ever heard the expression "Your mileage may vary"? If you ever heard it in the context of Diabetes, you may have been subsequently frustrated as a result. After all, a disease should be the same from one person to the next. Especially one with a genetic basis, like Diabetes.

At its most generic, Diabetes can be described as a disease that negatively impacts the way sugar and insulin interact in a multicellular body. While the description is probably accurate for everyone affected, it leaves a lot unsaid. And that is because we are trying to describe not a single disease, but rather a range of related or similar diseases all bearing the name of Diabetes Mellitis. And depending on which Diabetes you have, there are a number of different genes that could be involved.

For example, the HLA-DR gene has been implicated in Type 1 Diabetes. As luck would have it, that gene has eight known variants. Each variant has its own characteristic way of affecting the severity of the disease. See too many lethal mutations for natural selection to clean up. In this particular instance, both variants HLA-DR3 and HLA-DR4 increase the likelihood and severity of Diabetes. HLA-DR2 actually tends to protect against it.

The issue only gets worse with Type II Diabetes as researchers are already talking in terms of groups of genes that can be found in one of three or four regions of the DNA map.

So just how is your version of Diabetes supposed to work? It depends, in part, on which gene variations you have. Only time and experience will let you know what will work or not. And your most important tools will be a Glucose Monitor and a record of what you eat and the effects that result from eating each of the different food items.



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