Thursday, May 21, 2020

Alzheimer's disease, the insulin resistance and a bit of crypto ranting on the side

Alzheimer's disease, the insulin resistance and a bit of crypto ranting on the side: For years it was hypotethised that there is a link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. But, as the latest researches point out, both illnesses got something in common: poor blood sugar management and insulin resistance. 

I have heard this theory before, and I have a lot of problems with it. Not everyone who has diabetes develops Alzheimer's (or any other type of dementia, for that matter) and not everyone who has Alzheimer's has diabetes. People with diabetes are definitely at greater risk for vascular dementia because of the potential vascular problems inherent with uncontrolled elevated glucose.

There are people who have both Alzheimer's and diabetes, certainly. I worked with the elderly population for many years. The risk of both Alzheimer's and other dementias increases as a person ages, as does the chance of developing type 2 diabetes for those who have a genetic vulnerability. However, I very seldom encountered anyone who had both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. 

Managing high blood glucose is certainly imperative to preventing life-threatening vascular problems, including strokes and vascular dementia. It has very little to do with the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.


  1. It does indeed sound like a very tenuous link.
    And sadly ANY chronic illness leaves the door open for others to join the party.

    1. Plus, the older we get the more likely we are to develop cardiovascular problems and (perish the thought) dementia.
      Certain types of problems tend to come in clusters. For instance, a person with issues in one endocrine organ tends to be vulnerable to other endocrine issues. I ended up with an entire dumpster fire for an endocrine system. It started with hypothyroidism. Then it was discovered that I had PCOS. Then when I was 49, I developed diabetes. I also have glaucoma. There has been research showing that these problems indicate some sort of problem on the (I believe) 15th chromosome, but not a lot is known about it currently.
      I have literally only encountered one person in the twenty-five years that I worked with the elderly who had both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. Further, most of the patients who had diabetes weren't fat, they had medium builds. This wasn't because we had no fat patients since they had all exploded from their terrible fatness before they could get old. We had plenty of patients of all sizes.
      I just hate articles like this which grab onto some sort of, as you say, tenuous link, and preach it like a gospel.
      This particular person tends to post all sorts of recycled (and questionable) "health" content like it's brand new information. I generally ignore their posts because I've already heard that tired tune a thousand times.

    2. That should have read "a person with one endocrine problem." Everyone has endocrine organs!
      I really should be asleep.

  2. I have hypothyroidism and MS. And have been warned that lupus is on the cards too. Oh joy, oh bliss. They haven't (yet) specifically warned me that I am at increased risk of diabetes. Sadly dementia IS a possibility.

    1. Unfortunately, eventual dementia is a possibility for most people. I'm at a greatly increased risk for vascular dementia, and I'm well aware of it.
      My aunt (mother's sister) had probable Lewy Body dementia. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but I suspect that she was hiding her declining cognition until she couldn't any more.


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