How Does Diabetes Affect the Brain?
Every organ in your body is important and we know that and the brain is obviously no exception. Diabetes affects every organ and the best thing that we can do is to get it under control with lowering our blood sugars and exercising. Diabetes can affect your brain in many different ways. Let’s first talk about the different areas of the brain and what their function is because diabetes can affect your memory, make your brain age faster and has a connection with Alzheimer’s.
The different areas of the brain are called:
- Occipital lobe- the functioning of processing visual information
- Parietal lobe- the functioning of understanding and processing of sensory information
- Frontal lobe- responsible for memory, impulse control, motor function, social behavior, problem solving, sexual behavior, language, and judgement
- Temporal lobe- primarily auditory perception and hearing and some emotions
- Brain stem- the functioning of blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and helping to regulate breathing.
- Cerebellum- responsible for movement, speech, reflexes, balance, and coordination.
So your brain helps with all of our senses including hearing, vision, smell, touch, taste, and is responsible for being able to think and learn, and to understand. Your brain develops your personality as well. It requires nutrients, most importantly glucose and oxygen.
It’s extremely important to have your blood sugar controlled. Having either hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia is not good for your brain. Both of these can have very negative effects on your brain and just lead to complications of your brain that you obviously don’t want or don’t need. So let’s keep those blood sugar levels controlled and work on reversing diabetes.
Scientists have done research to prove that the longer a time period that you have diabetes the bigger the chance of you having issues of cognitive impairment. So in addition to this, diabetes also results in making poor decisions while trying to perform even the simplest tasks that are intellectual. The study also connects dementia and a decline in cognitive functions with increases of serum insulin.
It’s not hard to understand why doctors find that people with type 2 diabetes have begun to develop this condition as opposed to type 1 diabetics. Type 1 diabetics often have theirs under control because they are dependent on insulin usage. Type 2 diabetics are often do not lead a healthy lifestyle. They are not fit and this leads to heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol all of which result in inflammation that will damage the brain’s blood vessels.
High blood sugar levels are not healthy for your brain. But low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can have much quicker effects that are very obvious than hyperglycemia. It’s crucial to know your glucose numbers and you should get a home monitoring kit so that you can take your numbers regularly. Low blood sugar readings can be worse than high readings. You need to know the numbers!
If you have low blood sugar you can experience things such as dizziness, mood swings, and can affect your thinking process. These can result in your body shaking, your heart pounding, the feeling of hunger, cold skin, or nausea. Dangerous low blood glucose levels can produce seizures, convulsions, fainting, or possibly even coma. This obviously serious and not something to ignore.
The central nervous system is affected by diabetes. Research shows that common factors between the central nervous system which are related to aging and diabetes were proven to support the theory of advanced aging of the brain in people with diabetes. There are so many health issues related to diabetes and they all seem to be interconnected.
Alzheimer’s Disease, the Brain, and Diabetes Connection
There is a huge connection between diabetes, the brain, and Alzheimer’s disease. Folks who are diabetic are much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia when being compared to folks who don’t have diabetes. Oxidative stress has been studied and concluded to be a link between Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes. So you might be thinking about what to do about this now?
The best way to remedy this negative situation is to get your diabetes under control and right away! The purpose of my website is to lower your blood sugar naturally and get diabetes under control and then eventually to reverse your diabetes. Adapting to a healthier eating lifestyle and daily exercise habit is the best way to get started. This will make it possible to prevent cognitive decline which occurs from managing your diabetes poorly. It’s crucial to act now before you get older. If you’ve heard the saying that sooner is better than it’s really appropriate here.
How to Keep Your Brain Healthy
* Use all of your senses- You want to keep your brain active as much as possible and to use it as much as you can each day. The more of your senses that you constantly use in learning something the more your brain’s memory bank will store and retain.
* Physical exercise- We all know how good exercise is for our bodies but it’s also excellent for the muscles which also help your mind. Exercise is responsible for developing new nerve cells and helps to increase the connections between your brain cells.
* Aspirin- I take a baby aspirin (81mg) daily because it’s good for the heart but studies were suggested that a low dose aspirin may reduce the risk of dementia by between 10% and 50%. It’s still preliminary though.
* Alcohol- Don’t overdo it with alcohol consumption because it is a major risk for dementia. Limit yourself to two drinks a day because studies have shown that low consumption of alcohol is linked to a decreased risk of dementia in folks that are older. I’m lucky because I don’t drink so I can’t overdo it.
* Brain food- Studies have proven that a diet with good fats and polyunsaturated fats with vitamin E and lutein and a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats may help to protect your brain health and brain cells.
* Keep mentally active- Your brain needs exercise and constant activity because it can always learn more and retain more skills and facts through the course of your whole life. Perform brain activities such as word puzzles and crossword puzzles, word search, and educational games. Challenge your brain. One game I really enjoy to keep my brain sharp is “jumble” where the letters are scrambled and I have to rearrange them to come up with the correct word.
* Try and learn something new- Take a new hobby or class or participate in a sport. Yoga is also healthy for the mind and body. Just choose something you will enjoy and that keeps your mind occupied and staying in tip top shape.
* Try relaxation- Relaxation exercises are excellent for your brain. Just taking 20-30 minutes a day for relaxing deeply is brain healthy. Taking a break from stress and giving your brain a rest is very soothing and healthy. I try to zone out and meditate a few times a day even if only for a few minutes each time.
* Social activity- It’s important to stay socially active and have the emotional support and connection with other people. Being involved in a social group helps you to interact and having stimulating conversations help in keeping your brain challenged more. This can really add to the healthy emotional part of your brain.
* Read- I never used to read and I find that I get older I read more and more. By reading about so many different topics, I find that it helps me with the ability to concentrate better and stimulates the brain more. By being connected to new perspectives, ideas, and vocabularies I know that I am helping to promote better brain health.
* Nap time, yes!- I’ve been taking naps for years and I have to tell you that a 20 minute nap a day really seems to revitalize me! Researchers have done many studies on naps and it’s always resulted in a positive effect on the brain. You don’t need a long nap, just 10-20 minutes a day does it!
* Fish- Studies done at a University Medical Center in Chicago reported that people eating fish once a week can lower their risk of getting Alzheimer’s diseases by 60%! Omega 3-fatty acids found in tuna, cod, and salmon are responsible for this happening.
* Retire but?- Nobody is telling you that you cannot retire. You can absolutely retire from work, but you shouldn’t retire from your life and crawl up in a ball and do nothing. Have a positive attitude, be happy, keep busy, and have goals and plans to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. What are your interests, your passions? Well go for it! It’s wonderful for your brain and your health!
Best Foods for Your Brain
- Cherry tomatoes
- Wild salmon
- Black beans
- Green tea
- Coconut oil
Worst Foods for Your Brain
- Diet soda
- French fries
- White rice
- Frozen pizza
- Ice cream
- Deli meats
The last thing I want to mention as I always do is to consult your physician with anything that you decide to do when it comes to your health. This should be common sense. Your doctor is the professional and knows you and your body.
You should also have your blood pressure checked and know what it is. I picked up my own monitor so that I could monitor it at home or when I travel. Your blood pressure is very important when it comes to your brain and your health.
The information that I provide on my website is purely based on my own personal experience and subsequent research into the diabetes disease. It is not intended to take the place of medical advice,diagnosis and treatment. Care and investigation should always be sought from an appropriate health care provider. I am happy to discuss my own symptoms, diagnosis and history of my diabetes disease but want to stress that I am not medically trained in any way. All opinions on my website are my own. I have created this site as a way to share information and experiences.
I just wanted to thank you for reading and I hope that I accomplished my goal in helping you to understand the answer to how does diabetes affect the brain? Following the tips about controlling diabetes and how to keep your brain healthy will help you down the road to diabetes free health and a healthier brain!
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Please forward this article to others who need help and feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have below. Thank you for reading and I appreciate it! Have a happy and a healthy!