Those who have diabetes mellitus or who are aware of the disease may only know of two types: type 1 and type 2. However, some may be interested to learn that there is a third type, which is commonly called type 3c or Diabetes of the Exocrine Pancreas. This type of diabetes is caused by damage to the pancreas. A study found that this type of diabetes was commonly misdiagnosed by doctors as type 2.
Misdiagnosing type 3c diabetes for type 2 diabetes can waste time as the treatments for the two types are different. The treatment for type 2 diabetes is not as effective for those who have type 3c. This means that those who are misdiagnosed may not be able to manage their condition effectively. Part of the problem is that type 1, type 2 and diabetes associated with pregnancy are the only types regularly mentioned by medical groups, including the American Diabetes Association.
According to a study of over 30,000 cases of adult-onset diabetes in the United Kingdom, researchers found that 559 of the cases occurred after patients experienced pancreatic disease. Even though a link between pancreatic disease and type 3c diabetes has already been established, 88 percent of the cases were still misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Only 3 percent of the cases were diagnosed as type 3c diabetes.
The failure to diagnose the right type of diabetes could cause patients to suffer a worsened condition and additional medical costs, especially if the medications are not helping them to manage their disease. If a misdiagnosis led to additional medical problems, a medical malpractice attorney could file a lawsuit against the doctor who made the misdiagnosis and the facility where the misdiagnosis was made, seeking appropriate compensation.