Those of us who are diabetic or know of one, understand the importance of insulin. Insulin helps cells store sugar and fat for energy - a lot of health problems arise when the human body cannot produce enough of it (type 1 diabetes) or when it cannot respond inadequately to insulin (type 2 diabetes). A better understanding of both the types of diabetes is a must as much as it is helpful - statistics have it, at least, 1 in a family of 5 is afflicted with this lifestyle disease which is fast growing into a killer epidemic.
Even a mild form of diabetes despite a strict diet and exercise, and control and maintenance of normal blood sugar levels can slow down mental function and mental responses. Further, a lot of research studies have indicated that diabetes or pre-diabetes - both can impair the brain cells directly leading to the loss of memory functions in terms of sensations like hearing, vision etc. in the hippocampus (that region in the brain which is involved with learning and memory). It can also lead to strokes and heart diseases due to ignored insulin signals. However, increased insulin concentrations can lead to an extremely high level of presence of beta-amyloid, a protein which is hugely responsible for the formation of senile plaques that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Both insulin and glucose regulate many brain functions like learning and memory. Earlier scientific research studies were of the opinion that the human brain had very little role to play in diabetes in which the body is unable to secrete or use insulin but recent research studies prove otherwise that the brain has its own insulin receptors and therefore, has a big role to play in the control and maintenance of normal levels of blood sugar.
Even if you don't have diabetes you run the risk pre-diabetes or complications of impaired glucose tolerance(IGT) which is very dangerous for your brain. Diabetes destroys the small blood vessels in the brain and eventually, these vessels rot to the point of closing off and become defunct. In such a case, the brain tissue connected to that blood vessel dies thus leading to a stroke.
Those already suffering from diabetes need to be doubly careful and understand the ultra importance of strict control and maintenance of the normal levels of blood sugars all the time, as much as possible to sustain less brain damage. A higher level of blood sugar means a greater risk of damage to the brain. The same advice goes out to those who contracted pre-diabetes or are prone to diabetes. Research studies reveal that if the normal blood sugar levels are maintained consistently there are less chances of damage to the brain.
Those suffering from type-II diabetes and insulin resistance also run a heavy risk of developing impaired memory cognition and increased risk for dementia or memory loss and developing Alzheimer’s disease. Insulin regulates the brain’s supply of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which helps in attention, reward and motor activity and any disruption or abnormality can lead to brain disorders and cognitive imbalances in mood and disorders like depression, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease and attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Those of us who don’t suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes also, need to understand the importance of preventive measures - a person needs to live and lead a healthy life and avoid complications of any sort. Just cutting down the intake of sweets is definitely not enough even though it is primarily regarded as the first healthy step to keeping diabetes at bay. The amount of carbohydrates consumed should be reduced and monitored all the time. Similarly, the fat intake of an individual should be carefully monitored and lowered besides, paying careful attention to the right kinds of fat being consumed. Above all, one should make it a life-long pledge to lead a more active lifestyle with regular exercise and physical activity.