Blood Sugar and Brain Damage

By jigsaw Latest Reply 2012-09-18 15:03:44 -0500
Started 2012-09-13 07:08:50 -0500

Many people with diabetes can do an excellent job of contolling their blood glucose levels. With the right knowledge, that includes a healthy food plan, exercise, and regular visits to your doctor, blood glucose control can often be accomplished.
Here is yet another reason to be proficient with managing your blood glucose.

This is a briefing by Andrew Weil, MD

Blood Sugar and Brain Damage

In This Week's Issue:
• Blood Sugar and Brain Damage


Blood Sugar and Brain Damage

Blood sugar in the "high normal" range - short of levels associated with diabetes or even pre-diabetes - can lead to brain shrinkage, according to results of a new study from Australia. Using multiple brain scans, researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra found evidence of the shrinkage in seniors between the ages of 60 and 64 whose blood sugar was high but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes. The scans were taken four years apart, and the researchers considered smoking, alcohol consumption, age and high blood pressure, all factors that may contribute to a change in brain volume. Even after adjusting for these variables, they noted a decrease in brain volume of six to 10 percent in those participants whose blood sugar was "high normal." The researchers suggested that if further studies confirm their findings, both the definition of diabetes and blood glucose levels considered harmful may need to be re-evaluated. Shrinkage of the brain's hippocampus and amygdale normally occur with age and with dementia.

My take? We know that diabetes is associated with age-related cognitive decline. This study suggests that brain changes affecting memory and emotional processing can occur even before blood sugar reaches pre-diabetic levels. Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to bring blood sugar levels under control - losing weight, eating foods that rank low on the glycemic index, planning smaller meals, enjoying fish frequently, eating lots of non-starchy vegetables and getting more exercise. These measures can all help lower blood sugar levels even for people with diabetes. If your blood work indicates you're edging toward pre-diabetes, it's time to take action for the sake of your body…and your brain.

12 replies

Nana_anna 2012-09-17 18:37:13 -0500 Report

I was thinking how sad it is to be a diabetic. It comes along with so many other health issues. The nearopathy, mellitus, eye problems, everything is affected or will eventually become a problem. Which adds on to more medications and therapy of some sort. It's one diseae, that effects the whole body. Even the heart.

Nick1962 2012-09-17 16:16:53 -0500 Report

This is not good news. I'm not starting with much to begin with.
Hopefully I got things in check before the real damage starts, but that won't make up for my college years.

jigsaw 2012-09-17 18:05:13 -0500 Report

I've been thinking the same! I think that as long as one watches their diet, bg, bp, and cholesterols, then the odds are cut dramatically. At least I hope so!

annesmith 2012-09-17 01:45:47 -0500 Report

It just now dawned on me in full that I found out quite a long time ago that if a diabetic has too many lows, as in, low after low every other day, he or she can become mentally retarded to a degree. I did not mean to insult those that are mentally retarded, that's the last thing I want to do. It is very scary in general to think about if that were to happen. ANNE

jigsaw 2012-09-17 18:08:26 -0500 Report

From what I understand, amongst other things, low bg cuts oxygen flow to the brain. Not good!

jayabee52 2012-09-14 00:45:30 -0500 Report

maybe that explains my "brain fog" and my case of C.R.S. (can't remember stuff). LoL!

Of course it might also have something to do with my kidneys not cleaning my blood thoroughly enough either.

annesmith 2012-09-17 01:42:03 -0500 Report

I have discovered recently, over the last 2 year, that when my kidneys are overworked I get seriously brain fogged, too. I now see the seriousness of the kidneys being overworked. I drink a lot of water everyday, but recently have been fighting a virus and female issues, and I can't believe how fogged my brain has been. I hope you are doing alright with your kidneys…ANNE

jigsaw 2012-09-14 08:03:35 -0500 Report

Tell you what jayabee52, I keep hearing about so many ailments that diabetes can bring on, it's amazing! I'm surprised I haven't become a giant gourd flopping around in a wheel chair!!! In spite of the negatives, I believe it's a good idea to keep ones eyes open and stay informed. Why not make the most of whatever time we have and enjoy to the best of our abilities!!!

jayabee52 2012-09-14 08:36:25 -0500 Report

yes I agree Jigsaw. I try to do what you suggest as much as possible. I am not yet ready to give up. Most likely they'll need to carry me out feet first before I quit!


jigsaw 2012-09-16 06:36:07 -0500 Report

jayabee, your attitude is refreshing, and in spite of some very difficult situations in your life, you still continue to offer valuable info to so many! Your generosity and lack of selfishness is well appreciated.