All About LADA (Adults with Type 1)

Today is a special day for the diabetes community, and hopefully for those around us to hear our voices and gain better understanding of our plight.

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Honestly, I try to raise my voice to this challenge every day. But for that little something extra, today I’d like to extend a special welcome to all the LADAs of the world — a little-recognized or understood subgroup of our PWD community:

Who here got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in their ’20s, ’30s, or even ’40s? If so, you are (like me), a victim of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), once considered exceedingly rare but less and less so each year.

What_is_lada_diabetes_2 LADA is also referred to as “Slow Onset Type 1″ or sometimes “Type 1.5” diabetes. Note that lots of physicians are still unfamiliar with it (!)

Often, because of their age, patients with LADA are automatically assumed to have Type 2 diabetes. That’s what the doctors told me during my initial hospital stay. I was 37 years old, and had lost 20 pounds within less than three weeks. (I was close to going into ketoacidosis and diabetic coma, although I didn’t feel that sick.)

It is now thought up to 20 percent of patients with apparent Type 2 diabetes really have LADA. Read the basics on LADA over at Diabetes Monitor.

A few essential things to know if you’ve been diagnosed with LADA:

  • The Viral Theory
    - Why did you suddenly develop Type 1 diabetes at this “late age”?
    Many researchers believe that “one or more viral infections may trigger
    the disease in genetically susceptible individuals.”
  • Insulin Honeymoon
    - For a happy period right after diagnosis, your pancreas is still able
    to put out some small amounts of insulin, so your necessary doses will
    be low, and you’ll likely achieve very good BG results. Unfortunately,
    the honeymoon will end within a few months — or at the latest, a year
    or two down the road. Be prepared.
  • Complications Clock
    - Diabetic complications (you know, the nasty stuff) are the result of
    months and years of high blood sugars, or simply having diabetes for a
    very long period of time. For LADAs like us, the “complications clock”
    has just been switched on. So if you keep your blood sugars in range,
    your chances of developing complications are low. Also, people with
    Type 1.5 usually don’t have same high risk for heart problems often
    found in high-cholesterol and high blood
    pressure Type 2 patients.
  • A New Way of Life
    - You probably already figured out that you need to rethink your life
    as you know it. It is now your prerogative to carry monitor, glucose
    tabs, insulin pump/pen and needles at all times; learn to inject
    yourself throughout the day; navigate the American healthcare system;
    and ward off the feeling that you’re somehow being punished. Don’t
    think for a minute that you can ignore this thing. (I’m here to help.)
  • Finding Your Community
    - You may have checked out the American Diabetes Association (ADA)
    website and also the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
    website, and still not felt like you’ve found a “home” for adults newly
    diagnosed with Type 1. This is indeed a gap that needs to be filled.
    But if you’ve found your way here to DiabetesMine.com, then you’ve discovered the Diabetes OC
    (online community), where you’ll meet many kindred spirits. I am also
    excited to announce that I’m soon to become community manager of a new online meeting place called Diabetic Connect, where I hope to welcome as many LADAs as other types of PWDs (people with diabetes).

Take this day to feel good about yourself, and maybe share this post with some friends or Loved Ones having trouble getting their heads around your distinctive kind of diabetes.

Please know that you are not alone in your LADA-ism. You are not a freak. And your life is NOT over. It has, in fact, in many ways, just begun.

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44 Responses

  1. christmasx2
    christmasx2 April 14, 2008 at 7:04 am | | Reply

    I have never heard the term, but I gather I am also have the LADA type. I was 22 in 1990 when diagnosed. It is now almost 18 years later, and I am now on the verge of the big 40, but I am hearing the term LADA for the first time. Thank you for your truly wonderful post today. I am a frequent visitor to your site. Keep up the great work.

  2. Michael B
    Michael B April 14, 2008 at 7:10 am | | Reply

    I was diagnosed with Type 1 back in June of ’07 at the age of 48. It has been almost a year in the honeymoon phase. Everything seems easy right now, not looking foreward to what is next. Keep up the good work, I frequently visit this site.

  3. kkonmymind
    kkonmymind April 14, 2008 at 7:38 am | | Reply

    Thank you for this post – it was very helpful to me. My endocrinologist recently discussed LADA with me, and I am trying to learn more about it.

  4. Shirley
    Shirley April 14, 2008 at 7:41 am | | Reply

    I was first misdiagnosed type 2 when I was 48 yrs old, just because of my age. I too had lost a large amount of weight and really didn’t fit into the type 2 profile. One week later, my dr ran the GAD test and I was re-diagnosed as type 1.5 or LADA. I had a “honeymoon” phase that lasted about one year and I was on Latus/Novolog. Then I went on the pump and I love it. So many people and a lot of Dr’s don’t know what LADA or type 1.5 is so I usually just say I’m type 1.

  5. tls199
    tls199 April 14, 2008 at 7:54 am | | Reply

    I know everyone means well but the lack of understanding of Type I vs. Type II makes LADA extremely frustrating. Everyone assumes that an older individual with diabetes is Type II and trying to explain the difference does not seem to work.

    As you mentioned, the finger sticks, multiple injections and critically analyzing anything you eat is bad enough. Having a well wisher discuss how you could “beat this” by losing weight and changing your diet sometimes can push me to the breaking point.

    I wish people understood what being a Type I is really like. I was diagnosed at the age of 32 and suddenly being reminded of you own mortality along with MAJOR lifestyle changes can be overwhelming. All I ask for is to not be treated differently and please don’t offer “advice”. I am thankful for the medical advances that allow me to live with this condition and I am hopeful for a cure.

  6. M
    M April 14, 2008 at 8:04 am | | Reply

    25 years old at Dx, doc told me I should get more sleep and go home. Amy, that was disconcertingly stated, I do feel like I’m being punished every day. Almost OCD control so far but still a lot of work, hard on my family, difficult at work. WTF!?

  7. Doctor Anonymous
    Doctor Anonymous April 14, 2008 at 8:08 am | | Reply

    These are great links. What a superb effort to raise awareness. And, thanks so much for the link for RYV to my blog. I really appreciate it!

  8. anonymous
    anonymous April 14, 2008 at 8:23 am | | Reply

    This describes me, but I think it’s just too confusing to call it Type 1.5 since in fact people with LADA eventually stop producing insulin – and that’s a Type 1. I prefer to simply explain to people: I’m a Type 1, and Type 1 used to be called Juvenile Diabetes, but now scientists know that adults can get it, too. Makes sense, right?

  9. Michael B
    Michael B April 14, 2008 at 9:15 am | | Reply

    How long does this “honymoon” last for a LADA? A’m working on almost (1) yr so far. Thanks

  10. Lili
    Lili April 14, 2008 at 9:37 am | | Reply

    I’ve heard of honeymoons up to nine years with LADA. I’m at three years and still going (but making just a tiny amount of insulin). The problem is that with such a slow onset, it’s not usually caught right when it starts happening, only when the symptoms start.

    I spent a year as a “Type 2″ after being diagnosed at 27 before I finally figured out my doctor was a quack (he told me to check my bg less, eat more carbs, and exercise less – what?).

  11. Scott Strumello
    Scott Strumello April 14, 2008 at 10:27 am | | Reply

    While LADA does exist, it is worth mentioning that officially, it does not. The authority on this subject an international Expert Committee, working under the sponsorship of the American Diabetes Association, which was established in May 1995 to review the scientific literature since 1979 and to decide if changes to the classification and diagnosis of diabetes were warranted. The Committee met on multiple occasions and widely circulated a draft report of their findings and preliminary recommendations to the international diabetes community. Finally, in 2003, the Committee discussed and revised numerous drafts of a manuscript that culminated in this published document. (Diabetes Care 26:S5-S20, 2003). According to that group, there is type 1, type 2, gestational and then several forms of diabetes are associated with monogenetic defects in beta cell function. That’s it. We don’t have to agree with this classification (many of us don’t), but it is nevertheless important to acknowledge that according to them, LADA is a form of immune-mediated (type 1) diabetes.

  12. AmyT
    AmyT April 14, 2008 at 11:17 am | | Reply

    Yes it is, Scott, but a unique subset of that classification. Thanks for the background!

  13. mark
    mark April 14, 2008 at 11:31 am | | Reply

    I was diagnosed at 29 and 4.5 years later, I think my honeymoon phase is ending. Up till now I had control with medication, but just started basal insulin a week ago. Already had to increase the amount I take and am trying to find the right insulin levels I need. My dr’s thought I was lada from the start, but GAD testing was not positive for it. I’m thankful for the longer honeymoon, but am anticipating being fully insulin dependent soon enough.

  14. Kerri.
    Kerri. April 14, 2008 at 11:56 am | | Reply

    Thanks for your post, Amy! It’s great to have all of our voices raised like this.

    For more from the “choir,” check out the compilation of links in my “Raised Voice” post on http://www.sixuntilme.com. :)

  15. Laura
    Laura April 14, 2008 at 12:17 pm | | Reply

    Great Post! I was diagnosed at 36 – I was on oral meds for a year and then onto the daily shots. I had to go to an Endo to get diagnosed correctly at that point.

  16. Melitta
    Melitta April 14, 2008 at 1:26 pm | | Reply

    Great post, it is important to get the word out there. I don’t like the term “LADA” because as some researchers have stated recently, there is nothing latent about the disease. I have Type 1 autoimmune diabetes, age of onset 35. According to a new book entitled “Type 1 Diabetes in Adults: Principles and Practice” adult onset Type 1 diabetes occurs two to three times more frequently than childhood onset Type 1 diabetes. And this is not new news; I have a book on diabetes from the 1950s that gives the same statistic. So why do doctors so frequently misdiagnose us as having Type 2 diabetes? Why is there this level of denial that we as patients must overcome to get the proper care for the disease we have (exogenous insulin, among other things)?

  17. Colleen
    Colleen April 14, 2008 at 2:16 pm | | Reply

    Age 55 at Dx of LADA…

  18. Chris
    Chris April 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm | | Reply

    I was diagnosed late enough I would fit the description of type 1.5 better than type 1. Thirteen months ago, at the age of 20, was my Dx, but in retrospect I had symptoms for at least 8 months before that.

    Within 2 months of Dx, I was achieving almost normal blood sugars thanks to insulin and a low-carb diet, and discovered I was making enough insulin to forgo basal. This past month, I suddenly lost some more insulin production, so I have to cover part of my basal by injection, but it’s still a nice place to be, since lower insulin makes life in general and especially exercise safer and easier.

    I may lose the rest of my insulin production sometime soon. No big deal — lots of people live like that every day.

  19. RJN
    RJN April 14, 2008 at 2:53 pm | | Reply

    I was diagnosed 1.5 years ago at 27 and the honeymoon is definitely over. My A1C went from a 5.2 to a 6.8 within 6 months, all while managing my diabetes like a hawk. It’s stayed right around 6.7-6.8 but it is certainly much harder to maintain today than it was 2 years ago.

  20. Glucoholic
    Glucoholic April 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm | | Reply

    Great post Amy! Best wishes on this special day for Type 1s, from all of us with Type 2.

  21. Kelly K
    Kelly K April 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm | | Reply

    T1′s IN THE HOUSE!!!
    GREAT POST AMY!
    k2

  22. Steve
    Steve April 14, 2008 at 5:49 pm | | Reply

    I used to call myself a type 1.5 diabetic because I was neither type 1 nor type 2. I became diabetic because I lost a substantial portion of my pancreas to severe acute pancreatitis.

  23. Sara
    Sara April 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm | | Reply

    I might be LADA but all they’ve ever called me since my hospitalization is Type 1.

    I was diagnosed Type 2 for a year at 21, hospitalized with an admitting level of 713 and DKA 10 months later at 22. And yup, they think it all started with a virus.

  24. BrianP
    BrianP April 14, 2008 at 7:24 pm | | Reply

    I think its funny that people call the pre-insulin phase a “honeymoon.” When I got off the oral meds and on to insulin (took about 1 yr.), I felt 10 times better. I have such better control with insulin. I would never go on that “honeymoon” again.

    I hate being diabetic, but I love your blog!

  25. whimsy2
    whimsy2 April 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm | | Reply

    Everything you wrote about LADA is true except for one thing: It can happen at ANY age.

    I was diagnosed LADA right before my 60th birthday. Ketones in urine on regular physical exam. No symptoms at all – it was apparently of recent onset since I’d had urinalysis 3 months before as part of routine lab work for a study I was participating in. But I did have a viral infection less than one month previously. And I had pre-existing hypothyroidism (for 30 years) and a minor autoimmune condition, Sjogren’s syndrome.

    With MDI insulin and lots of fingersticks I’ve managed my diabetes very nicely and now 10+ years later, with no complications, I’m working very hard to keep it that way. I want to reach the end of my life with all my parts working, thank you!

  26. Shawn ATL
    Shawn ATL April 16, 2008 at 10:41 am | | Reply

    This fits me and is the first time I’ve seen a nice, concise overview. After suffering a huge bout with the flu over the New Years holiday in 1993 (age 23), I began to rapidly loose weight. By April this was paired with an insatiable thirst. Then, over a weekend I developed a high fever and I could hardly take a breath. I finally made it to the ER and found out… DKA. I was immediately admitted and spent the next four days in the hospital. I told by my endo that I would have slipped into unconsciousness within a few hours had I not gone to the hospital when I did. My honeymoon was short, which means my islets were definitely shot by the time my DKA set in in full force.

    Great “awareness” post!

  27. Kristin
    Kristin April 16, 2008 at 10:53 pm | | Reply

    It’s funny that in the ER I was diagnosed as type 1.5 by the internal medicine doctor (I was 21 years old) and then when I arrived to my endo– she corrected him and told me, there’s no such thing and that I’m type 1. I guess in terms of treatment, it doesn’t make a huge difference… and my onset certainly wasn’t latent :)

  28. Leah
    Leah April 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm | | Reply

    I was diagnosed at age 35. It was clear from the start that it was T1, but interestingly I don’t have antibodies. I went on the pump right away but only take a minute amount of insulin.
    That was 1 year ago (on April 3rd) and I’m still mourning the lifestyle change :(

  29. Leah
    Leah April 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm | | Reply

    I was diagnosed at age 35. It was clear from the start that it was T1, but interestingly I don’t have antibodies. I went on the pump right away but only take a minute amount of insulin.
    That was 1 year ago (on April 3rd) and I’m still mourning the lifestyle change :(

  30. Pam
    Pam April 21, 2008 at 8:31 pm | | Reply

    So far I have not been much of an
    “online community” person — but sounds like it might benefit me to change. I was diagnosed with Type 1 in Dec. (07) at the age of 47. I am generally healthy, athletic, etc. so I am struggling with how to feel good emotionally and physically. I think I could benefit from an online community so I’ll keep tuned in. I am frustrated that I feel tired a lot and working out used to feel good – now it does about 50% of the time – the other 50% I feel weak, spacey, or just not “on” — arghhh…. hopefully I’ll find the balance. Just on Lantus right now….

    Thanks!

  31. Michelle
    Michelle April 22, 2008 at 11:06 am | | Reply

    Hi,

    Actually my endocrinologist had previously mentionned the term LADA to me a couple of years ago… I was diagnosed in 1986, age of 23 and had a short honeymoon, had 3 pregnancies- 2 dtrs (1 miscarriage in between)- and here is the really weird part. I was the first to be diagnosed- from 3 friends all in grade school and we all eventually developped diabetes.. all 3 of us now on insulin pumps. I figured either we all came in contact with a viral flu -which when exacerbated by ++ stress, became diabetes or we were exposed to some type of pollution- we all lived in very close proximity to an old mill. IN any event, although it would be great to actually be recognized- I agree that most people do not have a clue between Type 1 and 2- so why complicate their lives…..
    Thank you very much for the post.

    Michelle

  32. Nellie
    Nellie May 1, 2008 at 7:22 am | | Reply

    I think there is a greater awareness of LADA but most websites and books with information on symptoms continue to imply that it is very rare to develop type 1 after the age of 30. In my case had I realised I might have type 1 I might have gone to a doctors sooner.
    I first had diabetic symptoms at 49. I checked books and the internet. Type 2 I read since I was far too old for type 1. I also assumed that it must be mild since I wasn’t obese and already had a fairly healthy lifestyle. At the time it was easier not to go to a doctor as I was living in a new country and was nervous of explaining myself in a different language. I thought I just needed to continue eating healthily and exercising since that was the treatment advocated. As time went by symptoms came and went but it also became psychologically more and more difficult to visit a doctor .
    Three years on and very much thinner, I ended up in hospital.

    It wasn’t until I left hospital with lowered BS that I realised how dreadful I had been feeling for those three years.
    I had a very full check up and fortunately didn’t seem to have developed any complications but recently my eyes have shown slight ‘diabetic’ changes in spite of good BS control. The opthamologist feels this is because of my high BS whilst undiagnosed.

  33. elaine peterson
    elaine peterson May 27, 2008 at 7:46 pm | | Reply

    I was diagnosed at 50. 4 years later I still only need 8 or so units of Lantus, but am very sensitive to carbs. I may not be producing any insulin…..a half an apple and my bs is over 200. No viral infection, no pancreatitis, no diabetes of any type in the family, but my father always said that he was “borderline hypoglycemic “and I would get the shakes if I didn’t eat……

  34. paula
    paula May 31, 2008 at 5:58 pm | | Reply

    Wow – glad to find this site – T1 since age 37 and now 53 – been raked over the coals but THEY can’t get me down cuz I know hard this all is and I am strong to be able to handle it. Bless you all!

  35. Joe
    Joe July 22, 2008 at 10:27 am | | Reply

    Where..oh WHERE do I begin?

    When I was 14 I got sick, abdominal pain after thanksgiving dinner. Was in the hospital overnight and remember the docs talked about not being appendicitis, pain in wrong part of abdomen. One comment while in that hospital was I would end up on SHOTS! Probable pancreatitis, and I refused to know more, hey I was 14 and HATED needles.)

    Just over a year later, hepatitis, while the whole family got it, they were back to work/school in 2 weeks while I became a hospital pin-cushion for 5 weeks then home for another 2 weeks before going back to school. When I did return to school I was ORDERED to go straight to the office if I did not feel right and watched over like a hawk.

    After high school I joined the Navy. I became a GOMER very quick in boot-camp, kept getting discharged from sick bay and re-admitted before getting over a URI….Then in I A-school I got GOMER’d again, For 10 days the sickbay doc threw me out, till one day he saw me outside his door waiting for sick-call. He marched me down to X-ray saying, I’m gonna PROVE there is nothing wrong with you”. Then he arranged an ambulance (pneumonia) and I was written up for Captains Mast (like a court-marshal) for ‘FAILURE TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION’ under the UCMJ.
    Gee, wonder WHY I left the Navy?

    Fast forward…..got married…and then a SORE THROAT…Was not getting well after that, family doc REFUSED to see me for follow-up, was “JUST” a sore throat! Landed in ER from work after lunch maybe a half dozen times in a couple weeks, Boss asked if I would see the company doc., I was more than willing. Felt OK that morning, went back to work just in time for lunch, went home had dinner then split a bottle of Coke with my wife. Never did Finnish it, after a couple ounces my wife called the ambulance and was admitted to the horsepital cardiac ward low on oxygen.

    A day or so later the company doc came in and said “what the hell is your blood sugar doing so high” (as if I had a clue) and shoved a ADA diet in my face. Less than 2 years later I had cancer surgery and my fam doc said my diabetes was WORSE than he had thought. Well I knew it was worse than he thought, I went through living hell trying to manage it. Another doc I had been sent to took the lead and off to diabetes classes it was. I started insulin and felt so much better.

    Much of my diabetes life has been like that, never quite understood by my docs, but started MDI last fall, after over 26 years of 1 or 2 shots/day, and for the first time feel normal BS wise. Problem is, I have COMPLICATIONS and my kidney function is dropping, heart valve problems and more……..

    (*&*( GOMER

  36. DrL
    DrL October 1, 2008 at 8:10 am | | Reply

    Just stumbled upon this thread. I was diagnosed about 3-1/2 years ago at age 42 by my gynecologist. I had mentioned to my osteopath three years earlier that my blood sugar fluctuated (I always carried food with me, so that when my husband said “eat something, you’re getting crabby” I was prepared.”) He gave me a low-carb diet to follow, but did not do an AIC. In 2005 my gynecologist did some routine blood tests and telephoned me saying that it looked like I might be diabetic, but that it did not make a lot of sense since I am slender and athletic. Diabetes also doesn’t run in my family. But sure enough, I was retested and my AIC was 9.2. My endo. was good about not trying to classify me as either type 1 or 2 and I eventually was tested for antibodies and was positive for GAD.

    Today I am still in the “honeymoon phase”. I eliminated most of the carbs from my diet and have controlled my bs by oral meds (glypizide and some Prandin) and exercise. My biggest challenge after being diagnosed was weight loss. I had been on a pretty high carb diet and eliminated a lot of cereal and pasta calories. I dropped over 10 percent of my weight (weight I didn’t need to lose!) I went on Avandia as there is some thought that it might help to preserve beta cells and this fortunately helped me to return to my pre-diagnose weight.

    At this point my biggest frustration is that there is no clear treatment plan for LADA. I have not started insulin yet, in part, as I have a very hectic life that involves a lot of travel and it appears that there is no clear evidence that taking insulin does help maintain beta cells.

    I am wondering what other people have been told about the best route for treatment. Is anyone involved in a DiaPep277 study or know the latest on it?

  37. Brandi
    Brandi November 22, 2008 at 8:55 pm | | Reply

    Hey guys!
    I stumbled onto this site looking for answers after receiving a call from my edo. He wanted to let me know that my GAD came back positive for Type 1. I have been treated fpr type 2 for the last 4 years. It started as gestational, glucose intolerance, Type 2 and now Type 1. ALOT of people always commented that I fit the profile of Type 1 not 2. Having a lot of problems with this diagnosis since my BS is normal to low at the moment. I am still taking Amaryl and Januvia. Don’t understand why I would need insulin at this point. Even my post prandial are normal. Really scared of this diagnosis due in part to my mother dying at 48 with Type 1 complications and my grandfather dying at 80 with the same. Diabetes has always been in the fore front of my life due to it being rampant in my family. Any suggestions? Do not have good memories in dealing with Type 1. The blog has eased some of my fears!
    Brandi

  38. KC
    KC January 16, 2009 at 9:04 pm | | Reply

    I was (mis)diagnosed Type 2 at 41. About 8 years later the metformin didn’t do the trick anymore. Finally saw an endo who did the right tests. I’d never heard the term lada or type 1.5, and neither had my GP. Started mdi and am now on a pump. What a difference!

  39. Gillian
    Gillian October 5, 2009 at 7:28 am | | Reply

    Does anyone know any situations where a child may have LADA. My son is in a study because his sister has Type 1 diabetes (Dx at 2). They found that he has 2 of 4 antibodies present in his body. His blood sugar regularly runs high around 150 but they are waiting to see if he develops more antibodies before he goes into Phase 2 of the study and receives oral insulin. My question is do I need to get him on insulin to prevent long term damage that may be occurring now? He is 10 years old and is VERY thin but he eats as well as he has slow growth. I am not getting much response from the doctors.

  40. natureboyron
    natureboyron May 29, 2010 at 8:10 am | | Reply

    I am happy to find this website. : )

    I am 53 and found out a few months ago I
    have LADA. My A1C is still in a decent range 5.7 But I believe I should
    be on a basal insulin now and maybe a fast acting very soon down the road.
    But the problem is finding a Endo. that is willing to give prescribe it for me now.

    If anybody knows a Doctor in the New England area. That can work with me on this I would greatly appreciate your help.

  41. ELISHA ANN MC CULLAR
    ELISHA ANN MC CULLAR October 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | | Reply

    I am a bit confused. I was diagnosed with adrenalinic hypoglycemia when I was 15… until last year I had typical hypo effects, sweating, trembling, irritability and passing out… my levels were 60 in the morning and 100-110 max after eating. Last Year I began having higher levels.. I would have high sugar levels in the morning and low after lunch… I went to see a doctor and he said every thing was normal… one year later.. my pancreas has a mid cell destruction.. my levels fluctuate, lost 10 puonds in a month.. I am always thirsty tired, I urinate a lot, my eyes are getting bad… I finally found a doctor that told me I could be Lada. I am being tested… I am a bit confues though… can you have Lada and not have the autoimmune antibodies in your blood? how fast does it develope? I already have a healty diet (for the past 17 years), I do sports.. I have an active life.. I just hope to be able to wake up one day and finally say I FELL GREAT… I have felt sick and ill for the past 8 months…

  42. ELISHA ANN MC CULLAR
    ELISHA ANN MC CULLAR October 28, 2012 at 9:45 am | | Reply

    I forgot.. now I have anywhere from 127 to 168 in the morning and 150 after lunch ( 1 hour after, 2 hours after and 3 hours after)… sometimes after lunch I go down to 70- … I have one week high levels and one week low levels after eating.. it is weird and illogical…

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All About LADA (Adults with Type 1)

Who here got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in their ’20s, ’30s, or even ’40s? If so, you are (like me), a victim of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), once considered exceedingly rare but less and less so each year.

What_is_lada_diabetes_2 LADA is also referred to as “Slow Onset Type 1″ or sometimes “Type 1.5” diabetes. Note that lots of physicians are still unfamiliar with it (!)

Often, because of their age, patients with LADA are automatically assumed to have Type 2 diabetes. That’s what the doctors told me during my initial hospital stay. I was 37 years old, and had lost 20 pounds within less than three weeks. (I was close to going into ketoacidosis and diabetic coma, although I didn’t feel that sick.)

It is now thought up to 20 percent of patients with apparent Type 2 diabetes really have LADA. Read the basics on LADA over at Diabetes Monitor.

A few essential things to know if you’ve been diagnosed with LADA:

  • The Viral Theory – Why did you suddenly develop Type 1 diabetes at this “late age”? Many researchers believe that “one or more viral infections may trigger the disease in genetically susceptible individuals.”
  • Insulin Honeymoon – For a happy period right after diagnosis, your pancreas is still able to put out some small amounts of insulin, so your necessary doses will be low, and you’ll likely achieve very good BG results. Unfortunately, the honeymoon will end within a few months — or at the latest, a year or two down the road. Be prepared.
  • Complications Clock – Diabetic complications (you know, the nasty stuff) are the result of months and years of high blood sugars, or simply having diabetes for a very long period of time. For LADAs like us, the “complications clock” has just been switched on. So if you keep your blood sugars in range, your chances of developing complications are low. Also, people with Type 1.5 usually don’t have same high risk for heart problems often found in high-cholesterol and high blood
    pressure Type 2 patients.
  • A New Way of Life – You probably already figured out that you need to rethink your life as you know it. It is now your prerogative to carry monitor, glucose tabs, insulin pump/pen and needles at all times; learn to inject yourself throughout the day; navigate the American healthcare system; and ward off the feeling that you’re somehow being punished. Don’t think for a minute that you can ignore this thing. I’m here to help.
  • Finding Your Community – You may have checked out the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website and also the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) website, and still not felt like you’ve found a “home” for adults newly diagnosed with Type 1. This is indeed a gap that needs to be filled. But if you’ve found your way here to DiabetesMine.com, then you’ve discovered the Diabetes OC (online community), where you’ll meet many kindred spirits. I am also soon to become community manager of a new online community called Diabetic Connect, where I hope to welcome as many LADAs as other types of PWDs (people with diabetes).

Please know that you are not alone in your LADA-ism. You are not a freak. And your life is NOT over. It has, in fact, in many ways, just begun! Thanks for visiting me here at DiabetesMine.

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