Research links hypoglycemia to dementia in later life: Control your blood sugar while you still can

Monday, June 24, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: low blood sugar, dementia, hypoglycemia

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Hypoglycemia may increase the risk of dementia and vice versa, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California-San Francisco and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study was conducted on people with diabetes, who are who are paradoxically among those most likely to suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Diabetes is characterized by high levels of blood sugar, which can cause cellular damage and produce a wide variety of other health problems over time. For this reason, diabetes treatments focus on lowering blood sugar levels. In some cases, blood sugar can drop too much and hypoglycemia results.

Some researchers have speculated that this hypoglycemia risk may explain elevated rates of dementia among diabetes patients.

"Hypoglycemia commonly occurs in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and may negatively influence cognitive performance," the researchers wrote. "Cognitive impairment in turn can compromise DM management and lead to hypoglycemia."

The researchers studied 783 older diabetes patients, with an average age of 74. Over the course of 12 years, 61 of the patients (7.8 percent) reported at least one hypoglycemic event, while 148 of them (8.9 percent) developed some form of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.

The risk of developing dementia during the study period was two times higher among those who had experienced a hypoglycemic event than among those who had not, 34.4 percent vs. 17.6 percent. Likewise, receiving a dementia diagnosis more than doubled the risk that a participant would have a hypoglycemic event after that date. These associations remained even after the researchers adjusted for the influence of potential confounding factors including age, education, race/ethnicity, sex and comorbidities.

"These results provide evidence for a reciprocal association between hypoglycemia and dementia among older adults with DM," the researchers wrote.

More reasons to watch your blood sugar

The findings are significant because hypoglycemia is such a common side effect of diabetes treatment, noted Great Neck, N.Y. endocrinologist Stuart Weinerman.

"Sooner or later, everyone is going to have some hypoglycemia," he said.

A commentary accompanying the study noted that hypoglycemic events become more common as diabetes patients get older. Scientists are unsure why this is the case, but they suspect that the body's kidney function and its ability to metabolize drugs - including diabetes medication - both decrease with age.

Hypoglycemic incidents can be dangerous if left untreated. According to Weinerman, anyone taking blood sugar medication should watch out for the signs, which include blurred vision, confusion, fainting, heart palpitations and jitteriness.

The findings suggest that doctors need to be careful not to focus so much on lowering blood sugar that they create other risks for their patients, Yaffe said.

"[Treatment] shouldn't be so aggressive that you get hypoglycemia," she said.

Glen Oaks, N.Y. neurologist Marc Gordon agreed.

"There has been a concern about the association between diabetes and dementia," he said. "Patients need to be careful that they are not either under treated or over treated and that they monitor their blood sugar."

It remains unclear exactly whether dementia and hypoglycemia are really causing each other and, if so, how. But Yaffe suggested that low blood sugar may starve the brain and actually cause damage or death to its neurons. Conversely, dementia may make it difficult for diabetes patients to monitor their medication and blood sugar levels effectively.

"This does raise concern about low blood sugar causing future problems with dementia and dementia causing problems with low blood sugar," Weinerman said.

For those who do not have diabetes, the best way to avoid developing the condition remain eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.

Sources for this article include:

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.