View Full Version : Why does diabetes present itself at later ages?

02-26-2008, 08:25 PM
I am wondering why Type 1 can present itself later in life. My grandmother had Type 1 but she wasn't diagnosed until she was in her 40's. My father was 12 when she was diagnosed. He remembers her having vision problems and going to see the doctor for it. She was in the hospital for a week. My grandmother is the reason why I knew so much about the symptoms and why I caught Deacon's so early. I just find it odd that she was diagnosed so late in life. She lived with her diabetes for 40 years. My father remembers her testing her urine and matching the color on the urine strip to the color code to see what her blood sugar was. We have come a long way since then.


02-26-2008, 09:28 PM
Great question -- I'd like to know the answer, too!! I was diagnosed at age 30, about 8 months ago. My mom was diagnosed at 17 and Carson at 9 months old. I think all of our diagnosis ages are odd.

02-26-2008, 09:57 PM
Unfortunatly this to me is the scariest part for my non d girls. I can never really stop worring. I don't worry every day. But this very morning non d dd(13) comes out of her room looking like a train hit her. I immediatly wanted to test her. I did not test her but it kills me to wonder could it be happening to her.

02-26-2008, 10:32 PM
My dad was diagnosed at 60, following appendicitis. His doctor thought that he had Type 2 and put him on oral medications. (He's always been fit and trim, and we had no family history of any sort of diabetes.) He added a three-mile walk to his daily routine and changed his diet to severely limit his carbohydrate intake. He "honeymooned" for several months, at the end of which his fasting bg was never below 180, he slept all the time, and his cholesterol was terrible. The doc wanted to put him on a cholesterol-lowering drug. My mom yelled at the doctor and said he needed to be on insulin, which probably saved him a trip to the emergency room shortly thereafter, when his body stopped making insulin altogether.


02-26-2008, 10:52 PM
. . . I was diagnosed at age 30 . . . My mom was diagnosed at 17 and Carson at 9 months old. I think all of our diagnosis ages are odd.

Actually, I believe 30 is an even number. ;)

Unfortunatly this to me is the scariest part for my non d girls. I can never really stop worring.

I was also worried about the possibility of my older son as well as maybe even myself or my wife coming down with T1 until we had ourselves tested for the TrialNet Natural History study and we all tested negative for antibodies. As long as our antibodies are negative we should be at least a year to two out from actually coming down with T1, so we don't need to panic every time we get too thirsty. Our older son, Kennen, will continue being tested for antibodies every year until his is 18. If he ever tests positive, I'll be pounding down the doors of the promissing research programs trying to stop T1 with oral insulin or other methods.

02-26-2008, 11:35 PM
I was diagnosed at 19, which I actually don't get the impression is a very uncommon age to bd dx'ed at.

02-26-2008, 11:43 PM
I don't know...My grandma was also dx'd at age 40. I always assumed type 2 because I always knew her as being heavy...But now I'm not sure, she was thin and VERY sick at dx'd. I wish I knew for sure...BTW, I'm 41 right now:confused:

02-27-2008, 10:01 AM
I always wonder why my dad was 32, then I was 28 and Maddison was 6. Makes me mad when kids are diagnosed! It just shouldn't be! I WORRY ALOT for my neices and nephews when they are still in the womb! I just wonder if "D" will strike younger than Maddison's age of 6 since that has been the pattern in our genes.

02-27-2008, 11:34 AM
I couldnt tell you, my brother was diagnosed at 21. He is the reason I knew what was going on with jacob when he started showing signs at 9

02-27-2008, 11:47 AM
My understanding of T1 is that there is usually a "trigger" that sets off the beginning of the destruction of islet cells. Sometimes this seems to be an illness... along with genetics, combined.

It all comes down to whatever happens that causes the antibody to show up and start the attack and then how long it takes for the destruction to get to a point that insulin production can't keep up with the needs anymore and symptoms show up... I think in Tyler's case, pink eye was his trigger.

Sounds to me like the older ones are very lucky that it did't show up earlier in life.

My doc refers to an older person who developes T1D as a "late onset".

Chapter 3 of the pink panther book talks about these things. You can read this online at:


02-27-2008, 12:16 PM
My sister was diagnosed at 11 way back when, and my mother was 39 when she was diagnosed my daughter was 8 and even with both my mother and sister having D I didnt know much..My mom didnt make it part of our lives when I was a kid growing up and when i got older it was normal to see her have shots and check herself all the time I never questioned any of it..I was in the dark when my daughter got it..for the first time in my life I understood what my mom was talking about when she use to tell me her bs was this number or that...before I would let it go in one ear and out the next:o

02-27-2008, 12:41 PM
Why not? ;)

I think it's just when the autoimmune attack decides to happen.