Doctors most commonly misdiagnose this autoimmune disease as type 2 diabetes.
Before type 1 and type 1, there is another form of diabetes. It is a type 1.5 that shares the characteristics of these previously known forms of diabetes and is also called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).
Doctors most often misdiagnose type 2 diabetes.
But unlike type 2 diabetes, LADA is an autoimmune disease and cannot be controlled by simple changes in diet and lifestyle. Beta cells stop functioning much faster if you have type 1.5 diabetes than if you have type 2 diabetes.
It is estimated that 10 percent of people who have diabetes actually suffer from LADA. As doctors point out, people who are optimal weight, have an active lifestyle and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have a good chance of actually having type 1.5 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 1.5 diabetes can be quite vague at first – frequent thirst, increased urination (especially at night), unexplained weight loss, blurred vision and "nerve clenching".
If left untreated, type 1.5 diabetes can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a condition that the body cannot use sugar as fuel due to insulin deficiency and fat burning begins. This creates ketones that are toxic to the body.
To understand what causes type 1.5 diabetes, we need to understand the difference between these known types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes It is considered an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body destroys pancreatic beta cells. These cells help the body produce insulin, a hormone that stores glucose in the body. People with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin, or they must receive insulin injections to survive.
Type 2 diabetes its main characteristic is insulin resistance, which is caused by genetic and external factors, such as carbohydrate-rich diets, inactivity and obesity. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with lifestyle changes and pills, although patients often need to receive insulin to keep their blood sugar under control.
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Type 1.5 Diabetes is caused by pancreatic damage by antibodies that fight the cells responsible for producing insulin. Genetic factors, such as family history, may also be involved. If a person with type 1.5 diabetes is obese, insulin resistance may occur, which is characteristic of type 2 diabetes.
Type 1.5 diabetes occurs in the elderly. Most patients are over 40 years of age, and in some people the disease can even occur in the 70's or 80's. Setting up a LADA diagnosis can take some time. Blood tests can detect specific antibodies that are present when it comes to this disease.
Type 1.5 diabetes occurs when our body does not produce enough insulin. But as this disease develops gradually, it is initially possible to receive oral medications used for type 2 diabetes. As the body slows insulin production, it is expected that injection of these hormones will be an integral part of therapy for people who have it within five years LADA.
There is currently no way to prevent type 1.5 diabetes. As with type 1 diabetes, there are significant genetic factors involved in the progression of this condition. Early, correct diagnosis and management of symptoms is the best way to avoid complications from type 1.5 diabetes.