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Point in differentiating between T1 & T1.5/LADA?

So, this is a little freaky to me…

About two years ago, I had a glucometer because my cat was once
misdiagnosed as diabetic… that’s a long story. But anyway, I found
this meter with its year-old open (but recapped) bottle of test strips,
and I played with it, testing my own BG. 200s. Between the fact that
these strips had been open for at least a year, the fact that I had no classic
symptoms at that time, and the fact that I had no insurance and was unemployed, I
ignored it as a “glitch” from using ancient strips.

Well, here I am in the T1 club, diagnosed barely more than 4 months ago.

I was just now reminded of all this because I apparently posted on
Tudiabetes way back then, asking about whether expired strips are
reliable. I totally forgot about all that, until someone just now responded. I was shocked to see it was two whole years ago, and shocked to be reminded that the numbers had been 234 and 249, fasting.

This makes me wonder if I actually have LADA/1.5. From what I
understand, most T1s don’t walk around with undiagnosed diabetes for at
least two years, like I apparently have… their symptoms land them in
the emergency room within 6 months to a year, if they don’t think to
visit the doctor first.  (I’ll point out that I didn’t land in the emergency room, but was diagnosed when a GP decided to test my blood sugar because I had a yeast infection in the corners of my mouth.  That fasting number was 342, and she went on to retest and run some other tests, including an A1c that came up 13.2 and some other test that showed I was making barely any insulin at all.)

I’ll mention this to my endocrinologist when I visit next month, but I’m wondering if there’s much point in pursuing
a diagnosis of LADA if she doesn’t jump right on investigating it? I mean, is the
treatment any different than T1? I’ve been responding very well to
insulin therapy, though it seems like I don’t need very much of it. (My basal rate on my pump adds up to only 5.55 units per day! Though my I:C ratios are 1:10, on
average, which seems more typical.)

Freaky stuff, that I probably walked around with such high blood sugars
for over two years. This also makes me so thankful that no
complications have been detected so far… but much more eager to get my eyes checked out, because that’s one thing I haven’t done yet.
(Oh yeah, and I’m so thankful I have insurance and a job this time around!)

  • #10323
  • Have you ever talked with Cherise?  Her blog is and she’s been living with LADA for 6 years or so.  She might be a good resource to talk to. 

    Good luck!  🙂


  • #84097
  • I dropped her a comment and she’s already replied.  I love how responsive and supportive the online D community is!  <3

  • #84106
  • Agreed…  the DOC has saved me more than once.  🙂  I’m so glad she got back to you!

  • #84115
  • Hi Elizabeth!

    I am also a newly and oddly diagnosed T1. To make a long story somewhat shorter here it is: I went to the dermatologist for a mark on my leg that was diagnosed as granuloma annulare. It is sometimes linked with diabetes, so I got blood work done to make sure I was ok. Turns out that 2 out of my 3 fasting blood sugars were in the “above normal range.” I pursued it myself and went to an endocrinologist who ran more tests. Within 4 months of seeing the dermatologist I was diagnosed in the honeymoon period of T1 at age 21. I went from January (diagnosis) until early May just controling my diabetes with diet and exericise (like type 2s) until I went out of the honeymoon in May. I ever got sick like how most diabetics do when they find out they have diabetes. 

    I hope that you can get an answer and an accurate diagnosis! Good luck to you in your search!

  • #84123
  • I’m interested on what you get figured out on this.  I’m still confused about the difference between LADA and type 1 and if it evens matters to differentiate the two other than calling it Type 2 that turns into Type 1.

    I would imagine that the treatment wouldn’t be any different if you’re already on insulin.  The only step that might have been included would be starting you on an oral med as some LADA’s do.  Did your GP ever start you on oral meds? If pills weren’t working for you then you’re going on insulin…don’t see how a LADA diagnosis would alter that course of treatment.

  • #84129
  • Hi Elizabeth!

    I was initally diagnosed as a type 1 but my diagnosis has been switched to LADA (my story is on my profile). I was diagnosed at the end of july 2009 and i am not on any insulin therapy as of yet, (still in my honeymoon). I have been taking type 2 oral medications for the past year which have been effective thus far. My doctors dont really know when i will start insulin therapy, it could be weeks or months. A different diagnosis doesnt really mean much in the long run,  the treatment is the same as type 1 just happens a little bit slower.

  • #84170
  • [quote user=”Ideen”]I’m interested on what you get figured out on this.  I’m still confused about the difference between LADA and type 1 and if it evens matters to differentiate the two other than calling it Type 2 that turns into Type 1.[/quote]

    There seems to be a lot of contradiction out there!  Sometimes I find that general idea of “type 2 that turns into type 1,” but then I also run across info that insulin resistance (which is pretty much what defines type 2) is not a defining factor of 1.5.

    *pulls hair out*

    I’ll be curious to see what I find out, too!  So far, I think you’re right about the treatment.  It looks like once a 1.5 loses enough pancreatic function, they’re treated just like a 1.

  • #84189
  • Meredith:

    How interesting.  Reading your story, I can’t shake the feeling that I might have had a similar experience if I had gone to the doctor after those high meter results two years ago.  I’ve also felt, for 2 or 3 years, that something was wrong but I wasn’t entirely sure what (I suspected that I was simply unhealthy from a few extra pounds and lack of exercise, and occasionally suspected I might be pre-diabetic as a result).

    Now that I have much healthier blood sugar levels and feel much better, I’m pretty amazed that I didn’t pursue it much sooner than I did.

  • #84191
  • I’ve had T1 since 2006 when I was diagnosed at the age of 39.  There is no difference in treatment.  LADA is just what they call T1 in adults.

    I use very little insulin.  My ration is the same as yours 1:10.

  • #84439
  • [quote user=”Khürt Williams”]

    LADA is just what they call T1 in adults.


     Hi Khurt,

    It sounds as though you are a bit misinformed.  As you speak to more and more people in the diabetes online community, you will find many who were diagnosed with T1, not LADA, as adults – and experienced that sudden need for insulin (and resulting DKA episode) that is a hallmark of T1. 

    Please read

    While not everyone has settled on calling the condition LADA (some prefer “type 1.5”), or even whether it’s distinct from type 1, researchers are working on a set of criteria for its diagnosis: 1) the presence of auto­antibodies in the blood, 2) adult age at onset, and 3) no need for insulin treatment in the first six months after diagnosis. This definition would distinguish LADA from type 1—because people diagnosed with type 1 typically need to start insulin immediately—and from type 2, because of the presence of autoantibodies in the blood. 

    Scientists have discovered several different types of auto­antibodies related to diabetes. People with type 1 have higher levels and more types of these proteins than do those with LADA, which may be the reason beta cells are destroyed faster in type 1 than in LADA.


  • #84442
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