The Alzheimer’s Diabetes Link
We already know that having diabetes type 2 increases our risk of many other conditions such as kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, amputation, and even blindness. Now studies are showing Alzheimer’s should be added to this list. According to The Rotterdam Study, people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as compared to non-diabetics. We have to understand that the brains of people with diabetes are about 10 years older than the brains of the same-age people without diabetes. Dr. Sudha Seshardri MD of Boston University showed this correlation recently. She also found diabetes to be associated with significantly lower brain volume. In diabetics, the proper fuel is not taken to the cells. This is what causes the cells to starve to death and it is this same process that affects the brain. This process is now being studied as a new type of insulin resistance, where the brain is unable to access the insulin in the blood. Because of this the brain cells are unable to utilize glucose, causing them to degenerate and die. Obviously neurons are then lost and the brain begins to shrink. Memory and other cognitive abilities diminish. The medical profession is now classifying this new brain effecting type of diabetes, Type 3.
The medical approaches to diabetes can help some symptoms by improving blood sugar control, but they are nowhere near a ‘cure’. The medications need to be taken daily and are often partnered with adverse side effects. The medical approach to Alzheimer’s is even worse. There are a few mildly effective drugs that may ease some of the symptoms in about half of the people using them. They are unable to stop or slow the progression of the disease, however. The issue here is we are trying to treat these illnesses with drugs or surgery. Because insulin resistance is significantly impacted by lifestyle choices, would it not make sense to start to reverse the condition by working with the factors that led to it in the first place? We now know that dietary changes and exercise work very well with changing a diabetic outcome. These same changes can work well for preventing Alzheimer’s too. Prevention IS KEY!
In my opinion, the best way to either prevent or work to enhance an already diagnosed condition, is to start with the diet. Using a low carbohydrate diet coupled with eliminating trans fatty acids and sugars and adding my favorite super food coconut oil is an amazing start. Eat lots of grass fed meats, wild caught fish, and free-range eggs (proteins) along with as many veggies and salad greens as you’d like. Incorporate 2-3 tsp of organic virgin coconut oil each day as well. If you’d like more information on how coconut oil will help this situation tremendously, look up coconut oil and ketone therapy. (There are doctors showing complete reversal of Alzheimer’s in their patients by simply using coconut oil). Limit your fruit intake by using fruit/berries as your ‘treat’. Extremely limit (if not totally eliminate) cookies, crackers, breads, cakes, candies, and ice creams. Add in some moderate exercise at least 3 times per week. A study published in JAMA (2008) showed that moderate exercise alone is more effective at improving memory and cognitive skills than any of the Alzheimer’s drugs currently on the market (and no scary side effects!).
The point is that many people are diabetic or pre-diabetic and do not even realize it. These people are not only at risk of developing all the problems associated with diabetes, but Alzheimer’s as well. It is so important that we teach especially our children how to eat a well balanced diet free of detrimental sugars and processed foods so their futures are not consumed with these diseases. If you have children or grand children, the time is NOW to make these changes. Let’s all do our part to slow this process!
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