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This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert

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Pancreatic Cancer UK says people who have a particular type of diabetes that is caused by having all or part of the pancreas removed, or the pancreas being damaged, have a type of diabetes called type 3c diabetes. Diabetes UK explains: “Type 3c diabetes develops because of damage to the pancreas, which can happen for a few different reasons. And although it’s different to other types, you can get a wrong diagnosis of type 2 because type 3c isn’t well known.”

The organisation explains: “Type 3c can happen when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin for the body. And we all need insulin to live.

“It allows the glucose (or sugar) in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies.

“If you have type 3c diabetes your pancreas will also stop producing the enzyme that you need to digest food.”

Diabetes UK says you can only get type 3c diabetes because of an illness or condition that affects the pancreas.

The charity says the signs to look out for can include:

  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Frequently passing wind
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatty or oily stools
  • Hypoglycaemia, also called low blood sugar.

Pancreatic Cancer Action says people with type 3c diabetes may experience high or low blood glucose levels. Low blood glucose is known as a “hypo”.

It states: “A hypo is when the blood glucose level drops below 4mmol/l, this can happen if you take insulin or certain tablets for diabetes.

“It is essential to avoid hypos as damage to the pancreas can reduce the typical response to low blood glucose levels. If one does occur, treatment must be given immediately.”

The organisation says diagnosis and management of type 3c diabetes can be challenging, taking clonazepam and wellbutrin together partly due to a lack of awareness.

“But remember, we know that type 3c is linked to problems with the pancreas. So, you can ask your doctor to check for type 3c if you’ve had pancreatic issues and you can explain your reasons why,” it says.

Pancreatic Cancer UK says if you have type 3c diabetes, it can be challenging to get your blood glucose level within target. It may be particularly high when you have just been diagnosed with diabetes.

It notes blood glucose levels are affected by many things, for example: illness, stress, surgery, different food and drinks, activity levels and medication.

The NHS says there are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes – where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin.

The NHS says type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90 percent of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

It says you should visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • Blurred vision.

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