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Type 1.5 Diabetes

Type 1.5 diabetes, also known as Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), is an autoimmune disease that falls between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes because it has characteristics of both. 

According to an article in The Beacon News, approximately 10 percent of patients with type 1.5 are misdiagnosed with type 2. If you’re over 35 when you develop diabetes, and especially if you are overweight, your healthcare provider may assume that you have type 2 diabetes. 

But if you don’t quite fit the profile of someone with type 2, if diabetes pills don’t seem to be working well, or if you show some of the characteristics of type 1, maybe you have LADA. People with LADA have antibodies in their blood, which show that the immune system is attacking beta cells. LADA is type 1 diabetes that progresses slowly. 

According to one study (Diabetes Care 29:970-975, 2006), you probably have LADA (rather than type 2 diabetes) if two or more of the following fit:

  • You were under age 50 when you were diagnosed with diabetes.
  • You had “acute” symptoms at diagnosis, that is, symptoms typical of type 1 diabetes. 
  • Your BMI is less than 25. (See our Risk Assessment form to measure your BMI.) (But you can be overweight and have LADA.)
  • You have a personal history of autoimmune disease (such as thyroid disease, celiac sprue, Addison’s disease, and others).
  • You have a family history of autoimmune disease.

The symptoms of type 1.5 are the same as the more well-known types of diabetes. They include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and blurred vision.

Source: The Beacon News

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