Diabetes In Middle Age May Cause Memory Problems
Study also found that high blood pressure has similar impact
WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 — People who develop type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure in middle age appear more likely to suffer brain damage that can contribute to dementia as they grow older, a new study finds.
Diabetes might actually shrink the brain over a long period of time, reducing the size of crucial areas like the hippocampus, which plays an important role in short- and long-term memory, according to the study.
“People who had diabetes earlier in life had much worse brain than those who had it later in life,” said lead author Dr. Rosebud Roberts, a Mayo Clinic researcher. “These scans are showing us that cognitive impairment happens over a long period of time. The earlier you develop type 2 diabetes, the more likely you are to have damage.”
Diabetes has long been linked to problems with thinking and memory later in life, but this study is the first to provide solid evidence explaining why that occurs, said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association.
The study participants then underwent MRI brain scans to look for signs of brain damage that can be an early indication of dementia.
Blood Vessel Damage In Diabetes Leads To Brain Fog Memory Loss
Blood sugar highs and lows create problems with blood circulation. Restricted circulation to the brain starves it of nutrients and oxygen. The brain cant function at its peak when it lacks nourishment; therefore, symptoms of brain fog begin.
Circulation problems arent the only effect diabetes has on blood vessels. Hyperglycemia damages vessel walls over time, reducing their flexibility and responsiveness to the blood flow within them. In the brain, blood vessels need to flex to accommodate changing circulation. The brain adjusts the amount of blood it uses to support the functioning of various areas and structures. When blood vessels are rigid, they dont move fluidly to supply nutrients and oxygen where theyre most needed. As a result, memory loss, reasoning, processing speed, and more are compromised .
Diabetes and brain fog make life difficult. Is there a fix?
Stress Diabetes And Memory Loss
A study conducted by Edinburgh University involved stress, diabetes and memory loss. The study focused on 900 participants who were older and suffered from type 2 diabetes.
The findings showed that when the stress hormone called cortisol appeared in higher levels in the blood stream, it caused a slow-down in brain function. The theory that developed from the findings was that getting cortisol levels under control could potentially lead to avoiding or reducing memory loss caused by stress and diabetes. Though the study can only apply results and findings to older patients with diabetes, it can provide clues for all diabetics who suffer from memory loss.
Diabetes Problems And Brain Fog Starts With Blood Sugar
Diabetes begins with insulin and blood sugar. When we eat, glucose is created during digestion. It enters the bloodstream where its joined by a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps glucose leave the bloodstream and enter the cells for energy. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain
In diabetes, there is a problem with both glucose and insulin that leads to a host of problems. Glucose needs insulin to enter the cells, but in diabetes either the body cant make insulin, doesnt make enough, or cant use its insulin correctly. As a result, glucose remains in the bloodstream and accumulates. High blood sugar does extensive, system-wide damage. Low blood sugar , a result of diet and/or medication, also causes damage. These blood sugar problems impair functioning in the brain and can cause brain fog and memory loss.
Blood sugar fluctuations affect neurotransmitter levels. High blood sugar increases serotonin and GABA, causing fatigue. Low blood sugar causes the brain to make more cortisol, glucagon, and adrenalin in an attempt to counteract hypoglycemia. Stress increases, and concentrating and focusing become more difficult. ;
The fluctuations between blood sugar extremes can leave you feeling tired yet wired, and your brain can have a hard time adjusting to fluctuations. In addition to the impact on neurotransmitters, fluctuating blood sugar leads to:
Blood sugar creates another problem that contributes to brain fog and memory loss: blood vessel damage.
Researchers And Clinicians Have Found That Uncontrolled Diabetes May Increase The Risk Of Experiencing Cognitive Problems Such As Memory Loss Higher Than Normal Blood Glucose Levels Can Damage Nerve Cells Supportive Glial Cells And Blood Vessels In Both Peripheral Nerves Of The Body And The Brain
Research has shown that having Type 2 diabetes may double the risk of developing a slowly progressive dementia. And while there are many causes of dementia, including Alzheimers disease and stroke, it is also possible that diabetes may cause memory loss through silent damage to the capillaries .
While it is relatively easy to measure glucose and insulin in the blood, we hardly ever measure glucose and insulin in the brain. This leaves us with critical questions about how diabetes and pre-diabetes may be affecting the brain, says Helena Chang Chui, MD, chair and professor of neurology and principal investigator of the USC Healthier Vessels, Healthier Brain Study. Her research examines how glucose and insulin may be affecting the brain, as well as how the health of blood vessels may impact memory.
Dr. Chuis research examines the causes of memory loss from a new and important research angles. She describes the complexities of researching the relationship between diabetes and memory loss, While it is relatively easy to measure brain shrinkage , Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans and CAT scans cannot show plaques and tangles, which are the microscopic hallmarks of Alzheimers disease, or damage to capillaries that can result from diabetes.
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Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
Memory impairment is one of the key signs of Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia. As noted by Alzheimers Disease International, there are particularly strong links between dementia and type 2 diabetes.
High blood pressure and dyslipidemia in midlife are also linked with pronounced increase in risk of dementia.
The lifestyle changes suggested for treating type 2 diabetes, such as regular exercise, having a balanced diet and aiming to lose weight if overweight, are recommended by the NHS to reduce the risk of dementia.
Does Metformin Cause Dementia
Metformin is a popular prescription medication used to treat Type II diabetes. The effect of metformin, a biguanide drug, is to reduce the amount of sugar in a persons blood. Ever since metformin hit the market, there have been many myths about its connection to dementia, a disease associated with confusion, memory loss, and mood changes. In this article, were going to take a closer look at the link between metformin and dementia. Is there a connection? If so, what is it?;
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Are You At Risk Of Diabetes
Controlling risk factors for blood sugar issues may help you stave off diabetes, even if you have a genetic propensity. According to the American Diabetes Association, the following factors increase your risk of diabetes:
- Impaired glucose tolerance or fasting glucose
- Older than 45
- A family history of diabetes
- Being overweight
- Having low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides and high blood pressure
Tips To Reduce Sugar In Your Diet
Sugar and sweeteners are added to many foods that we bake or buy in a box or can. When you stay aware of this fact it can be easier to lower your sugar intake. Eat a diet that is naturally low in sugar by following these steps:
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Take Steps To Avoid Memory Loss From Pre
Older people with larger waistlines, high blood pressure and other risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome may be at a higher risk for memory loss, according to a recent study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, excess belly fat, higher than normal triglycerides , high blood sugar and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or good cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome has also been tied to increased risk of heart attack.
These results are more evidence of the need to prevent or manage diabetes and the health conditions that can lead to it. No matter what your age, losing weight if overweight and working with your doctor to bring down cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels will improve not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.;
Can Anything Help Diabetes Brain Fog And Memory Loss
So far, there isnt a cure for diabetes, nor is there a known way to end brain fog and memory loss that diabetes can cause. However, there are things you can do to improve your blood sugar and minimize the effects of brain fog.
Lifestyle changes are key to improving blood sugar control.
- Increase physical activity, exercising almost every day for at least 30 minutes
- Reduce processed foods, including sugar
- Increase healthy foods
- Drink water to hydrate your brain
- Sleep seven- to eight hours per night
Sometimes, lifestyle changes dont do quite enough to repair brain damage and reduce brain fog and memory loss. Researchers are working on developing a medication that will repair blood vessels.; Such medication is still in the future, however, so being vigilant about healthy lifestyle choices is essential. Diabetes and brain fog and diabetes and memory loss dont have to interfere in the quality of your life.
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Confusion And Memory Loss In Diabetes
It can be really upsetting and frightening if you or someone you love is struggling with memory loss. Find out what might help you.
There are many reasons why most people forget things from time to time, for example, it can be a normal sign of ageing. Ageing in the brain can also be linked to problems with thinking, emotional problems and dementia.;
Dr Nair Pointed Out The Role Of Exercise
People suffering from diabetes have a greater chance of progressive memory loss, said Dr K Sreekumaran Nair, a renowned researcher and endocrinologist from Mayo Clinic, an American nonprofit academic medical institution.
Speaking at the 9th Jothydevs;Professional Education Forum annual global convention 2021, Dr Nair said, Longstanding uncontrolled diabetes can be a major cause of reduced memory and is associated with loss of brain volume, but do not fully account for the same, adding that studies have shown that insulin deficiency can decrease the energy production in the brain and alters brain connectivity.
He said higher A1c levels are associated with reduced memory in those with diabetes.;The potential causes for this are very high or low levels of blood glucose levels, lipid levels, insulin levels, hypertension, and others.
Dr Nair pointed out the role of exercise both aerobic and resistance training in preventing memory loss by increasing brain volume and microcirculation in ageing individuals. In that regard, the new guidelines by the American Academy of Neurology that proposes 30 minutes of daily exercise are recommended.
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High Blood Sugar Can Cause A Stroke
Insulin resistance affects the flow of blood to the brain. When brain cells dont get enough blood, brain function suffers. A decrease in blood flow can lead to mini-strokes. High blood sugar levels can also make the blood vessels weak, like old leaky pipes. Strokes are one of the factors in developing dementia.
Can Metformin Cause Memory Problems
The research is unclear at this time if metformin can cause memory problems, so there isnt a definitive answer. However, many doctors still recommend metformin as a first-line treatment for Type II diabetes.;
What may be causing memory problems for those taking metformin is not the medication itself, but the underlying illness: diabetes. The mental health effects of diabetes can range from mild cognitive impairment to severe. In fact, a 2011 clinical study illustrated a risk factor between Type 2 diabetes mellitus and dementia, stating that type 2 diabetes increases the risk of dementia more than two-fold.;
Another study from 2017 made a connection between insulin resistancea trait of diabetesand long-term cognitive decline.;
The bottom line is that more research is required to get conclusive answers on how metformin contributes to memory problems, however, the underlying condition that metformin treatstype 2 diabetescertainly can lead to decreased cognitive function and memory issues.;
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Diabetes Can Speed Up Brain Ageing
Some people with diabetes can show signs of ageing in the brain, but why this happens is still unclear.
So having good control of your glucose may help to keep your memory working well.
What Are The Side Effects Of Long
Often when people are prescribed metformin for diabetes care, theyre in it for the long haul, so there are long-term side effects to consider.;
These are the most common side effects of metformin:
- Unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth
Often these common side effects will go away within a few days or weeks, especially if they are mild. Sometimes there is a reduced risk of these mild side effects when taking metformin with a meal. However, severe side effects may require immediate medical advice from a healthcare provider. Theyll advise you on the best course of action and follow up accordingly.;
Below is a list of more serious side effects of metformin that require urgent medical attention.
How Diabetes Impacts Mental Health
Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2001.She has spent over…Read More
In addition to marking the beginning of the holiday season, November is American Diabetes Month and given the influx of unhealthy foods and practices that abound during this time of the year, I cant help but wonder if the timing of this was strategically planned.
When we think of diabetes, its physical manifestations and symptoms often come to mind first. After all, the vision problems, foot complications, hypertension, and high risk of wound infection due to slower healing weigh heavy on the minds of those with diabetes and their caregivers. However, diabetes affects people in a more insidious way that is no less important it impacts mental health.
Think about it. Diabetes is characterized by blood glucose levels that are too high. The brain uses glucose for all of its functions, which include thinking, judgment, memory, emotions, and behavior. If we have too much glucose coursing through our body, our brain will be affected along with our eyes, skin, feet, and every other anatomical system.
Here are a few ways that diabetes impacts mental health:
Balhara, Y. P. S. . Diabetes and psychiatric disorders. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 15, 274-283.
How Can Diabetes Affect Memory Loss
Memory loss in diabetes can be a short term problem brought on by too low or high blood glucose levels.
During hypoglycemia , for example, you may struggle to remember words. This is not necessarily a sign of a long term problem. In most cases, raising sugar levels over 4 mmol/l should get your memory back to normal.
If memory problems happen at other times and this significantly affects your life, speak to your GP.
Diabetes can increase the risk of developing long-term memory problems if blood glucose levels are less well controlled. High blood glucose levels , over a number of years, can damage the nerves, including those of the brain, which can increase the risk of dementia
Research shows that good diabetes management can help prevent memory problems from developing or advancing.
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If Youre Experiencing Forgetfulness Or Confusion Check Your Medicine Cabinet
by Dr. Armon B. Neel, Jr., February 9, 2016| 0
For a long time doctors dismissed;forgetfulness;and mental confusion as a normal part of aging. But scientists now know that;memory loss;as you get older is by no means inevitable. Indeed, the brain can grow new brain cells and reshape their connections throughout life.Most people are familiar with at least some of the things that can impair memory, including alcohol and drug abuse, heavy cigarette smoking, head injuries, stroke, sleep deprivation, severe stress, vitamin B12 deficiency, and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
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