Having diabetes can put you at risk for cancer, stroke and other diseases. Current research shows that diabetes increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. The Mayo Clinic States that “studies suggest people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, are at higher risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s dementia or other dementias.” We know that over 30 million Americans have diabetes, so that means that all of those individuals have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s in their lifetime.
More About Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes memory loss and cognitive issues. Harvard Health states that “people in the early stages of the disease start to lose things, forget once-familiar faces, and struggle to recall recent events. Other cognitive problems soon develop, including a shortened attention span, difficulties with language, and an inability to think logically.” Eventually, people with Alzheimer’s can lose the ability to speak and have conscious thoughts.
Reasons Diabetes Increases Risk for Alzheimer’s
Doctors are not sure of the exact reason that diabetes increases risk for Alzheimer’s. However, they do have some ideas on the topic that all relate to the elevated blood sugars that diabetics have. The National Alzheimer’s Association explains some reasons the two diseases are linked:
-High blood sugars lead to inflammation, which damage brain cells. This could lead to Alzheimer’s.
-Insulin levels could affect the chemical balance in the brain, also causing damage to the brain.
-Diabetes increases risk for heart disease and stroke which damage the heart and blood vessels. If blood vessels in the brain are hurt, it could lead to Alzheimer’s.
If you have ever had a relative with Alzheimer’s, you know it can be a very emotional disease, both for patients and caregivers. Since Alzheimer’s causes memory loss, it is not unusual for those with the disease to forget the faces of those close to them. Having your loved one not recognize you can be a very difficult experience.
We know that diabetes increases the risk for Alzheimer’s and that diabetes responds very well to diet and exercise. Therefore, preventing or working towards reversing diabetes could reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s. If you have diabetes and want to reduce your risk of developing cancer or Alzheimer’s, we recommend seeing a physician.
At Complete Care Health Centers, we suggest seeing our newest provider, Laurel Okorofsky MS, PA-C. If you have diabetes and have a history of Alzheimer’s in your family, we suggest booking an appointment today to learn how to work towards reversing your diabetes. You can book an appointment by calling 541-773-9772.