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MODY -- Between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Posted Dec 12 2008 2:53pm
While doing some of my usual browsing into sites for updates on diabetes I came across the term MODY diabetes, something I had never heard of before despite my background in healthcare (click here ), though apparently it has been around for a while now.

MODY or Maturity Onset Diabetes in the Young is a genetic condition and is said to run in families. People with this condition usually exhibit mild hyperglycemia that manifests before the age of 30 but with the absence of ketonuria usually seen in patients with Type 1 diabetes. There is no obesity associated with MODY. The condition is treatable with oral drugs, and in case insulin is used, it would be required in very low doses. There are several variants of MODY, all caused by mutation of a gene. Click here for a detailed overview at Wikipedia.

Children of mothers who have exhibited gestational pregnancy are said to be susceptible to MODY. Since it runs in the family as a genetic trait, screening is often necessary throughout life. Though previously thought to affect patients below the age of 30, it is now believed that onset of diabetes can occur later in life too, and very likely many cases have been misdiagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. The patients often have normal fasting blood sugars and abnormal rise in postprandial sugars. Renal threshold for sugars are said to be lower for some forms of MODY, often as low as 150 mg/dl (normal renal threshold is about 180 mg/dl). Unfortunately, onset of kidney disease is usually when this condition is diagnosed in these patients.

I came across guidelines in this interesting site. Click here.

Research is still ongoing and diagnostic tests are said to be currently very expensive. Hopefully we will have more definite answers and affordable measures to diagnose this condition. Meanwhile, it would do for families afflicted with diabetes to keep a keen watch on their own, perhaps keep a family log stretching across generations with details of the diagnoses. This would help in the long run in understanding the various aspects of diabetes, which is beginning to look quite hydra-headed.
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