To Your Health
March, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 03)
Even Prediabetes Hurts Your Brain
By Editorial Staff
Diabetes can have severe and even fatal health consequences. Even your brain can be impacted, namely in the form of cognitive decline with age. But what about prediabetes – characterized by high blood sugar, but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes? Can it also have a negative impact on your brain?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed health data on more than 500,00 people (average age: 58) and discovered that those with higher-than-normal blood sugar levels (prediabetics) had a 42 percent higher risk of experiencing cognitive decline over a four-year-period, and 54 percent more likely to develop vascular dementia (cognitive decline caused by reduced blood flow to the brain) over an eight-year period (time frames average).
The study was observational, meaning it did not directly test whether prediabetes causes cognitive decline; however, the connection seems clear considering that people with the condition experienced worsening brain health at a significantly higher rate than their non-prediabetic peers.
How can you prevent prediabetes – and thus diabetes? Diet and exercise and the keys in most cases, because doing so allows your body to use glucose (blood sugar) and insulin (the hormone that helps remove glucose from the bloodstream) more effectively. If you're struggling with your weight and/or you've been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, ask your doctor for assistance developing a diet and exercise program you can stick with long-term. Your body and brain will thank you for it.