WHAT IS DOUBLE DIABETES: Double diabetes, also called hybrid diabetes or type-3 diabetes, is a combination of both type-1 and type-2 diabetes and can develop in individuals that initially only had type-1 or type-2. The number of people with double diabetes in the United States is rising and can be hard to diagnose and treat since symptoms of both type-1 and type-2 diabetes are experienced by individuals with the hybrid diabetes.
WHAT CAUSES DOUBLE DIABETES: Double diabetes can be caused by a couple different things, dependent on whether the individual first had type-1 or type-2. If type-1 diabetics begin to gain a lot of excess weight, their body may start to become insulin-resistant. This means that in addition to their bodies’ inability to produce insulin due to type-1 diabetes, their typical insulin injections will no longer work because they have become insulin-resistant, which is the cause of type-2 diabetes. The person then develops double diabetes and may need to begin taking medications along with insulin injections in order to control their blood sugar levels. Type-2 diabetics who develop double diabetes are even more difficult to treat because the onset of type-1 diabetes could be a result of antibodies which attack the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. So whatever insulin their pancreas could produce is being destroyed by their own antibodies leading to symptoms of type-1 diabetes along with their old type-2 symptoms.
PREVENTION: Double diabetes can be difficult to treat because symptoms of both type-1 and type-2 diabetes need to be treated. However, there are some lifestyle changes and precautions that can be taken to help prevent the development of double diabetes for those who are already diabetic as well as those who are not.