Is Your Adult Onset Diabetes Type 1? This Antibody Blood Test Might Tell the Answer

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and adults under 30. It is caused by the immune system attacking the islet cells of the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin. So, with type 1 diabetes, there isn’t enough insulin because our own immune system has killed off the insulin-producing cells. It usually happens suddenly with extreme thirst and weight loss followed by a trip to the doctor or the emergency room.

Type 2 diabetes usually presents in people over 30, but has become much more common in younger people with significant weight problems. Type 2 diabetes develops over the course of years or decades and involves insulin resistance as well as a reduction of insulin production over the course of time.

What is Latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA)?

Latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA) is a form of type diabetes type 1 that develops in adulthood.  LADA will usually progress more slowly than typical Type 1, and therefore is often misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes.  Symptoms of latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA) are similar to what one would experience with other types of diabetes. It is the high blood sugar of diabetes that causes excessive thirst, drinking, and urination along with blurred vision.

Lab Tests For Type 1 Diabetes?

Antibody Tests for Type 1 Diabetes

The Zinc Transporter 8 Antibody Blood Test is useful for diagnosing autoimmune type 1 diabetes. This test will measure diabetes-related autoantibodies.  Although these autoantibodies do not induce type 1 diabetes, they do serve as indicators of the body’s immune response against its own cells that generate insulin.  

C-Peptide Test for Type 1 Diabetes

The C-Peptide Serum Test is useful for monitoring insulin production. When a person’s pancreas produces insulin, it also creates an equal amount of C-Peptide. For those recently diagnosed with diabetes, testing the levels of this hormone is useful for determining if and when additional insulin therapy should begin.


About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Founder of NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph Figon has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Connect on Linkedin