(NaturalNews) Diabetes has become a burden on the healthcare system and taxpayers. In 2007, the national cost of diabetes was calculated to be $174 billion. We can assume this figure has since increased since then and may well be approaching $200 billion. There are three main types of diabetes: Type I - Juvenile diabetes, type II - Adult onset diabetes, and gestational diabetes (usually precedes type II). All types have to deal with poor control of blood sugar due to an insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. Recent research may have uncovered a new form of diabetes that affects the brain. It is quickly becoming known as type III diabetes and may be an etiology in the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Type II diabetes becoming more common
Diabetics have high blood sugar because their body either cannot produce enough insulin (type I) or their body cells have become resistant to insulin (type II). Type II diabetes has become a common condition in the 21st century when people are more obese and lazier than ever. A poor diet combined with the lack of exercise leads to the development of insulin resistance. It's estimated that 26 million people suffer from diabetes at this moment. Insulin is a mastermind in the body, signaling many cells to uptake sugar from the blood to convert to fat or energy. Not only does it affect muscles, fat and internal organs; but also has a large role in the brain.
Insulin plays a large role in the brain too
The brain, like any other organ, uses insulin to extract sugar from the blood. It is well-known that the brain utilizes more sugar than any other organ, and other systems will be sacrificed for the brain to get its needed energy. Insulin not only provides a method for sugar uptake, but it supports neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to change and strengthen the neuronal network. With a resistance to insulin, the brain begins to lose certain properties like memory formation and the ability to think. Do these symptoms sound familiar?
A connection between mental decline and diabetes
Alzheimer's disease is associated with a buildup of plaque called beta amyloid protein within certain cells of the brain. Other than these plaques, not much else is known about the causative factors leading up to Alzheimer's. Some scientists suggested it had to do with poor circulation in the brain, or damage to the brain's lymphatic system. The new link of diabetes (insulin resistance) and dementia/Alzheimer's type symptoms has scientists buzzing. Type II diabetes is largely preventable through diet modifications and exercise. Unfortunately, people would rather take a pill or a shot before making any lifestyle changes. If the link between cognitive decline and diabetes is strengthened, it's all the better reason for those affected to change to a healthier lifestyle.
Make changes now before it's too late
While the connection is still in its early stages, it makes pretty good sense. Your chance of developing Alzheimer's disease is cut nearly in half if you get regular exercise. Obese and diabetic people are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. If your body is suffering from an insulin resistance does it not make sense that your brain would too? However, insulin resistance may not be the only cause of Alzheimer's disease and there are many factors to consider as risk factors. The point is that a healthy lifestyle with a good diet combined with exercise will decrease your chance of both diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, not to mention a laundry list of other conditions associated with poor lifestyle habits.
About the author: Dr. Daniel Zagst is a chiropractic physician at Advanced Health & Chiropractic in Mooresville, NC. He has a BS in Professional Studies of Adjunctive Therapies, Doctorate of Chiropractic from NYCC, and an Advanced Certificate in Sport Science and Human Performance. Find out more at www.dzchiro.com