Type 3 Diabetes: Scientists Discover Entirely New Form of Disease—And It's Being Misdiagnosed
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Most people are familiar with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Recently, though, a new type of diabetes has been identified: type 3c.
Type 1 diabetes is where the body’s immune system destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. It usually starts in childhood or early adulthood and almost always needs insulin treatment. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas can’t keep up with the insulin demand of the body. It is often associated with being overweight or obese and usually starts in middle or old age, although the age of onset is decreasing.
Type 3c diabetes is caused by damage to the pancreas from inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), tumours of the pancreas, or pancreatic surgery. This type of damage to the pancreas not only impairs the organ’s ability to produce insulin but also to produce the proteins needed to digest food (digestive enzymes) and other hormones.
However, our latest study has revealed that most cases of type 3c diabetes are being wrongly diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Only three percent of the people in our sample—of more than 2 million—were correctly identified as having type 3c diabetes.
Small studies in specialist centers have found that most people with type 3c diabetes need insulin and, unlike with other diabetes types, can also benefit from taking digestive enzymes with food. These are taken as a tablet with meals and snacks.
Researchers and specialist doctors have recently become concerned that type 3c diabetes might be much more common than Continue reading