This month, guest blogger Michelle Matte, CSCS has been discussing diabetes in recognition of American Diabetes Month. Read previous posts such as a general overview to increase awareness about diabetes, Managing Type I and 2 Diabetes through Exercise , Nutrition and Diabetes and Children and Type II Diabetes.
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From Bad to Worse
We know that Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, or DM 2, is a lifestyle disease that gets worse over time unless decisive measures are taken to change the contributing factors. The solutions seems simple. Increasing daily physical activity and minimizing the consumption of grains, sugars and processed foods will increase insulin sensitivity and ameliorate the symptoms of DM 2. Yet people persist in sedentary living and excessive carbohydrate consumption. Now, new research is revealing an even more insidious outcome of these persistent behaviors. Alzheimer’s disease is being dubbed the newest form of diabetes, Type 3.
Prevalence of DM 3
According to statistics provided by the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2014 over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Once relegated to the elderly, the disease is manifesting in younger adults under age 65. Early onset Alzheimer’s can show up in your 40s and 50s, and younger adults currently make up five percent of those living with Alzheimer’s. The disease is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and one in three adults over age 65 will die with the disease.
Who Is At Risk?
Women are at higher risk for DM 3 than men, making up two thirds of the diagnosed population. A woman over age 65 has a one in six risk of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to a one in eleven risk of getting breast cancer. Older adults are at higher risk than younger adults. As the Baby Boom generation ages, the Alzheimer’s Association predicts that the disease may possibly triple by the year 2050.
Exercise, Diet and DM 3
Evidence is mounting that exercise is the most effective tool for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, even for those who are genetically predisposed. Regular moderate to vigorous exercise performed for a minimum of 150 minutes per week is recommended to boost brain glucose uptake and reduce the deterioration of brain tissue associated with Alzheimer’s. A study published in “Medical Hypotheses” pointed to a diet low in carbohydrates and high in essential fatty acids as an effective strategy for preventing and treating DM 3.
Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology: Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed.
American Psychological Association: Could Alzheimer’s disease be a kind of diet-induced diabetes?
Diabetes Health: Alzheimer’s New Name: Type 3 Diabetes.
Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures.
Scientific American: Exercise Counteracts Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s.
Medical Hypotheses: High Carbohydrate Diets and Alzheimer’s Disease.