Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Has anybody heard of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), also known as Type 1.5 Diabetes?

    I have had fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and various and sundry lesser health conditions for several years. About two months ago, I wound up in the emergency room for 12 hours with an attack of acute pancreatitis, caused by a gallstone getting stuck in a bile duct. The pain was very bad, but I don't remember much about it, because they put me on Dilaudid (which I'd never heard of before). That stuff really knocked me out. I wound up losing a whole day! During that time, I apparently had both a CAT scan and an MRI, among other tests. Since the tests showed that I had more gallstones, I wound up having laparascopic gallbladder surgery.

    I was in the hospital for seven days. For most of that time, I wasn't eating solid food. They had me on IV fluids, a sucrose drip and antibiotics, plus most of my other medication.

    During my hospital stay, my blood sugar shot up -- hardly a surprise considering the damage to my pancreas, the fact that I was getting a lot of sugar through the IV, and I do have a family history of diabetes. They wound up giving me insulin shots five times.

    So why am I asking about diabetes on a fibromyalgia board?

    I remember seeing discussion on this list about developing insulin resistance--which is what happens in Type 2 diabetes, the kind they diagnosed for me. However, most Type 2 diabetics are overweight. I was well within the normal range when I went into the hospital, and I've lost more weight since then.

    So I started searching the Internet for information that could help me keep my blood sugar down *without* the weight loss that is appropriate for most Type 2 diabetics.

    That's when I found out about something called Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), also called Type 1.5 diabetes. Apparently, this often affects people who are *not* overweight.

    What struck me is the fact that this form seems to involve an autoimmune response. MS is an autoimmune disease, and I think fibromyalgia has been described as an autoimmune condition as well. There may not be any connection between fibroyalgia and diabetes (of any type), but this board has been such a fount of knowledge for me in the past that I thought I'd ask.

    At this point, my oral diabetes medication and diet seem to be keeping my blood sugar under control. But Type 1.5 diabetics tend to need insulin sooner than Type 2 diabetics. If anyone on this board has any knowledge or experience that can help me delay, if not avoid, becoming insulin-dependent, I certainly would appreciate the information.

    Thank you in advance.

    --Laura R.M.
  2. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) is a form of type 1 diabetes which is diagnosed in individuals who are older than the usual age of onset of type 1 diabetes. It is frequently confused with type 2 diabetes.

    Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) is a form of autoimmune (type 1 diabetes) which is diagnosed in individuals who are older than the usual age of onset of type 1 diabetes (that is, over 30 years of age at diagnosis).

    Alternate terms that have been used for "LADA" include Late-onset Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood, "Slow Onset Type 1" diabetes, and sometimes also "Type 1.5 [Type one-and-a-half]" diabetes.

    Often, patients with LADA are mistakenly thought to have type 2 diabetes, based on their age at the time of diagnosis.

    Such misdiagnosis is easy to make when the person is older, and initially responds to treatment with diabetes pills.

    It is now thought that perhaps twenty percent of patients with apparent Type 2 diabetes really have LADA.

    Patients with LADA do not have insulin resistance, as do people with Type 2.

    Also, positive antibody tests would help make the diagnosis of LADA in a person who might be suspected of having either LADA or Type 2.

    Some diabetes specialists feel that once LADA is diagnosed, it is important to promptly start the patient on insulin therapy (rather than using sulfonylureas or other diabetes pills), but it is unclear whether early treatment with insulin is beneficial for the remaining beta cells.

    Drug therapy to preserve insulin function in patients with LADA is being investigated.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>Characteristics of LADA

    >Adult age at diagnosis (usually over 25 years of age)

    >Initial presentation masquerades as non-obese type 2 diabetes (does not present as diabetic ketoacidosis)

    >Initially can be controlled with meal planning with or without diabetes pills

    >Insulin dependency gradually occurs, frequently within months

    >Positive antibodies

    >Low C-peptide levels

    >Unlikely to have a family history of type 2 diabetes

    This information is from the Diabetes Monitor site.

    I hope this helps a little and I wish you the best of luck.


    Karen :)

  3. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Thank you for your information on LADA (Type 1.5 Diabetes). I really hope I have Type 2 and not Type 1.5. I have so much to do to manage all my other health problems (multiple scleroses and fibromyalgia among them). I don't want to worry about insulin shots in addition to everything else!

    But I have a follow-up question for you and anybody else on this list who might be able to help. Is weight loss a characteristic of Type 1.5 diabetes? I have lost about 15 pounds since I got out of the hospital, and I wasn't overweight when I went in.

    The nutritionist I saw for my diabetes wants me to *gain* a few pounds back, which is tricky to do when you have to keep carbs down (and when you're cooking for a family that needs to keep fats down). I don't have a lot of time or energy for cooking special meals, either.

    My blood sugar readings still look pretty good, but my weight seems to continue dropping. Maybe this doesn't have anything to do with diabetes. But if not, what else might be responsible for it? Could it be related to fibromyalgia in some way?

    My husband is very worried about my weight loss, and I'm now getting concerned about it, too. I've done some Internet searching, but it's hard to get solid information when your questions don't fall into a nice, simple category.

    Thanks again for the information you've already posted.

    Laura R.M.

  4. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I wish I knew more on the subject but I don't.
    Just wanted to wish you well and say Hello :)

    and add: My SIL and my MIL just went thru the pancreatitis and having their gallbladders out recently.
    Both of them lost weight.
    My SIL lost 25 lbs.
    and my MIL lost about 14.

    I think to some degree some weight loss is expected and normal.??? But I understand your concerns too.
    Feel better hun~
  5. mujuer

    mujuer New Member

    Sorry to hear you have this on top of everything else. This may be your biggest challenge yet. My mother and her sister developed this both at the age of 60. They are both skinny as rails and have to have their insulin adjusted all of the time. They both have hypothyroidism as well and that can also affect their weight. They both have a very rigid diet and shot schedule and have had from the beginning. My mother is going to try the pump shortly to see if that helps any. Have they recommended you to go to any classes yet? These classes really help as well as having a good dr. Best wishes. P

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