33 Responses

  1. Val
    Val March 16, 2010 at 7:53 am | | Reply

    Joining Amy in the “junk drawer” – initial dx in Dec 03 at age 36 and slim, ultra low carb diet and 90min exercise a day kept me alive until I started insulin in May 04 (but with a fasting BG in the 200s), all antibodies positive, no insulin resistance… Seems more like the classic T1 onset … pre-1922, thanks to my moron of an ex-doctor.

    I usually just say I’m Type 1 – no one knows what that is either, so adding a third unknown label just muddies things further.

    1. Brad
      Brad May 22, 2014 at 10:42 am | | Reply

      Bunch of stupidness. There is no 1.5. Just a bunch of bullshit to make people feel bad about themselves. You know they did tons of tests on me when I was diagnosed at 23 with type 1. The doctor straight out told me I had it for decades and I demanded to know why it was never detected until an accidental or coincidental testing happened. I actually had white blood cells counted for a completely unrelated reason. They found my A1c was over 17+. I was walking and talking. I went into the hospital because I couldn’t seem to straighten out my thinking. Neurological impairment.

  2. Shannon
    Shannon March 16, 2010 at 8:12 am | | Reply

    I’m just as confused as the rest. I was diagnosed at 25, but I had a very short honeymoon – more like classic Type 1. I wouldn’t have called myself “lean,” but I definitely wasn’t obese. My endo is the one who used the term LADA, and I just latched on.

    Unfortunately, I’ve invested so much in that LADA label (my blog, for one), that I feel like I’m stuck with it.

  3. beth
    beth March 16, 2010 at 8:31 am | | Reply

    So, if your body stops producing insulin within one year it’s ‘classic’ Type 1 and if it takes longer it’s LADA? Sounds like a bunch of hooey. I think ‘semantics’ was the term your guest blogger used.

    I’ll wait until more studies are done on people over 30… but even then, who is to say what the cut off age is? I was 26 at diagnosis – a diagnosis of Type 2 from the general practitioner lasted a couple weeks, until I got to an endo who knew immediately it was Type 1. Maybe the real problem is Drs who jump to conclusions based on age and body type!!

  4. Steve Parker, M.D.
    Steve Parker, M.D. March 16, 2010 at 8:42 am | | Reply

    Thanks for the post, Catherine.

    Apparent “type 2″ diabetics who have antibodies to either islet cells or glutamic acid decarboxlase are less likely to respond to oral hypglycemic agents, more likely to require insulin, and more likely to experience diabetic ketoacidosis.

    I’m not aware of any clinical guidelines recommending we test all type 2 diabetics for one or both of the antibodies. Type 1.5 is definitely something to keep in mind if the patient isn’t responding as expected to pill therapy.

    When I run across a “type 2″ in ketoacidosis at the hospital, I just assume they will probably need insulin from here on out.


  5. Daniel
    Daniel March 16, 2010 at 8:56 am | | Reply

    Excellent post. I certainly fit into that description as LADA, but will really never know, because of the lack of info out there and/or my doc’s total ineptitude. I was treated as Type 2 for two years, getting sicker and sicker. I was in bad shape, and finally convinced the docs I needed insulin. Rapidly got better, but that was just the beginning. They put me on Lantus only. I downward spiraled again, eventually with extremely bad results. But on the good now. Was 31 when diagnosed, very lean and athletic and no family history.
    This is great stuff and the word needs to get out. Who knows what I was then, but we know now I need insulin. Other folks need this info (docs) so they don’t have to go through what I did. Thank You.

  6. kdroberts
    kdroberts March 16, 2010 at 8:59 am | | Reply

    Here’s a good piece about LADA with some good links.

    I fit in there somewhere, I still have a little insulin production but use a pretty typical type 1 insulin routine, tried pretty much all the oral meds, each worked for a short time to some degree, diagnosed at 27, decreased c-peptide and insulin production over the last 3 years, tested very positive for GAD65 recently, no family history of diabetes, not overweight at diagnosis, never tested positive for ketones, etc, etc.

    As long as I don’t get any complications I’m good with whatever type somebody wants to call me!

  7. Melitta
    Melitta March 16, 2010 at 10:39 am | | Reply

    This for the most part is really useful information and can help to get a misdiagnosed person the correct diagnosis and treatment. But Marie Nierras is the one who is wrong about LADA. People get irrational when you say that LADA (autoimmune diabetes) is Type 1 diabetes (autoimmune diabetes). They cling to the myths (most Type 1s are childhood-onset) when scientific fact shows otherwise. The Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus does not mention LADA, they include it in Type 1 diabetes (“Type 1 diabetes results from a cellular-mediated autoimmune destruction of the beta-cells of the pancreas. Markers of the immune destruction of the beta-cell include islet cellautoantibodies (ICAs), autoantibodies to insulin (IAAs), autoantibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65), and autoantibodies to the tyrosine phosphatases (IA-2). In Type 1, the rate of beta-cell destruction is quite variable, being rapid in some individuals (mainly infants and children) and slow in others (mainly adults).”) Clearly the Expert Committee’s definition of Type 1 includes LADA, and pushes aside Marie Nierra’s argument about the rate of beta cell destruction. And most people with LADA who were kept off of exogenous insulin for any length of time will tell you that they suffered horrifically and that it was such a relief to finally be put on insulin.

  8. Will
    Will March 17, 2010 at 7:22 am | | Reply

    This article could not be more timely for me. I’m one of those 10% who was mis-diagnosed with type 2, but am really in the LADA category. Like others, I’ve just been telling people that I’m a type 1. It’s been a tough lifestyle change to be a type 1 or LADA or whatever they’re calling it (especially since I’m 47), but at least I can treat the disease properly now, and I’m feeling better than ever.

  9. Max
    Max March 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm | | Reply

    That makes much more sense now, LADA is diabetes in adults, but that is in between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Thank you for posting this blog about that, I always did wonder what exactly it was and how it differs.

  10. Suzy
    Suzy March 19, 2010 at 6:55 am | | Reply

    I was diagnosed at age 59, initially put on oral meds for 2 weeks, but the numbers kept climbing. Got the correct diagnosis and have been on insulin ever since. There was nothing gradual about it.

  11. Kathy
    Kathy March 19, 2010 at 9:00 am | | Reply

    I was diagnosed at age 57, also put on oral meds which did nothing to bring down my high blood sugar readings. Then the doctor tried Lantus only, which helped some but not enough. Grudgingly the doctor agreed to try Ultra Lente which caused me to have severe hypoglycemia. Finally I went to see an Endocrinologist who ordered a c-peptide test which came back 0.1. The Endocrinologist was the doctor who correctly diagnosed me as Type 1, not Type 2. When I think of all the office visits where I was accused of not taking my oral meds because my A1C tests would always come back high……..I get annoyed. Thank you for this article……wish I had seen it a long time ago.

  12. Patti Evans
    Patti Evans March 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm | | Reply

    I was also diagnosed at age 57 having lost so much weight quickly that I looked like a skeleton. I had BGs off the scale of a normal meter, but because I presented with only minor ketones and my age I was dx T2 and given Gliclazide (a sulfonylurea). This didn’t work at all. 2 desperate weeks later I was put onto Novomix30 and immediately felt better. The oral med was discontinued and 7 years down the line I have a basal/bolus regime which keeps me in good control with no apparent insulin resistance. Tests for antibodies are rare in the UK and C-Peptide tests almost unheard of. I was diagnosed by the guesswork of the GP’s nurse! I am still “officially” T2 on my medical records and this diagnosis has denied me any formal diabetic education and a certainty that I will never be offered pump therapy. Bitter? Yes, I’m afraid I am! However, since I have researched the condition I realise that there are more types of diabetes out there than they recognise and until proper tests are conducted as routine then people will continue to be misdiagnosed

  13. Liz
    Liz March 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for the article. I’m an LADA who has seen a slow progression of my diabetes over a seven year period. Only one difference though — this happened in my 20s, not 30s.

  14. Doc
    Doc April 10, 2010 at 8:45 am | | Reply

    First, Not a real Doctor, I was a Navy Corpsman for many years and accrued the title Doc over the years.

    Thanks for the post. I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me. at 40 (2006), Happy Birthday, your Diabetic. At first they wanted to immediately place me on Metformin. Talked them into Diet and Exercise. Hey I was still in the Navy and it did work well for about two years. Then in Jun/Jul 08, Diet and exercise wasn’t doing it anymore. Went on Metformin 500mg twice a day for about a year. Jul of 09, they tried Januvia (gave me hives). Stopped that and went to Metformin 1000mg twice a day. not working, lets add Glipide. Not working by Dec 09, so drop the Glip and decrease Met to 500mg twice a day. 03 March 10, BAM, Lantus 10mg. Begin titration @ 2-3 units every 3-5 days. Fasting SMBG’s are still in the mid to lower 200′s. Except for three in a row that were mid to upper 300′s. Last one was 377.

    Lantus is now at 45 units and rising. Now on Novalog 6 units pre-meal.

    Family Hx – Mom and all of her sisters and mother were Dx’d DMII.

    I am overweight, but not the “classic” obese.

    Does this sound like a LADA Ccandidate? Should I approach my Dr’s about this?

    Thanks for your info… Doc

  15. Colleen
    Colleen April 10, 2010 at 11:07 am | | Reply

    Wonderful post, Catherine. Thanks for hosting Amy!

    I’m a classic type 1, diagnosed at 21, but nearly two years later, I’m still honeymooning. It’s all very fuzzy.

  16. Laurie
    Laurie May 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm | | Reply

    I was diagnosed type 1 at age 14 with a blood sugar of 945 (not kidding), 3 months after a bad flu. Yes, I was in denial. Family type 1 history of 1 uncle, 1 Aunt, 2 cousins, and my Dad at a late age (we are Norwegian and MANY type 1′s are scandinavian). What I have read is that getting homogenized milk (rather than mothers milk) at a young age, a genetic predisposition and a strain of flu – start the destruction of the islets in your pancreas and thus the Tpye 1 into motion. Type 1 is an autimmune disorder so I’ve been told, (and I have two other automimmune issues). So isn’t LADA just late onset type 1? My dad got the flu (1976, at age 56) – and became a type 1 within 2-3 months. He had no complications, low BP, low cholesterol, average weight. He lived well until death at 83.

    PS – for all you others with similar stories – I am heavy set and have been told by a few doctors that I am type 2 – until they run the damn tests. No damage so far – 36 years and counting. Stand your ground and keep searching until you find an endo who understands it all!

    PSS – The pump rocks.

  17. LADA Testing Criteria Should Be Broadened | LADA Life

    [...] this post on Diabetes Mine for a great explanation [...]

  18. Sue
    Sue August 30, 2010 at 11:12 am | | Reply

    Late comment. Good article. Long comment (sorry)! LADA and its issues are a big interest for me.

    Even though LADA is autoimmune, it apparently shares genetic markers with T2, which is why it got the alternative name Type 1.5 but is classified as T1.

    Insulin resistance does occur in thin people, eg in PCOS.

    Apparently also if you have GAD antibodies plus another diabetes antibody you’ll progress to insulin dependence more quickly than just GAD alone. Researchers apparently do not yet know why the progression this T1 variant takes so long, whereas in young people with what used to be called ‘juvenile diabetes’, the progression usually fast. I had what we think is about a 20-25 year LADA honeymoon (am in my 50s now)! Or maybe I have double diabetes – no one can tell me for sure. First dx at 25, started insulin in my 50s, but very high GAD antibodies when finally tested.

    You don’t have to only be normal weight to think you have LADA. Many overweight and obese have it. Even though it was discovered in the 1970s, so many are still going undiagnosed and so many medical people don’t consider it, if they even know about it in the first place.

    My opinion is that early diagnosis goes a long way to beta-cell preservation (by not taking insulin producing drugs), but research is contradictory about this.

    The biggest problem seems to be getting a doctor to test for LADA, whatever weight you are, and you continue to be treated as a T2 and eventually a failed and non-compliant T2. I insisted re the testing and to everyone surprise (not me) I was positive. But for those whose doctors won’t listen, it can be psychologically devastating!

  19. odessa brown
    odessa brown August 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm | | Reply

    i am a 65 yrs old female,ist dx @28yrs old diabetic,not over weight,by a gp.put on insulin until age 45,then told type 2 by int/medicine dr.put on different types pills,could not keep po meds down.went to endo dr,try another type pill,could not tolerated,told that i was now type 1.please help me to understand.i did have c-peptide done in 2005 or 2006,told then,not making enough insulin so will have to take insulin for the rest of my life.HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND

  20. James
    James September 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm | | Reply

    Well I fall into a funny category I am type 1. Became so at age 7 a month or so after a flu shot no family history on mother or fathers side within 5 generations. Highest blood sugar ever recorded at the time 1977 in the children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio my mom told me it 2390 not sure if that is true but hey it is what I remember. A GP said I had the flu and to give me fluids so I drank a case of orange soda went into a coma woke up 3 days later with a big mac attack. now here is where the story gets strange besides the fact that I lived through the first part. I had a honeymoon period of almost 2 years took 3 units of at the time was called regular insulin a day. so I wonder is what I had lada or type 1 it does not matter at this point but I am curious. To the docs who read this be mindful of the people who come to you. Oh I forgot when I was first becoming symptomatic I went to the eye doctor because of blurred vision a sign of diabetes and was told he could put glasses on me if my mom wanted. I am now 40 lost one eye to diabetes but still have 20/30 vision in the good eye and still do not need glasses. Oh I am a radio guy so I get paid to talk not type so please forgive spelling and punctuation.

  21. Jean-Paul Mosnier
    Jean-Paul Mosnier October 29, 2010 at 7:39 am | | Reply

    I find all these comments so good and so close to my own experience. I was diagnosed just a little over 2 years ago (May 2008). I was 46 years old then. I had lost 14 kg of body weight, kept urinating, felt absolutely rotten, had absolutely no energy, the works…
    GP sent me to the local hospital, they just looked at me and told me I had T2D and immediately put me on the pills (Glucophage). I did indicate that my father had T1D.
    Things went from bad to worse, I skip the details…insulin treatment started in April 2009 (GAD test very high). Of course, as a T1 diabetic person, I felt immediately better. To be honest, I really didn’t care much then whether the condition is LADA or late onset of T1D or whatever. What I know is that insulin treatment should have started much earlier and that would have spared me quite a horrendous year. Autoimmunity seems to be the defining criterion. It does not matter really whether the condition will progress slower when you are 48 yrs old (my age now) or faster when you are 14 yrs old.
    By the way, my eldest was diagnosed with T1D when he was 14 yrs old in July 2008…

    1. memo
      memo March 9, 2013 at 12:17 am | | Reply

      I agree Jean- Paul, it doesn’t really matter how long it takes. The sooner we start on insulin and adjust our diet the better. We are type 1 and we need insulin asap. I was put on metformin while I was in dka, I only took one pill. then I ended up in the hospital 2 days later. No one in my family has any diabetes as far as I now. I was told I was 1.5 and 2 at diagnosis which isn’t possible. People really need to learn the difference to avoid misdiagnosing and almost killing people.

  22. April
    April December 15, 2010 at 9:16 am | | Reply

    Recently diagnosed as Pre-diabetic (Type 2) – have lost 23 pounds (not obese but a bit chubby), upped exercise to 60 mins per day and changed diet. Doc very happy w/ my bringing fasting glucose down to only 94. BUT, I test before and after every meal/snack, and I can hardly eat ANY carbs without a big spike in blood sugar. I am now slim and very fit and eliminating foods from the menu practically on a daily basis. My father was what I thought was a Type 2 — but became insulin dependent w/in a year of now I wonder if it was LADA! I learned about LADA 2 days ago. I have thyroid disease and have already made an appt w/ my Endo asap. My reg. doc is clueless about LADA.

  23. Terry
    Terry February 1, 2011 at 11:32 am | | Reply

    I am 53 yo and was diagnosed as Type 2 at age 29. Very short honeymoon on orals for 1 year and on insulin at 30. I was just diagnosed LADA in the past few weeks. I am obese and was at the time of diagnosis – recent GAD 65 autoantibodies was high, islet cell antibodies negative, and c-peptide very low.

    OK, here’s where it gets funky – I have insulin resistance and respond to some orals, but also need insulin. I was considering biliopancreatic duodenal switch bypass surgery for obesity and to attempt “cure” of Type 2 diabetes when all this came to light. Several endos that I have seen have said this will not “cure” my diabetes since I don’t have Type 2, but rather LADA. So, now I am not sure what to do since all of my weight loss attempts are futile due to insulin resistence and the fat storage that happens with my use of insulin. I take a lot of meds – byetta, novolog, lantus, metformin, actos, glimepiride….

    Love my endo – and he says my situation is “muddled” because I have features of both Type 1 and 2 – even thinks I might be both types. Just trying to manage each day as it comes and keep researching.

    Keep the faith everyone….thanks for the article.

  24. sue
    sue May 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm | | Reply

    well i am 53, lean, and have LADA.. i am in the honeymoon phase but taking Lantus 2 units at bedtime to help the pancreas not have to work so hard. i am not afraid of taking insulin i am afraid of all the illness that could happen down the road with this illness. I truly hope they come up with a better treatment for this LADA..i have always watched my wt, ate right, exercise etc. etc. but somehow i got this! i trust the endo dr. so that is a good thing.. i hope they find a cure soon.. good luck to all managing this illness. i am trying to keep the faith.

  25. Kenan Alpogan
    Kenan Alpogan March 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm | | Reply

    When you diagnosed LADA diabetes, you must start to use insulin pump directly…And Vitamin D…Insulin and vitamin D can preserve your beta cells..

  26. What is LADA? | A Sweet Life
    What is LADA? | A Sweet Life May 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |

    [...] or, occasionally, Late-Onset Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood. As I previously pointed out in a guest post on the topic, four names for one thing is never a good [...]

  27. Sandra
    Sandra January 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm | | Reply

    This article describes me perfectly!! I was diagnosed Type II when I turned 40. No family history, the thinnest I had been in my adult life, exercised, and eating right, but a simple question to my PCM about heart health because my dad had a heart attack at 47 resulted in bloodwork and a frantic call from the nurse the next day that my blood glucose was over 400 and my A1C was 11.7. I did great getting everything under control with diet and medication, but no matter what I did they kept adding more meds, insulin and I kept losing weight and I was beyond frustrated. 5 years after being diagnosed , I read an article about LADA took it in to the PCM and asked could I have this…..the next day they changed my diagnosis to Type 1. I never understood why they didn’t think of this for 5 years…I was over 40, no family history and I had hypothyroidism since I was 14. All the signs were there.

  28. memo
    memo March 9, 2013 at 12:09 am | | Reply

    I am late onset type one. Went from 106 fasting bg in October to 20 lb weight loss and dka in May. There were plenty of signs leading into DKA but no one tested my bg. Then my gp left me over the weekend in DKA. I’m lucky to have survived it all. I have no idea how long I was having symptoms leading to diabetes type 1 but I suspect now it was 3-4 years although it didn’t show up in my bg. I don’t consider myself in between types. You either have antibodies or you don’t for the most part. I had gad 95. It seems like the beta cell destruction mostly happened in a 6 month period for me. But insulin therapy & a low carb diet now has restored my function somewhat. Imo all diabetes should be anti body tested to avoid dka and the wrong treatment for type 1s and to give the correct treatment to everyone.

  29. memo
    memo March 9, 2013 at 12:24 am | | Reply

    I meant that I had gad 65 antibodies not 95. And my 106 bg test was a non fasting test, so it was nothing to raise eyebrows. In spite of that I feel that I did have symptoms that something was wrong long before that. I have always been thin and I have lead a healthy lifestyle. I believe taking the antidepressant elavil may have played havoc with my endocrine system and caused me to succumb to type 1. I have also always been sugar reactive and I had mild hypoglycemia 10 years before all of this happened.

  30. Amber
    Amber May 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm | | Reply

    I’d just like to say that not all the stereotypes of LADA are true. When i was diagnosed i was super obese and both type 1 and 2 run in my family. I tested positive for the LADA tests GAD/Islet/antibodies etc. I was classified as type 2 until repeat hospitalization with ketoacidosis. Pregnancy also complicates my condition and throws me into full blown type 1 with DKA everytime. I get so aggrivated when I have to explain to doctors, nurses and every day people that I have type 1.5. They’ve never heard of it therefore talk to me as if I’m nuts. I think I’ll start identifying as type 1 in the future because I’m just so tired of debating people about my own condition.

  31. Amber
    Amber May 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm | | Reply

    Also in two years I’ve experienced DKA 12+ times and have lost 86 lbs….and lost one pregnancy and currently experiencing threatened miscarriage now. I really feel like the LADA and DKA are causing it but nobody seems to have made that connconnection except for me. Theres just no real help to get me well again.

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