Until quite recently, it was believed that there were only two main types of diabetes (1 and 2) but researchers have uncovered what they think is another form of the condition. It has become known as type 3 diabetes, but it is sometimes referred to as double diabetes or gestational diabetes.

A large majority of people are not aware that there is a third type of diabetes, and that is probably because it is quite a rare condition for anyone to develop.

Scientists at the US Brown Medical School have suggested that this particular form of diabetes acts differently – compared with that of type 1 and type 2. One discovery indicated that it isn’t only the pancreas which produces insulin, the brain works in a similar fashion and also releases a certain amount into the body. However, for
those diagnosed with type 3 diabetes, this is something that can be
significantly reduced. As a direct result, there have been reports of distinct
links between this condition and an increase risk of developing Alzheimer’s
disease.

It has been said that
more tests will need to be carried out in order to establish the details behind
type 3 diabetes, as a well as a link with Alzheimer’s but until then, these are
just a few of the points that everyone should know.

Who can be affected?

Like with other types of
diabetes, it seems that anyone can be affected from type 3 but there have been
reports which indicate women might be more at risk from developing this recent
discovery.

There are some people who have suggested that any individual who already suffers from type 1 or type 2 diabetes could be more likely to go on develop type 3 and this is when it becomes known as “double diabetes”. It is possible to avoid getting the dreaded third type and it can be done by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet.

Symptoms of Type 3 Diabetes

It was only 6 years ago
that scientists uncovered a condition which became known as type 3 diabetes and
because of this, there are only a few known symptoms that might help a
diagnosis being made, but with the associated links with Alzheimer’, the
symptoms between both conditions are very similar.

At this time, these are
just a few of the known signs:

  • Dementia
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss

Making a diagnosis is
done via an MRI scan and this is where the brain region will be checked for any
noticeable abnormalities.

Treatment of Type 3 Diabetes

At this point in time,
there doesn’t appear to be a particular method involved with the treatment of
type 3 diabetes and in this case, it seems that being able to prevent the
problem surfacing in the first place is the best medicine.

How can this be done?

Regular exercise is the key! For anyone who suffers from type 2 diabetes especially then a major benefit of keeping fit is that it will help keep blood sugar levels under control. With type 3, it will help improve muscle tone around the body and this is a factor which is known to keep the condition from developing in the first place.

Should anyone need
further advice on type 3 diabetes, and its prevention then there are plenty of
exercise regimes and workouts approved by doctors and dieticians that will
significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, or help keep the problem
under control for those who might already have of one the three different
variants.

Eating healthily

It doesn’t matter if a
person has been diagnosed with a form of diabetes or not, ensuring that a
healthy array of foods are consumed on a daily basis will work at limiting any
possible damage, or by preventing the condition developing in the first place.

There are going to be
foods that can and can’t be eaten and by following the tips listed below will
work at maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Try and consume the recommended 5 a day as often as possible.
  • Limit the amount of sugary drinks, sweets and snacks.
  • Moderate alcohol intake. For women the daily consumption rate should be no more than 2 – 3 units, and for men it is 3 – 4 units. 
  • Include carbohydrates. Potatoes, pasta and bread are ideal and like with vegetables, a minimum of 5 portions per day should be eaten.

These are just a few of
the main possibilities and for those who want to get a better understanding of
what can and can’t be eaten, a dietician or doctor will be able to provide any
extra guidance or answer any queries.

Diabetes and Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is an alternative name for the type 3 form and in cases such as this, it is usually only a temporary condition that remains through the duration of a pregnancy. It is quite rare to develop (it occurs in around 2% – 4% of pregnancies) but there is no disputing the risk that it can have on mother and baby.

These are just a few of risk factors that should
be considered:

  • There has been a history of gestational diabetes in the family
  • Anyone who is obese could be at greater risk

Preventing gestational diabetes

For any mum-to-be, it
might not be always possible to prevent the development of type 3 or
“gestational diabetes” but there are a number of ways that the risks can be
reduced.

  • Avoid any foods which are full of sugar.
  • Especially with type 1 diabetes, it is important to ensure that regular glucose monitoring is conducted.
  • Don’t drink any alcohol.
  • Be sure to exercise regularly. This is a factor which is well known to keep blood sugar levels under control. Try and get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This could include brisk walking, jogging or swimming.

These are a few of the
main points to consider when it comes to staying healthy during pregnancy and
should any further advice be required then a midwife will be able to provide
extra guidance. 

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