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The Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes by Dr Mark Hyman

The Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes by Dr Mark Hyman

Dr Mark Hyman has dedicated his life to tackling the root causes of chronic disease through the power of function medicine and believes we all deserve a life of vitality. He is also the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Centre for Functional Medicine, Fonder of The UltraWellness Centre and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Dementia is a very big problem that’s becoming bigger every day.

Statistics from the US show 10% of 65-year-olds, 25% of 75-year-olds and 50% of 85-year-olds will get dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It’s predicted that Alzheimer’s will affect 106 million people by the year 2020 and is the seventh leading cause of death in the world.

Type 3 diabetes is a term used when Alzheimer’s is triggered by insulin resistance in the brain. This condition is used to describe people who have type 2 diabetes and are also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Diabetes itself refers to a condition where the body has difficulty converting sugar to usable energy and there are two other kinds of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes - is a chronic health condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone insulin. There is currently no cure for diabetes. Neither type 1 (juvenile onset or insulin-requiring) diabetes or type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes ever goes away.

Type 2 Diabetes - is a chronic condition in which your body develops resistance to insulin, and your blood sugar level becomes very high as a result. Both genetics and environmental factors such as being overweight and inactive are contributing factors. If you have prediabetes lifestyle changes such as eating healthy organic foods and being active can slow or stop the progression.

What’s the link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes?

New research shows insulin resistance, or what Dr Mark Hyman calls “diabesity” (from eating too many carbs and sugar and not enough fat) is one of the major factors that starts the brain-damage cascade, which robs the memory of over half the people in their 80s, leading to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Here’s the bad news/good news from Dr Hyman:

“Eating sugar and refined carbs can cause pre-dementia and dementia. But cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and adding lots of fat can prevent, and even reverse, pre-dementia and early dementia. Sugar causes pre-diabetes and diabetes, which often leads to significant memory loss.

Chronic stress takes a toll on your body and brain. Stress shrinks the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain. So, find your pause button every day and make time for some stress relief. Relaxation isn’t a luxury if you want to prevent or reverse dementia. Whether that involves deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, find something that helps you calm down.

Lack of sleep can cause impaired brain function, leading to CRAFT syndrome, which stands for “can’t remember a _____ thing.” Studies show poor sleep becomes a risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Aim for at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night.

We now know that physical activity can prevent and even slow down the progression of cognitive decline and brain diseases like dementia. Even a 30-minute walk can help. More active readers might want to incorporate high-intensity interval training or weightlifting.”

Here are the symptoms, diagnosis, causes and prevention methods outlined by Healthline:

Symptoms of type 3 diabetes

The symptoms of type 3 diabetes are the same as symptoms of dementia or early Alzheimer’s. These symptoms include:  

  • memory loss that affects daily living and social interactions
  • difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • misplacing things often
  • decreased ability to make judgements based on information
  • sudden changes in personality or demeanour

Diagnosis of type 3 diabetes

There’s no specific test for Alzheimer’s or type 3 diabetes. Your doctor will ask several questions about your family history and your symptoms. Brain imaging, like MRIs and CT scans, can give your doctor a picture of how your brain is working. Cerebrospinal fluid tests can also look for indicators of Alzheimer’s.

If you have the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s and haven’t been diagnosed with either one, you may be sent for a fasting blood sugar test and a glycated hemoglobin test.

If you do have type 2 diabetes, it’s essential that you begin treatment for it. Treating type 2 diabetes could minimize damage to your brain and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The average life expectancy for a person with Alzheimer’s is 8 to 10 years from the time that they’re diagnosed. But some people with Alzheimer’s can live as many as 20 years post-diagnosis.

Causes and risk factors for type 3 diabetes

People who have type 2 diabetes may be up to 60 percent more likelyTrusted Source to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia. One studyTrusted Source of over 100,000 subjects with dementia pointed out that women with type 2 diabetes had a higher probability of developing vascular dementia than men.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

Preventing type 3 diabetes

If you already have type 2 diabetes, there are ways that you can lower your risk for developing type 3. Here are some of the proven methods for controlling type 2 diabetes and minimizing organ damage:

  • Exercise four times per week for 30 minutes per day.
  • Eat healthy foods rich in protein and high in fibre.
  • Carefully monitor your blood sugar according to your health team’s recommendations.
  • Take any prescribed medications on schedule and with regularity.
  • Monitor your cholesterol levels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Type 3 Diabetes: The Connection between Alzheimer’s and Metabolic Syndrome

Scientists now calls Alzheimer’s disease “Type 3 diabetes.” What’s the link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes? Dr Mark Hyman explains how new research shows insulin resistance - diabesity (from eating too many carbs and sugar and not enough fat) is one of major factors that starts the brain-damage cascade, which robs the memory of over half the people in their 80s, leading to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.