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Is Dementia ‘Type 3 diabetes’ ? Can you prevent it?

Type-3 diabetes is a term commonly used to describe the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s disease (a major cause of dementia) which is triggered by a insulin resistance that occurs specifically in the brain and can therefore be caused by type2 diabetes.

Dementia describes symptoms which include memory loss, confusion, and problems with speech and understanding. These are caused by a deterioration of brain function. The deterioration is most commonly caused by the onset of Alzheimer's disease, which progressively kills off brain cells. (To be clear, albeit the terms “Alzheimer’s” and “Dementia” tend to be used interchangeably they are NOT one and the same. There are numerous other causes of dementia – a complete exploration of which is outside the scope of this blog.)

Without going into too much detail, a diet high in sugar, carbs and processed foods forces your body to secrete ever more insulin in a forlorn attempt to keep your blood sugar under control. The brain becomes resistant to the insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows energy (in the form of glucose) to enter cells. As a result energy (glucose) can’t enter the brain cells which become energy-starved and damaged as a result

Research has shown that diabetes increases the risk of developing both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia by almost 56%. This is thought to be because the mechanisms behind diabetes development can also damage small blood vessels in the brain, which is likely to contribute towards vascular dementia.

Amyloid plaques—fibrous deposits of protein—have also been seen in the pancreas of some diabetics and may inhibit production of insulin. It is also hypothesised that amyloid plaques build up in the brain and kill off or damage brain cells, leading to Alzheimer's disease. (NB: this is a gross oversimplification – the causes are far more complex and again, outside the scope of this article)

The risk factors for dementia go from being overweight, to having type2 diabetes, to developing cardiovascular disease to……..developing dementia. It’s a vicious cycle that humankind needs to break.

“If you do not become overweight, if you do not get diabetes, then the risk of dementia is maybe 10% of the risk of you getting it [otherwise]" Dr Frans van der Ouderaa, Senior researcher and business liaison for Dutch society for Research into Ageing, Leiden University Medical Center, Dept of gerontology & Geriatrics

In written evidence, the Alzheimer's Society explained that "dementia is not a natural part of ageing, but age is the most significant known risk factor, and that over the age of 65 "the risk of dementia doubles every five years".

There have also been studies that show that people with a high blood pressure in middle age have an increased risk of developing dementia. Apart from early-onset Alzheimer's, (which is rare) it does not appear to be a hereditary condition in the vast majority of cases. In other words, lifestyle is the cause in the overwhelming majority of cases

There is as of yet , no known MEDICINAL cure for dementia. But I am here to tell you that managing your lifestyle choices can help you avoid becoming overweight, and massively reduce your risk of developing diabetes and, of course dementia. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, having a good sleeping pattern and taking the RIGHT type of vitamins can almost entirely eliminate the root cause of dementia.

Read more about how you can avoid these life-limiting diseases: just click here www.prolongevity.co.uk/blog/obesity-prevention

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