Most of us are familiar with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, recent studies have discovered a new type of diabetes, diabetes type 3, that physicians are unknowingly misdiagnosing as type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes starts in childhood and early adulthood and results when the body’s immune system destroys the pancreatic cells responsible for producing insulin. Overweight, obesity and age trigger type 2 diabetes, and the pancreas can no longer sustain the body's demand for insulin.
An Outlook of Type 3c Diabetes
Inflammations, tumors and surgery in the pancreas will cause the damage to the organ, thereby triggering type 3c diabetes. The damage to the pancreas impairs its ability to produce insulin and the proteins that aid in the digestion of food (food enzymes) and other essential hormones.
Cases of Type 3c Diabetes Are More Common Than Previously Thought
Most cases of diabetes type 3c are incorrectly diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study. Of the over 2 million participants, only 3 percent were correctly diagnosed as having type 3c diabetes.
There’s a huge concern among researchers and specialist doctors that cases of type 3 diabetes may be more widespread than previously thought. Worse still, most of these cases are wrongly diagnosed, something that necessitated a large-scale study on the condition.
Researchers analyzed the health records of over 2 million people pulled from the Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Database (RCGP RSC). All cases of diabetes that occurred after conditions that cause damage to the pancreas such as pancreatitis, pancreatic surgery, pancreatic tumor and cancer were identified.
Results of the Study
The researchers concluded that diabetes patients displaying such pancreatic conditions were most likely suffering from type 3 diabetes.
In many adults, type 3c diabetes (1.6 percent) was more common than type 1 diabetes (one percent). Compared to the type 2 diabetes patients, people suffering diabetes type 3c are twice likely to have a poor blood sugar control and are also five to ten times likely to need insulin.
The onset of diabetes type 3 could occur long after an injury in the pancreas, at times after a decade. Due to the time lag, it may be hard to link the two which may explain why the condition is overlooked.
Correct diagnosis of diabetes is crucial for the administration of the proper treatment because most drugs used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes are not effective for the treatment of type 3 diabetes.