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Question:

From Canada:

I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes 2 years ago. I'm 5 foot, 11 inches tall, and weigh 155 pounds. Because of this I have been told I am true Type 1; however, my doctor insists I'm Type 2. Is there a test that can be done to prove whether or not you are Type 1 or 2?

Answer:

Since you are not overweight and if your total insulin needs are of the order of 0.6 units/kg of body weight/day or more, at your age you almost certainly have Type 1 Diabetes. This being so you will require insulin permanently or at least until transplantation techniques are perfected.

It is just possible though that you have one of the rare types of diabetes called Maturity Onset Diabetes in the Young (MODY) which experience may show can be treated with one or other of two new oral drugs, metformin [Glucophage®] which reduces the liver output of glucose and troglitazone [Rezulin®] which make the insulin receptor more sensitive. The latter possibility is an unlikely one; but if you feel it is important to you to distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes you should talk to your doctor about getting an antibody test done. This will be positive in the case of Type 1 Diabetes and negative for Type 2. Serum insulin levels following an intravenous glucose load would be another discriminant, less precise; but possibly more accessible.

DO'B

Original posting 9 Mar 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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