High Blood Sugar Now Linked to Dementia
High blood sugar carries with it a number of health risks, but until now, it was never suspected to affect mental health. New research shows that higher than normal blood sugar can increase you risk of developing dementia, as well as the severity of it. Previously, the only lines drawn connecting blood sugar and cognitive decline were in cases of diabetes and dementia.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, over 2000 elderly patients were sampled across the United States, most of whom did not have diabetes. The results showed that even minimal increases in blood sugar were associated with a higher risk of developing dementia. In fact, the higher the level of sugar in the blood, the higher the risk.
Unfortunately, not enough is yet know about the brain to say with certainty why this is the case. It is suspected that elevated blood sugar levels lead to vascular disease, but some doctors think that other metabolic processes maybe involved. For instance, people with high blood sugar often exhibit insulin resistance. It could be complications surrounding this insulin resistance that is the link to the degradation of brain cells.
It is important to note that this study can only draw links between sugar levels in the blood and cognitive decline, and use these links to formulate theories. It cannot yet be proven that sugar does indeed lead to dementia. While it is always a good idea to keep your blood sugar levels monitored, it does not make sense at this time to attempt to reduce your blood sugar in order to improve thinking skills.
The primary reason to keep your blood sugar in check remains the prevention of type 2 diabetes. It was recently estimated that 40% of the American population will at some point in their lives be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The disease is truly reaching epidemic proportions. Your blood sugar should be under 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood following not eating anything for 8 hours. If your reading is above that, you have entered the prediabetes condition. Above 126 mg/dL will result in a diagnosis of diabetes.
If you find yourself in danger of reaching a diabetes diagnosis, or already have, there are a number of no-cost solutions that can correct your condition. The first step is to start getting plenty of exercise. Losing weight is imperative for those who are overweight, but the condition can even effect those who are of a normal and healthy weight. Regardless of your overall physique, you will need to initiate and maintain a regimen of daily exercise. You will also need to make changes to your diet. This includes increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Carbohydrates are not necessarily bad for you, but you must stay away from the simple carbohydrates found in white bread, cookies, crackers, and basically anything overly processed. Cutout all processed foods. They are believed by many to be in single greatest causes for the rise in diabetes.
In terms of exercise, hitting the gym or getting outside and taking a brisk run or walk is best. However your daily exercise need not always be achieved through what is traditionally thought of as exercise. You can get a boost of physical activity through small steps like taking the stairs rather that the elevator, doing brisk house chores, and walking to the store rather than driving. All of these small steps add up and will help you achieve your healthy lifestyle.