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Diabetes and LADA.

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA) , is a form of type 1 diabetes that develops later in adulthood, often diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. LADA is sometimes referred to as type 1.5 diabetes as it is a form of type 1 diabetes that shares some characteristics with type 2 diabetes. The condition initially does not require insulin, and is diagnosed in people aged 30-50 years. It is usually confirmed by examining the presence of elevated levels of pancreatic autoantibodies. If incorrectly diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, LADA is treated inappropriately, in turn accelerating the loss of insulin producing ability.

The following indicators favor a diagnosis of LADA rather than type 2 diabetes:

· An absence of metabolic syndrome features such as obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels

· Uncontrolled hyperglycemia despite using oral agents

· Evidence of other autoimmune diseases (including Graves’ disease and Anemia)

The Immunology of Diabetes Society proposes the following definition for LADA:

· Diagnosis of diabetes in a person over 30 years old.

· Presence of any islet cell antibody.

· No insulin needed for at least 6 months.

LADA occurs when your pancreas stops producing adequate insulin. This most likely occurs after some "insult" (such as trauma or overwhelming infection) which slowly damages the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

People who have LADA are usually over age 30. Because they're older when symptoms develop than is typical for someone with type 1 diabetes and because initially their pancreases still produce some insulin, people with LADA are often misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Some individuals with LADA will present with symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including:

· excessive thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, extreme fatigue

· blurry vision, cuts and bruises that heal slowly,

· weight loss despite eating more (type 1)

· tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet (type 2 diabetes)

If you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and you're lean and physically active or you've recently lost weight without effort, talk with your doctor about whether your current treatment is still the best one for you.

LADA can be initially managed by controlling blood sugar with diet, losing weight if appropriate, exercise and oral medications. As your body gradually loses its ability to produce insulin, you’ll need insulin injections. Early detection and treatment assure optimal health and well-being.

References: of Diabetes Society


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