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Dr. Paul Mason2 min read

What is LADA diabetes?

Diabetes is generally thought of as one of two distinct conditions, type 1 where the cells of the pancreas that release insulin are destroyed by the bodies own immune system, or the more common type 2, where insulin simply doesn't work as well as it should.

The truth is though, these distinctions are not always accurate.

A different type of diabetes

10% or more of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have an attack by their own immune system on insulin secreting cells within the pancreas.

In this situation, the combination of insulin not working properly can be combined with deficiency, increasing the likelihood that insulin injections are needed.

This condition is referred to as Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA), although you may hear the informal term Diabetes 1.5, to reflect the overlap between type 1 and 2 diabetes.

What is LADA diabetes?

LADA is often undiagnosed due to the assumption of doctors that anyone overweight with diabetes must be type 2, when this is absolutely not the case.

Many patients, especially those who are younger when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are subsequently found to have LADA when autoimmune antibody testing is performed by their doctors.

Is it possible to put LADA diabetes into remission?

Complete reversal of diabetes, as has been documented in -50% of type 2 patients following structured low carbohydrate diets like the Defeat Diabetes Program, is less likely in those with LADA.

This is because the ability of the body to release insulin, in later stages, may be completely destroyed, requiring at least some level of injected insulin.

However, it is advantageous both to reduce the amount of insulin needed for injection while achieving as stable blood glucose levels as possible. And low carbohydrate diets can help to achieve this.

The bottom line

Reducing the amount of carbs in your diet is even more important in those with LADA than the more vanilla type 2 diabetes due to the extremely poor blood sugar control that can result from insulin which is both deficient in amount and defective in function.

Join Australia's first evidence-based and doctor-led program transforming the health of Australians. Download the Defeat Diabetes app today.

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