Monday, May 9, 2011

Admiring Our Differences

This week is Diabetes Blog Week and the first topic is 'Admiring Our Differences':
We are all diabetes bloggers, but we come from many different perspectives. Last year, Diabetes Blog Week opened my eyes to all of the different kinds of blogs (and bloggers) out there – Type 1s, Type 2s, LADAs, parents of kids with diabetes, spouses of adults with diabetes and so on. Today let’s talk about how great it is to learn from the perspectives of those unlike us! Have you learned new things from your T2 friends? Are D-Parents your heroes? Do LADA blogs give you insight to another diagnosis story? Do T1s who’ve lived well with diabetes since childhood give you hope? Pick a type of blogger who is different from you and tell us why they inspire you - why you admire them - why it’s great that we are all the same but different!!
I have a confession: I always thought that LADA or latent autoimmune diabetes in adults was just like Type 1, except in adults... BUT...

Not too long ago I was writing a definition about diabetes mellitus for a paper. I had a lot of resources about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, but nothing about that type somewhere in-between: Type 1.5. I found a snippet here and there in different books or articles, but couldn't find all that much. I thought maybe it would be best to ask a real expert about LADA and sent a tweet to @Diabetic_Iz_Me, a.k.a. Cherise, who has had LADA since 2004. Cherise referred me to one of her favourite sites: the Islets of Hope page. From there I was able to find a lot of references and information... and learn lots about how my assumptions of this Type 1.5 were WRONG.

From what I read (and please correct me if I am wrong) LADA starts off looking a lot like Type 2, except unlike Type 2 there are certain autoantibodies present that are linked with the destruction of beta cells. In Type 1 there are way more autoantibodies and the beta cells die off much more quickly, but in LADA there is only one or two of these autoimmune proteins and the pancreas cells are destroyed much more slowly. Every person's diabetes is unique and requires individual plans of care, but the average time it takes a person with LADA to require insulin injections is around 4 years. So, kind of similar, but still different. I was glad to have the opportunity to challenge my assumptions and learn something new. I was also glad to have someone open to questions and willing to inform (Thanks Cherise!).


Crystal said...

She's pretty awesome.
So are you. :-)

Virtue said...

Aww... Thanks Crystal :)

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