Cause and Risk Factors for Developing LADA
Ultimately, the cause of Type 1.5 Diabetes is the presence of auto-antibodies against the pancreatic cells, insulin, or enzymes involved in the functions of the pancreas.
LADA is a rare form of adult-onset diabetes that can occur in adults. Your risk for developing LADA is higher if you are:
- A low birthweight baby (strong risk factor)
- Overweight or obese in adulthood
- Sedentary, with low physical activity
- Drinking sweetened beverage
According to reports, the more risk factors you have, the higher the possibility is of developing Type 1.5 Diabetes. For example, if you have low birth weight and adult obesity, your risk becomes higher.
How is LADA Diagnosed?
LADA patients need to undergo all other tests for other types of diabetes, including Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS), HbA1c, self-monitoring of blood glucose, urinalysis, lipid profile, and serum creatinine. Of course, if there are complications, other tests may be necessary.
On top of this, The Immunology for Diabetes Society (IDS) has specified three criteria for LADA diagnosis3:
- Age older than 35
- Presence of auto-antibodies to islet beta cells
- Insulin independence for at least 6 months after the initial diagnosis – this means the patient does not need to receive insulin therapy for at least 6 months after being diagnosed.
Some experts challenge these criteria, particularly because the decision to receive insulin therapy lies mostly on the doctor. Furthermore, autoantibodies are also present in Type 1 Diabetes, although with slight differences.
How is LADA Treated?