What Is Type 3 Diabetes?

By Katharine Paljug @YourCareE
April 14, 2023
What is type 3 diabetes?

What is type 3 diabetes? Learn about the different kinds of diabetes, why you should know the early signs of Alzheimer’s, and how to manage your symptoms.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body produces and uses insulin.

There are multiple types of diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune reaction that prevents your body from making insulin. If your body does not use insulin correctly, that is type 2. Type 4 diabetes is usually called gestational diabetes and affects pregnant women.

Type 3 diabetes is a broader category that includes all other specific forms of diabetes, including those that affect the pancreas and hormones.

Research from a team at Brown University suggests that the term type 3 diabetes should be applied to a more common disease as well: Alzheimer’s disease.


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Is type 3 diabetes the same as Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia most commonly associated with poor cognition and memory loss. Multiple studies support the theory that Alzheimer’s disease is a metabolic condition that includes insulin resistance and abnormal glucose function in the brain. High blood sugar can cause inflammation throughout your body and brain. Chronic inflammation has been linked with two brain changes typical of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers argue that Alzheimer’s disease should be categorized as type 3 diabetes. The classification is not official, but some clinical trials have shown positive responses to diabetes medication in Alzheimer’s patients.

There may also be links between type 2 diabetes and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, lending support to the theory that Alzheimer’s is a form of insulin resistance.

Other categories of type 3 diabetes, however, are not specifically linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Type 3c diabetes, for example, is pancreatic diabetes. Patients with the disease are not at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.


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April 14, 2023

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN