What is Type 4 Diabetes?

Publish On Diabetes By CanadianInsulin

type 4 diabetes

What is type 4 diabetes? You’ve already learned about type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. But did you know there is a fourth type of diabetes, called Type 4? While research is still ongoing, medical professionals and scientists discovered the existence of such a condition.

Type 4 diabetes is a type of diabetes identified by the occurrence of insulin resistance in older people who are not overweight or obese. According to studies, about 20 percent of newly diagnosed patients with diabetes who are over 65 years old have type 4 diabetes.

Until this discovery, the diabetic community believed, insulin resistance only occurred because of excess body fats, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes. However, today, this is not the only case. Since type 4 diabetes is common in people who are not obese or overweight, its diagnosis can be difficult. It can stay undetected for years.


When it comes to knowing about type 4 diabetes, keep in mind that it is insulin resistance that causes the condition. Because of this, its symptoms can be similar to type 2 diabetes. Consider the following:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Slow-healing wounds or cuts
  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Poor or blurry vision
  • Lack of sensation in hand and feet
  • Extreme body weakness

Although type 4 diabetes shares common symptoms with type 2, they can still come undetected because they occur in people with average or moderate weight. However, if these symptoms happen unexpectedly, contact your healthcare professional immediately for a medical checkup.


Because it has only been discovered recently, there still isn’t enough information and details about the development of type 4 diabetes. Scientists are still studying the condition, as well as its possible complications.

However, according to recent reports, the condition is closely linked to a person’s aging process. Theory suggests that age-related insulated resistance can be one of the causes of type 4 diabetes.

It is also further explained that the condition is associated with the excess number of immune cells called regulatory T-cells. These cells gather in number, which has a significant effect on the aging process of individuals. This explanation fits well for type 4 diabetes as it is not associated with obesity.

How is type 4 diabetes diagnosed?

The mentioned symptoms above also occur in other diseases, making it difficult to diagnose type 4 diabetes or age-related insulin resistance.

So, how can you know if you have it? Checking for insulin resistance may be the only key. This can work by setting up an appointment with your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you are over 65 years old and have a healthy body weight, be sure to get checked immediately if you experience any of the symptoms.

Prevention and Treatment

We only know little information about it, but our knowledge of its symptoms can help us prevent and treat the condition.

How can you manage diabetes? Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced and stabilized is the main priority. You can do so by continually using blood sugar meters or monitors and learning to count your carbs. In terms of its treatment, there aren’t specific medications that doctors can prescribe as of today because of its novelty. However, doctors can partially address this condition with type 2 diabetes medications.