Diabetes Personal Story – finally a diagnosis of LADA (1.5) Diabetes

I am writing this to thank Diabetes Ireland for the help and support that was provided to me.

On visiting my GP 1.5 years ago I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  I had been very unwell, had lost a lot of weight and was very tired all the time. Subsequently it was discovered that I have little to no feeling in my feet due to poor circulation and have vascular problems and nerve damage as a result of my diabetes. I had numerous hypos and was very distressed. My medication was not easing my symptoms and I was feeling very low. I did not put an importance on myself and looking after my symptoms.

I paid a visit to Diabetes Ireland Cork Care Centre for my eye screening appointment and the staff in Cork Care Centre chatted to me about the range of services that they offer. I decided to attend the podiatry service for my feet, and I was also informed of an upcoming Community Orientated Education Programme (Code) being run by Diabetes Ireland.

Visit our CODE webpage to learn more

I was encouraged to attend this course by the staff, and was very pleased with the course and learnt a lot of very valuable information. Once the course was completed I attended a monthly support group which is run through the Cork centre in Diabetes Ireland. This support group offers a cup of tea and a chat for people with diabetes and there is also guest speakers who come and talk to us.

From speaking to other people at the support group I realised that there was something more to my condition and I needed further help. I returned to my GP and was put on insulin and began to slowly improve. More recently I was diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA).  Only for the caring staff in Diabetes Ireland who took me under their wing and supported me by giving me the courage to seek further help, I  would still be in very bad health and struggling daily.

Thank you to all the staff of Diabetes Ireland, especially the girls in the Cork Care Centre.

Denis O’Sullivan

What is LADA?

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA)  sometimes referred to as 1.5 diabetes is a more slowly progressing variation of Type 1 diabetes, diagnosed in adulthood. It is an autoimmune condition so researchers do not yet know what causes/triggers it.  Diagnosis can be difficult but is generally made when  there is GAD auto­antibodies (glutamic acid decarboxylase) in the blood  in adults newly diagnosed with diabetes that initially do not require insulin therapy.  Many people may initially be diagnosed as Type 2.  LADA should be suspected if the person has no symptoms of metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure), poorly controlled glucose levels (unintentional extreme weight loss) despite adherence to medication or diagnosis of other autoimmune conditions.