Diabetes 1.5: The in-between diagnosis

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in Lucas County, and getting proper treatment is essential for a healthy life. Some are diagnosed as insulin-dependent type 1 and some are type 2, but others are in-between, the type 1.5 diabetics.

A 2011 Lucas County Health Assessment found that 13 percent of adults had been diagnosed with diabetes. Although most received treatment, some patients did not receive a standard diagnosis.

Dr. John Brunner of the Endocrine and Diabetes Care Center describes some symptoms of type 1.5 diabetes.

â??It means somebody thatâ??s probably been previously told they have type 2 diabetes, now theyâ??re requiring insulin,â?? said Brunner.

Doctors use the term 1.5 as medical slang to describe cases of diabetes that are not the traditional type 1 or 2.

â??Theyâ??re starting to mimic someone with type 1 diabetes,â?? added Brunner. â??You look at them and you say this personâ??s blood-sugar pattern is looking fairly unstable, we need to add in fast-acting insulin with meals.â??

Sue Falzone Jablonski lost her sister to an undiagnosed case of diabetes in 1978. Mary Ellen â??Memeâ?? Falzone was just 14 years old when she passed away from complications with what turned out to be type 1 diabetes.

â??She slipped into a diabetic coma and we did not know she was diabetic,â?? Falzone Jablonski remembers. â??She got sick and we took her to the hospital.â??

Falzone Jablonski looked on Friday as construction began on the new 55,000 square foot diabetes care center at Promedicaâ??s North Campus. Promedica Mary Ellen Falzone Diabetes Center will offer comprehensive care and education for diabetics.

â??Had she lived, (Meme) would have tackled diabetes head-on and sheâ??d want this place so that everybody in Northwest Ohio would get the best care,â?? said Falzone Jablonski, the lead donor for the Promedica Mary Ellen Falzone Diabetes Center.

Brunner will serve as medical director for diabetes care at the center when it opens in January. He says patients must also play an active role in their own diabetes health care.

â??If youâ??re so sick that you donâ??t know whether you should be taking your insulin or not, thatâ??s the time to call your doctor.â??