Type 1 diabetes is known as the disease of childhood, however this is being questioned as it has been revealed that adults can be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes too.
More than 40% of type 1 diabetes cases occur after the age of 30, however many cases are being misdiagnosed due to this misconception.
Many of those with type 1 diabetes at a later stage in life are thought to have type 2 diabetes, and not initially treated with insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
Exeter Medical school found that it can take over a year for those with type 1 diabetes that had been misdiagnosed with type 2 to be put on insulin, possibly resulting is devastating results.
In type 1 diabetes immune cells destroy the body’s insulin producing beta cells and people need to be injected insulin to control blood sugar levels.
With Type 2 diabetes there is still insulin produced so it can be treated initially with diet and tablet therapy.
96% of diabetes cases between the ages of 31 and 60 are from type 2 diagnoses, accounting for 4million of people in the UK who have diabetes.
The research team concluded that, although much less common than type 2 diabetes in adulthood, it is crucial that type 1 is diagnosed and treated correctly as it can be life threatening. It found that one in nine of the adult onset type 1 diabetes were admitted to hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition that develops when type 1 patients are not given insulin.