The link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease—another reason to watch what you eat

by | Sep 9, 2014 | Our Blog


Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of the elderly. For those of us who make it to 85, there is a 50–50 chance we will develop Alzheimer’s.

Yet even though we’ve known about Alzheimer’s for more than a century and it’s the most common form of dementia in the United States, we still don’t know what to do about it.

We at Stay at Home have written about the link between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss, but unfortunately hearing loss is not the only warning sign. There is also an alarming link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

In fact, Alzheimer’s has been referred to as type 3 diabetes because of the role played by a hormone called insulin.

Insulin is released by the pancreas and helps the body process glucose. Type 1 diabetes halts the production of insulin by attacking the cells that produce it, while type 2 diabetes refers to people whose bodies don’t respond appropriately to insulin. Alzheimer’s disease, it turns out, also involves the brain’s reaction to insulin.

After reviewing the evidence, physicians from Rhode Island’s Brown university concluded “that the term ‘type 3 diabetes’ accurately reflects the fact that [Alzheimer’s disease] represents a form of diabetes that selectively involves the brain and has molecular and biochemical features that overlap with both [type 1 diabetes] and [type 2 diabetes].”

So what does that mean for senior citizens? Simply this: Eating right and watching your blood sugar may not just protect your body, it may also protect your mind.

We at Stay at Home are committed to ensuring that our clients make the most of their lives, and one of the ways we do that is to make sure they eat right. In next week’s post, we will review some of the ways that we—and you—can help stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

Information for this post comes from Andy Houck, owner and administrator of Stay at Home of Loudon.