Type 1 diabetes misdiagnosed in many adults
Many might think type 1 diabetes is a "disease of childhood", but research, published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, has found it has similar prevalence in adults.
More than 40% of Britons diagnosed with the condition are over 30.
Many of these are initially diagnosed with type 2, and receiving the wrong treatment can be life-threatening.
Charity Diabetes UK is calling for doctors not to rule out the possibility a patient over 30 might have type 1.
'Banging my head against a wall'
Helen Philibin, a mother of two from Torquay, who was 40, slim and active when she was diagnosed.
She said: "Having the wrong diagnosis was extremely frustrating. I just knew it wasn't right.
"I'm always running around with my two young kids and I walk the dog every day."
She visited her GP complaining of extreme thirst. A blood test strongly indicated she had diabetes.
Her doctor diagnosed her with type 2 and prescribed metformin, the most commonly-used drug for the condition. She was also sent on a course to learn about lifestyle factors including a low-sugar diet.
"All the other people on the course were in their mid-60s and overweight. I was 5ft 10in and nine-and-a-half stone. I stood out like a sore thumb," said Helen.
"When I raised it with nurses or my GP, I was told that type 1 diabetes is always diagnosed in childhood, so I had to be type 2. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall."
Helen changed her diet to get better blood sugar control - but she began vomiting up to four times a week.
"It was horrible," she said. "Even a single piece of toast would send my blood sugar Continue reading