What is the rare form of diabetes LADA?

Man being tested for diabetes

It’s National Diabetes Week (13th July 2020) and we want to shine a light on Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) – an autoimmune disease that sets gradually in the body.

You may have already heard about the three most common categories which are Type 1, Type 2 or Gestational Diabetes. LADA is commonly referred to as diabetes 1.5.  It’s uncommon because it shares the characteristics of both Type 1 and Type 2

What is LADA?

Only about 1% to 5% of people diagnosed with diabetes fall under this category. If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes but you have an active lifestyle and aren’t overweight, chances are you have LADA.

LADA is an autoimmune disease and cannot be cured by living an active and healthy lifestyle. It is, however, manageable just like the other types of diabetes.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A series of intensive glucose tests are done to rule out that this condition is not either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. LADA occurs in adulthood and people with this condition often meets the following criteria:

● They are not obese
● They’re older than 30 (LADA can be diagnosed in as late as 70 to 80 years old)
● They have a pre-existing diabetes condition that was mismanaged

Insulin treatment is the ideal treatment method for people who have Type 1.5 diabetes. Constant monitoring of glucose levels will determine the right dosage that needs to be administered. Insulin treatment most definitely will start within the next
5 years once a person is diagnosed with LADA.

Individuals with LADA are also prone to developing thyroid-related diseases so it is essential that they are also aware of the different thyroid conditions. Above all else, maintaining an active lifestyle and a healthy diet may not treat the condition
completely but will ensure that they can still live a normal life with a longer life expectancy.

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