Diabetes has long been divided into Type 1 and Type 2. But a third type has entered the mix — and doctors aren't diagnosing it correctly.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce insulin and is usually diagnosed at a young age. Type 2 diabetes shows up later in life when the pancreas can't make enough insulin to keep up with the body. This new third type, Type 3c, starts with a damaged pancreas.
A recent study from the American Diabetes Association found only 3 percent of people with Type 3c have actually received a correct diagnosis. These misdiagnoses mean people with Type 3c might not be getting effective treatments. Type 3c diabetics require insulin, but may also benefit from taking digestive enzyme tablets, one of the study's researchers wrote in The Conversation. That alternative treatment option is what sets Type 3c apart from the other types.
Likewise, drugs used for Type 2 diabetes — what 3c is usually misdiagnosed as — might not be effective in treating this new type. Thus, researchers hope this new study can stress the prevalence of this disease and encourage its proper diagnosis.