Am I Type 1.5?

I just got my numbers but haven’t yet seen the endo. My A1C is fine (5.0) and has been for years. But this time the doctor tested for GAD antibodies. My level was an 8 which is deemed high. Does this mean I will develop insulin dependent Type 1 soon? I’m 55 male and relatively healthy. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Hi Jim @yachtlaw, why worry yourself unless you have other indicators, symptoms, that you may have diabetes? The lab tests you mention are not conclusive.

And if you have autoimmune diabetes you have diabetes you have TypeOne Diabetes without the halfway title of “1.5” which is a cop-out designation adopted by some doctors to provide a mistake in initially diagnosing adult onset autoimmune diabetes as type 2.

It is a fact that more initial diagnoses of TypeOne Diabetes are of adults - not children; so if you are diagnosed as TypeOne, you will be in the majority.

Thanks, Dennis. I am trying not to worry, but also trying to educate myself as much as possible. I appreciate your response.

The 1.5 is the group of us diagnosed with type one over the age of 25 or 30. It is also called LADA. I found this out a few months ago when they realized I wasn’t a type two. So many questions and not a lot of answers. I am more than willing to share what I know but be prepared to deal with my whining lol

Hi Samantha. Not worried about your whining. Thanks for reaching out. How long have you been LADA?

Since December so I am still learning

So no insulin yet? I am dreading my appointment in 2-weeks.

GAD is a leading indicator not fait accompli. You can have high GAD and still make insulin. Once you can’t control your blood sugar then they will likely start you on insulin. Do you have a blood sugar meter yet?

Me and insulin have already become friends. I was being treated for diabetes where I ended up on the ER. It never occurred to anyone to check my type before that. So I am not new to diabetes I am new to type one

My glucose has been right at the upper end of ‘average’ for years. But I’ve never been pre-diabetic dx. And no, I don’t have a meter. My antibodies have never been measured before this week.

I think I am probably on my way to type 1, but not there yet. My glucose has been high, but not over the high average for years. How often do you take insulin?

Four shots a day. Lucky me right?

In my opinion as a mechanic, at some point you stop caring about the quarterly hba1c and start measuring you own blood sugar in the mornings. And then before each meal. If your fasting blood sugars go over 100-120 it will be time. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the goal is controlled blood sugar.

Good point. Thanks. I’ll ask my doctor if it’s time.

Isn’t there a long lasting shot? That is terrible! Does insurance cover it?

Think of it like a a strategic attack. There is the short acting insulin you use when you eat a meal. It fights off the sugar in a hand to hand combat. Then there is the long acting insulin you use once a day. It attacks anything that tries to sneak pass the line of scrimmage. Ok I have watched one too many football games lol. Insurance companies generally pay for both but which ones is the question.

Sounds like a full time job. Must be such a pain!

It is. That’s why sometimes you need someone else to help cheer you one. Your own voice stops being enough

Here’s MY story. I’ll try to be brief. About 10 years ago, I started feeling lousy most of the time. Nausea, leg pain, poor sleep. Went to my PMD for a check-up. He did a battery of test. Everything was normal. He did NOT check specifically for diabetes.
I continued on. I remember telling a co-worker, “I should NOT be feeling this bad ALL the time.” Months went by. I then began having the typical symptoms, thirst, urinating all the time, etc. I checked my urine on a test strip and the sugar was over the top!! I used a co-worker’s meter (he’s Type 1). It was too high to read!! I immediately went to my PMD who did more lab and pronounced me Type 2. I thought, “Somethings off.” I’m in my late 40’s, slender with no family history of Type 2. I do have a nephew with type 1.
I found an endo with a great reputation. He did more testing. My A1c was over 10 and I had GAD antibodies. But he still said I was Type 2. He said that some Type 2’s had GAD antibodies (I’m not sure if this is true, but who was I to question?)
Things got under control on oral meds. Over time more meds were added, then more. This went on for about four years. I switched endos.
I talked to my new doc about the issues. He did more testing. GAD antibodies and a low C peptide…Type 1 (technically LADA because of the loooong honeymoon. But ultimately it doesn’t make a difference in treatment.) Things have been on track since then, but I had to give up my wish of controlling this disease with diet and exercise. DAMN!

My question is, why did your doc check for GAD antibodies if you had a normal A1c? Just curious. And you said that you never had a high glucose, just on the higher side of normal. Did your doc repeat the test? (lab error?) I would be confused also. I would not like having the feeling of doom hanging over me like that.
I wish you the best, whatever the outcome. We are all here for you.

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I actually went to my new endo because I thought I had low testosterone. After hearing my symptoms he ordered a blood panel that included EVERYTHING. (Which is a good thing). He even suspected auto immune problems with my thyroid. It looks like GAD antibodies instead. I suspect I’m on my ‘honeymoon’ now. Thanks for the support!