What is LADA?
Type 1, Type 2 Misdiagnosis More Common Than You Think
Since my first pregnancy in 2000, I've had a lot of diabetes diagnoses thrown my way: gestational diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance, and one doctor told me I even had type 2 diabetes. But I was young, thin, in good shape, and no one in my immediate family had diabetes, so a type 2 diabetes diagnosis made no sense. Yet, no one thought to test me for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, because I had none of the classic type 1 symptoms, like extreme thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA),
Eight years later, while pregnant with my third son, it became clear that something more than gestational diabetes or prediabetes was at play. I was exhausted all of the time, and an oral glucose tolerance test performed very early in the pregnancy showed blood glucose numbers over 250."I want to be tested for type 1 diabetes," I told my doctor. My doctor agreed and ordered a test for the antibody GAD, a marker of type 1 diabetes.
I went to the doctor's office to receive the results of my blood test. I had indeed tested positive for the GAD antibody. "You have type 1 diabetes," he said. "But it's probably LADA."
"LADA?" I said. I was vaguely aware of the term, but I had no idea what it meant. It turns out, I'm not alone. While almost everyone has heard of diabetes, next to no one (including most people with diabetes) knows what LADA is.
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Most of the time, we bash the lastest news about a "diabetes cure" because it is neither a cure, nor often even a significant improvement in diabetes treatment. Usually these "cures" are tested in mice, but fail to make the leap over to human physiology. Devices may work in the lab, but take decades to pass through FDA review, and still not be much better than what we already have. It's enough to make us all jaded. I know I am. But I saw something...