Our Approach to Care for Monogenic Diabetes 

The overwhelming majority of those diagnosed with with diabetes have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. However, in a small number of people, a rare gene abnormality can cause monogenic diabetes. Monogenic diabetes presents characteristics of both Type 1 and Type 2, and is often misdiagnosed as one of those more common types.

An accurate diagnosis is critical to building the best possible treatment plan. Genetic testing is often recommended for diabetes patients who meet certain criteria. Additionally, we maintain the Monogenic Diabetes Registry, the first nationwide database of individuals affected by these uncommon forms of diabetes. The registry is designed to track and study monogenic forms of diabetes in individuals on a long-term basis, noting symptoms, genetic patterns in families, and optimal therapies for each patient. 

There are two main forms of monogenic diabetes:

  • Neonatal diabetes is usually diagnosed in infants from birth to 6 months, though diagnosis may occur later in some cases. Around 75-80 percent of diabetes cases diagnosed at less than 6 months of age usually has an identifiable monogenic cause. Children diagnosed with diabetes between 6-12 months have a significantly smaller chance of having a monogenic cause.
  • Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) is more common and usually diagnosed in late childhood to adulthood

Our Kovler Diabetes Center is recognized as one of the world’s leading research and treatment facilities for monogenic diabetes patients.

Disease Management

Our approach to patient care begins with the understanding that diabetes has a different impact on every patient. We integrate our ongoing research into our clinic, giving our patients access to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment services. Our expertise in genetics and diabetes allows us to examine each patient’s family history and identify candidates for genetic testing, as needed, to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate and effective treatment plans for their diabetes.

We build treatment plans tailored to address each patient’s needs. Our multidisciplinary team is equipped to support patients in managing every aspect of diabetes, from the medical and physical issues to the social and emotional challenges. Because diabetes is a lifelong disease, we approach care with a “life span model” of care. Our diabetes specialists are able to provide care to patients at every life stage. 

Second Opinions

We welcome the opportunity to provide a second opinion on your diagnosis or treatment plan. Our specialists are dedicated to helping you understand your options so you can select the best care plan for your needs. Our team will use previous test results and may conduct additional diagnostic tests such as advanced laboratory analysis, genetic testing, or other methods of evaluation to provide a full evaluation and build an individualized diabetes management plan. 

Contact Us

Our endocrinologists and diabetes educators are here to provide information and answer questions for patients and families 24 hours a day, seven days a week about our patient care programs, educational resources and current clinical research studies.

To learn more about the UChicago Medicine Kovler Diabetes Center, please call 773-702-2371 or 800-989-6740 or email diabetes@uchospitals.edu.

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