brainBrain Health

It’s no secret that without proper management diabetes can have long term damaging effects on the body. Because diabetes effects blood vessels and nerves, every area and system in your body is at risk. Even your brain health is effected by high blood sugar levels!

A recent study suggests a definite link between high blood sugar levels and the likelihood of developing dementia. In fact, according to University of Washington research…

“…people with high blood glucose levels are 18 percent more likely to develop dementia”

While it’s been known that diabetes impacts brain health for sometime, new research has revealed additional damage caused by how sugar is used by the brain. Lead researcher Dr. R. Nick Bryan, a professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perleman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, was recently quoted saying…

“…our study suggests that there is additional damage to the brain which may be more like a brain disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease,” Bryan said. “So there may be two ways diabetes affects the brain, damage to blood vessels and brain-cell degeneration.” Read More

Bryan goes on to say that a loss of brain volume, particularly gray matter, can impact parts of the brain involved with muscle control, speech, memory, decision making, emotions and more.

What can you do to manage your diabetes and help maintain brain health?

  • Keep your blood glucose levels as close to your target as possible. If you’re unsure about your target or how to manage blood glucose levels consult your doctor.
  • Be active and exercise. Even walking as little as 10 minutes a day can help reduce your stress, help you lose weight, improve your cholesterol profile and lower your blood pressure.
  • Take your diabetes medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you smoke, quit. If you need help call 1-800- QUITNOW
  • Stay informed and learn more about diabetes and managing it. Use online resources, find support groups and learn from reputable sources like this free guide from the National Diabetes Education Program 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life.

Diabetes is a serious disease which can have a long term impact on your brain health.  Take steps now to manage your diabetes and reduce your risk.