Do You Have the Diabetes That’s in Between?

It’s called type 1.5 diabetes, also known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). About 10% of people with diabetes have it, making it even more widespread than type 1.

Health Monitor Staff
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Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? This may surprise you: An estimated 1 in 5 people with type 2 might have type 1.5 (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, or LADA), a slow-progressing form of type 1. Just as its name implies, type 1.5 has characteristics that fall between type 1 and type 2, so it can be difficult to pinpoint. Yet it’s important to ensure your diagnosis is accurate because it can affect your treatment.

For example, oral medications may be ineffective in people with type 1.5. In fact, researchers have found that starting insulin earlier can help people with LADA achieve better blood sugar control, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. As researchers learn more about this subtype, treatment may become more targeted.

For now, discuss any concerns with your healthcare team to feel assured that your diagnosis and treatment are on track.

Type 2—or type 1.5?

Review these with your endocrinologist.

  1. How old were you when you were diagnosed with type 2?
  2. Are you on the slimmer side?
  3. Do you have an autoimmune disease such as thyroid hormone deficiency or rheumatoid arthritis or a family history of autoimmune disease?
  4. Were you able to go without insulin for the first six months after your diagnosis?
  5. Are you taking oral medications and “doing everything right,” yet you’re still having trouble stabilizing your blood sugar levels?


April 2013