Other Forms (MODY, LADA, Neonatal)

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA)

Sometimes referred to as type 1.5 diabetes, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA) appears in adulthood, typically around age 30, and like type 1 diabetes, is caused by an autoimmune attack on the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. People with LADA are generally slim and physically fit with little or no resistance to insulin.

LADA progresses more slowly than type 1 diabetes and can be misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes because LADA patients sometimes respond well initially to oral medications. However, most patients eventually require insulin. Type 1.5 patients usually face a lower risk for heart problems than type 2 patients who have the characteristic high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)

Some younger people develop Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) – a genetically inherited, rare form of type 2 diabetes caused by a defect in a single gene. Diagnosed by diabetes and genetic testing, MODY accounts for only one to five percent of diabetes cases. MODY patients – thin and usually in their teens or twenties – treat their disease with diet and, if necessary, with diabetes oral medications.

The children of MODY patients face a one-in-two chance of themselves developing the condition.

Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus

Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (NDM) is a monogenic form of diabetes that occurs in the first six months of life. It is a rare condition occurring in only one in 100,000 to 500,000 live births. Infants with NDM do not produce enough insulin, leading to an increase in blood glucose. NDM can be mistaken for the much more common type 1 diabetes, but type 1 diabetes usually occurs later than the first six months of life. In about half of those with NDM, the condition is life-long and is called permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus (PNDM). In the rest of those with NDM, the condition is transient and disappears during infancy but can reappear later in life; this type of NDM is called transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM). Specific genes that can cause NDM have been identified.

Symptoms of NDM include thirst, frequent urination, and dehydration. NDM can be diagnosed by finding elevated levels of glucose in blood or urine. In severe cases, the deficiency of insulin may cause the body to produce an excess of acid, resulting in a potentially life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis. Most fetuses with NDM do not grow well in the womb and newborns are much smaller than those of the same gestational age, a condition called intrauterine growth restriction. After birth, some infants fail to gain weight and grow as rapidly as other infants of the same age and sex. Appropriate therapy improves and may normalize growth and development.