Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups. She is the author of the "The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.," and "The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Prediabetes". If you would like to learn more about Gretchen, or read her newsletter or blog visit http://www.nutritionxpert.com.
Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) is a form of diabetes that many people do not know about. It affects adults in the age range of 35-50. The person with LADA usually has some of the signs and symptoms found in type 1 diabetes, but because of their age, they are often diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. About 10% of the diabetic population has LADA, and it may be somewhat more common than type 1 diabetes. Among those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, up to 15-20% may have been misdiagnosed, and actually have LADA.
Here are some facts that distinguish LADA from type 2 diabetes:
• The person with LADA is usually not overweight and there is little evidence of insulin resistance. In contrast, someone with type 2 diabetes is often overweight and has insulin resistance.
• Insulin may not be required right away, but within a short period of time the person demonstrates a poor response to oral medications. Certain oral medications that treat insulin resistance are ineffective for LADA.
• Medications that stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin (such as Glyburide), or reduce excess glucose production by the liver (such as Metformin) can be helpful in delaying the need for insulin in this type of diabetes.
• When special lab tests are done, people with LADA are found to have certain antibodies, such as GAD65 antibodies that attack the beta cells of the pancreas. Destruction of pancreatic beta cells hastens the decline in insulin production. This helps to explain why insulin may be required much sooner than in someone with type 2 diabetes.
• Metabolic syndrome (obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, or high blood pressure) typically found in type 2 diabetes is often not seen in LADA, making this population less at risk for cardiovascular disease.
• Although the medication and/or insulin regime may differ for the treatment of LADA, having a healthy diet and routine exercise plan remain vital components of the overall treatment plan.
No matter what type of diabetes you have, knowing your type will give you a better understanding of the most appropriate kind of treatment you need.
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but lack the certain characteristics typical to type 2 diabetes, discuss the possibility of LADA with your doctor. It's a good idea to add a Registered Dietitian and/or a Certified Diabetes Educator to your treatment team. They can help you to learn about the many aspects of your treatment including an appropriate eating plan, exercise, glucose monitoring, and medications.
Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice and through her online service, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of weight management, and general wellness. She is the author of the "Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance at Health," and "Quick Start Recipes for Healthy Meals". Visit Gretchen’s new website to learn more about her upcoming webinar “Five Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten-free.”
This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com.