Have you heard of Type 3 Diabetes?
Type 3 diabetes is brain damage caused by blocked or reduced blood flow to the brain.
Type 3 Diabetes, Insulin, and Brain Health
The reduced blood flow may be the result of damage to blood vessels in the brain that researchers hypothesize are a consequence of insulin resistance.
In fact, 50% of all Alzheimer’s Disease cases are connected to insulin specific to the brain.
The exact connection between diabetes and dementia isn’t known.
Studies have continued over the past decade, and the link has been accepted by the scientific community. Questions about exactly how diabetes, insulin, and dementia are related, and whether a specific gene makes people vulnerable to insulin resistance, have yet to be answered.
What we do know is that those who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at much greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Source: Mayo Clinic
But, even people with elevated blood sugar levels, though not technically diabetic, may experience cognitive decline. A recent 10 year study found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar.
And mild cognitive decline may be a pit stop on the way to dementia. (“The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s, Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, Jan 26, 2018)
Keeping Your Brain Healthy
However the science shakes out, one thing is certain. Avoiding Type 2 diabetes can only be a good thing. And diet and exercise are key to keeping Type 2 diabetes at bay.
The Mayo Clinic recommends these steps to prevent or manage diabetes complications:
- Follow your health care team’s recommendations about the most appropriate plan for monitoring your blood glucose, cholesterol level and blood pressure.
- Eat healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat milk and cheese.
- If you’re overweight, eat a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight. Obesity can lead to diabetes and other health problems.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Examine your feet daily for sores.
- Take any prescribed medications on schedule.
The above recommendations should look familiar to you – we’ve discussed these healthy habits in the first of our “30 days” series. Look back at the MIND diet posts for food guidelines.
And remember that mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand, both the good and the bad.
Let’s aim for good health by making the right choices every day!
This post is not intended as medical advice. Consult with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
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