Type 3 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Wockhardt Hospitals

Type 3 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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Type-3 diabetes is the term used to describe Alzheimer’s disease due to its association with insulin dysregulation in the brain. This leads to the condition of dementia. However, this terminology has not been officially accepted in the medical fraternity.

Another type of diabetes mellitus condition has been classified and is termed “type 3c” diabetes, alternatively called pancreatogenic diabetes. This is a diabetic condition in which the exocrine pancreas glands are damaged and starts damaging the endocrine pancreatic glands, where the beta-islets are situated and produce insulin. There are certain conditions that can lead to type 3 diabetes, which may include chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer, etc.

Causes of Type 3 Diabetes

In a 2022 review of research, it was found that people with type-2 diabetes are more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, with a 45% to a whopping 90% chance of incidence. It has also been found that females with type-2 diabetes are more vulnerable to developing vascular dementia than males. 

It is worth noting that Alzheimer’s disease has been described as a neuroendocrine disease that involves the signaling of impaired insulin and Insulin-like Growth Factors (IGFs). This leads to inflammation and oxidative stress, which are characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Risk Factors Associated with Type 3 Diabetes

From many years of research in this aspect, several potential risk factors have been identified to be associated with type three diabetes. These risk factors may include the following:

  • A family history of diabetes mellitus
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Birth weight
  • A diet rich in sugar, calories, and fat and low in fiber
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Certain chronic health conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and depression
  • Exposure to stress
  • Belonging to a certain race or ethnicity 

Apart from these factors, a particular gene– APOE4, has been identified to be associated with increasing the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Type 3 Diabetes Symptoms

For the diagnosis of the proposed type-3 diabetes, symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, such as dementia, have been included. The early signs & symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include the following:

  • Memory loss often causes negative impacts on your daily lifestyle and social interactions 
  • Decreased ability to make judgments based on available information
  • Difficulty in communicating or completing routine/ familiar tasks
  • Difficulty in making plans
  • Confusion about location and time
  • Misplacing things and not being able to retrace steps to retrieve them
  • Difficulty resolving problems
  • Sudden changes in demeanor or personality 
  • Withdrawal from work

It is important to note that some of the above-mentioned symptoms, such as memory changes, can be a normal part of aging. However, if there are additional symptoms as above that have progressively worsened over time, professional assessment may help to understand if it is Alzheimer’s and ways of managing it.

Diagnosis of Type 3 Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus Type 3 does not have any definitive diagnostic test as it has not been officially recognized. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be made based on a neurological examination and neurophysiological testing. When visiting a healthcare professional, they may ask about the family history and the symptoms along with the patient’s medical history.

Imaging tests may also be recommended to be performed, which may include:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan 

Additionally, tests of cerebrospinal fluid may also be performed to look for indicators of Alzheimer’s. In case the patient has symptoms of type-2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s but has not yet been diagnosed, they may be recommended to get a blood sugar test and hemoglobin A1c test done.

If the patient has diabetes, as confirmed from previous or recent tests, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. This is necessary so as to avoid further damage to the body, including the brain, which may indirectly be beneficial to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

How Type 3 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease are Related

Doctors may not use “type 3 diabetes” as a diagnostic term for Alzheimer’s or any similarly related condition. However, Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed based on the known parameters after performing mental, physical, and psychological evaluations. 

Although scientists are actively researching the possible link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes, some researchers have examined a possible link between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes in the sense that Alzheimer’s is triggered by the condition of insulin resistance in the body. While this is still inconclusive evidence, untreated diabetes is considered to be a risk factor for vascular dementia since those with unregulated high blood sugar may have inflammation, which may damage brain cells. Vascular dementia may be considered as a warning sign of what can progress to become Alzheimer’s disease. 

Type 3 Diabetes Treatment

Type-3 diabetes treatment is not definite as there may not be an official diagnosis. However, there are separate treatment options available for those who have symptoms or have been diagnosed to have:

  • Type-2 diabetes, or
  • Pre-diabetes, and
  • Alzheimer’s


Based on the diagnosis, doctors may be able to understand how far along Alzheimer’s has progressed. Prescription medications may help to treat cognitive symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  • They may suggest medications that may help with lessening memory loss and declining cognitive abilities. 
  • Patients may also be recommended drugs that improve behavioral and psychological symptoms, including preventing insomnia. 
  • Anti-amyloid antibody intravenous infusion therapy: Anti-myeloid antibody drugs may help to remove beta-amyloid from the brain, which in turn can alter the progression of cognitive and functional degeneration in the early stages.
  • NMDA-receptor antagonists can also help to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease as well as reduce the symptoms.
  • Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may help to improve the way the body’s cells communicate with one another.
  • Psychotic drugs may be recommended to patients for treating symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as depression and mood changes. Antidepressants & anti-anxiety medications may also be recommended in specific cases.

Sometimes, some people may require antipsychotic therapy when the disease progresses and worsens.


Since there is no sure-shot cure, the doctors may aim to manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s along with that of type-2 diabetes, if any have been diagnosed. A doctor may recommend certain lifestyle changes to manage type 3 diabetes, which may include the following:

  • Managing Weight: Doctors may recommend losing weight in some people with diabetes who are overweight or obese. Losing weight may help to prevent damage to the organs caused by high blood sugar. This can help to prevent the progression of a prediabetes condition to type-2 diabetes. 
  • Exercising Regularly: Staying active may help to manage weight efficiently as well as improve overall physical health.
  • Adjusting Diet: Doctors may recommend taking a diet high in fruits & vegetables and low in fat.
  • Quitting Smoking and Drinking: Smoking may worsen the condition. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid smoking.

Changing Disease Progression

While Alzheimer’s may not be cured, it can be managed, or its progression can be slowed down. Anti-myeloid antibody drugs may be beneficial in reducing cognitive & functional decline in patients having early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Preventing Type 3 Diabetes

Although there is no conclusive evidence to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, certain factors may help to delay Alzheimer’s disease, such as:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Maintaining moderate body weight 
  • Cognitive training
  • Monitoring blood pressure regularly 

A patient with type-2 diabetes should manage the symptoms of diabetes to help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Regular activity and weight management may help to prevent insulin resistance and a prediabetes condition. Although there has been no proven method that works to prevent Alzheimer’s, managing blood glucose levels may be a sensible approach to begin with preventing the progression of Alzheimer’s as well as prediabetes or type-2 diabetes.

Wockhardt Hospitals is a multi-specialty hospital with advanced, state-of-the-art facilities and services, steadily gaining traction and becoming a favorite treatment destination. Our team of specialists, surgeons, consultants, and other medical professionals have extensive experience in treating and managing patients with a wide range of healthcare needs with utmost expertise by following the international standards and guidelines of treatment. We are committed to providing comprehensive patient-centric treatment to cater to every patient with a touch of empathy.

To book an appointment with us or for more information and inquiries, contact us directly at 1800221800.

FAQs on Type 3 Diabetes

Q. What is a stage 3 diabetic?

Diabetes, in its advanced form, known as stage 3, might have more serious consequences. Usually, there is severe insulin resistance or reduced insulin production. At this point, patients frequently need more intensive care and observation to stop future issues.

Q. Is diabetes type 3 genetic?

An individual’s likelihood of developing this medical condition in their lifetime is increased by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.

Q. How do you test for type 3 diabetes?

For Alzheimer’s or Type 3 diabetes, there is no specific test. Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed based on a neurological examination and neurophysiological tests. Your physician will conduct relevant tests for high blood sugar and ask you a series of questions regarding your symptoms and family history. Medical professionals can obtain an image of your brain’s functioning using brain imaging procedures such as MRIs and CT scans. Studies on CSF fluid may also be carried out to search for signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Q. Can type 3 diabetes be cured?

Alzheimer’s disease, or type 3 diabetes, has no known treatment. However, a person’s life may be prolonged and the intensity of their symptoms may be lessened by several treatments.

Q. At what age do people get type 3c diabetes?

Pancreatogenic or pancreatogenous diabetes mellitus are other names for type 3c diabetes. According to several studies, the average age of diagnosis is 59, and males make up around 60% of patients with type 3c diabetes.

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