Everyone wants their brains to function until 100. Protecting our brain is not a passive process; it takes work to help improve memory and concentration.
I have all but made it a mantra to describe the diabetic progression as the biggest fight that human physiology has. The process begins decades before a diagnosis of diabetes is even considered. It may begin subtly in many ways:
- Increased waist to hip ratio (the belly bulge)
- Menstrual problems
- Gallbladder surgery
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Sleep apnea
- High blood pressure
These are just a few of the many signs that creep up, usually not linked to prediabetes because many physicians are not aware of just how much prediabetes impacts the body. Over decades, these items start to rack up, and many patients are left with more and more medications. Ultimately, the diagnosis of diabetes is given unless the patient dies of a heart attack, stroke, cancer or Alzheimer’s before.
That pretty much sums it up.
By now, of course, regular readers have the list of things to avoid and things to have more of memorized. For those of you who don’t, it can be found here.
You’ll notice that I mentioned Alzheimer’s a paragraph or so ago. This is because Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are being considered a “type 3 diabetes” because the links between them are so strong and have been confirmed in numerous research studies.
This particular article takes the boundaries a little further.
Researchers looked at blood glucose levels in the “not diabetic range” of less than 110. They performed imaging of the brain and checked it again in 4 years. Specifically, they were looking at the hippocampal and amygdala regions–regions deemed very important for short term memory and emotions.
In four years, researchers found that those with blood sugar levels in the high end of normal had some not-so-good findings.
These patients had up to a 10% shrinkage (called atrophy) of the hippocampal and amygdalar regions of their brains. 10% in four years. Even those of us not good at math can figure out that these numbers don’t lead up to Jack Lalane-like longevity.
The bottom line is that we, as a society, cannot proceed along blissfully unaware of how much our prediabetic lifestyles are affecting us. We have to stand up and admit that none of this is good for us and that our heavily processed, dairy dependent, sedentary and industry-biased lifestyles are affecting every single aspect of our health. Medications are not and will never be the answer.
Personal responsibility for our health and our family’s health is the only savior. But this begins with admitting just how much every choice we make damages us.
So what will you change today to protect your brain?