Researchers have discovered a close link between diabetes and dementia, specifically vascular dementia (caused by damaged blood vessels in the brain). The connection is so strong that some have come up with a new name for Alzheimer’s: Type 3 diabetes. Researchers have even found that doses of nasal insulin can improve memory in people with early Alzheimer’s.
People who are diagnosed with type 2 in middle age are at higher risk of developing dementia than those who are diagnosed after age 65. People with type 2 are more likely to develop the brain tangles that can lead to Alzheimer’s, a serious disease that leads to the deterioration of the brain and memory.
Insulin resistance can develop in the brain – with or without someone having diabetes. Over time, too much sugar in the blood can lead to damage to the brain, just as it can to other organs.
Stress is also a factor. Stress, insulin resistance, and inflammation are all interrelated in the body and can affect the same body systems.
There are 86 million adults who are not yet diagnosed with diabetes but have prediabetes, which can lead to similar complications. For more information, see this brochure from the Alzheimer’s Association.
How to prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s
Here are three simple steps that can help cut your risk:
- Losing at least 5% of body weight
- Excercising at least 30 minutes 5 days per week
- Eating a healthy diet
Managing your diabetes will lead to less risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Just as diabetes can affect other body parts like the nerves, the heart, and the feet, it can affect the brain. Take care and see a doctor to get on a plan to wellness.