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October 10, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Tel Aviv, Israel:

I am 45 years old, was diagnosed with diabetes about before three years ago when I had ketones, and I take insulin. My recent lab tests are a GAD antibody level of 83%, negative islet cell antibodies, and a C-peptide of 1.95. Do I have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Can the doctor change the treatment by giving me Glucophage or other medicine?

Answer:

My interpretation of the GAD antibody is that it is elevated, and your C-peptide level is not absolutely low. However, individuals with Late-onset Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA) do not have to have absolutely low C-peptide levels. The history is that they fall fairly rapidly over time, however. It you have autoimmune diabetes, placing you on Glucophage [metformin] will not necessarily help you. I would suggest you continue to follow closely with your physician.

JTL