Today, through this online community, I discovered that the label, “Type 1.5 diabetes” exists. I also discovered the acronym, LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of the Adult).
Though I was diagnosed Type I about 16 years ago at age 35, I’ve never fit the mold of Type I (juvenile onset - as defined by some people), and definitely don’t have Type II. So, I just did some internet research on Type 1.5. It’s possible that’s what I have, and I’m considering whether or not to ask my primary physician for a referral to an endocrinologist.
As a result of today’s research I now know about tests for…
“certain autoantibodies against insulin or other components of the insulin-producing system such as glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), tyrosine phosphatase, and/or islet cells” (I got this from, www.diabetesselfmanagement.com, after searching that site for “Type 1.5 diabetes”).
Just in case you don’t know, the above tests are used to determine a person’s type of diabetes - and perhaps other things. I wonder if it might be a good idea for me to be tested, since I have other health issues that indicate autoimmune dysfuntion. But, even if something is found, what more can actually be done about it, than I’m already doing? (Duh, ask my doctor.)
If you have Type 1.5, I’m wondering if you have a history similar to mine… Prior to developing diabetes I was hypoglycemic for years, and my doctor told me that I may end-up diabetic, based upon seeing a pattern in other similar patients (he was an older doctor and had much experience to draw from). He didn’t know the cause, he just knew what he’d seen, and advised that I be as good to my body as I could, to forestall diabetes (primarily avoided sugary foods and ate in-between-meal snacks with protein - nuts, cheeses). Not that I was so perfect at it — unlike people with other types of food restrictions, like food allergies, I didn’t get immediate serious reactions to the less-than-ideal foods, so didn’t develop a good sense of what was best for me.
I began seeing an endocrinologist some time during the next two years. Within three or so years I knew something had become seriously wrong. Though I knew the symptoms were diabetic, I tried to rationalize them into something else. Over a timeframe of about 3 months I got to where I…
– drank at least a couple gallons of liquids each day (with considerable numbers of bathroom breaks),
– was always hungry and always eating,
– yet lost weight that I couldn’t afford to lose (I had always been told to drink lots of milkshakes to get my weight up),
– seemed to always be in a mental fog and deeply weary,
– wanted to sleep, but had to work,
– ached all over like an old person,
– and those around me noticed I became very irritable.
Though I knew better, I hoped I had cancer and would, either, be cured or die. I didn’t want diabetes in the worst way - particularly after seeing my mom’s cousin slowly, over many years, die from it - lost limbs, mobility, eyesight, kidney function.
When I finally went to see my endocrinologist, my BGL was 400-something. He started me right away on an oral medication to see if my body would react positively (bring down the numbers). I immediately got my first glucose meter and followed the doctor’s instructions as though my life depended on it - and it did. At the end of two weeks, after gradually increasing the med dose to the max, it was apparently not working. I began insulin injections and was told that I should feel much better in a few months. I didn’t.
The thirst, hunger and weight loss stopped (I had gotten skeletal, at 130 lbs & 6’1’ tall), but I never did regain my energy or get over the body pain. About a year later I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism for which I continue to take medicine. And, within a short time after that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a rheumatologist. Oddly, my endocrinologist never suspected fibromyalgia, always saying that I should be feeling better once my glucose levels came down and stablized. They came down, but I’ve never had the pleasure of normalized, stablized blood glucose levels.
As I’ve incorporated new techniques of diabetic self-care when new information has become available, it has never been enough to bring me frequent, ideal, BGL levels. (My last A1c was 8.8, and has never been below 7.2) My basal/background insulin dose and my carb-insulin ratios are identified in general (but don’t always work), I do my best to count carbs whether cooking or eating prepared foods, and factor-in the glycemic index of my meals and snacks, activity level, timing of food, any illness, tension/stress, etc…
Do you any of you have similar idiosyncracies? How do you deal with them?