What is Type 3 Diabetes?

What is Type 3 Diabetes?

Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020
What is Type 3 Diabetes?

Just before walking you through what Type 3 Diabetes is, it is crucial you grasp what diabetes entails. Ever since the discovery of diabetes many centuries ago, man has grappled with the condition. Also known as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is simply a group of ailments that culminate in too much sugar in the blood. The body stores sugar in the form of energy (glycogen) for meeting our daily energy demands. This glycogen comes from the food we eat every day. So, when the body is unable to convert the excess sugar into energy, it leads to diabetes. Although there are many types of diabetes, our emphasis will be on the Type 3 Diabetes.

Type 3 Diabetes

Pancreas is the organ that secretes insulin in the body. Insulin is responsible for regulating the blood glucose levels. If it is not regulated properly, it results in diabetes mellitus. It is of two types. Type I and Type II.

More importantly, pancreas is not the only organ that produces insulin. Researchers have found that the brain is the other organ that secretes insulin, which is not affected by blood glucose levels of Type I and Type II diabetes mellitus. It is termed as Type III Diabetes.

In Type III Diabetes, the brain produces lower levels of insulin. In the end, this deficiency makes the brain cells to die causing memory loss and degenerative disease. Researchers have also linked that Type III Diabetes leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer is a degenerative brain disorder and having Type III Diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer by up to 65%. Put simply, Alzheimer’s is simply “diabetes in your brain.”

Relevant Studies

Researchers studied the brains of people who died with Alzheimer's disease but neither had Type 1 nor Type 2 diabetes. The study also included those who died of diabetes mellitus. Interestingly same abnormalities were found in both the brains. They concluded that Alzheimer's is a brain-specific type of diabetes. It is the deterioration of the brain's ability to use and metabolize glucose. Experts went ahead to compare the decline with cognitive ability and noted the the decline in glucose processing in the brain. They found that both coincided with each other.

A study published in Journal of Diabetes and Technology concluded that Type 3 Diabetes accurately reflects the fact that AD represents a form of diabetes that selectively involves the brain and has molecular and biochemical features. The publication added that the molecular and biochemical features overlap with both Type 1 diabetes mellitus and T2DM [Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus][1].

Symptoms of Type 3 Diabetes

Symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty in completing familiar tasks
  • Misplacing things all the time
  • Decreased ability to make judgements
  • Sudden changes in personality or demeanor.

These symptoms are typically seen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They represent cognitive decline of the brain.


At this point, it is safe to say that you know the symptoms of Type 3 Diabetes. Do you have any of them? If yes, there are 3 tests you can undergo to confirm that you have the ailment. These are neurological examination, medical history, and neurophysiological testing. All these tests are performed by specialists, and you will be asked series of questions when you are being examined. If it happens that you have Type 3 Diabetes, making far-reaching lifestyle changes will play a pivotal role in your treatment. These lifestyle changes include dietary change and having regular exercises. Do well to speak with your doctor today!


de la Monte SM, Wands JR. Alzheimer's disease is type 3 diabetes-evidence reviewed. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2008;2 (6):1101–1113. doi: 10.1177/193229680800200619

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