Learn how managing your blood sugar can help keep your body and brain healthy.
Both high and low blood sugar can damage blood vessels in the brain.
You probably know that keeping your blood sugar in your target range is key for managing diabetes and preventing complications like heart disease and vision loss.
But, did you know that episodes of high and low blood sugar can affect brain function?
You can help prevent or delay problems by keeping your blood sugar as close to your target levels as possible.
Learn about the connection between diabetes and the brain and how managing your blood sugar can help keep your brain and the rest of your body healthy.
In the same way that diabetes can cause nerve damage to your eyes, feet, and hands, it can also affect your brain by damaging nerves and blood vessels.
Since both high and low blood sugar levels can cause these harms, it`s especially important for people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar at target levels.
Having frequent episodes of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can stress the brain.
And because the effects of high blood sugar happen over time and aren`t obvious right away, many people don`t know that their brain is being affected.
High blood sugar over time damages blood vessels in the brain that carry oxygen-rich blood. When your brain receives too little blood, brain cells can die.
You can help protect your brain by keeping your blood sugar as close to your target levels as possible and by eating a diet rich in vegetables, fiber, and fruit along with getting regular physical activity.
These healthy habits can help you manage your diabetes and support your brain health.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) happens when your blood sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dL and can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.
And unlike high blood sugar, which takes time to affect the brain, when you have low blood sugar the signs are often immediate.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include feeling dizzy, shaky, or irritable, and you may have trouble walking or talking.
Some people with low blood sugar may not have any symptoms, which can make it hard to treat early. This is why it`s important to check your blood sugar often, so you can treat your low blood sugar before it causes serious problems.
And although it`s not clearly understood if low blood sugar causes long-term effects to the brain, some research does show that big dips in blood sugar may be linked to problems with depression, memory, and attention span.
If you have any of these problems and have frequent low blood sugar episodes, talk to your doctor, who can help:
Keep Brain Health Top of Mind
There are things you can do to improve or prevent problems with brain health and diabetes, such as:
- Follow a healthy meal plan that fits your needs.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Monitor your blood sugar.
- Keep your blood sugar within target levels.
- Get regular physical activity.
- Choose not to drink or drink in moderation.
- Stop smoking!
- Manage stress.
- Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.
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