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Diabetes Management

Diabetes and Alzheimer's: How are They Connected?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 20 June 2024

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There is a significant and complex connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, two prevalent health conditions that impact millions worldwide. Understanding this relationship is vital for identifying potential risks and taking preventative measures. Effectively managing diabetes might also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Blood Sugar Levels

The potential risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease (AD), a type of dementia, seems to escalate with poorly controlled blood sugar levels. In some studies, AD is even referred to as “diabetes of the brain,” indicating a significant correlation.

The way one manages their blood glucose levels may heavily influence their susceptibility to AD, making it an essential point for those with diabetes to note.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance, closely linked with type 2 diabetes, can contribute to memory deficits and cognitive decline - signs often observed in Alzheimer's disease. This condition also disrupts bioenergetics (energy flow in living cells), which plays a critical role in the progression of Alzheimer's.

Autoantibodies and T Cells

Further complicating the mix are autoantibodies against β cells and self-reactive T cells associated with diabetes. These elements can cause β-cell death, leading to insulin deficiency, which not only worsens the diabetes condition but also exacerbates the risk of cognitive decline and development of AD.

Given these complex links, maintaining controlled blood sugar levels and addressing insulin resistance becomes essential.

Regular physical activity and a balanced diet are fundamental to managing blood sugar levels effectively. Engaging in activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling and incorporating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Additionally, reducing the intake of sugary foods and refined carbohydrates can further support blood sugar control.

These practices may improve overall health and potentially slow down AD progression, thereby reducing the risk of cognitive decline associated with diabetes.

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