Type 3 Diabetes is SCARY!

Diabetes in your Brain!!

You may or may not have heard of Type 3 Diabetes, so I’m going to explain it first and then at the end of this article you can learn the difference between Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Double Diabetes and Gestational diabetes.

Type 3 diabetes

Type 3 diabetes is a title that has been proposed for Alzheimer’s disease which results from resistance to insulin in the brain. Simply put, it is diabetes in your brain that causes your brain cells to die, as in the Alzheimer’s form of dementia.

Studies carried out by the research team at Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University identified the possibility of a new form of diabetes after finding that insulin resistance can occur in the brain.

Lead researcher, Dr Suzanne de la Monte, carried out a further study in 2012 to further investigate the link. The researchers pinpoint resistance to insulin and insulin-like growth factor as being a key part of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. (reference)

Diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer’s disease are both characterized in part by a deficiency in the production and recognition of insulin (reference). Insulin in the body is not only produced in the pancreas, as commonly known, but in the brain as well. De la Monte found that in Alzheimer’s disease, the production of insulin and similar substances in the brain almost cease, creating what she calls “diabetes in the brain.” (reference)

Here is the scary part for people with Type 2 Diabetes . . .

People that have insulin resistance, in particular those with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease estimated to be between 50% and 65% higher.

Researchers have discovered that many type 2 diabetics have deposits of a protein called amyloid beta in their pancreas which is similar to the protein deposits found in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s sufferers.


In Type 3 Diabetes once the brain cells are dead, they are dead, and cannot be revived!

Once the brain cells have died from not getting glucose inside to sustain life they cannot be revived! This causes the brain to shrink, which is typical of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Suzanne M. de La Monte has seen a significant correlation between our modern diet, characterized by processed “convenience” foods and the drastically increasing numbers of Alzheimer’s. She asserts that “lifestyle trends are to blame” for the major spike in the disease since the 1970’s. Therefore it is advised to make changes in eating and lifestyle habits now, before the brain cells have died.

The best thing you can do to lower your risk of getting Type 3 Diabetes is to learn how to control your blood sugar. Learn the eating and lifestyle habits that allow you to be the one in control.

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Here are the other types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5-10% of diabetes worldwide.

  • It is diagnosed in every ethnic group, but is most frequent in individuals of European ancestry.
  • While type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed during adolescence and early adulthood, it can occur at any age. Older people who develop type 1 diabetes are often misdiagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes.
  • Most people first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are lean.
  • 85-90% will have no known family history of the disease.
  • There are many theories about what causes type 1 diabetes. Autoimmune disease, viral infection, genetic disposition, and environmental factors may all play a role.

Sub categories of Type 1 diabetes

There are 2 sub categories of Type 1 diabetes:

  • Type 1a including Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA)
  • Type 1b

You have Type 1a if:

Your immune system is so overactive that it is destroying normal beta cell tissue. The telltale signs of this destruction are detectable by a laboratory blood test. The test looks for markers. The list of markers includes glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA), islet cell antibodies to membranous tyrosine phosphatase (ICA-512), islet cell antibodies (ICA), and insulin auto antibodies (IAA).

Some adults have a slowly progressive autoimmune destruction of their beta cells referred to as Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults or LADA. Sometimes this is also known as diabetes type 1 ½. Individuals with LADA may be treated for years with diet and pills, and often are misdiagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes. Ultimately insulin replacement therapy is necessary to control the blood sugar. A diagnosis is made by confirming the presence of antibody markers.

You have Type 1b if:

You meet two criteria: the first, if there is no evidence in your blood that your immune system is attacking beta cells and the second, if you have alternating cycles where you need and then don’t need insulin replacement. This form of the disease is unusual and most often diagnosed in those of African or Asian heritage.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes – During pregnancy, usually around the 24th week, many women develop gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth.  (reference)


Pre-Diabetes – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.gov) in 2012 86 million people in the USA were pre-diabetic.

Pre-diabetes is when the blood sugar are above normal range, yet not in the diabetes range yet, as is the Hemoglobin A1c number. The normal range for Hemoglobin A1c is 5.0 to 5.5 %, which is when a person has no symptoms of blood sugar issues. Pre-diabetes Hemoglobin A1c is between 5.6 and 6.4 %, which is when a person is starting to have symptoms of insulin resistance, such as fatigue after meals, craving sweets, frequent urination, increased thirst and appetite, and difficulty losing weight.

Pre-diabetes is easy to control using eating and lifestyle habits. By controlling blood sugar at this stage people can often prevent themselves from becoming type 2 diabetic.

(1/3 of people in the USA will be diabetic in the next 20-30 years if we continue with the current eating and lifestyle patterns.)

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes – accounts for 90-95% of diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body being unable to metabolize glucose (a simple sugar). It is as though insulin cannot get glucose inside the cells anymore and is therefore called insulin resistance. This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time causes damage to the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar and starches.

The good news is for many people with type 2 diabetes is that by changing eating and lifestyle habits, such as avoiding starches and doing exercise, they will be able to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar it’s likely you will never need long-term medication.

Double Diabetes/ Type 1.5 Diabetes

Double Diabetes/ Type 1.5 Diabetes – People with Type 1.5 diabetes are said to have “double” diabetes because they show both the autoimmune destruction of beta cells of Type 1 diabetes and the insulin resistance characteristic of Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 1.5 have autoantibodies and gradually lose their insulin-producing capability, requiring insulin within 5–10 years of diagnosis. As their insulin resistance suggests, many people with Type 1.5 diabetes are obese or overweight. If these people don’t focus on eating and lifestyle changes they will need to take both pills for insulin resistance and insulin shots because their body no longer makes adequate amounts of insulin.


Your doctor for health,

Dr. Laura Shwaluk

Functional Endocrinologist

(972) 881-4343

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