Experts warn there is a new variant to metabolic problems: Type 3c diabetes is being misdiagnosed, which is why many aren’t responding to treatment

Misdiagnosing another form of diabetes, called type 3c diabetes or pancreatogenic diabetes, as type 2 diabetes, is making patients sicker by undergoing the wrong treatment plan, a study published in Diabetes Care has warned. According to experts, various markers – such as pancreatic inflammation, abnormal pancreatic tissue growth or surgical removal of all or certain parts of the tissue – contribute to the onset of type 3c diabetes. This in turn may negatively impact the body’s capacity to produce insulin.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s limited capacity to produce enough insulin. People with the disease are also known to be unresponsive to insulin treatment, which then leads to high blood sugar levels as the glucose tends to stay in the blood stream instead of being used as fuel for the body. The researchers have noted that wrong diagnosis may lead to adverse medical conditions as patients with type 3c diabetes require insulin treatment more urgently than those with type 2.

In order to carry out the study, a team of researchers at the University of Surrey in the U.K. has examined medical records of more than two million patients across the country. The researchers have also taken note of the frequency of different types of diabetes and evaluated the accuracy of diagnosis.

The results have shown that up to 97.3 percent of patients who have previously suffered from pancreatic disease are misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The research team has also found that type 3c diabetes is increasingly becoming more prevalent than type 1 diabetes. The findings have revealed that 205 more people in the sample have been newly diagnosed with type 3c diabetes than with type 1.

“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,” senior author Professor Simon de Lusignan has stated in a report. “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. 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,” Professor de Lusignan has told Daily Mail online.

Type 3c diabetes management guidelines are still unavailable

A study published online in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy has revealed that disease management guidelines for type 3c diabetes remain unavailable despite the increasing number of cases. However, the study recommends abstaining from alcohol intake and smoking as these lifestyle habits worsen pain and speed up the progression of underlying pancreatic inflammation and fibrosis.

The researchers have also suggested that people suffering from the disease follow a diet scheme that is high in soluble fiber and low in fat. Likewise, the scientists have recommended that patients opt for oral pancreatic enzyme replacement treatment to facilitate fat digestion and nutrient absorption. (Related: Destroy diabetes with a diet that encourages gut bacteria.)

“There are no current common guidelines for T3cDM management. Management strategies balance on the edge between optimal glycemic control to minimize the risk of chronic complications and avoiding hypoglycemic reactions but at the same time address malnutrition and disturbing gastrointestinal symptoms of steatorrhea to improve the quality of life,” the researchers have reported.

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