Did you know that chronically high blood sugar can destroy your brain?
Destroy your brain? Isn’t that a bit alarmist? We all know high blood sugar is bad and it causes damage throughout the body. Can it destroy your brain?
Turn out, it sure can. I’ll explain how below.
High blood sugar damages your blood vessels. This harms your heart, kidneys, and especially your eyes. Think of all the tiny blood vessels in the eye. When these become damaged they can’t bring oxygen to the tissues. They also can’t carry away waste. These tissues can no longer heal as well as they used to. They wear down over time. This process gets accelerated in people with Type 2 diabetes.
How does this harm your brain?
The blood vessels in the brain take the same damage as other body parts. This can cause the death of parts of the brain. Damaged blood vessels in the brain can lead to vascular dementia.
This is due to a lack of blood flow to areas of the brain. The brain needs oxygen. We know that we can’t hold our breath for very long or we’ll pass out. Permanent brain damage happens after 4 minutes without oxygen. That’s how important oxygen is to your brain. It will turn you off, to get you to breathe again.
This is why we perform CPR. To keep oxygen circulating in the brain. It’s recommended to continue CPR for over 30 minutes to keep the brain alive. Getting blood to the brain is critical.
Those of us with Type 2 diabetes may already have some impaired blood flow to the brain. Our oxygen deprivation is slow and small. We may notice a bit of confusion or some memory loss. “Oh, that’s normal with age,” everyone says. People with Type 2 diabetes can’t afford to think like that. We need to get to work making healthy diet and lifestyle changes now.
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the first. People with Type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease as it is.
Alzheimer’s research shows that it is actually “diabetes of the brain.”
This is caused by insulin resistance in brain cells. The brain cells don’t get glucose and they die. These blood vessel issues provide extra risk for us. We have two known ways to get dementia. Insulin resistance in the brain and blood vessel damage.
It is never too late to make healthy changes. The brain is very resilient.
The cause of all these problems is high blood sugar! Get your blood sugar regulated, and take care of your brain.
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