Blood Sugar and Your Brain
It’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t love sweets. Brownies, birthday cake, candy, or desserts are hard to pass up for most people and even though they taste good at the time, their consequences are insidious and can result in significant health issues down the road. Conditions such as insulin resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease are becoming more and more common. But each of these are entirely preventable when we stay away from the refined sugars and work on ensuring our blood sugar levels remain steady throughout the day.
One of the leading educators discussing the risks of elevated blood sugar is Dr. David Perlmutter, author of the best-selling book Grain Brain. He describes refined sugar and carbs as “your brain’s silent killers” and the research backs him up. When blood sugar levels get too high as a result of an influx of glucose (sugar), parts of the brain become damaged and can actually die. And you won’t even notice it! Other than feeling a bit foggy or having a ‘sugar hangover,’ the impact is silent. Until it isn’t.
Many individuals don’t recognize the early signs of brain atrophy until the disease process is well underway. Some of the most common signs include walking into a room and forgetting what you were going to do or having poor recall of common words and names. It could be the inability to figure out a problem or assess a situation that wouldn’t have been difficult 10 years earlier. Sometimes, it actually feels like you aren’t ‘connected’ with your brain. And that can be a bit scary.
But disarming blood sugar symptoms and related disorders are largely preventable when caught early enough. So if you are noticing that your mind isn’t firing the way it used to or you don’t seem to have the mental stamina you once had, now’s the time to do something about it. Don’t wait until a more severe diagnosis is given which will only make a recovery much longer and more challenging.
The best thing you can do is start with your diet. Be cognizant not to focus on what you “can’t have.” Instead, include foods with plenty of fiber to keep your blood sugar levels steady and give you a sense of satiety and fullness. This will reduce the temptation to reach for sweets and given enough time and consistency, your body and brain will begin to function as a team, and the positive effects will be noticeable.