Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
I know, you don’t really want to hear about another possible complication of diabetes, but it does no good to hide our heads in the sand. A link has been found between glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes) and mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Neurologist R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD of Georgetown University began screening people last year for an Alzheimer’s study and found a surprising number of people who had glucose intolerance or full-on type 2 diabetes. This surprised him, since all of these people were under a doctor’s care for their dementia and yet none of them knew they had diabetes. That’s troubling.
After giving the patients a glucose tolerance test, 43 percent of them were found to have either impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. This caused Turner to wonder, “How does glucose intolerance or diabetes lead to AD? Does the inflammation associated with AD trigger glucose intolerance? Or do both events create a vicious cycle of Alzheimer’s and glucose intolerance?” Although his study isn’t going to answer these questions, it may give researchers valuable information regarding this issue.
Now for some good news: According to this article, the use of metformin may reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. “Clinical trials are now underway to establish the use of metformin as a therapy for both dementia and mild cognitive impairment, which is thought could be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.”
This is just another example of why we need to be vigilant with our attempts to control our diabetes. Yes, there are risks of complications, but good management of blood glucose can greatly reduce the risk of developing these complications. We do have some control!