Public Health and Primary CareClinical Practice

Masqueraders: how to identify atypical diabetes in primary care

Sumera Ahmed, MD; Sana Saeed, MS; and Jay H. Shubrook, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: April 27, 2021

Accepted: July 20, 2021

Published: October 4, 2021

  • Sumera Ahmed, MD, 

    Assistant Professor, Primary Care at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine, Vallejo, CA, USA

  • Sana Saeed, MS, 

    Researcher, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine, Vallejo, CA, USA

  • Jay H. Shubrook, DO, 

    Professor, Primary Care at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine, Vallejo, CA, USA

Abstract

Diabetes mellitus is a complex set of conditions that impacts 34 million Americans. While type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes are most frequently encountered, there are many other types of diabetes with which healthcare providers are less familiar. These atypical forms of diabetes make up nearly 10% of diabetes cases and can masquerade as type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM or T2DM), and the treatment may not be optimized if the diagnosis is not accurate. Atypical forms include monogenic diabetes (formally known as maturity-onset diabetes of the young [MODY]), latent autoimmune diabetes of the adult (LADA), ketosis-prone diabetes, and secondary diabetes. This paper will detail the defining characteristics of each atypical form and demonstrate how they can masquerade as type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus. Gestational diabetes mellitus will not be discussed in this article.

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