Type 1.5 Diabetes: An Overview
Type 1.5 Diabetes (T1.5D) is also known as Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA). LADA is considered by some experts to be a slowly progressive form of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) while other experts in the field consider it a separate form of Diabetes.
LADA or T1.5D is sometimes thought of as T1D that is diagnosed in adults over the age of 30—T1D is commonly diagnosed in children and younger adults. T1.5D is often found along with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D): up to 25% of individuals with T1.5D also have characteristics of T2D.1 This is sometimes called “double diabetes”.
Individuals with T1.5D are all eventually dependent on insulin for treatment, and have a very high risk of requiring insulin within months or years (up to six years) after the initial diagnosis. This is in contrast to people with T1D—these people tend to need insulin within days or weeks of diagnosis.2 Individuals diagnosed with T2D relatively rarely require insulin treatment. Current recommendations are to treat individuals with T1.5D immediately with insulin, though this is not universally accepted (see below).
The Causes of T1.5D
Just as with other forms of diabetes, we don’t truly understand the underlying cause(s) of T1.5D. There are autoimmune components in Types 1, 1.5 and 2 diabetes with some overlap in the types of antibodies formed, so it is clear that as in T1D, the immune system has become “confused” and begins to act against the beta cells of the pancreas—the source of the insulin needed to control blood sugars. Both T1D and T1.5D have antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase or an Continue reading