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Effects Of High Blood Sugar On The Brain

High Blood Sugar Can Lower Risk Of One Type Of Brain Tumour

High Blood Sugar Can Lower Risk Of One Type Of Brain Tumour

High blood sugar for long periods can cause serious health problems, but surprisingly it can have a protective effect against one type of brain tumour that is not cancerous, says a new study. “It’s so unexpected. Usually diabetes and high blood sugar raise the risk of cancer and it’s the opposite here,” said lead researcher Judith Schwartzbaum, associate professor at Ohio State University. The discovery could shed light on the development of meningiomas — tumours arising from the brain and spinal cord that are usually not cancerous but that can require risky surgery and affect a patient’s quality of life. When the researchers compared blood tests in a group of more than 41,000 Swedes with meningioma diagnoses, they found that high blood sugar — particularly in women — actually meant the person was less likely to face a brain tumour diagnosis. “It should lead to a better understanding of what’s causing these tumors and what can be done to prevent them,” Schwartzbaum noted. Though meningiomas are rarely cancerous, they behave in a similar way, leading scientists to wonder if some relationships between possible risk factors and tumour development would be similar, Schwartzbaum said. The researchers — looking at data collected from 1985 to 2012 — identified 296 cases of meningioma, more than 61 per cent of them in women. Women with the highest fasting blood sugar were less than half as likely as those with the lowest readings to develop a tumour. The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer. Possible explanations for the relationship could be found by closer examination of the role of sex hormones and the interplay between glucose levels and those hormones, Schwartzbaum said. It’s also possible that sugar levels dip during early tumou 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 >>

Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)

What Is Hyperglycemia? Hyperglycemia may be described as an excess of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Your endocrine system regulates the amount of sugar that is stored and used for energy. It is important in brain cell function, and energy levels. Since the sugar that you consume in your diet is either used or stored, certain conditions and disorders may cause you to have difficulty processing and storing blood glucose, resulting in hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. One hormone that is important to the normal storing and processing of sugar is insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas that is responsible for maintaining "normal" blood sugar levels. If you have a problem with your pancreas, then you may have increased blood sugar levels. Normal blood Glucose (sugar) levels are 60-110 mg/dL. Normal values may vary from laboratory to laboratory. Levels higher than these might indicate hyperglycemia. Causes of Hyperglycemia: Diabetes. About 90% of people with diabetes, have diabetes of adult onset (Diabetes type 2). You are more at risk for developing diabetes if you are older, extremely overweight (obese), if you have a family history of diabetes (parents, siblings), and if you are of African-American, Hispanic American, or Native-American heritage. People who have diabetes have an underproduction of the hormone, insulin, which lowers your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you will have problems with elevated blood sugar levels. If you develop diabetes type 2, and you are an adult, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications in a pill form, which allow your body to process insulin that is needed for maintaining "normal" blood glucose levels. It is likely that your pancreas is producing enough insulin, but your body is resistant to the insulin, a Continue reading >>

Sugar And The Brain

Sugar And The Brain

Glucose, a form of sugar, is the primary source of energy for every cell in the body. Because the brain is so rich in nerve cells, or neurons, it is the most energy-demanding organ, using one-half of all the sugar energy in the body. Brain functions such as thinking, memory, and learning are closely linked to glucose levels and how efficiently the brain uses this fuel source. If there isn’t enough glucose in the brain, for example, neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers, are not produced and communication between neurons breaks down. In addition, hypoglycemia, a common complication of diabetes caused by low glucose levels in the blood, can lead to loss of energy for brain function and is linked to poor attention and cognitive function. “The brain is dependent on sugar as its main fuel,” says Vera Novak, MD, PhD, an HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It cannot be without it.” Although the brain needs glucose, too much of this energy source can be a bad thing. A 2012 study in animals by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles indicated a positive relationship between the consumption of fructose, another form of sugar, and the aging of cells, while a 2009 study, also using an animal model, conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Montreal and Boston College, linked excess glucose consumption to memory and cognitive deficiencies. The effects of glucose and other forms of sugar on the brain may be the most profound in diabetes, a group of diseases in which high blood glucose levels persist over a prolonged period of time. Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone used by the body to keep blood glu Continue reading >>

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 >>

Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know

Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know

In people with diabetes, a diabetic coma occurs when severe levels of either high or low uncontrolled blood sugar are not corrected. If treated quickly, a person will make a rapid recovery from a diabetic coma. However, diabetic coma can be fatal or result in brain damage. It is important for people with diabetes to control their blood sugars and know what to do when their blood sugar levels are not within their target range. The severe symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar that can come before a diabetic coma include vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, weakness, and dizziness. Recovery from diabetic coma If a diabetic coma is not treated within a couple of hours of it developing, it can cause irreversible brain damage. If no treatment is received, a diabetic coma will be fatal. In addition, having blood sugar levels that continue to be too low or too high can be bad for long-term health. This remains true even if they do not develop into diabetic coma. Recognizing the early signs of low or high blood sugar levels and regular monitoring can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels within the healthy range. Doing so will also reduce the risk of associated complications and diabetic coma. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a long-term condition in which the body is unable to control the level of a sugar called glucose in the blood. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin, the body's inability to use insulin correctly, or both. In people who don't have diabetes, insulin usually ensures that excess glucose is removed from the bloodstream. It does this by stimulating cells to absorb the glucose they need for energy from the blood. Insulin also causes any remaining glucose to be stored in the liver as a substance called glycogen. The production of insul Continue reading >>

Acute Hyperglycemia Alters Mood State And Impairs Cognitive Performance In People With Type 2 Diabetes

Acute Hyperglycemia Alters Mood State And Impairs Cognitive Performance In People With Type 2 Diabetes

OBJECTIVE—To examine the effects of acute hyperglycemia on cognitive function and mood in people with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Twenty subjects with type 2 diabetes, median age 61.5 years (range 53.1–72.0), known duration of diabetes 5.9 years (range 2.8–11.2), BMI 29.8 kg/m2 (range 22.0–34.6), and HbA1c 7.5% (range 6.7–8.4) were studied. Treatment modalities varied from antidiabetic medications to insulin. A hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp was used to maintain arterialized blood glucose at either 4.5 (euglycemia) or 16.5 mmol/l (hyperglycemia) on two occasions in a randomized and counterbalanced fashion. Tests of information processing, immediate and delayed memory, working memory, and attention were administered, along with a mood questionnaire, during each experimental condition. RESULTS—Speed of information processing, working memory, and some aspects of attention were impaired during acute hyperglycemia. Subjects were significantly more dysphoric during hyperglycemia, with reduced energetic arousal and increased sadness and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS—During acute hyperglycemia, cognitive function was impaired and mood state deteriorated in a group of people with type 2 diabetes. These findings are of practical importance because intermittent or chronic hyperglycemia is common in people with type 2 diabetes and may interfere with many daily activities through adverse effects on cognitive function and mood. Diabetes is associated with rapid fluctuations in blood glucose. Hyperglycemia is a frequent consequence of the relative or absolute insulin deficiency that is intrinsic to diabetes, and hypoglycemia is a common side effect of treatment with insulin and some antidiabetic medications (1). Because the brain is dependent on a continuous su 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 >>

Conversations

Conversations

Image by Catherine MacBride via Getty Images We know that too much sugar is bad for our waistlines and our heart health, but now there’s mounting evidence that high levels of sugar consumption can also have a negative effect on brain health — from cognitive function to psychological wellbeing. While sugar is nothing to be too concerned about in small quantities, most of us are simply eating too much of it. The sweet stuff — which also goes by names like glucose, fructose, honey and corn syrup — is found in 74 percent of packaged foods in our supermarkets. And while the Word Health Organization recommends that only 5 percent of daily caloric intake come from sugar, the typical American diet is comprised of 13 percent calories from sugar. “Many Americans eat about five times the amount of sugar they should consume,” Natasa Janicic-Kahric, an associate professor of medicine at Georgetown University Hospital, told The Washington Post. It’s easy to see how we can get hooked on sugar. However, we should be aware of the risks that a high-sugar diet poses for brain function and mental well-being. Here’s what you need to know about how overconsumption of sugar could wreak havoc on your brain. It creates a vicious cycle of intense cravings. When a person consumes sugar, just like any food, it activates the tongue’s taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. Sugar “hijacks the brain’s reward pathway,” neuroscientist Jordan Gaines Lewis explained. And while stimulating the brain’s reward system with a piece of chocolate now and then is pleasurable and probably harmless, when the reward system is activated too much and too frequently, we start to Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia

Not to be confused with the opposite disorder, hypoglycemia. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar (also spelled hyperglycaemia or hyperglycæmia) is a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose circulates in the blood plasma. This is generally a blood sugar level higher than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl), but symptoms may not start to become noticeable until even higher values such as 15–20 mmol/l (~250–300 mg/dl). A subject with a consistent range between ~5.6 and ~7 mmol/l (100–126 mg/dl) (American Diabetes Association guidelines) is considered slightly hyperglycemic, while above 7 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) is generally held to have diabetes. For diabetics, glucose levels that are considered to be too hyperglycemic can vary from person to person, mainly due to the person's renal threshold of glucose and overall glucose tolerance. On average however, chronic levels above 10–12 mmol/L (180–216 mg/dL) can produce noticeable organ damage over time. Signs and symptoms[edit] The degree of hyperglycemia can change over time depending on the metabolic cause, for example, impaired glucose tolerance or fasting glucose, and it can depend on treatment.[1] Temporary hyperglycemia is often benign and asymptomatic. Blood glucose levels can rise well above normal and cause pathological and functional changes for significant periods without producing any permanent effects or symptoms. [1] During this asymptomatic period, an abnormality in carbohydrate metabolism can occur which can be tested by measuring plasma glucose. [1] However, chronic hyperglycemia at above normal levels can produce a very wide variety of serious complications over a period of years, including kidney damage, neurological damage, cardiovascular damage, damage to the retina or damage to feet and legs. Diabetic n Continue reading >>

Relationships Between Hyperglycemia And Cognitive Performance Among Adults With Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

Relationships Between Hyperglycemia And Cognitive Performance Among Adults With Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

OBJECTIVE—Hyperglycemia is a common event among patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. While the cognitive-motor slowing associated with hypoglycemia is well documented, the acute effects of hyperglycemia have not been studied extensively, despite patients’ reports of negative effects. This study prospectively and objectively assessed the effects of hyperglycemia on cognitive-motor functioning in subjects’ natural environment. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Study 1 investigated 105 adults with type 1 diabetes (mean age 37 years and mean duration of diabetes 20 years), study 2 investigated 36 adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age 50 years and mean duration of diabetes 10 years), and study 3 investigated 91 adults with type 1 diabetes (mean age 39 years and mean duration of diabetes 20 years). Subjects used a hand-held computer for 70 trials over 4 weeks, which required them to complete various cognitive-motor tasks and then measure and enter their current blood glucose reading. RESULTS—Hyperglycemia (blood glucose >15 mmol/l) was associated with slowing of all cognitive performance tests (P < 0.02) and an increased number of mental subtraction errors for both type 1 and type 2 diabetic subjects. The effects of hyperglycemia were highly individualized, impacting ∼50% of the subjects. CONCLUSIONS—Acute hyperglycemia is not a benign event for many individuals with diabetes, but it is associated with mild cognitive dysfunction. Patients with diabetes often report acute and transient cognitive disruptions associated with hyperglycemia. The impact of such effects could influence quality of life and daily functioning, as well as indicate cues to aid patients in better recognizing the presence of hyperglycemia. Holmes et al. (1) reported significant slowing of visu Continue reading >>

Elevated Blood Sugar Shrinks The Brain

Elevated Blood Sugar Shrinks The Brain

Studies have demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between changes in size of the brains memory center, the hippocampus, and declining memory function. So it’s obviously in our great interest to do everything we possibly can to preserve the size of hippocampus, which is to say, prevent hippocampal atrophy. It has become clear that there is a powerful direct relationship between not only fasting blood sugar, but even average blood sugar, in terms of predicting the rate at which the hippocampus will shrink and therefore memory will decline. In a new report, recently published in the journal Neurology, researchers in Germany evaluated a group of 141 individuals, average age 63 years, with memory testing as well as a specific type of MRI scan of the brain to measure the size of the hippocampus in each participant. At the same time they looked at blood sugar levels as well as average blood sugar, by assessing a blood test called hemoglobin A1 c. What these researchers discovered was really quite profound. There was a perfect correlation between having lower blood sugar as well as lower average blood sugar as measured by an A1c test and several markers of brain function. As the authors stated “lower A1c and glucose levels were significantly associated with better scores in delayed recall, learning ability, and memory consolidation.” They found that the average blood sugar, the A1c “strongly associated with memory performance.” The authors also were able to draw a conclusion between blood sugar and reduction in size of the hippocampus. The conclusion of the research stated “our results indicate that even in the absence of manifest type II diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance, chronically higher blood glucose levels exert a negative influence on 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 >>

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 >>

Effects Of Glucose On The Brain

Effects Of Glucose On The Brain

Though there is a great amount of attention given to the effects of diabetes on the peripheral nervous system, it is important not to overlook the disease’s effects on our brains. While other organs in the body may rely on alternative sources of energy, such as fatty acids, the brain relies almost solely on glucose, using ketones as a last resort. For this reason, the blood brain barrier is rich in Glut1 active glucose transporters, and over 99% of the glucose that passes it is used by neurons and glia. Thus, the metabolic efficiency and continuous demands of the brain render it uniquely susceptible to fluctuations in glucose concentration in the body. As we discuss in this chapter, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia both can have detrimental effects on cognition as well as mood. These effects are evident in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The most common manifestations of cognitive deficit are neural slowing, attention deficit, and executive functioning. Patients with type 2 diabetes in particular do more poorly in measures of learning and memory [1]. It is important to note that in a hospital setting patients without diabetes can become hyperglycemic, and these patients have an increased mortality risk [2]. Stress induced hyperglycemia in patients without diabetes can occur during periods of acute illness and may be due to hormonal cascades, particularly increases in epinephrine, cortisol, growth hormone and glucagon [3]. Patients may have “pre-diabetes”, or may have frank diabetes that is undiagnosed. Among hyperglycemic patients in general medicine wards, one study found that 12% were undiagnosed, and that they had 18.3 times the mortality rate of their normoglycemic peers. These patients also had longer hospital stays, were admitted to the ICU more often, Continue reading >>

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