When I was told that there could be another type of diabetes all I could do was cringe. With the rate at which diagnosis of type 2 is rising, adding one more type to mix is an overwhelming thought.
Type 3 diabetes was first discovered in 2005. A study from Brown University has linked that eating too much sugar has an effect on brain function. Insulin resistance means that circulating insulin is not being used the way it should to get glucose into cells. If the brain does not receive the energy and nourishment it needs, it begins to deteriorate, and those deteriorating brain cells can result in confusion and memory loss. Over the long term, more permanent memory loss could progress to Alzheimer’s disease.
The nutrition recommendations to help prevent type 3 diabetes are the same as they are for type 2, which include eating sugar in moderation, managing your weight, and eating smaller portion sizes. More studies will need to be conducted to confirm that type 3 diabetes is a separate form of diabetes versus a complication of type 2 diabetes.
Just to review, type 1 diabetes is the result of the immune system attacking beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. As a result, people cannot produce insulin on their own and need to have insulin delivered by syringe, injection pen, or an insulin pump. It usually occurs in people under age 30 who have a lean body type.
Type 2 is a more gradual process caused by the body’s resistance to using the insulin it is producing. This puts stress on the body and causes blood sugar to rise because it is not being utilized by the insulin. Pancreas beta cells get overworked and eventually stop secreting enough insulin to keep blood sugars under control. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in overweight individuals because excess weight especially around the abdomen causes insulin resistance. Initially most type 2 diabetics are controlled on oral medicine but as the disease progresses may end up on insulin therapy.