Other types of diabetes

Type 1.5 diabetes

Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), sometimes called type 1.5 diabetes, is a subtype of type 1, and is a slow progressing form of autoimmune diabetes. Like type 1 diabetes, LADA occurs because your pancreas stops producing adequate insulin, most likely from some “insult” that slowly damages the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. But unlike type 1 diabetes, with LADA, you often won’t need insulin for several months up to years after you’ve been diagnosed.

LADA can be identified by examining the presence of elevated levels of pancreatic autoantibodies amongst patients who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes but do not require insulin.

A GAD Antibody Test can measure the presence of these autoantibodies. These antibodies can identify LADA, and also can predict the rate of progression towards insulin dependency.

Risk factors for type 1.5 diabetes.

  • The absence of metabolic syndrome features: obesity, insulin resistance, or glucose intolerance
  • Uncontrolled hyperglycemia despite oral medication
  • Evidence of autoimmune disease, such as anemia and Graves’ disease

People diagnosed with LADA are usually over age 30. Because they’re older when diagnosed 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.

LADA can initially be managed by controlling your blood glucose with diet, weight reduction if appropriate, exercise, and, possibly, oral medications. But as your body gradually loses its ability to produce insulin, you will eventually require insulin shots.

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

More research is needed before the best way to treat LADA is established. If you’ve been diagnosed with LADA, talk with your doctor about your best treatment options. As with any type of diabetes, you’ll need close follow-up to minimize progression of your diabetes and potential complications.

MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young) Between 1 and 5% of people diagnosed with diabetes are thought to have MODY.

NDM (Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus) Rare condition that can occur from birth to 6 months.


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