Close to 10% of patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are actually living with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA or Type 1.5): in the US alone this represents almost 2 million people. I am one of those people and this is my story.
I can’t believe I can’t get rid of this yeast infection, what’s going on. I tried over the counter medication to cure it, the yeast infection never went away. I called my Doctor’s office and made an appointment. Judy walked in the room and I told her I had a yeast infection I couldn’t get rid of. She checked my glucose levels and the meter read 400. She said I have diabetes and my glucose levels are high that’s why I couldn’t fight the infection. On June 16, 2004 I was diagnosed with being a diabetic; I was only 23 years old. Judy decided to send me to the lab. The next morning I received the results, fasting blood sugar was 334 and my HgA1C was 14.5. Judy (my nurse) diagnosed me as having Type 2 diabetes. I was initially started on Metformin, which at first worked well to control my blood sugars. Eventually, she decided to send me to a Endo, because my C-peptide levels were low, indicating that I was not making insulin on my own, which is uncommon in patients with Type 2. Also, I wasn’t overweight, a more common aspect of type 2 diabetes.
My first visit with Dr. Menon (my Endo) went well. He said he knew I was Type 1.5/LADA, just by looking at me. But, in order for him to confirm his theory, I had to get some blood work done. This was to measure antibodies that are frequently present in Type 1.5/LADA, called GAD-65 (there is also a test called islet-cell antibodies, which can be measured). A week later the results came back, it was confirmed that I have Type 1.5/LADA. My first thought was how did I get this? I don’t have a family member with Diabetes. Dr. Menon said, “It is a gene that you have and it could have been triggered by a cold or maybe even stress."
Dr. Menon started me on 5mg of Glipizide and said I would have to be placed on insulin within the next 4 years. He couldn’t tell me when my pancreas would completely stop making insulin. That was 4 years ago…
A lot of things have changed since my initial diagnoses! In January of 2008 I was placed on insulin, my honeymoon ended. I am learning how to live as a Type 1. I know some people say there isn’t a difference but to me there is a huge difference!!! I had the chance to live on both side of the tracks. If you asked me pills over insulin, I would choose insulin. I was asked if I would rather have Type 1 and 2 over Type 1.5, wouldn’t trade being Type 1.5/ LADA for the world. I like being the odd ball!
Here are a few Characteristic’s of Type 1.5/LADA:
-Adult age diagnoses
Lean body type.
More abrupt onset of high blood sugars, at the time of diagnosis, perhaps even DKA.
-Less likely to achieve good blood sugar control with meal planning or oral diabetes medications.
-Positive antibodies against GAD-65 or islet cells.
-Low C-peptide levels – insulin deficiency versus the insulin resistance that is routinely seen in type 2 diabetes.
- Less likely to have a family history of type 2
If you think you have any of the symptoms listed above talk to your health care provider and share your story here too.