Sunday, October 9, 2011

Diabetes and Dementia

If you work for very long in the field of elder care you eventually hear the following concern: my dad / my mom is wasting away and all he/she wants to eat is sugar. The answer: Get your loved one tested for diabetes!

There is a very strong correlation between the inability to utilize blood sugar and dementia. Cravings for sugar often occur because the body (and brain) relies on having adequate amounts of glucose. Most of us gain weight by eating sugar. If a person is eating too much sugar and is losing weight that is a serious symptom. If it has gotten to the point of them losing their appetite or feeling nauseous after eating, it's even more imperative to get the blood sugar levels checked. It can mean that the body has become insulin resistant or is not capable of producing enough of the insulin it needs to make use of the sugar the person so obviously craves.

People with diabetes over the age of 60 are twice as likely to have dementia. People with dementia who have uncontrolled diabetes are much more likely to show a worsening of all dementia symptoms when blood sugar levels are out of balance.

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