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April 16, 2005

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Ortonville, Michigan, USA:

I was just diagnosed with diabetes a month ago. I’m Caucasian, 22 years old and not overweight. I have the symptoms of both type 1 and type 2. One of my doctors said I’m type 1 and then another said I’m type 2. I have a family history of type 2, but for adults in their mid-50s. I have no family history of type 1. I’m still confused about what type 1 have.

Because diabetes is an immune problem, can my body be trying to fight a foreign object in my body, like metal plates in my jaw due to surgery I had seven years ago? Could that be causing the symptoms of diabetes? If not, what tests can I have done to determine which one I have? And, does is it important to find out which one I have?


From: DTeam Staff

It would not be surprising to have a form of type 1 diabetes that begins in a subtle manner. Your thin body habitus suggests type 1 diabetes. Your younger age suggests type 1 diabetes. Additional blood tests can be performed to clarify your situation. The measurement of antibodies, including an anti-GAD antibody, would be helpful as this is positive with type 1 diabetes. In addition, knowing what your C-peptide is in response to a meal would be helpful. Low levels are suggestive of type 1 diabetes. The plate in your jaw is not the cause of type 1 diabetes. The target of the immune attack is beta cell specific. If it is type 1 diabetes, you may see your medication requirements go up over time.