Type 3 Diabetes: A Starving Mind
Doctors have long recognized two types of diabetes: One that you’re born with (Type 1), and another that develops later in life (Type 2).
But a growing body of research points to a new form: Type 3, often referred to as “diabetes of the brain.”
Types 1 and 2 are known for deteriorating the body. Without treatment, the disease damages blood vessels, nerves, and organs. It can also lead to blindness and even loss of limbs.
The idea behind Type 3 is that this same pattern of degeneration also invades the mind.
Over the last decade, researchers have noticed a connection between diabetes and dementia, suggesting that in many cases, the diseases may have the same root.
In their new book, “The Alzheimer’s Solution,” Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai note that a breakdown in the body’s ability to regulate sugar is the common denominator.
Glucose, a simple sugar, is the body’s primary energy source. Diabetes occurs when glucose can’t enter the cells where it’s needed. Instead, sugar concentrates in the blood, and the cells starve.
Since the brain relies on glucose for energy, it may also suffer a similar fate when the body’s sugar-regulating system malfunctions.
“Glucose dysregulation at any level, over a protracted period of time, is one of the most common contributors to Alzheimer’s disease,” Sherzai said in an email.
Blood Sugar and the Brain
So far, most of the insight into the Type 3 concept comes from research on the links between Alzheimer’s and diabetes. But diabetes may also connect to other kinds of neurodegenerative diseases, says Dr. Michele Tagl Continue reading