What is type 3 diabetes? - Conclusion

By Katharine Paljug @kpaljug
January 23, 2018

Type 3c diabetes

Though type 3 diabetes is often used synonymously with Alzheimer’s disease, there are other forms of type 3 diabetes. One of these, type 3c, is particularly dangerous because it is often misdiagnosed.

Type 3c diabetes affects the pancreas, which produces insulin for your body. It requires very specific management, but one study found that only three percent of patients with type 3c diabetes were correctly diagnosed. Most are told they have type 2 diabetes, which prevents them from receiving proper treatment.

Type 3c diabetes symptoms

Type 3c diabetes is usually caused by pancreatic disease, such as cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer. It can take years to develop, which is one reason it is misdiagnosed.

Symptoms of type 3c diabetes include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Poor digestion
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Frequent feeling of thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or loss of muscle

Type 3c diabetes treatments

Patients with type 3c diabetes are twice as likely as adults with type 2 diabetes to have poor control over their blood sugar, and up to 10 times more likely to need insulin. As a result, most are treated with insulin injections.

Other type 3c diabetes treatments include taking digestive enzymes to help with nutrient absorption, limiting alcohol, not smoking, and eating high-fiber, low-fat food.

No matter what type of diabetes you have, your healthcare team will work with you to come up with a treatment and management plan that will allow you to live and healthy, functional life.


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March 16, 2020

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN