Recent studies revealed people with diabetes could be at a higher risk of developing dementia. Certain lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of getting dementia. Find out how to lead a healthier life each day to help ward off this disease.
- The Harvard Medical School News Review revealed a link between estrogen, diabetes, and dementia. Women with high levels of estrogen could be more likely to develop dementia including those who have gone through menopause. For this reason, doctors are now less likely to prescribe hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen. If you have diabetes you should talk to your doctor in-depth before considering any type of hormone replacement therapy.
- People who are obese tend to have higher levels of estrogen and are also at an increased risk of developing diabetes and dementia. Losing just 10 percent of your total body weight can make a difference. Obesity and estrogen increases can impact on both men and women.
- Research has also revealed insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and impaired insulin secretion are all associated with an increased risk of dementia. Test your blood sugar regularly and report fluctuations to your doctor. Take all your medications on schedule to avoid blood sugar spikes. Eat at least three meals and two snacks daily to keep your blood sugars regulated.
- If your diabetes remains untreated it can lead to blood vessel disease. This can increase the risk of dementia because your brain needs healthy blood vessels for the brain cells to function. Diabetes can also contribute to oxidation in brain cells; build up of plaque in the brain and inflammation that can boost the risk of getting dementia. Treat your diabetes by working with a health care team to develop an effective self-management plan.
- If you have a family history of diabetes and/or dementia, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing these health conditions. Be aware of your family medical history and share it with your health care team. Develop healthy lifestyle habits to ward off diseases such as diabetes, dementia, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. This can reduce your risk of diabetes and related health issues such as dementia. Make exercising fun so you want to do it each day. Play with your kids or dog in the park. Take a long nature walk. Enroll in a local Zumba class. Join the gym or get workout equipment to use at home. When exercising is convenient you are more likely to fit it into your daily routine.
- Try to keep saturated and trans-fats out of your diet. Opt for a high fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Maintain a healthy weight to avoid additional health complications. Make wise choices such as drinking water instead of soda. Use fat-free, sugar-free, no-calorie salad dressings such as Walden Farms. These little changes can mean a lot. Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to help ward off dementia. Keep your mind active with hobbies, cross word puzzles, Sudoku, and memory training programs.
- Quit bad habits that increase your risk of developing other health conditions. Don’t smoke and reduce alcohol from your diet. If you are sedentary, get up and move around for five minutes every hour. Have your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked regularly. If they start to soar, work with a doctor to get them in a healthy range.
- If you have pre-diabetes, your doctor might recommend a medicine such as Metformin to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and related health issues such as dementia. The doctor will consider factors such as family history, having gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and if you have excess body fat around the waist.
Having diabetes makes you more prone to other health complications such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and dementia. Healthy lifestyle habits and ongoing education can help you ward off diabetes-related complications. Learn more about your family history and how your body works to avoid health conditions such as dementia.