What is Type 3 Diabetes?

Let’s Review

Let’s start out by reviewing what we already know about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes has also been known as insulin dependent diabetes and juvenile diabetes.  In medical related literature you will often see it written as T1DM.

The term juvenile diabetes doesn’t really work anymore because we see people transition into Type 1 diabetes at any age.  Type 1 basically means that the beta cells of the pancreas have undergone some kind of destruction, usually autoimmune in nature, and are no longer able to do their primary function of secreting insulin. Someone with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to survive.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as adult onset diabetes (AODM) or non-insulin dependent diabetes.  In the last 10-15 years there has been a strong progression of Type 2 diabetes in the teenage and even preteen age groups which is why we can no longer use the ‘adult onset’  terminology.  The commonality that all Type 2 diabetics usually share is an excessive carbohydrate intake (for that person’s biochemical and genetic tolerance, we are all different) and a resistance by the liver and muscle cells to respond appropriately to insulin.  In T2DM, someone can produce plenty of insulin but their body doesn’t respond to it correctly.

The Segue to Type Diabetes

The lead up to T2DM begins with a negative change in one’s ability to properly metabolize, store and utilize glucose (carbohydrate).  Someone is prone to this dysfunctional metabolism due to levels of carbohydrate intake that overwhelm their personal capacity to deal with glucose.  Genetically, we may all be different in this capacity, which is why it is so important to get to know your own level of carbohydrate tolerance and your symptoms of carbohydrate overload.

(Remember that having genetic predisposition means that you possess a set of instructions for something to be carried out but if the tools and building materials are never provided for this set of instructions, the condition can not be manifested!)

A high carb intake eventually results in your muscle cell membranes not listening to insulin and becoming obstinate to opening their doors to insulin.  Insulin, therefore, must take glucose from the blood to another storage site which is the come-one-come-all fat cell!  This process along with a continual high intake of carbs results in insulin hanging around a lot longer than it should, at higher levels than it should and results in a detrimental, self perpetuating condition called insulin resistance.  This is the first step along the way to T2DM.  The progression of insulin resistance is one of manifesting more and more signs and symptoms of elevated insulin and can include:

  • expanding abdominal fat, increasing fatigue especially after eating, high blood pressure, elevated uric acid that can lead to gout, high blood sugar, a negative cholesterol panel,
  • infertility, erectile dysfunction, acne, anxiety, inflammation and much, much more.  If your blood sugar elevates enough then you can end up with a diabetes diagnosis but it’s important to know that you might not ever end up at diabetes yet you are still insulin resistant which is where tremendous degenerative, life threatening conditions are taking place — all due to elevated insulin from a high carbohydrate diet.

Enter Type 3 Diabetes!

The term Type 3 diabetes is starting to be used for the condition we know as Alzheimer’s Disease.  This is because recent research is  showing similar

faulty glucose utilization by the nerve cells in the brain.  If the nerve cells become resistant to insulin, then the main fuel source for the brain, glucose, can’t enter the nerve cells which then begin to lose their function and physical integrity.  This is the same insulin resistance that turns on the switch to inflammation and in the brain…this means activation of a self perpetuating system that creates rapid fire neuronal destruction!

Brain scans of individuals who have Alzheimer’s Disease are well known for showing amyloid plaques in areas of the brain where functioning nerve tissue should be.  The research is extremely compelling and the exact mechanisms about how high insulin levels contribute to plaque formation are being clarified.  But the evidence is already clear that both insulin dependent and non-insulin diabetics have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study that is most well known for examining the link between brain insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s Disease is the one from Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital.  Check it out here.

Although addressing brain insulin resistance seems to be just one of three important areas to address with Alzheimer’s Disease, it is still the one that IS in our control and doesn’t involve expensive medications or treatments but rather better lifestyle changes and food choices!  So yes, it’s true:  balance your blood sugar and save your brain!

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About Sheila Wagner PT, CN, BCHN

Sheila’s cutting edge ability to uncover hidden source(s) of health issues when no one else has is the first piece to her step wise approach in solving your persistent health complaints.

+Sheila Wagner is the ultimate expert assisting people nationwide to finally fix their health through 1:1 consults, group programs, lectures and classes.

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