Diabetic patients suffer both from sugar peaks and sugar slumps. The peak and the slump, is equally bad for the body, brain and nervous system. The trough often immediately follows the crest and vice versa. Imbalance in blood sugar levels ages the brain which is associated with dementia including Alzheimer’s.
In a diabetic, this produces a vicious cycle. The dementia caused by sugar imbalance causes a diabetic to become unable ‘to manage his behavioral and treatment regimens’ and also, unable to respond appropriately to the next bout of hypoglycemia; thus leading to further sugar fluctuations and thereby, increasing dementia.
“Sugar slump (70 milligrams per deciliter mg/dL) caused by sweet food and drinks can cause headaches and changes in sleep and food patterns”, according to Dr. Andy Dowson, director of headache services at King’s College, London. The slump alters to hyper glycaemia as your body then goes into emergency mode and rushes with excess sugar. The sugar spike again turns to a trough, as the body reacts forthwith to balance the spike with insulin. The ups and down has a desultory effect on the brain and the nervous system.
Whether such a bi-directional association exists has not been fully studied but risk of dementia in adult diabetics with prior hypoglycemia is greater.
In a study over a 12-year period, of 61 participants therein, results showed periodic hypoglycemic events doubled the risk for developing dementia. Also, older diabetics who developed dementia had a greater risk for having episodes of low sugar.
Glucose is a primary source of energy for the brain. Consequently, hypo glycaemia impairs Cognitive function when blood glucose drops; to the extent that severe hypoglycemia may cause neuron damage. However, it must be said that studies have showed conflicting results in few investigations of hypoglycemia and cognitive impairment.
Dr. Rajiv Kovil of Dr. Kovil’s Diabets Care Centres, Mumbai and closely associated with the ‘TRUE BLUE’ project.
Though there is a close relationship between Diabetes and Dementia, neither is the exact relationship nor whether one is the cause of the other is yet known.
As recently as last month the scientists were still studying the relationship and the difficulty a care giver would have in medicating the patient.
A paper printed from this study, recommended that since diabetics with dementia have the added difficulty of forgetting to medicate themselves, or worse still over dose, these patients should be treated with GLP 1, a new hormone rather than the daily and frequent injections.
This hormone regulates the blood sugar and is required to be GIVEN ONLY ONCE A WEEK. Moreover, it does not produce the sugar slump which the usual medication often does.
E164 – Hypoglycaemia, Dementias And Diabetes – www.diabetic.today