Type 5 Diabetes Does Not Exist, But A New A1C Study Shows How Black Diabetics Are Often Over-Medicated

Over the years, diabetes medications have improved thanks to science, and it was through this research that more than two types of diabetes were discovered.

In fact, there are at least four diabetes types, and there are some rare versions of these types. There are also five distinct types of diabetic patients that were recently defined by diabetes researchers in addition to the four types of diabetes including Type 3 and Type 4.

However, what does not exist is Type 5 diabetes, but this does not mean it could not be defined in the future. This is especially true since there have been recent upsets in the world of diabetes — and the proof that the A1C is unreliable when it comes to black diabetics is one of them.

On top of this, the new A1C study shows black diabetics are more likely to be over-medicated because the A1C does not favor their hemoglobin-related genetics in specific ways.

CNN reported on June 12 that a new study from the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis showed a distinct racial difference in long-term blood sugar levels that are measured by the A1C test.

This can be shocking to many diabetics since the A1C has been a seemingly-reliable tool for doctors to prescribe insulin or other diabetes medications to their patients.

It is common knowledge that diabetics need to get the right dose of medicine to control their blood sugar, and an unintended consequence of over-medicating is dangerously low blood sugar that could lead to serious injuries from passing out.

Unfortunately, new studies show that the A1C can give incorrect information about black diabetics, and doctors might prescribe too high of a dose of insulin or other diabetes medications as a result.

Type 5 Diabetes is not a new type due to A1C-based insulin overmedication.
People from areas of the world known for the genetic condition of thalassemia may be over-medicated for diabetes due to A1C errors, according to a new study. [Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]

The study also emphasized that other racial groups that experience blood disorders like thalassemia might have similar issues with their A1C results being skewed.

While this study addresses an important test used to control diabetes in the long-term, this A1C study is not implying that there is now a Type 5 diabetes.

This can be confusing because there is a theory a Type 4 diabetes exists. There is also strong evidence that Type 3 diabetes will become more than a buzzword in the future. Adding to the confusion, there are also educational references that discuss the five types of diabetes.

Although Type 4 diabetes has only been observed in mice, according to the Salk Institute, Type 3 diabetes is gaining speed as more studies are finished.

For example, Diabetes U.K. reported that new studies show Alzheimer’s is actually insulin resistance of the brain. In short, in the future, we may not call the disease Alzheimer’s because the more appropriate diagnosis and treatment may be Type 3 diabetes.

Traditionally, according to Black Doctor, there are five well-known distinct categories of diabetes such as Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes, LADA (or Diabetes Type 1.5), and Double Diabetes (a person with Type 1 that also becomes insulin resistant and also develops Type 2 diabetes).

Diabetes has only been treatable for less than 100 years.
Diabetes management is fairly new, and insulin has only been available as a therapy since 1922, and slow-release insulin has been available since 1936. [Image by Three Lions/Getty Images]

According to Today’sDietitian, there are several rarer types of diabetes associated with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes such as MODY (maturity onset diabetes in the young), diabetes related to Cushing’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis diabetes (CFRD), and anti-retro-viral-associated diabetes.

Obviously, all of these variations in diabetes has created confusion for the general public, but researchers were also feeling lost. For this reason, in 2016, there were studies published that further defined diabetes into five different patient types, and this categorization will hopefully help researchers address diabetics in their studies.

According to Insulin Nation, those new five diabetes patient types included Type 1 diabetic patients that had the condition due to autoimmune reactions, diabetics with beta cell impairment not caused by autoimmune reactions, diabetics with extreme insulin resistance that also had a notably higher risk of kidney disease, extremely obese diabetics, and those individuals that seem to become diabetic solely as a product of aging.

[Featured Image by John Moore/Getty Images]