Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How Does Diabetes and Hypertension Affect Your Brain Health

By Arfa Saira Iqbal

Diabetes is when the body is unable to regulate the amount of glucose released into the bloodstream after eating a meal. This can have a long term impact on the diabetic who will find that the condition will affect everything from their waterworks to their brain function.

Studies have repeatedly shown that diabetes slows down mental function and impairs the ability to complete cognitive tasks quickly and easily. Language is also affected as is the ability to recall information. Ilchi Lee says, It should be noted however, that the results of the studies found that although mental function was compromised, it did not interfere with daily life.

Although diabetics have general health concerns due to the nature of their condition, having diabetes also increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke. These factors increase the likelihood of memory problems.

As per Ilchi Lee Ideas, Studies have also found that patients with severe diabetes have poor cognitive abilities because the nerves cells in the brain were damaged due to the disease. The chance of developing Alzheimer's or dementia was found to be highest in those with poorly controlled diabetes. This should set alarm bells ringing for all diabetics, as it is just another problem to add to their list of current problems.

Hypertension is when a patient repeatedly suffers from high blood pressure, or where blood pressure is uncontrolled so as to cause concern for the sufferer. Some of the main problems associated with hypertension include a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes. The other main concern with hypertensive patients is that the high blood pressure can cause a brain hemorrhage.

A brain hemorrhage occurs when the blood vessels inside the brain burst due to increased pressure, causing bleeding in the brain. Hypertension can also cause aneurysms in the brain. These are weakened vessels in the brain where the blood pools together and bulges. Left untreated, an aneurysm can burst causing a hemorrhage and eventually severe brain damage or even death.

It is important to understand that the severity of a hemorrhage due to hypertension is made worse by the presence of diabetes, which can further weaken the blood vessels in the brain. In patients who have both hypertension and diabetes, managing both conditions is critical to preserving their brain health.
One of the worst aspects of aging is the effect it has on the brain and all mental abilities. Naturally as the body ages, so too does the mind. Having a condition such as diabetes and hypertension can easily age your brain quicker than it would a healthy person.

Preventing brain aging requires looking after one's health coupled with training your brain. This will improve performance and delay the onset of age related memory problems. Taking simple measures such as eating less salt and sugar, decreasing the amount of fat in your diet and eating lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and oily fish all help to improve overall health as well as brain health. Measures should be taken to control diabetes and hypertension correctly, and it is advised to see your doctor who can decide on the best treatment for you.

Do not underestimate the power of exercise either, as this helps to reduce blood pressure and helps to bring high blood sugar levels on an even keel. A healthy diet and exercise is the minimum requirement to look after your body and your brain.


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