Hi,

My son was dx'd 9 months ago at age 8. His A1C was 13.9. He was GADA negative and his ICA (islet cell antibody) level was 1:8. Over the course of this 9 months we have in addition to taking him to the endo doctor also taken him to our (don't cringe) naturopathic doctor. His naturopathic doctor has been working with him to eliminate the problems that are bothering his system. (the only things bothering him have been several flu viruses that his body is holding onto and being vitamin B defecient). After 4 months he saw his endo and his A1C was 7.8. I asked her to check his ICA and it was cut in half and was 1:4. Meaning he still had the antibodies but there are half as many esentially attacking his body. We went back again at 8 months and his A1C was 7.0 and he no longer has any antibodies. I'm not exactly sure what that will mean for him. If there is no antibody attacking his system then will he have a better prognosis? His BG numbers are very controlled. I hardly ever see any highs and I check him about 8 times a day. We've also recently had to decrease his insulin intake substancially. He has been in target range about 75-80% this past month. Has anyone ever heard of the ICA levels dropping? Any toughts?

Tags: antibody, cell, islet, naturopathic, test

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I wish I could tell you that antibodies were directly related to diabetes or at least predicted how much your pancreas was being attacked, but it is just more complicated. Only 85-90% of T1 diabetics test positive for one or more antibodies and studies have not been able to show that antibody levels are related to the progression of diabetes. And antibody levels could simply be dropping because there are fewer and fewer islet cells left. For the most part, endos will check antibodies to confirm a diagnosis. Once you test positive for antibodies and have clear insulin deficiency problems (which your son has), there is just no further reason to test for antibodies. More typically an endo will perform a fasting c-peptide test which is more indicative of how much insulin is still being produced.

Many that are diagnosed go through a "honeymoon" in the early days after diagnosis. Their insulin production rises and falls. And it is not uncommon for insulin needs to be reduced as blood sugars normalize. So your son's reduction in insulin needs are explainable in other ways. I wish I could tell you that somehow antibodies could go away and that there are some who are cured of diabetes, but unfortunately I have not heard of any cases like that.

I've not heard of antibodies decreasing, but I've never heard of anyone having multiple tests either. With other auto immune diseases antibodies fluctuate, so assuming that's also true of diabetes. Doesn't explain a zero reading, though.

An A1c of 7.0 is an average BG of 155.

Our best prognosis is keeping BG as level & close to normal as we can.

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