Blood Sugar and Dementia!

Anyone diagnosed with diabetes runs a greater than the average risk of developing dementia. An article in the journal Neurology reported on the incidence of dementia in a village of over 1000 people studied by researchers at Kyushu University. Between 1988 and 2003, twenty-seven per cent of people with diabetes were diagnosed with dementia, compared with only 20 per cent of healthy people.

Results of another study from Kyushu University, reported in the journal Neurology during September 2011, looked at how well people were able to handle sugar and their risk of dementia. One thousand and seventeen individuals who were at least 60 years of age, were included in the study and given an oral glucose tolerance test. The test determined how well the participants’ bodies were able to bring blood sugar levels down to normal after they were given sugar by mouth.

After 15 years…

*dementia,
*Alzheimer’s Disease, and
*dementia caused by sick blood vessels
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were seen significantly more often in people with diabetes than in non-diabetic participants. Those with high blood sugar levels two hours after taking in sugar had a higher risk of dementia than those whose blood sugar levels returned to normal after 2 hours.

In Type 2 diabetes, the body has difficulty in lowering blood sugar levels because, although the pancreas makes insulin, the body’s cells are insensitive to it. The job of insulin is to help cells take in sugar to use it for energy, and when cells are resistant to insulin they are unable to take in sugar and burn it. Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes is amenable to lifestyle changes that can improve insulin sensitivity.

Another study again… in August 2011, the journal Metabolism reported the results of a study performed on improved insulin sensitivity carried out at the University Institute of Cardiology and Pneumology in Quebec, Canada.

One hundred and four men with:

  • waist sizes of at least 35 inches,
  • a high level blood fat, and/or
  • low levels of good cholesterol,

were included in the study. After one year of a healthful diet and exercise, both belly fat and fat under the skin were lost and insulin sensitivity improved. Even those with normal blood sugar levels at the beginning of the study showed improvement, showing it is not necessary to wait for problems to arise before starting a program of lifestyle changes.

Your doctor or healthcare advisor can give you a program for what lifestyle changes are safe for you. Going for a walk every day at lunchtime or after work can be a good start. Adding more fruits, vegetables, and other high fiber foods to your diet can begin to help you lower your body’s fat content.