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Type 3 Diabetes: Insulin Resistance Leads to Alzheimer’s Disease

Type 3 Diabetes: Insulin Resistance Leads to Alzheimer’s Disease

Many people have only heard of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. In this article, we will talk about type 3 diabetes and its link with Alzheimer’s disease. How are they associated with each other? What can we do to prevent and cure this type of diabetes? Learn more here.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that happens when the brain cells die. It affects the independence of people as they are fond of forgetting things, may it be a recent thing that happened a minute ago.

On the other hand, diabetes refers to the ndlielevation of blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance malfunction of the immune system. People with diabetes can experience fatigue, blurry vision, weight loss, and others.

How are they related?

Many researchers had a proposal that Alzheimer’s disease is to consider as type 3 diabetes. After clinical trials and evaluation, insulin resistance is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.

The brain slowly adapts the signals when the body resists insulin and the metabolic system malfunctions. Once the brain adjusts to low insulin levels and blood flow abnormalities, brain damage will develop. Hence, people ages 65 and above are most likely to have Alzheimer’s disease as it has slow progress.

Risks and Complications

Type 3 diabetes risks increase if the patient is obese, lacks nutrients from fruits and vegetables, has long-term stress, irregular exercise, and often alcohol and illicit drugs intake.

Another risk factor of type 3 diabetes is a family history of diseases, such as heart complications, Alzheimer’s, and prediabetes. Unlike the risk factors above, these are uncontrollable and unpreventable.

However, this conclusion is not yet proven because only 3% of observed patients show possible genetic risks.

When risks increase, complications such as the severity of the disease are likely to follow. You may experience memory loss and inability to function independently as your brain will fail to bring commands and signals to your body.


Some symptoms are mostly related to Alzheimer’s disease. These are the following are the symptoms of Type 3 diabetes in general:

  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty in decision-making and problem-solving
  • Challenged with finishing familiar activities
  • Frequent changes in mood or personality
  • Forgets where things are
  • Confusion with directions, time, and places
  • New problems in terms of speaking and writing
  • Difficulty in understanding spatial relationships

How is it diagnosed?

There are no particular laboratory tests and methods to perform to diagnose Type 3 diabetes. However, cognitive tests will most likely help confirm a diagnosis. It is to determine if the patient is showing symptoms of cognitive impairment such as the listed symptoms above.

Aside from cognitive tests, a test using biomarkers is also needed to determine the presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. These are the two indicators that a patient has Alzheimer’s disease.


Unfortunately, Type 3 diabetes has no identified cure as of the moment. However, treatments to increase the brain sensitivity to insulin and reducing insulin resistance are available. The drug medications used are specific, each for Alzheimer’s disease and Type 2 diabetes.

It may not be a total cure, but it gives therapeutic effectiveness to the patient, improves the function of the metabolic system, and prevents complications such as dementia.

Furthermore, your doctor will also identify the risk factor contributing to the increasing development of Type 3. This will be the focus of the treatment. It works by counteracting the risk factors as it will lower the risks of further complications.

The Long-term Effects of Uncontrolled Diabetes


The standard method to prevent Alzheimer’s disease due to insulin resistance or Type 3 diabetes is early treatment. There will be insulin resistance medications to avoid further damages it may cause to the brain.

Nonetheless, an unhealthy lifestyle is one of the risk factors for developing type 3 diabetes. Therefore, prevention is possible by taking serious precautions such as the following:

  • Eat healthy foods. Avoid high-fat meals and focus on plant-based foods. Meats are allowed, but a low portion is much better. According to research, foods rich in fat increase the risks.
  • Regular exercise. It slows down brain damage which is also beneficial for reducing the risks and complications. It is considered a powerful habit that one needs to maintain.
  • Relaxation. Stress is one of the risk factors of type 3 diabetes. Find an effective way to relax your mind and have clear thoughts. It is necessary for potential type 3 diabetes patients to know and learn how to manage stress. If not, brain malfunction is likely to develop.
  • Good sleep. Spend adequate hours on sleeping. Healthy sleep reduces stress, increases body activeness, improves memory, and improves metabolism.
  • Engage in mind challenges. Even if you are aging, engage yourself with activities that challenge your mind. These include answering problems and interacting with others. It keeps the brain active and maintains mind sharpness.

Key Takeaway

Type 3 diabetes is not yet widely known. However, it is necessary to learn that this is a combination of two diseases that can lead to complications if not detected and treated as early as possible. Follow the abovementioned ways to prevent them and consult with a doctor if symptoms manifest.

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https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371444 Date Accessed July 20, 2021

Alzheimer’s disease

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Brain insulin resistance in Alzheimer’s disease and its potential treatment with GLP-1 analogs.

https://europepmc.org/article/PMC/4465775 Date Accessed July 20, 2021

Impaired insulin and insulin-like growth factor expression and signaling mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease–is this type 3 diabetes?

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Type 3 diabetes is sporadic Alzheimer׳s disease: mini-review

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Type 3 Diabetes Mellitus: A Novel Implication of Alzheimers Disease

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28049395/ Date Accessed July 20, 2021

The Truth About Type 3 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease

https://www.masteringdiabetes.org/type3-diabetes/ Date Accessed July 20, 2021

Alzheimer’s Disease and Treatment

https://meddocsonline.org/ebooks/alzheimers-disease-and-treatmen/insulin-resistance-in-alzheimers-disease.pdf Date Accessed July 20, 2021

Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/ Date Accessed July 20, 2021

What are Biomarkers?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078627/ Date Accessed July 20, 2021


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Written by Shienna Santelices Updated Aug 09, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel