Type 1.5 Diabetes


          You have probably heard about both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, but have you heard about Type 1.5 Diabetes? It’s a third kind of diagnosis for the disease but it has its own set of differences. Type 1.5 Diabetes is an unofficial term that is sometimes used to refer to a form of type one diabetes known as Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (aka, LADA). Sort of a sub type of type 1 diabetes. Experts say there could be about 40 million people in the world who did not receive the proper diagnosis and could be suffering from LADA but are being told they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

          Type 1.5 diabetes is a form of autoimmune diabetes like the autoimmune disease type one it occurs as the pancreas stops insulin production but unlike type one diabetes, people with type 1.5 often do not need insulin for several months up to two years after they are diagnosed. This unusual production of insulin for long periods of time generally makes doctors believe it is type 2 diabetes. People with type 1.5 diabetes are usually diagnosed after they reached 30 years of age people with type 1.5 are often misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes as they are often older with the symptoms develop that is typical for someone with type one diabetes and initially their pancreas still produces some insulin around 15% to 20% of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may actually have type 1.5.

            Initially, type 1.5 diabetes can often be managed by controlling blood sugar levels with a healthy diet regular exercise, and possibly oral medications like Metformin but as the body gradually loses its ability to produce insulin it will eventually require insulin injections. If you were diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and suddenly need insulin to treat the glucose levels you might actually have type 1.5 diabetes. It’s basically like having type one diabetes but with a bit more insulin resistance.

          Researchers have found that there may be as many as five different types of diabetes. This could have major implications as it means that some people are taking diabetes medications that they may not actually need while others aren’t being treated adequately at the time of their diagnosis.  With time I’m sure there will be some kind of antibody test doctors can perform that can conclude if you have an autoimmune form of diabetes or if it’s type 2. Some physicians believe there are some forms of diabetes linked to patients with Alzheimer’s disease however that has yet to be proven as fact. Hopefully, with time and more research, a better treatment method will be found for all the different forms of diabetes and maybe even one day a cure.  

By: Miranda Montgomery (Type 1 diabetic for 20+ years) Admin for Type 1 Diabetes Support Group on Facebook with 13.7 K members