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Diabetes and dementia.

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High blood sugars, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, can contribute to strokes. These strokes can cause dementia. My cousin had all three for many years and refused to treat them. I'm still not sure why she was so stubborn about it. I think she was in denial, which is common with some patients.

I recall a doctor warning her to treat the Type II diabetes and that if she didn't there were things worse than death. His words haunt me. She now suffers from severe dementia.

Gradually, her untreated conditions caused dementia. She also has Altzheimers too so, we can't be sure how that is related.

Some people with dementia have no history of diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. It's such a mystery. Still, I choose to treat my Type I diabetes as aggressively as possible.
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There is a certain type of dementia that can happen with diabetes. It is a metabolic dementia. It is thought to be caused by repeated hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If corrected early enough, the damage can be reversed fairly well, but if the hypoglycemic episodes continue over a long time the damage is permanent.

Many people with diabetes frequently have hypoglycemia, particularly during the nighttime for elderly people. An endocrinologist is an excellent recommendation for trying to get the large fluctuations under control. Some GPs may order one shot of insulin a day, which can allow for large swings in glucose levels. A person who specializes is diabetes management will work with the daily medicine schedules to try to get the levels more stable. It helped my mother a lot when she was having some serious nighttime hypoglycemic episodes.
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Quote from the Mayo Clinic: "Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease are connected in ways that aren't completely understood. Though not all research confirms the connection, many studies indicate that people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, are at higher risk of eventually developing Alzheimer's disease or other dementias."

Diabetes, especially if blood sugar is not well controlled, tends to result in disease of the blood vessels leading to strokes, including ministrokes which are not always noticed when they occur, but the damage they cause accumulates over time. This along with high blood pressure can lead to vascular dementia.

The other aspect of diabetes and dementias is that the brain cells rely on blood sugar for fuel, and in diabetes the ability of cells , including cells in the brain, is affected, so that they are not able to process the blood sugar properly.

Pam, I have never read that whatever effects diabetes has on liver and kidneys is linked to development of dementias. Certainly diabetes can affect any organ. Could you give me a reference for that?
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Diabetes has very bad effects on the liver and kidneys over time. When these organs no longer filter out body waste effectively, the toxins damage many tissues, including the brain.
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