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Posted on 30th October 2017

Diabetes Type 3c Misdiagnosed As Type 2

Type 3c diabetes is caused when either the pancreas becomes inflamed or part of the pancreas is removed. Medics often misdiagnose type 3c for type 2 a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Surrey, looking into type 2 diabetes have found high instances of the disease being misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes. The study found that 97.3% of patients who had a disease related to the pancreas were told by medical staff that they had type 2 diabetes when in fact they had type 3c.

The most common and well known types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 but type 3c diabetes requires the patient to have insulin therapy more urgently that type 2. Delays in identifying the correct type of diabetes causes delays in receiving correct treatment. Type 3c diabetes is often called pancreatogenic diabetes.

The research has identified that type 3c diabetes is more common than first thought and significantly more people are diagnosed with the type 3c variant than type 1.

Diabetes complications

Hypoglycaemia Heart disease Constipation
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State High blood pressure Erectile dysfunction
Ketoacidosis Neuropathy (nerve damage) Diarrhoea
Foot ulcers Nephropathy (kidney disease) Nocturia
Skin conditions Retinopathy (eye disease) Thrush
  Alzheimers UTIs (Urinary tract infections)
  Coeliac disease  
  High cholesterol  

Whilst the treatment of type 3c diabetes may be the same as type 2 diabetes, it is important that the correct type I recognised quickly so that medication can be administered at the earliest opportunity.

Following the correct diagnosis a care plan should be put in place and followed by both the patient and the patient’s doctors.


Diagnosing and treating the correct type of diabetes is very important because the complications which can develop if not managed correctly can be severe.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage. As an example, neuropathy in a diabetic’s feet causes a loss of feeling. If the foot care plan isn’t followed or if one isn’t in place, a blister can quickly become so severe that the only course of action left for medical staff is an amputation. Because the patient has neuropathy they don’t even know they have a blister so things can escalate quite quickly.

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