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Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood (LADA)

   

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood (LADA)Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood (LADA)
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Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood (LADA) is a form of autoimmune diabetes that usually develops in people between 30 and 50 years of age. This condition is sometimes unofficially referred to as 1.5 type diabetes to show the fact that LADA is a form of type 1 diabetes that shares certain characteristics with type 2 diabetes.

In LADA, as in type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system mistakenly destroys beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to help glucose get from your blood into your body’s cells to produce energy. As a result of beta cells destruction, pancreas produces insufficient amount of insulin and later may stop producing insulin at all, but as opposed to type 1 diabetes, in LADA, beta cells are being destroyed at a much slower rate – sometimes it takes more than a year. The slow progression of the disease and the fact that LADA is diagnosed in adulthood, show resemblance to type 2 diabetes. However, unlike type 2 diabetes, which can be managed with diet and exercise, LADA cannot be reversed with lifestyle changes.

Symptoms of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood are similar to those of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. At first, a person with LADA may start feeling tired much more often than usual, especially after meals. As the disease progresses, other symptoms such as increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, tingling nerves, blurry vision, and unexplained weight loss may appear.

It is imperative to recognize LADA’s symptoms as early as possible because the earlier the disease is taken under control, the less risk of complications. However, LADA is often misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes because in many cases people get diagnosed with this diabetes type when they are around 40 years of age or older and because LADA has a slow progression.

To determine or rule out a LADA diagnosis, your doctor should run Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Autoantibodies test (GAD antibody test) to determine the presence of elevated levels of pancreatic autoantibodies. Besides, people with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood are usually not obese, do not have high blood pressure and cholesterol level, and they cannot improve their diabetes control with lifestyle change or medications.

If you have been diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood, you should immediately take measures to avoid long-term diabetes complications. Such complications may include ketoacidosis, cardiovascular disease, stroke, nerve disease (neuropathy), kidney disease (nephropathy), and retina disease (retinopathy), as well as problems with your feet.

Because Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Of Adulthood progresses slowly, at the early stage of the disease you might be able to produce a sufficient amount of insulin to keep your blood sugar level within proper limits. When production of insulin decreases, medications like thiazolidinediones and metformin can effectively manage symptoms. Eventually, after a period of several months to a year since diagnosis, pancreas will stop producing insulin and you will need insulin injections to continue managing LADA.

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