Diabetes is a common disease that affects approximately 30 million Americans of all ages. Although Type 2 Diabetes is most commonly diagnosed, many individuals are misdiagnosed and receive treatment for the wrong type of diabetes. While both types, 1 and 2, are similar, patients can become more ill or even die if they fail to treat the correct type of diabetes.
“Many medical conditions, such as diabetes, require a timely and correct diagnosis in order to effectively treat the illness,” says Abelson, a Washington DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer, “unfortunately, doctors and other medical professionals frequently fail to make a prompt and proper diagnosis, which may result in serious medical complications.” If you have diabetes, it’s crucial that you are being treated for the correct type and pay close attention to any negative changes in your health once you have received a diagnosis.
Everyone has heard of it and millions of people have been diagnosed with it, but not many people understand diabetes or know that there are different types. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin (the hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the bloodstream). Glucose is made up of the sugars and starches found in a variety of foods and creates energy. An individual with diabetes doesn’t have enough insulin or the body doesn’t use it effectively and as a result the glucose levels rise to dangerous levels.
- Type 1: This type is also known as “Juvenile Diabetes” as it is typically diagnosed in younger people from children to young adults. This less common type of diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to make insulin because the immune system has destroyed the beta cells in the pancreas.
- Type 2: This type of diabetes is most common, found most often in adults, and is also often misdiagnosed or diagnosed late. Type 2 is often related to genetics and obesity. Excess weight forces the pancreas to produce more insulin, but over time with continued strain, the pancreas loses ability to produce enough insulin to keep glucose levels normal.
Untreated diabetes, both types, can have symptoms similar to other health issues. As a result, some diabetes cases are improperly diagnosed. For instance, if a young patient comes into the doctor’s office with dizzy spells and extreme fatigue, doctors may be quick to diagnose the flu or a viral infection, treat it with antibiotics and send the family home (when in reality, the child has Type 1 diabetes). In just a few short hours, a wrong diagnosis can threaten a patient’s health to a deadly degree.
Properly diagnosing a patient with diabetes can also prevent the development of fatal diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Diabetes symptoms can vary from blurred vision to irritability to numb arms and legs. It’s important to remember that not every individual experiences the same symptoms. Individuals who suspect they have diabetes or are diagnosed with the disease should keep close tabs on their symptoms, communicate with their doctor, and always get a second opinion if there is any doubt or fear of misdiagnosis.