No less than 10% of all diabetics suffer from the diabetes subtype “latent autoimmune diabetes in adults” (LADA), yet a majority of physicians are witnessed to confuse it with Diabetes Type Two.
Experts attribute this confusion to the fact that LADA can be classified as a more slowly progressing variation of type one diabetes, often misdiagnosed as type two.
According to a research article published in the latest edition of the Diabetic Association – Pakistan’s publication, LADA is different from sub-types of diabetes one and two respectively.
This is because its progression to insulin dependence is latent, lingers often to months and years. At times also reflect insulin resistance.
People affected with this sub-type of diabetes are adults who may take even six years to develop insulin dependence against diabetes type one where insulin dependence begins at diagnosis and diabetes type two where this is over time, if at all.
Researchers referred to a study conducted in 2008 showing LADA to have features of both type one and type two. So in auto antibodies and genetics LADA appears to fall somewhere between types one and two on the diabetes spectrum, though perhaps closer to type one.
Experts, however, opined that there is need to look for LADA so as to help care providers to give better treatment or people with diabetes to achieve better blood glucose control and fewer complications.
Blood levels for LADA measure auto antibodies and insulin production but they may not be necessary for most people diagnosed with type two.
Moreover in a severely obese person (with body mass index of 35 or more) test turns to be meaningless as treatment for LADA would not be different from that of someone with type two.
Testing, however, could be a good idea for leaner, physically active adults who are more likely to have LADA and should be overly insulin resistant, a characteristic of type two.
One potentially critical reason to test for LADA is that someday the test may help tailor treatment for people with LADA, there is already some evidence that early insulin treatment may keep beta cells in the business of producing insulin, at least for a while.