Diabetes Type 3:
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Type 3 - Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY):

MODY is a group of diabetes disorders affecting about 2% of diabetics and because MODY is so rare, doctors do not always recognise it; it is estimated that about 90% of people with MODY are mistakenly diagnosed and treated as Type 1 or Type 2 by their doctors; MODY is different from both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and runs strongly in families; it has four main characteristics:

1 - It is normally diagnosed before a patient is 25.
2 - Children have a 50% chance of inheriting it from their parents; known as ADI1.
3 - Patients do not always require Insulin; they can often be treated by diet and exercise.
4 - Contrary to the above, MODY patients do not produce enough Insulin.

What Causes MODY?

MODY is caused by a mutation, or a change, in a single gene; if a parent has this gene mutation, any child they have, has a 50% chance of inheriting it from them; if a child does inherit the mutation, they will generally go on to develop MODY before they are 25, whatever their weight, lifestyle, ethnic group, etc.

As there is a 50% chance of a parent passing on MODY to their child, any person who has it should consider the idea of having their children genetically tested; the sooner it is discovered, the sooner they can be prescribed the appropriate treatment; your doctor should be able to advise you on the availability of genetic testing.

There are several type of Mody, such as HNF1-Alpha Gene MODY, Glucokinase Gene MODY, HNF4-Alpha Gene MODY and HNF1-Beta Gene MODY; each of which is caused by one faulty gene, which makes each type of MODY different.


HNF1-Alpha Gene MODY?

This gene causes about 70% of the cases of MODY; it causes diabetes by lowering the amount of insulin made by the pancreas; in childhood you generally make enough insulin to cope with your bodyís needs, but the amount of insulin you make reduces as you get older, so diabetes usually develops in adolescence or the early twenties, but may not be diagnosed until later in life

People with HNF1-Alpha MODY generally donít need to take insulin and can be treated with small doses of a group of tablets called sulphonylureas, which are often used in Type 2 diabetes; as with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; these diabetics should also follow a healthy balanced diet and keep physically active as this can also help to maintain good blood glucose and cholesterol levels; good control of blood glucose and cholesterol levels are important in HNF1-alpha as it has the same risk of complications as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Glucokinase Gene MODY?

This gene helps the body to recognise how high the blood glucose level is in the body; when this gene isnít working properly the body allows the level of blood glucose to be higher than it should be; blood glucose levels in people with glucokinase MODY are typically only slightly higher than normal; you donít generally have symptoms of this type of MODY and so itís often picked up through routine testing, eg during pregnancy; you donít need any treatment for glucokinase MODY and itís rare to get any of the complications of diabetes.

HNF4-Alpha Gene MODY?

This gene problem isnít as common as the other forms of MODY; people who have inherited a change in this gene are likely to have had a birth weight of 9lb or more (around 4 kg); they may also have had a low blood sugar at, or soon after, birth which might have needed treatment; early after diagnosis people with HNF4-Alpha are generally treated with a sulphonylurea tablet but may progress on to needing insulin.

These diabetics should also follow a healthy balanced diet and keep physically active as this also helps to maintain good blood glucose and cholesterol levels; good control of blood glucose and cholesterol levels are important in HNF4 -Alpha as it also carries a risk of the complications of diabetes.

HNF1-Beta Gene MODY?

People with this type of MODY can have a variety of problems including Renal Cysts (cysts of the kidneys), Uterine Abnormalities and Gout as well as diabetes; often the Renal Cysts can be detected in the womb before a baby is born; the diabetes tends to develop later and insulin treatment is usually necessary, as well as following a healthy balanced diet and getting regular physical activity; HNF4-beta MODY also carries a risk of complications of diabetes.

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