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Effects Of High Blood Sugar On The Brain

High Blood Glucose And The Brain

High Blood Glucose And The Brain

Many of us have had that feeling of brain fog, or that moment when something is on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite spit it out (and heaven forbid the deeper recesses of your memory give it over)! Brain function, like memory, learning, concentration, and executive function, can be impacted for a variety of reasons, including diet and sleep. And recent research has been looking more closely at the relationship between these factors of brain function, and high blood glucose. The brain and blood glucose The brain consumes about 20% of the body’s energy. That is huge, and more than any other single organ. A majority of the energy is required to help brain cells fire and send signals, with some left over for cell health maintenance.1 This means a large portion of the body’s blood is sent north to neurons, carrying with it glucose (whether ingested or produced endogenously) for mitochondria to metabolise into ATP – the energy carrying molecule found in cells of all living things. However, a long-term state of hyperglycaemia can come at a cost to the brain, much like the damage seen in other parts of the body such as kidneys, blood vessels, and eyes. It has been found there is a 65% increased risk for mild cognitive impairment in those with type 2 or mid-life onset diabetes, as well as impaired memory and thinking skills compared with healthy controls. And this may come down to the onslaught of chronically high glucose to the brain.2;3 Altered connection A recently released study revealed that in those with hyperglycaemia, the integrated communication between various parts of the brain are negatively impacted.4 A team of researchers from University of Ulsan College of Medicine in South Korea undertook MRI scans of participants with uncontrolled type 2 diabet Continue reading >>

What Is Type 3 Diabetes?

What Is Type 3 Diabetes?

At first blush, it may be hard to imagine a connection between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. But it’s real—and it’s so strong that some experts are now referring to it as type 3 diabetes or brain diabetes. By any name, it’s the progression from type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia marked by memory deficits and a dramatic decline in cognitive function. While all people with diabetes have a 60 percent increased risk of developing any type of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, recent research suggests that women with type 2 diabetes have a 19 percent greater risk of a certain type, known as vascular dementia (which is caused by problems with blood supply to the brain) than men do. Overall, older adults with type 2 diabetes suffer from greater declines in working memory and executive functioning (a set of mental processes that involve planning, organization, controlling attention, and flexible thinking) than their peers do. Granted, not everyone who has type 2 diabetes will develop Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or any other form of dementia, and there are many people who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia who don’t have diabetes, notes Gary Small, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute and author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. But the reality is, “these risk factors tend to add up: If you have diabetes, that doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. If you have a first-degree relative—a parent or sibling, for example—with Alzheimer’s, that doubles your risk.” And if you have poorly controlled blood pressure, abdominal (a.k.a., central) obesity, or sleep apnea, your risk of developing dementia is increased even more. Surprisin Continue reading >>

Diabetes And The Brain

Diabetes And The Brain

Tweet The brain is a hugely important organ which helps to be aware of, understand and interact with our surroundings and others. As with many of our organs, the brain is susceptible to damage as a result of diabetes. What are the parts of the brain comprised of? The brain is a very complex organ, housed in our skull, which is made up of a number of different areas: Frontal lobe: responsible for thought, learning and behaviour Parietal lobe: responsible for processing sensory experiences and understanding Temporal lobe: responsible for memory and certain emotions Occipital lobe: responsible for processing visual information Cerebellum: responsible for coordination of movement, balance and some reflex actions Brain stem: responsible for regulating breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature The skull helps to protect us from external blows which could damage brain cells. The blood-brain barrier is a membrane which protects the brain from any harmful pathogens that may be present in the blood. Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar. The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay w Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: Do Lows Cause Brain Damage, Does Diabetes Cause Cramps?

Ask D'mine: Do Lows Cause Brain Damage, Does Diabetes Cause Cramps?

Diabetes is both painful and a pain to deal with, so it's no surprise to us that it can affect our body in mysterious ways. In this edition of our diabetes advice column, Ask D'Mine, our host, veteran type 1 and diabetes community educator, Wil Dubois fills us in on whether or not lows can cause any permanent brain damage (yikes!) and whether cramps are yet another diabetes complication. {Need help navigating life with diabetes? Email us at [email protected]} Michael from South Carolina, type 1, writes: My wife can tell if my BG is below 50. "You're getting stupid, better check your glucose." I realize my brain requires glucose to function, but have there been any studies on long-term damage due to prolonged low BG? Not that I believe I'm losing it, but just curious. [email protected] D'Mine answers: Actually, when my wife read your question, she said, "If hypos cause brain damage that would explain a lot." She was just teasing, of course. I think. Then again, if I'm brain damaged, I'd be the last to know, right? So you're correct, that many of us get "stupid" when we get low. The brain is fueled by sugar and when the sugar is low the brain doesn't work right. But is it more like having a low battery or more like drowning? Are we losing brain cells every time we go hypo? In virtually all the clinical literature about lows you can find a line something like this: hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, unconsciousness, brain damage, and death. And everyone agrees that the deeper you go, the longer you stay down, the more often it happens, and the older you are—the greater the likelihood of brain damage. The most likely types of brain damage from hypos can result in mild paralysis on one side of the body, memory loss, diminished language skills, decreased abstract thinking cap Continue reading >>

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects The Brain

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects The Brain

Reductions in both insulin production and an impaired physiological response to insulin release, which lead to elevated blood sugar, are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes. Less well-known are the cognitive effects of the metabolic disorder. “Diabetes does affect a number of cognitive domains, the main being executive functions, memory, learning, and concentration,” said Rodrigo Mansur, a psychiatry clinical and research fellow at the University of Toronto. These effects aren’t always dramatic, explained Yong-Wook Shin, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in South Korea. When it comes to the brain, he said, type 2 diabetes has “a subtle effect, but it can be detected.” That type 2 diabetes can affect memory, learning, and concentration makes sense, according to computational cognitive neuroscientist Dae-Jin Kim of the Indiana University Bloomington. “Our brain consumes about 25 percent of the blood in our body,” he noted. “So, the glucose in our blood should affect our brain the most.” Two recent studies have approached this diabetes-brain connection from different angles. The first, published last month (June 23) in PLOS ONE, examined brain communication in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. “In terms of the brain architecture,” said Indiana University’s Kim, an author of the study, “it can be assumed that specific functions are happening in single brain regions. For example, our vision is located in the visual cortex of the brain and our auditory function is located in temporal regions of brain. These functions should be integrated optimally for global brain activity.” This first idea is known as segregation—the way the brain divides itself into separate, specialized areas. Integrati Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar On The Brain

Blood Sugar On The Brain

In people with heart disease, elevated blood sugar levels might affect thinking and memory. High blood sugar may add to mental decline in people with cardiovascular disease. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>

Higher Blood Sugar Levels Affect Regions Tied To Memory, Cognitive Skills

Higher Blood Sugar Levels Affect Regions Tied To Memory, Cognitive Skills

Torn between that big, beautiful piece of cake calling your name and holding back so you don't gain weight? It's not just your waistline to keep in mind when deciding, but also the effects that eating too much added sugar may have on your brain. Sugar itself isn't bad for your brain, which needs glucose as a fuel source to keep functioning. Compared with the other organs in your body, the brain uses a lot of it. However, it's important to keep an eye on your blood sugar, as several studies link Type 2 diabetes with dementia. See your Brain Health Score and start your journey to better brain health. Subscribe today According to an Australian study published in the journal Neurology, even people with blood sugar at the high end of the normal range could experience brain shrinkage associated with aging and dementia. Participants with higher fasting blood sugar levels in the normal range were more likely than those with lower blood sugar levels to have shrinkage in the hippocampus and the amygdala, areas of the brain involved in memory and cognitive skills. "There is a growing field of research on how the processing of sugar in the brain might predispose a person to Alzheimer's disease," says Owen Carmichael, associate professor and director of biomedical imaging at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. Here's how that theory works: Just like sugar anywhere else in the body, sugar in the brain needs insulin to get into cells. Insulin needs to be transported into the brain from where it is produced in the pancreas. There is evidence that in the brain, insulin might also be involved in the normal breakdown of proteins that, if not broken down, can gradually accumulate and clump together, eventually giving rise to Alzheimer's disease. In middle age and beyo Continue reading >>

The Final Frontier: How Does Diabetes Affect The Brain?

The Final Frontier: How Does Diabetes Affect The Brain?

Our understanding of the impact of diabetes on organ function has been evolving since the discovery of insulin in the 1920s. At that time insulin was a miracle drug that appeared to cure diabetes, but over time it became clear that death and disability from diabetes complications involving the eyes, kidneys, peripheral nerves, heart, and vasculature could occur even with treatment. With the improvement in diabetes care over the past 20 years, fewer patients are developing the traditional diabetes complications. However, as people live long and well with the disease, it has become apparent that diabetes can alter function and structure in tissues not typically associated with complications such as the brain and bone. Alteration in brain structure and function are particularly of concern because of the impact of dementia and cognitive dysfunction on overall quality of life. From large epidemiological studies, it has been demonstrated that both vascular and Alzheimer's dementia are more common in patients with type 2 diabetes (1). Why this might be true has been difficult to define. Certainly these patients can be expected to have more risk factors such as previous cardiovascular disease, history of hypertension, and dyslipidemia than aged matched control subjects, but when these variables are controlled, the risk for patients with diabetes appears to be higher than that of other subject groups. Persistent hyperglycemia appears to play an important role in cerebral dysfunction. Many years ago, Reaven et al. (2) demonstrated that performance on cognitive tasks assessing learning, reasoning, and complex psychomotor performance was inversely related to glycemic control in a small population of subjects with type 2 diabetes. This issue was recently readdressed in the much larg Continue reading >>

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects The Brain

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects The Brain

The brain is an expensive organ to run: Most studies suggest that it requires up to 20 percent of the body’s total energy resources despite only taking up approximately 2 percent of its overall weight. Maintaining appropriate glucose levels—the proper amounts of the simple sugar that acts as the body’s main energy source—is key to keeping the brain running at its best. This can be difficult for people—especially children—who have type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), an auto-immune disorder that stops the body from producing insulin, the hormone that helps to break down what we eat into that vital glucose fuel. New research reported through a national consortium called the Diabetes Research in Children Network suggest that this can affect brain development in myriad ways, some of which could offer new insights into our understanding of how the brain compensates, over time, for chronic or degenerative disease. The effects of hyper- and hypoglycemia Last year, my daughter, Ella, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10. As we learned more about the disease, we were cautioned to look out for both hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose levels, as well as hypoglycemia, low blood glucose levels. High blood sugars result in symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, headache, and fatigue. If high glucose levels continue for a long time, there could be long-term damage to the kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Low blood sugars, on the other hand, can lead to shakiness, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, and muscle weakness—and if not treated immediately, seizures or unconsciousness. While there’s no “perfect” number for glucose levels, it is recommended that most children stay between 70 and 180 mg/dL, checking their blood sugar 4-6 times per day with a glucometer, Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar Levels Linked To Memory Loss

High Blood Sugar Levels Linked To Memory Loss

People with higher blood sugar levels scored lower on memory tests, even though their levels were technically still considered ‘normal’ Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, higher blood sugar levels appear to have a negative influence on cognition As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain may become overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of blood sugar and insulin and leptin. Eventually insulin and leptin signaling becomes compromised, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory, and eventually even causing permanent brain damage By Dr. Mercola Many people now associate elevated blood sugar levels with diabetes or even pre-diabetes, but new research has highlighted a little-known adverse effect of higher blood sugar levels that can impair your brain – even if your levels are technically still within a ‘normal’ range. The study – an extremely important one considering the epidemic of people with out-of-control blood sugar metabolism – showed that lower blood sugar levels are associated with better brain function and may even help you avoid age-related declines in memory. Higher ‘Normal’ Blood Sugar Levels Linked to Memory Loss It’s already known that people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment, including dementia. However, the new study involved people (with an average age of 63) who were free from diabetes and pre-diabetes (or impaired glucose intolerance). Still, even among this group, those with higher blood sugar levels scored lower on memory tests. For each 7-mmol/mol increase in HbA1c (a measure of damage caused by elevated blood glucose), participants recalled two fewer words on memory tests.1 Those with higher blood sugar levels also had lower Continue reading >>

How High Blood Sugar Can Damage Your Brain

How High Blood Sugar Can Damage Your Brain

We all know how high blood sugar can cause physical health issues like insulin resistance and diabetes, but how does it affect your brain and mental health? A recent study done on the effects of high blood sugar levels in the body has shown that the affects may stretch beyond only physical problems. The ideal blood sugar level is below 5.5 mmol/l, measured after an eight hour fast. A blood sugar level of 7 mmol/l or higher usually means that you have insulin resistance, pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. IN the study, the results suggested that having constant high blood sugar levels may severely increase your risk of developing dementia, and this could be the case even if your blood sugar levels are not high enough to be considered within the diabetic range. The results showed that the higher the blood sugar level, the higher the risk of dementia and damage to the brain. It is not yet clear exactly why this happens, but researchers say that it is likely due to higher levels of vascular disease that is caused by the high blood sugar, as well as metabolic factors like insulin resistance which affects the brain’s cells. How to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally Diet – Eating less high-sugar and high-carb foods is one of the most effective ways to lower blood sugar levels. Cutting back on things like candy, cookies, cakes, soft drinks, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, corn and highly refined grains can help reduce your blood sugar. Rather eat more vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Exercise – As little as 20 minutes of exercise per day can severely increase your body and brain health. Going for a walk after a meal has overall health and blood sugar lowering effects. Natural Supplements – Opt for the Manna Diet, which can help you to eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Brain

Diabetes And Your Brain

By Terri D'Arrigo WebMD Feature Your brain is a finely tuned organ. But it’s sensitive to the amount of sugar, or glucose, it receives as fuel. Whether you have type 1 or type 2, both the high blood glucose of uncontrolled diabetes and the low blood glucose that sometimes comes with diabetes treatment can affect your brain. The Dangers of High Blood Glucose Some of diabetes’ effects on the brain aren’t obvious right away, especially when they are related to high blood sugar. “With diabetes, you have an increased risk of damage to blood vessels over time, including damage to the small blood vessels in the brain. This damage affects the brain’s white matter,” says Joseph C. Masdeu, MD, PhD, of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute. White matter is the part of the brain where nerves talk to one another. When the nerves in the brain are damaged, you can have changes in thinking called vascular cognitive impairment or vascular dementia. Vascular cognitive impairment can happen with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but there are some differences in risk, says Joel Zonszein, MD, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “The longer you have diabetes [in general], the more of a chance there is of developing dementia, but we see much less of it in people with type 1 whose diabetes is well-controlled,” he says. People with type 2 may face a double-whammy because they tend to have other problems that also can cause blood vessel damage. “These patients tend to be less metabolically fit overall, with low HDL [“good”] cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure, and they are more likely to be obese,” Zonszein says. Diabetes can combine with these other problems to create inflammation that damages bl Continue reading >>

Balance Your Blood Sugar & Save Your Brain!

Balance Your Blood Sugar & Save Your Brain!

High blood sugar not only effects your cardiovascular, kidney, heart and eye function, it has a dramatic effect on your brain! A study, conducted at the Australian National University in Canberra on 249 non-diabetic men and women, found that those with high blood sugar levels tended to have shrinking in the brain areas linked to memory and cognitive skills. How can this be? Blood sugar control regulates the entire body’s inflammatory response including the brain's. High blood sugar levels also make the blood stickier which raises the risk of clots that starve the brain. Here are 11 ways to get your blood sugar and insulin in balance: 1) Don’t Skip Meals: This throws your blood sugar and insulin into a tailspin. The body does much better eating smaller amounts of food, more often throughout the day. It's easier on the intestines, the pancreas, and the digestive enzymes. Depending on your caloric intake you could eat 4-5 small meals, of 400-500 calories each. Eat at least every 3 hours. 2) Start The Day Right: Start every day with a breakfast that includes protein and is low in sugar: Skip the cereal, as it is high in sugar. Chia and hemp seeds are high in fiber, protein, omega 3 and magnesium. They are also great for weight loss and thyroid function. Grain-free Porridge: Pour about 1/2 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of Chia Seeds and 2 tablespoons of Hemp Seeds and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon coconut oil or nut butter, and add coconut flakes, raw nuts and fresh fruit as a topping. This wonderful tasting spice has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels AND balance cholesterol levels. Cinnamon is recommended at amounts of 1 gram a day and if taken for 40 days will continue to promote benefits for an additional 20 days. 3) Avoid Sugary Drink Continue reading >>

Surprising Link Discovered Between Blood Sugar And Brain Cancer

Surprising Link Discovered Between Blood Sugar And Brain Cancer

Summary: Diabetes and high blood sugar appears to lower a person’s risk of developing glioma brain cancer, a new study suggests. Source: Ohio State University. Diabetes raises risk for many cancers, but not most common malignant brain tumor. New research further illuminates the surprising relationship between blood sugar and brain tumors and could begin to shed light on how certain cancers develop. While many cancers are more common among those with diabetes, cancerous brain tumors called gliomas are less common among those with elevated blood sugar and diabetes, a study from The Ohio State University has found. The discovery builds on previous Ohio State research showing that high blood sugar appears to reduce a person’s risk of a noncancerous brain tumor called meningioma. Both studies were led by Judith Schwartzbaum, an associate professor of epidemiology and a researcher in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. The new glioma study appears in the journal Scientific Reports. “Diabetes and elevated blood sugar increase the risk of cancer at several sites including the colon, breast and bladder. But in this case, these rare malignant brain tumors are more common among people who have normal levels of blood glucose than those with high blood sugar or diabetes,” Schwartzbaum said. “Our research raises questions that, when answered, will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in glioma development,” she said. Glioma is one of the most common types of cancerous tumors originating in the brain. It begins in the cells that surround nerve cells and help them function. The disease is typically diagnosed in middle age. At present, there is no treatment that ensures long-term survival, but several potential options are being studied. The Scie Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Brain: Understand The Connection & Safeguard Your Brain

Diabetes And Your Brain: Understand The Connection & Safeguard Your Brain

Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels that result from the body’s inability to produce and/or use insulin. As can be imagined, these increased blood sugar levels have a harmful impact on the whole body, and the brain is no exception. The human brain is a complex organ, and hence is very sensitive to the harmful effects of high or blood sugar levels, since glucose and oxygen are the main fuel for brain function. Now diabetes is a double edged sword — both hyperglycemia (or high blood glucose that comes with poorly managed diabetes) as well as hypoglycemia (or low blood glucose that can be caused by diabetes treatment) can negatively impact the brain. For diabetics, chance of brain related complications is just one more reason to keep your diabetes under control. Effects of High Blood Glucose On The Brain High levels of blood glucose entering the brain cause damage to blood vessels over time. The brain’s white matter is the area where nerves are linked and communicate in order to carry out every day activities of life. Think of the white matter as the subway of the brain, providing the essential connectivity, and uniting different regions of the brain into networks that perform various mental operations. When excess blood sugar levels damage the small blood vessels of the brain, this connectivity is disrupted and the result is often a dramatic disturbance of normal mental function. Over time, this damage causes changes in thinking, known as vascular cognitive impairment or vascular dementia. Several scientific research studies have found that the longer you have diabetes, the more of a chance there is of cognitive impairment. A research done at Harvard Medical School, Boston found evidence that “Type 2 diabetes is associated with cortical and subcor Continue reading >>

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