Have Diabetes? Good Reasons To Control Blood Sugar

People who are treating type 2 diabetes know all too well the good reasons to control their blood sugar, or glucose. Untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and death.

Now a recent study has found a link between poorly controlled diabetes and dementia.

Researchers in Sweden studied 350,000 patients with type 2 diabetes. The study found those with poor blood-sugar control had a 50% higher risk of having a hospital diagnosis of dementia than those with good control. The study compared patients with an A1c (three-month average blood-sugar level) of 10.5% or higher to those with an A1c of 6.5% or lower.

The research included people age 50 and older. Their mean age at the start of the study was 67.

A Link But Not Proof

In the past, research suggested there was a link between elevated blood sugar and Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first large study to explore the link.

This study does not, however, prove a cause-and-effect relationship between high glucose and dementia. But researchers say the study highlights the importance for diabetes patients to monitor their blood-sugar levels closely throughout their lives.

And the study gives researchers another clue as to the causes of dementia.

About 47 million people around the world have a dementia diagnosis. Most suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Disease International says the disease develops over time. It results in progressively worse memory loss.

Treating Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when a person’s body is unable to change sugar (glucose) into energy for the body. When this happens, the concentrations of sugar in the blood go up.

To help control blood-sugar levels, people with type 2 diabetes should exercise daily and maintain a carbohydrate controlled diet that’s low in saturated fats and sugars.

A healthful diet and exercise are good for us all. If you have type 2 diabetes, a balanced diet, regular exercise and consistent blood sugar control may reduce your chances for dementia. You’ll also take a big step toward a healthier you.

To learn more about type 2 diabetes, visit your health care provider. You can also get helpful information from the American Diabetes Association at http://www.diabetes.org/

Meet the Author

Amy Jensen, RN, CDE is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at Aurora Health Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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