Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why should I get screened for autoantibodies?
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) starts years before you need to go on insulin and many people get diagnosed with T1D because of a dangerous event called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). We know that screening and education with specialized medical follow up, if needed, can minimize the risk of DKA at diagnosis and greatly improve your health outcomes. You could even benefit from ongoing clinical trials to prevent the disease or new therapies as they become available if you choose after consultation with your physician. Additionally – and equally important – if you have someone with T1D in your family, you are at an increased risk for developing T1D compared to someone without a known direct /immediate family connection.
Who should get screened?
If you have T1D, or someone in your family does, you or your family are at an increased risk for developing T1D. Even if you don’t have a relative with T1D, or have T1D yourself, ~93% of T1D diagnoses happen to people without a known family connection. Screening is also important for everyone of all ages. Although T1D is more commonly diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults, it can develop at any age.
What is the screening test for?
The test is for the presence of proteins in your blood called Islet Autoantibodies that are markers, similar to routine tests for breast, prostate, colon and other cancers, or other diseases such as heart disease through cholesterol screening. Our goal is to establish routine screening for T1D risk as is done for other diseases, while therapies that can truly change the course of disease progression are developed. Specifically, the test will look for the presence of 3 T1D specific markers: insulin autoantibodies (IAA), GAD autoantibodies (GADA), insulinoma-associated antigen-2 autoantibodies (IA-2A). The test will incorporate more markers in the future.
Who will know about my screening results?
When you register for a screening test-kit through our clinical lab partner, Enable Biosciences, you will have the option to share your results with your doctor and with JDRF. Any results shared with your doctor will become part of your or your family member’s healthcare record. When you opt-in to share your results with JDRF, you will be contacted with individualized support, resources, and education. Your personal information and results will be protected and will not be shared in any way without your permission.