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Type 3c Diabetes Often Misdiagnosed As Type 2

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The third kind of diabetes doesn’t get much mentioned, lost in the shadows of the more popular Type 1 and Type 1. But according to British scientists, Type 3c diabetes may be more common than everyone has previously thought, and people with Type 2 may actually have been misdiagnosed.

The study found that around 1.5% of 31,789 new diabetes cases over a period of 10 years were misdiagnosed as Type 2 instead of Type 3c, New York Daily News reports. Among the new cases, 1% were Type 1 diabetes, making Type 3 a more frequent occurrence in adults, at least in this research.

Type 3c diabetes forms differently compared to the other two. Type 1 diabetes normally develops in childhood, when the body does not produce any insulin at all. Type 2 happens more frequently in adults, when the pancreas are unable to keep up with insulin production and demand. Type 2 is commonly related to weight gain and abnormal eating habits.

Type 3c, for its part, is often seen after some damage has been done to the pancreas because of cancer, surgery, inflammation, or cystic fibrosis. Type 3c affects the pancreas’ capabilities in producing insulin, and the body’s ability to properly digest foods.

Andrew McGovern, study author, says that while Type 3c is found in a relatively smaller proportion of patients compared to other diabetes cases,

Researchers and specialist doctors have recently become concerned that type 3c diabetes might be much more common than previously thought and that many cases are not being correctly identified.

Patients with Type 3c diabetes need insulin, but also supplemental enzymes to help with food digestion. This kind of diabetes could present as late as 10 years after the pancreas suffered initial damage.

A study from the National Institutes of Health in 2008 also identified Type 3c as a kind of diabetes that is “underdiagnosed.” Many people remain unaware of it, and McGovern says that correctly diagnosing this specific form of diabetes is important in properly treating it.

The study was published in Diabetes Care.

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