Understanding Type III Diabetes

By Dr Ernst
June 8, 2018

A new type of diabetes has emerged. Well… it’s been there for a while, but researchers and the healthcare community are waking up to the real cause of a disease that is now the 7th most common cause of death in the West.

It’s NOT Type I Diabetes, which is also known as Juvenile Diabetes. This form affects mostly children or young adults (20 or younger). It is an autoimmune condition where the pancreas is being attacked, either via viral infection or through a number of autoimmune triggers resulting in antibodies against the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Type I diabetics lose the ability to create insulin, which results in abnormally high sugars despite a clean lifestyle or diet. This condition requires precise monitoring and dosing of insulin to manage sugars daily.

It’s not Type II Diabetes, which is also known as “insulin resistance” simply because the pancreas DOES works in this situation, i.e., insulin is produced in normal quantities but doesn’t engage a response via the insulin receptor, which results in elevated sugar in the blood.

It’s Type III Diabetes, which you’ve probably heard much more often referred to as…. Alzheimer’s Disease.

Did I just blow your mind???? Good. Because this is huge.

Let’s look at some stats. 10 percent of 65-year-olds, 25 percent of 75-year-olds, and 50 percent of 85-year-olds will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. And the fastest growing segment of our population is the 85-year-olds.  Researchers predict Alzheimer’s will affect 106 million people by 2050. It’s now the seventh leading cause of death.

The reason a lot of health practitioners are starting to refer to Alzheimer’s as Type III diabetes is because there has emerged a clear link between sugar/carb consumption throughout life and the development of Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, having pre-diabetes or Type II diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 400%. This was actually discovered in 2008, (and published in the Endocrine Review journal) but it’s only recently that people involved in healthcare are getting the message and starting to view Alzheimer’s as diabetes-related.

Physiological processes

Interestingly, uncontrolled longstanding Type II now sometimes requires the necessity for insulin injections to control sugars (similar to Type I). This is the hallmark sign for Alzheimer’s, as the brain is now becoming starved of sugar through “brain insulin resistance.” Sugars are needed for function of every cell, specifically the brain – which can only function with sugar or ketones as a fuel source. Sadly, most Type II diabetics produce little or no ketone bodies (which are made during the production of energy from fat, not sugar) and thus are susceptible to this progression if not properly managed or reversed.

Basically, Type II diabetes gets so bad that, with the cells throughout your body not getting sugars, the problem moves to your brain to the point that your brain cells have little or no energy to function (because sugar [or ketones] provide that energy). Without energy, they die, your brain shrinks, you become senile, confused, memory disappears, personality changes, etc.

Inflammation also plays a big role. When there is an excess of sugar in the blood that is not being integrated into the cells for energy (due to insulin resistance), the result is systemic inflammation. And autopsies of Alzheimer’s sufferers have confirmed that their brains are very much inflamed.

Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is characterized by the buildup of a certain kind of protein on the brain cells called beta amyloid plaques. And researchers aren’t exactly sure why yet, but there is definitely a correlation between the lack of insulin (due to insulin resistance) and the buildup of this plaque. Suzanne de la Monte, a neuropathologist at Brown University, has been working on these phenomena in humans and rats. When she blocked the path of insulin to rats’ brains, their neurons deteriorated, they became physically disoriented and their brains showed all the signs of Alzheimer’s.

So, to summarize… you eat too much sugar/carbs and not enough fats. The sugar releases insulin, so much insulin that your cells become desensitized. You get diabetes. The insulin and sugar causes inflammation throughout your body. At some point, your brain cells become deprived of energy because insulin isn’t getting the message across to take in any energy (sugar). Furthermore, insulin’s inability to communicate with your brain cells causes the buildup of beta amyloid plaques. The combination of a lack of energy, the inflammation and the buildup of plaques on your brain cells leads to Alzheimer’s—or Type III diabetes.

What do you do about it?

Basically, you avoid diabetes. So simple, right? In theory. More practically, limit to the extreme your sugar intake, particularly processed sugars. Limit your carb intake. Orient your diet to become something in the neighborhood of 60% fats, 30% proteins and the rest green vegetables.

But let’s say you’re to a point where your brain is starting to slip, or you’ve been struggling with diabetes Type II for a while. The good news is that there’s hope. You can reverse diabetes, memory loss and get your brain on track again.

In fact, I have seen firsthand—and this is one of my favorite success stories—a man come back from full blown Alzheimer’s. Medicine will tell you it’s impossible, and that Alzheimer’s is a steady decline to the grave. But that’s simply not true.

This was actually a patient of my wife, Dr. Sarah Ernst, D.C.. A woman comes in with her husband, who is basically incapacitated by Alzheimer’s. My wife gets the normal info—what’s your diet like? Blood and urine testing to look at hormones, toxicities, inflammatory markers, etc. And she finds that this gentleman had a massive amount of sugar in his diet. In fact, he didn’t go without at least one bowl of ice cream every night for 40+ years.

She puts him on an anti-inflammatory diet (I’ll talk about that later), obviously cuts out the sugar and carbs—especially the ice cream—and gets him on some detox protocols. Within about four months, this man went from being unable to even form a coherent sentence to a near-normal, well-functioning human being. Now of course, Alzheimer’s does major damage to your brain, and it is an incredibly slow process to recover from that. My wife’s patient was not 100% in 4 months, mind you, but he was well on his way.

So let’s get a little more specific. Here’s the rundown for treating dementia/Alzheimer’s/Type III diabetes.

  • Get your blood sugar under control – This is mostly a diet issue. First, get rid of refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, and inflammatory oils such as vegetable and seed oils. Replace these “foods” with things like healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, almonds and cashews, grass-fed meats, pastured chicken and eggs, olive and coconut oil. A lot of times, this takes some coaching and guidance. Click the button at the bottom of the page to request a consultation.
  • Eat healthy fats – These include omega 3 fats in wild fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tune, as well as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, whole eggs, nuts, and seeds.
  • Get off the couch – Even a 30-minute walk can help. If that’s too light for you, look into burst training. There’s a lot of research showing that exercise helps slow or prevent mental decline.
  • Get your micronutrients – Supplement your diet with a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, an omega 3 fat supplement, extra B6, B12, and folate, vitamin D3 and, a good probiotic
  • Detox – if you have high levels of heavy metals, phalates, pesticides, etc., get tested and look into detox protocols. Again, refer the request a consultation button below.
  • Reduce stress – Stress is truly the silent killer at the heart of so many health problems–including Alzheimer’s. One could argue it has a place in diabetes as well, for people who “stress eat.” Look into meditation, prayer, yoga, revisit your hobbies, go for walks, exercise. Do something to relax.
  • Get enough sleep – Research is showing that sleep plays a role in cognitive function. Shoot for 7-9 hours per night.

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