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Type 3 Diabetes & Alzheimer's Disease

Have you heard of this!? Type 3 Diabetes.

Type 1 (you're born with it) & Type 2 (you develop this) are already a massive problem in North America. It’s one thing to be born with insulin resistance, but you have some serious reflection to do if your blood sugar is creeping up there due to your eating & lifestyle habits. Type 2 Diabetes is a self-inflicted & easily preventable health issue that people need to be addressing as soon as they are in control of their own diets. Dial back the trashy carbohydrates on your late night college study dates or self soothing, emotional eating addiction with a side of Netflix. 

As a personal trainer who worked for 3 years in the retirement capital of Canada, a large chunk of my clients were sent to me by their own GP, instructing them to get their blood sugar levels under control - or else. Metformin isn’t cheap.

But then there is a third type of diabetes…

So what is type 3 diabetes?

As described by the Mayo Clinic “Type 3 diabetes occurs when neurons in the brain become unable to respond to insulin, which is essential for basic tasks, including memory and learning. Some researchers believe insulin deficiency is central to the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease.” Quote from here

Is Type 3 Diabetes the ‘same’ as Alzheimer’s? Not exactly - Type 3 is not an official medical term at this point. They have identified a pattern of many with Alzheimer’s having insulin resistance in their brains, while some patients with Alzheimer’s have normal insulin metabolism. Hence, not being officially put under the same listing yet.

But note that Alzheimer’s is described as “ a neuroendocrine disease involving impaired insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling.” So where this T3D nickname has come from makes sense.

What is key is the symptoms listed under T3D are hauntingly similar to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. 

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer's? (..and T3D)

  • Decline in mental function

  • Forgetfulness

  • Lack of judgment

  • Difficulty recognizing familiar people

  • Mood disturbances 

  • Mixing up dates & locations

  • Difficulties in performing normal, everyday tasks

What’s the difference between Alzheimer's & Dementia 

Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of symptoms that affect brain function & can pour over into physical dysfunction due to this. It includes a number of diseases or symptoms often found in aging adults; Alzheimer’s being one of many. 

Why is type 3 diabetes so scary?

The medical community is currently saying that Alzheimers is irreversible. There are medical approaches that can slow the process - but nothing has been found to reverse the condition. Where Type 2 Diabetes can often & easily be addressed & reversed through altering your nutrition - no studies have presented this outcome for Type 3. Once it starts going - you can only pump the breaks. 

So when does it start “going”? You wont know. Which is a big problem. If you’re a lover of pasta, crackers, sandwiches, pastries, breaded foods, noodles, pizza, cookies, breakfast cereal & tons of other culprits…Type 3 Diabetes could be developing in the shadows. Worse - if you’re a straight up sugar addict.

More scary - we can’t currently test for T3D. We can only test for Alzheimer’s, which happens after symptoms present.

“Insulin acts like a key. It’s job is to open the doors that allow glucose to enter the body’s cells from the bloodstream. Muscle cells can use glucose and fats to fuel movement; however brain cells rely fully on glucose to fuel it’s activities. These activities include concentration, alertness, attention, decision-making, organization, memory, awareness, personality, speaking, motor skills, self-monitoring and inhibition of behavior.

A staggering 20% or more of the body’s glucose supply is used to fuel these brain activities.” (Diabetes Australia)

How do I avoid type 3 diabetes?

Adopting the Slow carb diet by Tim Ferriss. (I’m not paid for or an affiliate of this program.)

Not only is enriched wheat flour total garbage for your system, basing your diet around simple carbohydrates is is just cycling through glucose dumps & insulin spikes. This creates insulin resistance over time. This isn’t about cutting OUT carbs, because carbs are also vegetables! 

And so are fruit - but save those for 1 day a week, on your carb load day, assigned by the slow carb plan.

The slow carb diet is essentially a nutrition plan that keeps your insulin response & blood glucose spikes as low as possible, all the time (except for 1 day a week when you spike it on purpose.) You're eating 20-30 grams of protein with each meal and loading up on green veggies most of the time with a side of either beans or lentils. You can supplement with snacks of other veggies or even some peanut/almond butter. It encourages avocado & hummus within reasonable portions.

You completely avoid any food that is a grain or is white - or is usually white. That means rice, potato, flour, quinoa, oats....and of course, dairy - which throws people through a loop. Items like cheese & milk have been shown to spike glucose & signal insulin in a different time line, but still cause a similar reaction as simple carbs - not in the beneficial way that complex carbs keep your levels steady & low.

If you want the slow carb diet fully explained - check it out here.

Poor health choices pile up over time. It's important to nourish our bodies as best we can throughout our entire lifetime. When we find ourselves veering off path - pivot back as soon as possible for sustainable health. We don't want life span - I know that sounds bad. But what we want is "Health span" so that we are focusing on being healthy a far into our old age as possible. No one wants to be 92 but hooked up to hospital machines for those last 5 years.


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If you would like to start building your Core Resiliency Skills contact Coach Julia today. You will learn how to Thrive beyond your damage, become a Transitional Character, break abuse cycles in your family cycle & build the core resiliency skills most often missed when being raised in a low nurture environment.

Julia is a Holistic Health Consultant, holding a Double Diploma in Community Support & Addictions Work, is a Certified Transformation Specialist, Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach & a Lvl 2 Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in Trauma Informed Practice & Resiliency Coaching and Holistic Pregnancy & Postpartum Health Coaching. 

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