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Harvard Health Blog
Above-normal blood sugar linked to dementia
- By: Heidi Godman,
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
A diabetes patient and practicing physician, I might have stumbled upon a finding, which, if correct, has the potential for a solid impact on obesity, diabetes and many other chronic conditions including, now, dementia. None of my colleagues I have sounded out has found a hole in the reasoning presented below.
I have been controlling my blood glucose using this new approach for year and a half now. Although elements of this method have been well documented over the last 3 decades, the key element seems to have eluded patients and doctors until now. All I did was to connect a few dots of physiological facts.
It turns out that the best time for elective physical activity is the interval between the 30th minute post-meal and the 90th minute post-meal following a typical meal, give or take. [I like to call this period of opportunity the “exercise window”]. In 4 months, my weight came down by 14%, A1C decreased by 17% and HDL shot up by 41%. Also, I was able to drop 2 medications and to reduce the dosage of a third. Many of my friends and colleagues also have had similar results. Here is the physiology:
1. Glucose, the product of the digestion of food in the stomach, begins to reach the blood stream 15 – 20 minutes after the first bite into a typical meal. Thirty minutes after the first bite, the process is in full swing.
2. If glucose is available in the blood stream when physical activity is required of the human body, it will readily utilize the blood glucose to fuel the activity.
3. Every glucose molecule utilized in this manner is one less available to contribute toward the glucose peak. The smaller the glucose peak the closer it is to the healthy response.
4. Patients who exercise during periods other than the exercise window not only miss the chance to blunt the post-meal glucose peak but may end up contending with another peak generated by liver glucose (which is controlled by stress hormones.)
(I look forward to your views on this.)
Hello, I log on to your blogs like every week. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!
My Father have this problems, thanks for the information.
Blood sugar elevated is a no good sign at all.
I find it interesting because my father who recently died, at 91, was very cogent until the last year, and pretty cogent until the last 3-6 months. He kept having teeth pulled, harder to eat, and very little taste remained and he was losing weight. He could taste strong SWEET, and so liked chocolate, ice cream, desserts and soda. He hadn’t been this kind of an eater his whole life, but it was almost all that tasted good at the end. We gave him what he wanted for quality of life issues as well as just trying to get some calories into him. Interesting if elevated BS was the result and contributed to his mental changes. May not have done it differently….don’t feel guilty, but good to know we can work at keeping ourselves nourihed as we age in other ways.
Alzheimer’s disease is a rare disease there is no cure ..
It is important to note that the study cited was limited to older adults (average age 76 yrs) and cannot be generalized to younger people. Despite this limitation there is other science suggesting some mechanism between glucose, insulin, inflammation have an impact on increasing risk for developing dementia in younger aged people with and without diabetes.
It’s a great founding and worth to be watched out, especially for the older people. It’s no surprise that dementia may occurs to the older ones, but how about to us, the averages people? who knows? So, It’s wise to take this with full attention in order to not regret it in the future… 🙂
I also have a similar problem to this. Thanks so much for the article, it’s very informative and useful.
Here is the link between high blood sugars & dementia.
Second last paragraph is the important one, but should go further though. I follow the paleo lifestyle and all grains, wheats, are just as bad as they turn into refined sugars, but also have other effects on our whole digestive tract amongst other things.
It all comes down to inflammation, reduce inflammation and reduce disease.
thanks to this team[Harvard] i have always found answers to my worries and how to go about some health issues, i now have hope of living longer almost twice than life expectancy of my country Kenya[49 yrs]. Thanks once more
My brothers& sisters eat to much sugar, me too. 15 yrs ago I went to a church seminar , was converted with 76 0ther people. They stared a small church, kept us all together. The pastor’s wife started a health program, I was between 220 lbs & 230 lbs, with in 6 month I sit on 170 lbs to 175lbs.15 yrs later I have not been sick, take no pills, vaccinations, eat grains, nuts, fruit & veggies. Now the members of my family, My Dad die 42 ( heart ) oldest sister 49 (Heart + cancer), baby sister 72 very bad heart)+ Diabetes, she suffered before she died, Middle sister 73, many heart operations .My little Bro. Many heart operation 70yrs old ,at one time he was 364 lbs ,still over 300 lbs. The problem was too much sugar, too much meat, cheese, candy’s, cakes. Thank you for those videos ,I will use them on my family & pray that My sister & Bro. will listen ,I only have two family members left. USA & Canada eat too much sugar. God Bless U. All for the work U. Done getting the message out . Ron Lott
To remain healthy and free from any type of medical health problem it is very important to maintain and control our sugar level by adopting proper daily food diet and some precautions.
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