Diabetes and Dementia

Having diabetes can lead to dangerous health conditions and even death. Diabetes restricts blood flow and damages cells. It is already known that those with diabetes are at higher risk than the general public for heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, kidney failure, eye damage, bladder control, and erectile dysfunction. Now a new published study demonstrates a strong correlation between diabetes and dementia.

Diabetes and Dementia Study

The study was conducted in Hisayama, Japan and began in 1985 when researchers began measuring the number of patients who developed dementia. The study followed more than 1,000 people. Those with diabetes were twice as likely as other study participants to develop Alzheimer’s disease within 15 years. Those with diabetes were also 1.75 times as likely to develop any type of dementia.

The finding is one more reason for people to be aware of the ravages of diabetes. Alzheimer’s Disease is one type of dementia. Researchers believe that dementia may be linked to how the brain responds to too little insulin.

A Too Common Disorder

Diabetes affects tens of millions of Americans and as the number of obese people grows, the number of people with diabetes also increases. It is a metabolic disorder that prevents the body from using insulin properly. This causes a dangerous buildup of blood sugar known as glucose.

Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of sugar in the blood. A person with too much glucose in the blood (hyperglycemic) is diabetic. A recent study showed that using an insulin–based nasal spray had positive effects against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Take Preventative Measures

According to the American Diabetes Association, $174 billion in health care costs is spent annually in the U.S. on diabetes. Taking measures to prevent diabetes has both positive effects for your health and your wallet.

In addition to obesity, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, a history of gestational diabetes, family history, and high cholesterol levels, among other health risk factors, can all cause diabetes. Some ethnics groups are also at a higher risk of getting diabetes.

By getting regular exercise, eating healthy, not smoking, knowing your family history, and seeing your doctor, you can take significant steps towards preventing diabetes and dementia.