Can You Be Misdiagnosed with Diabetes? | Late Diagnosis - MND

Can You Be Misdiagnosed with Diabetes

Can You Be Misdiagnosed with Diabetes


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    In the UK, it estimated that about 7% of the population are living with diabetes. In fact, one out of every six hospital inpatients have diabetes. About 40,000 children have diabetes and more than 3000 children are diagnosed every year with approximately one million people having undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.


    Also, about 4 in 10 people living with diabetes have diminished psychological well-being. Due to late diagnosis, about 33% of the people diagnosed already have a microvascular complication. Research also indicates that every week, there are 530 myocardial infarctions and 175 amputations due to diabetes. The NHS spends at least 10% of its annual budget (about £10 billion each year) on diabetes.

    You can make diabetes misdiagnosis claims if your condition has either been missed, diagnosed lately or you receive a false diabetes diagnosis causing you to suffer pain, trauma or complications and claim a deserved compensation.

    Diabetes Misdiagnosis Claims

    Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects how your body converts food into energy. There are two types of diabetes- the type 1 and type 2 diabetes. When an individual has diabetes, the blood glucose (sugar) levels become too high. The reason for this is that most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (glucose) and then released into the bloodstream.

    When this blood sugar being released becomes high, the pancreas is signaled to release insulin which then causes the body cells to absorb glucose for use as energy.

    When an individual has diabetes, its either your body cannot make enough insulin for use (type 1) or your body makes the insulin but cannot use so and consequently can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels (type 2). When your body isn’t producing enough insulin or body cells fail to respond to insulin, two much blood sugar is accumulated overtime in your bloodstream causing serious health problems including loss of vision, kidney disease as well as heart disease.

    Type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes while type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90-95% of people with diabetes. Both types of diabetes are serious and therefore, when one has an undiagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the individual may suffer life-changing complications.

    Misdiagnosis of diabetes is very common and its effects can be very serious, life-altering, may leave the individual with a disabling condition and also affect life expectancy.

    If you had a false diabetes diagnosis (being diagnosed with diabetes when you are actually free which can cause you to suffer unnecessary emotional distress and subject you to unnecessary medications), missed diabetes diagnosis or late diabetes diagnosis, you can make diabetes compensation claims.

    Our medical negligence solicitors have the expertise to assist you with your claims, build a strong case for you and ensure you are well represented legally. 

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes NHS

    Signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are fairly similar and they include the following;

    • Feeling thirsty
    • Urinating more frequently (especially during the night)
    • Feeling tired
    • Frequent infections
    • Very dry skin
    • Blurry vision (as a result of the lens of the eye becoming dry)
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Constant hunger

    Medical Misdiagnosis Of Diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes diagnosis is generally associated with children but can be found among every age group. In fact, at least 40% of type 1 diabetes occur in individuals above the age of 30. This is mostly called “late-onset” type 1 diabetes and is commonly misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes since both types have similar symptoms.

    A recent study in Diabetologia found out that of those initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 30 and treated with insulin, 21% of them actually had type 1 diabetes.

    Consequences of an undiagnosed type 1 diabetes are very significant. Persons in this category may suffer diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can lead to coma or death as misdiagnosis prevented them from taking necessary action such as insulin therapy, continuous glucose monitor (CGM), carb counting and pump use; putting their health even at greater risk of further complications.

    85% of those diagnosed with late onset type 1 diabetes will require insulin within one year of diagnosis. On the other hand, when an individual requires insulin treatment within three years of being diagnosed with type 2 diagnosis, the chances are very high that there was a missed type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

    Apart from doctors diagnosing a patient with the wrong type of diagnosis, they may also wrongly diagnose diabetes as flu, chronic fatigue, viral infections, pancreatitis, or other illnesses. This is why it is important to conduct blood tests for diabetes type 2 or type 1 to avoid misdiagnosis. Other reasons why diabetes may be misdiagnosed include failing to correctly read or interpret test results.

    Some of the following conditions may indicate a late onset type 1 diabetes;

    • When high blood sugars do not respond to non-insulin medications such as metformin, sulfonylureas, TZDs.
    • Also, when the individual doesn’t have conditions strongly correlated with type 2 diabetes such as obesity, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.
    • Presence of other autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, autoimmune thyroid diseases, or rheumatoid arthritis
    • Family history of type 1 diabetes or other autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, autoimmune thyroid diseases, vitiligo, or rheumatoid arthritis

    These circumstances are however not conclusive; therefore, the following tests can be done;

    • C-Peptide: When there are low levels of C-peptide, it indicates type 1 diabetes. This is because, it mirrors the level of insulin produced by the body and can be differentiated from injected insulin.
    • Autoantibodies: Since type 1 diabetes is a condition caused by the body’s immune system attacking the beta cells which produce insulin, the presence of antibodies such as IAA, IA-2A, ICA, and GAD will point to type 1 diabetes.

    In order to avoid a diabetes misdiagnosis, you can make further research or seek a second opinion. If indeed you have been misdiagnosed, you may want to consider making compensation claims. Our medical negligence solicitors are able to assist you make your claims whether you are suing the NHS or suing a private hospital for diabetes misdiagnosis.

    Some complications that can arise as a result of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes or leaving type 2 diabetes untreated include the following;

    • Heart attack and strokes – As a result of clot formation which increases the risk of coronary artery disease, a heart attack or stroke.
    • Kidney disease and failure– Especially if the blood vessels in kidneys become blocked
    • Nerve damage and Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – High sugar levels can lead to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) and cause the arteries to narrow which mainly affects the legs and feet (diabetic foot where the individual has decreased sensation in the feet).
    • Blindness –High blood sugar levels damage the retina causing diabetic retinopathy. Subsequent blurred vision or blindness results if left undiagnosed and untreated.
    • Amputations  – As a result of failure to diagnose and treat infection and/or gangrene 
    • Bone diseases- Such as osteomyelitis (infection and inflammation of the bone) as well as osteoporosis and fracture can result as a result of untreated diabetes
    • Miscarriage and stillbirth – There is an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth when glucose levels are not properly controlled in pregnant diabetic women.

    Making Diabetes Misdiagnosis Claims

    If you or your loved one has been misdiagnosed, you can file a lawsuit against the medical professional or the health establishment involved. It is important that you seek the professional help and legal advice of medical negligence experts while making your compensation claims.

    Very importantly, you must be able to establish that;

    • Your doctor had a responsibility to care for you having established a doctor/patient relationship.
    • But that your doctor breached this duty of care by failing to correctly diagnose your diabetic condition causing you to suffer unnecessary pain, trauma, injury or some other health complication.
    • You have to show that your doctor’s negligence is the direct cause of your pain, suffering and trauma
    • Furthermore, you have suffered other damages as a result of the injury suffered. This could be emotional, financial, social or otherwise

    Vital documents which you can use to prove your claims include;

    • Detailed statements including dates of appointment, diagnosis made and every other important detail as they transpired
    • Medical records, test and scan results
    • Witness statements either from family or close friend
    • Proof of financial losses incurred, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of job and other earnings as a result of the injury
    • Photographs or images showing the extent of damage (severity of injury)

    We can also help you get an independent medical expert who will examine you and give a report of findings made which will further strengthen our case.


    The Claims Process In Summary

    Below is a summary of the steps to make your gynaecological negligence claims process;

    • Speak with us to discuss your claims
    • Fund Your Claim after careful evaluation and conviction that you have a valid claim
    • Gather your Evidence
    • Proving liability of the other party
    • Negotiations
    • Agreement of Compensation award and Payment

    I Have Diabetes; Can I Claim Benefits?

    Of course, there are benefits you can claim for your diabetes misdiagnosis. The amount of compensation you can claim will depend on a number of factors which are underlisted;

    • Degree of pain and suffering
    • Unnecessary Amputation if you have lost a limb
    • Loss of earnings from being unable to work / return to work as well as other out-of-pocket expenses
    • Ongoing problems or other disabling conditions
    • Costs of support and care 
    • Costs of medical treatments and other medical bills
    • Costs of needed specialist mobility equipment
    • Costs of home modifications or adjustments to suit your current condition

    Diabetes Misdiagnosis Medical Negligence Experts

    At Medical Negligence Direct, we have solicitors who are specialists in medical misdiagnosis claims.

    Our solicitors are accredited with the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) panel as well as the Law Society’s Panel for Clinical Negligence. We have over three decades of experience handling different misdiagnosis claims for different persons and securing highest possible compensation amounts for them.

    We have a team of friendly, approachable and dedicated legal professionals who leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our clients get the best possible legal representation. We very well understand what you must be going through and know how best to represent you. 

    With us, you have an ally and support system in your time of difficulty and will work to complete the claims process as quickly as possible ensuring that they go smoothly and do not add an extra burden on you in order to help you put behind the unfortunate incident and focus more on getting the best out of your life. 

    Our consultation sessions are free while we also undertake our diabetes misdiagnosis cases on a No Win No Fee basis which means that you can make your claims without bordering about making any form of legal fees.

    We therefore encourage you to make your claims as soon as possible as medical negligence claims generally should be made within three years of being aware of the negligent treatment. There are exceptions however which include cases involving persons who are incapacitated and unable to make claims and children who are not up to the legal age of making claims. During our consultation sessions, we can help you take care of whatever concerns you have about this and answer whatever queries you may have.

    Contact A Specialist Solicitor Today For A Free Claim Assessment

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