THERE is a third type of diabetes and patients are being misdiagnosed by doctors, experts have warned.
Type 3c diabetes occurs as a result of pancreatic inflammation, abnormal growth of tissue on the organ or surgically removing part or all of the tissue, which affects the body’s ability to produce insulin.
The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, claims that people who previously had a pancreatic disease could’ve been misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which can cause the wrong treatment plan.
Those suffering from Type 3c diabetes require insulin therapy more urgently than those with type 2.
Figures show that 3.8 million people in England aged over 16 have diabetes, around nine per cent of the adult population.
Scientists said this places a “tremendous burden” on the NHS, with an estimated £14billion spent a year on treating the illness and its complications.
Experts from the University of Surrey examined the patient medical records of more than two million Brits to assess the frequency of different types of diabetes and the accuracy of diagnosis.
A staggering 97.3 per cent of people who have previously experienced pancreatic disease could have been misdiagnosed, most commonly with Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin meaning that glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy.
It is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in middle-aged and older people.
Type 3c diabetes is diabetes that occurs following damage to the pancreas. It is also termed “pancreatogenic diabetes” or “diabetes of the exocrine pancreas”.
Senior author Professor Simon de Lusignan said: “Greater awareness of Type 3c diabetes within the medical profession is required immediately to improve management of this disease, which now has a higher incidence than Type 1 diabetes in adults.
“Our research shows that the majority of people with Type 3c diabetes are being misdiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, putting both their short and long term health at risk.
“Diabetes and its complications place a tremendous burden on the NHS and it is important that patients are diagnosed quickly and correctly, helping them get the specific care they need.
“This builds on our previous work that suggests that failure to flag the right diagnosis is associated with lower quality care.”
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