LADA is a form of Type-1 Diabetes that tends to develop later in adulthood life. It also tends to develop more slowly than type 1 diabetes in childhood and, because LADA can sometimes appear similar to Type-2 Diabetes, doctors may mistakenly diagnose LADA as type 2 diabetes. LADA is sometimes referred to as type 1.5 diabetes to illustrate the fact that LADA is a form of type 1 diabetes that shares characteristics with type 2 diabetes. As a form of type 1 diabetes, LADA is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and kills off insulin producing cells.
The slower onset of Diabetes symptoms being presented in people over 35 years may lead a GP to initially diagnose a case of LADA as type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of LADA:
The initial symptoms of LADA include:
- Regularly tired after meals
- Foggy headedness
- Experiencing hunger soon after meals
As LADA develops, a person’s ability to produce insulin will gradually decrease and this may lead to symptoms such as:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Tingling nerves
It is important to catch the symptoms at the earliest stage because diagnosis of LADA at a later stage increases the risk of developing diabetes complications.
Having tingling nerves can be a sign of neuropathy (nerve disease) and need to be attended and checked by a HCP immediately.
According to the UK Prospective Diabetes Study found that antibodies specific to LADA cases are found in between 6% and 10% of diabetes cases. Amongst people diagnosed with diabetes at an age younger than 35 years old, LADA may account for up to 25% of cases.