According to National Monitor on Saturday, blood sugar considered safely below diabetes or even pre-diabetes levels may still be linked to a raised risk of memory problems, a new study suggests.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, examined the effects of higher blood sugar levels on memory and the microstructure of the hippocampus. Focusing on healthy, older individuals without dementia or diabetes, the researchers found that having lower blood sugar levels was significantly correlated with better memory performance.
Blood sugar levels are a measurement of the amount of glucose in a person's blood. The body regulates blood sugar levels by releasing insulin, which helps turn glucose into energy.
The bodies of people with diabetes have difficulty regulating blood sugar on their own. In that case, those people usually take medicine to keep blood sugar levels within a safe range.
A person's fasting blood sugar level, which is taken after about 10 to 12 hours without food, should fall between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter.
The researchers looked at 141 people, with an average age of 63. They did not have diabetes or pre-diabetes, were not overweight, and did not drink or smoke much. They also did not have thinking or memory impairment.
Their memories and blood sugar levels were tested. They were asked, for example, to recall a list of 15 words a half hour after hearing them. Recalling fewer words was associated with higher blood sugar levels. People with higher blood sugar levels also had smaller volumes in the hippocampus.
Avoiding and treating hyperglycemia
The American Diabetes Association says exercising can help lower blood glucose levels. If your blood glucose is above 240mg/dl, check your urine for ketones and do not exercise if there are ketones present as this will raise your blood glucose levels even more!
Reducing your food intake will also help lower your blood glucose. It is important that you stick to your meal plan, which should be worked out with a dietitian or health care professional.
Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.
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