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Study shows third type of diabetes often misdiagnosed

New Jersey readers have likely heard of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, there is a third category of diabetes that is lesser known, and research shows that it may be prone to misdiagnosis by doctors. The study was recently published in the journal "Diabetes Care."

Researchers at the University of Surry found that type 3c diabetes, which is also called diabetes of the exocrine pancreas, is often incorrectly diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. While type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can't produce enough insulin, type 3c is caused by damage to the pancreas. As a result, typical treatments for type 2 diabetes may not work to correct type 3c diabetes, leaving a patient vulnerable to high blood sugar levels.

For the study, researchers analyzed more than 30,000 cases of adult-onset diabetes and identified 559 that developed after a patient suffered pancreatic disease. Of those 559 cases, 88 percent were diagnosed as type 2 diabetes despite their association with pancreatic damage. Only 3 percent were diagnosed as type 3c diabetes. According to the researchers, this indicates that at least some cases were misdiagnosed. Furthermore, the study found that diabetic patients with pancreatic damage had more trouble controlling their blood sugar levels and had to take more insulin. The authors of the study said that health care providers should become better at identifying and diagnosing less common forms of diabetes.

Patients who are misdiagnosed with the incorrect form of diabetes could needlessly suffer from high blood sugar levels and a worsened condition. In order to recover medical costs and other damages, it may be advisable for such victims to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible doctor.

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