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Type 2 Diabetes vs. Autoimmune Diabetes
Virginia Integrative Health & Hyperbaric

Type 2 Diabetes vs. Autoimmune Diabetes

Are you really a type 2 Diabetic?  Research shows that up to 20% of adult diabetics diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic actually are not.  Instead they have type 1.5 diabetes, also called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).

What is Autoimmune
“Type 1.5” Diabetes?

It is a type of autoimmune diabetes, similar to type 1, where the body attacks cells in the pancreas that make insulin.  In type 1.5, due to this attack, the body gradually, over many years, stops producing insulin.  It is unlike type 2 diabetes, in which the body makes too much insulin, but the body stops responding to the insulin or it is insulin resistant.

What is the difference between
the more common Type 2
Diabetes and Type 1.5?

The test for type 1.5 is a simple blood test, but the management of type 1.5 vs. type 2 diabetes should be different.  Why?  For two reasons – first, some of the medications used to treat type 2 can actually make type 1.5 progress faster to the requirement to be on insulin, and, two, the cause of type 1.5 is vastly different than type 2 diabetes.  The ideal treatment for type 1.5 diabetes should include calming down the immune system to slow the attack on the pancreas down and preserve insulin production.    

Clues You May Be a Type 1.5
instead of Type 2 Diabetic

You or a family member have been diagnosed with another autoimmune condition such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid, celiac disease or others

Normal blood pressure and/or cholesterol

High sugars or A1C that is difficult to control

Slim body type

Unexplainable spikes in blood sugar

Tips for Diabetes Control
and Prevention for All Types

Keep your healthy eating habits consistent. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can elevate your blood glucose further and disrupt your metabolism.

Set aside time for quality sleep. Too little sleep or poor sleep can disrupt your hormones, leading to increased appetite, decreased insulin sensitivity, and a thicker waistline.

Exercise. Beyond promoting weight and body fat loss, it can improve blood sugar control, your body’s response to insulin and even help prevent heart disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, but your symptoms match any of the above, testing for type 1.5 diabetes could be indicated. An integrative approach has shown to be beneficial to types 1, 1.5 and 2, but treating autoimmunity that could be an underlying cause can make the difference in improving length and quality of life.

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