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Intermittent Vs Prolonged Fasting And The Incredible Health Benefits 

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Fasting seems to be quite the buzzword lately, and for good reason. 

Intermittent fasting (commonly referred to as IF) and prolonged fasting are both effective ways to lose weight and boost your overall health.

But, this trendy topic may not be as new as you’d think. 

Fasting dates back to the time of our ancestors, when the phrase “feast or famine” was often a way of life. 

Today, we have opportunities to “feast” at our fingertips, and this has been shown to be a significant factor contributing to the obesity epidemic (and dare I say disease prevalence as obesity is a common factor in chronic inflammation that leads to many diseases) that is plaguing our nation and our world. 

Here we’ll take a deeper look at the fasting trend and see what all the buzz is about, exploring the difference between intermittent and prolonged fasting and how both methods can benefit your health!

Intermittent And Prolonged Fasting Basics

Simply put, fasting refers to a period of time when you refrain from eating. 

The word intermittent means “not continuous or steady.” 

And, the word prolonged means “continuing for a long time or longer than usual.” 

These basic definitions alone already give us a glimpse into what these two methods of fasting entail, but let’s take a closer look at each method individually. 

Intermittent fasting is a method of fasting where a person does not fast (or refrain from eating) continually but in specific increments of time. 

While there are different types of intermittent fasting, the basic concept involves alternating between periods of eating and fasting. 

Instead of focusing on what types of foods to eat and/or avoid, intermittent fasting involves setting aside a specific period of time daily dedicated to feasting (eating), and reserving the remainder of the day for fasting (refraining from eating). 

The three most common methods of intermittent fasting are:

16:8 Method – Here, the window of time in each day where a person eats is limited to 8 hours, while 16 hours of the day is devoted to fasting. For example, with this method of fasting, a person may choose to consume meals only between the hours of 12 pm and 8 pm, fasting the remaining 16 hours until noon the next day. 

This method can also be tailored to expand, or decrease, the number of hours in the timeframe of both eating and fasting. For instance, some people may choose to fast for 14 hours a day, expanding the eating window to 10 hours a day. And, some may choose to fast for 18 hours a day, limiting the eating window to only 6 hours. 

5:2 Method – This method of fasting involves consuming only a minimal number of calories (less than 500-600 calories) on 2 non-consecutive days of the week, while eating normally on the other 5 days in the week. 

Eat, Stop, Eat Method – This method of fasting involves incorporating a 24 hour fast once or twice a week. Typically the fasting timeframe occurs from dinner to dinner, meaning one would eat dinner one evening, then fast until dinner the next day. 

Prolonged fasting involves, as the definition of the word suggests, longer periods of time spent refraining from eating. 

Most individuals who do prolonged fasting go 48-72 hours without food, though the period of time spent fasting can be as long as a week or even up to several weeks. 

When incorporating this method of fasting it is strongly advised to start slow and progress. 

For instance, if prolonged fasting is your goal, begin with a 24 hour fast one month. Then, next month seek to do a 36 hour fast, progressing to a 48 hour fast the next month, and so on. 

Always listen to your body when fasting (both intermittent and prolonged), and if you begin to notice your blood sugar is crashing, you are feeling weak, or overly hungry, then eat. 

With mild to moderate hunger, seek to continue your fast. 

Essentially, you are training your body to go periods of time without eating. As your body adjusts to this regimen, you’ll see changes such as mental and physical improvements, and you’ll observe that you aren’t feeling as hungry as often. 

Since prolonged fasting involves greater lengths of time without eating (compared to intermittent fasting), there are a few extra things to keep in mind for a safe and effective fast: 

  • Ease Yourself In –  As stated above, start slow and gradually build up to longer periods of time spent fasting. 
  • Supplement – Since your body is missing needed nutrients from food while fasting, supplementing with electrolytes is a must. To avoid feeling faint or sick while fasting, be sure to take electrolytes and sea salt (and most recommend a multivitamin-mineral as well).
  • Incorporate Teas – You can still have unsweetened teas while fasting (decaffeinated is best as caffeine can increase hunger). 

Seeking to incorporate green tea into your time spent fasting can provide needed antioxidants. And, be sure to research other beneficial teas such as hoodia gardenia, which can help you get through your time spent fasting by suppressing your appetite. 

  • Ease Yourself Out – End your fast the same way you started…in other words, gradually. 

Though you’ll be tempted to indulge in a large meal, having not eaten in many hours or even days, it is important to keep in mind that reintroducing foods into your body should be a process. 

Having a large meal too soon can shock your system. Instead, try to eat small portions and gradually increase your food intake. 

With either method of fasting, be sure to adequately hydrate during your fast, and consult a physician if you have any health concerns. 

Benefits, Benefits, Benefits!

Now that we’ve detailed the basics of these two methods of fasting, let’s get into the benefits you stand to gain when incorporating both intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting. 

1- Lowers Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels and fasting insulin levels, indicating this type of fasting may reduce one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Prolonged fasting has resulted in a decrease in Fat Storing Hormone resistance. When this occurs, it is thought that glucose may be transported to your cells more efficiently, thus also reducing one’s risk of type 2 diabetes. 

And, both methods of fasting are known to stabilize blood sugar levels.  

2- Improves Heart Health

The risk factors associated with heart health include blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and numerous inflammatory markers. 

Multiple studies have shown each of these levels improves when incorporating either method of fasting (intermittent and prolonged). 

Some studies have also shown fasting to be effective at reducing the risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes (also risk factors in heart disease). 

3- Potential Cancer Prevention

Fasting depletes your body’s stores of glucose, forcing it to use ketones and fatty acids for fuel, and the presence of these ketones isn’t good news for tumors as they cannot survive in this environment. 

Therefore, prolonged fasting essentially starves tumors. And, as cancer feeds on sugar, the depleted glucose levels are thought to starve cancer cells as well. 

Animal studies have shown fasting to both prevent cancer and benefit cancer treatment.

And, one study in rats showed alternate-day fasting to block the formation of some tumors completely. 

Studies in humans have backed up these findings, including the benefit of a reduction in negative chemotherapy side effects (though experts believe more research is needed in this area). 

4- Boosts Brain Health

As you fast, the energy normally used by your body to digest foods can be used by your brain. 

And, as your body eliminates toxins through fasting, the blood flowing to your brain is essentially cleaner, resulting in clearer thought processes, increased focus, and better memory. 

The health of your brain also improves as levels of inflammation decrease through fasting. 

Intermittent fasting, specifically, is known to increase the growth of new nerve cells, resulting in improved brain function. 

Levels of the brain hormone known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increase during periods of fasting which is thought to decrease depression and other brain-related problems.

And, prolonged periods of fasting have been shown to actually regrow cells in the part of the brain associated with the storage of long-term memories. 

Studies involving intermittent fasting have shown improvements in Alzheimer’s symptoms in 90% of participants. 

It is likely due to these same brain benefits that animal studies have shown success regarding fasting and reduced risks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s. 

5- Initiates Autophagy

The word autophagy literally means self eat. Auto means self, and phagy means eat.

And, this process of “self-eating” is, believe it or not, actually a good thing! 

Fasting is known to initiate this process, essentially enacting your own roomba (that nifty little robotic vacuum) to meander throughout your body, cleaning out damaged or dysfunctional cells. 

These cells are essentially then recycled, your body using parts of them for cellular repair and regeneration. 

Autophagy is essential to decreasing inflammation and preventing disease, it has been shown to decrease the signs and effects of aging, and even increase lifespan! 

6- Promotes Weight Loss

Both methods of fasting, intermittent and prolonged, reduce the number of calories you consume, thus aiding in weight loss. 

But, further benefits to weight loss efforts when incorporating fasting include: 

  • enhanced hormone function (those relating to weight loss)
  • increased norepinephrine levels to break down body fat for energy
  • increased metabolism for greater calorie burn 
  • preservation of muscle tissue with prolonged fasting
  • controlled blood sugar levels 
  • loss of visceral fat (harmful abdominal fat) 

7- Increases Antioxidant Levels

Your body naturally contains antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. During time spent fasting, antioxidant levels increase as autophagy occurs. 

Uric acid is also used by your body throughout periods of fasting as levels of this powerful antioxidant increase and decrease frequently during this time. And, these fluctuations allow your body to rid itself of the damage it has incurred over time. 

8- Boosts Energy Levels

Mitochondria are a part of your cells that are responsible for energy production, turning the proteins, fats, and sugars that you eat into chemical energy. 

During prolonged periods of fasting, mitochondria increase, and as your body continues to burn fat, even though you aren’t eating, you gain energy. 

9- Enhances Production Of Stem Cells 

Though stem cells aren’t something your body uses frequently, they do act as a savings account of sorts for your body to use when needed to replace damaged cells. 

But, the natural process of aging, along with overeating, increased sugar consumption, and stress, can deplete your stem cell “savings account.”

Prolonged fasting works to boost levels of stem cells, making sure you have enough ready to replace cells when damaged. 

Subsequently, if you’ve already tried fasting, this is why you may experience feelings of youthfulness afterward, your stem cell bank account being replenished and damaged cells replaced. 

10- Increases Levels Of HGH

Levels of Human Growth Hormone (or HGH) within the body have been shown to increase greatly in individuals who incorporate methods of fasting (both intermittent and prolonged). 

Your body uses this protein hormone for growth, obviously. But, it is also used to maintain a healthy metabolism, and your body needs it to help you burn fat and build muscle. 

Studies showed significant increases in HGH levels of individuals who’d just completed a 24-hour fast, and in those who’d completed a 48-hour fast, the rate at which their body produced HGH increased quintupled. 

When Fasting Is Not For You

While both intermittent and prolonged fasting can greatly benefit your health, there are some folks who should not fast. 

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, experts advise against fasting due to the caloric restriction that occurs, both prolonged and intermittent. 
  • Those individuals who are already thin or in need of an increase in caloric intake to reach a healthy weight range are also advised to avoid fasting. (This is primarily for prolonged fasting. Intermittent fasting may still be an option, though consultation with a physician is recommended.)
  • If you have any underlying health conditions, it is best to consult your physician before fasting for a period of time greater than 24 hours. 

‏‏‎ Fasting Tea ‏‏‎

Let’s cut right to the chase… our friends at Eat Stop Eat have developed a unique tea to support your intermittent fasting, and it’s amazing.

Fasting tea is a collection of high “polyphenol” ingredients designed to help accelerate all the positive benefits of intermittent fasting…

From curbing hunger to blocking the synthesis of new fat, and even possibly killing existing fat cells, polyphenols are pretty awesome.

They really do everything — from improving the health of your mitochondria to helping with inflammation and insulin sensitivity — polyphenols have a wide array of really great health benefits, and that’s why they are the core of fasting tea.

All the best, highest quality, natural sources of polyphenols were sought out. You can see the full list on this page. The result is a blend of high-potency, great-tasting, not-too-sweet polyphenols.

Now, if you’re looking for a “magic bullet,” or a 5,000% boost in your metabolism, then fasting tea isn’t for you, but if you’re happy to enjoy the gradual benefits that can improve your health and your body composition, as well as reducing inflammation, neutralizing free radicals and free radical formation, then fasting tea is for you.

Also, I know I called it “fasting tea,” but it’s something I take every day, fasting or not.

Finally, I know you are probably skeptical, you probably see supplements all the time, but I really want you to give this one a try. 

Your special discount page here ==> Fasting Tea

I really think you’re going to love Fasting Tea!

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HEALTH

10 Morning Rituals That Help Shed Pounds

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Let’s start here by going out on a limb…

I’m going to guess that the first thing you think about when you awake in the morning, alarm blaring or not, is not weight loss. 

Sure, if you have extra pounds to shed, it’s on your mind, but I doubt you wake up thinking about it. 

But, did you know that how you begin your morning can have a lot to do with your success when it comes to shedding those excess pounds?

Yep, that’s right…something as simple as your morning routine, the things you do so often that you don’t even have to think about them, can help you lose weight! 

So often weight loss can be a dreadful thing. Lots of to-don’ts, right? 

Well, here we’re going to show you ten powerful to-do’s that you can easily incorporate into your morning routine to set you up for weight loss success!! 

1- Hydration Station

What’s easier than drinking water, right? 

Starting your day with a glass or two of room-temperature water (preferably with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon for optimal health benefits) can actually help you shrink your waistline. 

Hydrating first thing in the morning can boost weight loss by increasing the number of calories your body burns for the next 60 minutes (it does this by increasing your metabolism). And, it can reduce the overall amount of calories you consume, due to making you feel full. 

Staying hydrated also helps your body flush out toxins, giving another helpful boost to your metabolism and aiding you in your weight loss efforts. 

2- Protein Packed

Some folks skip breakfast, and some folks can’t erase what their kindergarten (and first, second, and third grade) teachers told them: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Now, of course, there is conflicting evidence debating the truth of that matter, but what isn’t debatable is the power of protein! 

Eating a breakfast high in protein has been proven to reduce cravings and promote weight loss. 

Protein can also reduce levels of ghrelin, a hormone known to control hunger, thereby reducing your appetite, keeping you feeling full for longer periods of time. 

Studies have also shown a link between those eating protein-packed breakfasts and a reduction in body fat (possibly due to the fact that protein is harder for your body to store as fat).

Reach for protein-rich foods like eggs, greek yogurt, nuts, and chia seeds for a healthy, protein-packed breakfast.  

3- Mindfulness Matters

Most of us are familiar with Rene Descartes saying, “I think, therefore I am.” But, do we truly act on this notion? 

Studies have proven the truth of this sentiment for centuries. What you think about matters!

Mindfulness involves intentionality. 

Rather than spending your mornings mindlessly scrolling through social media or sitting in front of the television, focus on the present moment, being aware of each of your thoughts and feelings. 

This time spent mindfully, first thing in the morning, can set you up for success throughout the rest of your day. 

And, studies have found the practice to significantly impact weight loss (successfully), reducing behaviors contributing to obesity specifically. 

Spending just 5 minutes in the morning, choosing a comfortable spot to sit and connect with your senses, training your body to focus on intentionality, can increase your likelihood of success in losing weight. 

Mindfulness has even been shown to indirectly boost weight loss by reducing mood swings (often a contributing factor to weight gain through mood-related binge eating). 

4- Brown Bag It

I’m sure you’ve heard the classic Ben Franklin quote, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” And yes, this applies to packing your lunch…in multiple ways. 

Taking the time to pack a nutritious lunch in the morning:

  • ensures you have a lunch full of foods that are consistent with helping you achieve your weight loss goals
  • keeps you from succumbing to in-the-moment temptations (think drive-thrus and vending machines) when hunger calls 
  • ensures you have healthy options midmorning and midafternoon when hunger is known to strike (when you pack healthy snacks to consume throughout the day as well)
  • as opposed to eating out, you can control exactly what goes into your meal, measuring accurately your calorie intake (crucial for weight loss) and other dietary needs

And, studies have shown that people who prepare their meals ahead of time have better-quality diets overall and are less likely to be obese. 

5- Move It To Lose It

Okay, I know…you can exercise any time of day, right? True…but, studies show those who exercise first thing in the morning reap more rewards from it. 

  • Those who work out in the morning are classically more consistent at getting in exercise each and every day. 
  • Exercising in the morning has been shown to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level all throughout the day. 
  • A reduction in afternoon food cravings is associated with morning exercise. 
  • Morning exercise has been proven to boost weight loss (overall). 
  • Some claim that working out prior to breakfast boosts fat burning. 

So…move it in the morning and reap those benefits all throughout the day. 

Plus, when you workout in the morning, you don’t have to worry about squeezing it in at a later time in your busy day or being too tired to workout at the end of a hectic day. 

6- Change Your Commute

Have you considered that simply switching up your drive to (and from) work can do wonders for your waistline? 

One obvious reason to change routes would be to avoid any temptations on your drive that may cause you to routinely forego your goals for sugary or fatty fast foods on the way to work. 

But, you can also check off your morning exercise goal on your way to work by choosing to walk or bike instead of driving to work. 

As studies have shown that those commuting via car tend to gain more weight than those who get to work on foot or cycle (or rollerblade…nothing wrong with creativity), it’s no wonder that similar studies have proven such choices regarding active methods of commuting contributed to lower body fat percentages and significantly lower body mass indexes. 

7- Step On The Scale

I know…that dreaded ‘s’ word is a rough one. But, hear me out. 

Studies show that daily weight monitoring results in greater weight loss, and there’s truly (and scientifically) no better time to do it than first thing in the morning. 

Before the water, before the exercise, before breakfast, and after you’ve urinated first thing in the morning, step on the scale. This is your most accurate weight reading of the day. 

A healthy mindset regarding the scale involves knowing the causes for fluctuations (eating at a later time the night before, havingn’t had a bowel movement, consuming more sodium) and using the number you see to not reflect on yourself but your overall progress. 

Weighing yourself first thing in the morning shouldn’t be a discouraging factor, but a tool to collect data to motivate you regarding your weight loss goals and provide the information you need to adjust your diet or continue on with what you’re doing that has proven successful. 

Routine morning weigh-ins can build healthy habits, and studies show those who regularly engage in this practice lose more weight on average than those who skip the scale. 

8- Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Whether it means getting a few extra z’s in the morning or heading to bed a bit earlier in the evening, changing up your routine to allow for some extra sleep may help you lose weight. 

Many studies centered around sleep and weight loss/gain have shown that a lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your waistline. 

Not getting enough sleep has been linked to an increase in:

  • calorie intake
  • hunger
  • cravings
  • appetite

Specifically in regards to weight loss efforts, studies have shown that when sleep was lacking, dieters lost up to 55% less fat even though their dieting efforts remained the same. 

Aside from this, lack of sleep in general doesn’t always set you up for the best decisions when it comes to weight loss. 

I’m sure you know the drill: You’re too tired, so you skip your workout. Then once you skip your workout, your other goals seem less important (even if only for that day) and your nutrition isn’t on point, and those decisions seem to snowball from there. 

Getting enough sleep (at least 8 hours nightly is recommended for adults) will help your decision-making, curb those cravings, and regulate your appetite, all keeping you on track to reach your weight loss goals! 

9- Time For Sunshine

Sunlight can help you shed pounds in a few surprising ways, specifically in the morning. 

Studies show those individuals who are exposed to the sun in the earlier hours of the day generally have a lower BMI (body mass index) than those people who don’t get sun exposure until later in the day. 

One study found that even moderate amounts of sun exposure had a direct impact on weight. 

And, animal studies have shown UV exposure to actually suppress weight gain. 

Your hormones also benefit from the vitamin D your body produces when exposed to the sunlight, thereby boosting your energy levels, and aiding in your weight loss efforts. 

Morning sunshine also contains the highest levels of blue light. So, when you develop a habit of getting sun exposure first thing in the morning, even something as simple as letting the sunshine in through your windows, this can greatly influence (in a good way) your circadian rhythm, helping you get better sleep.

Seek to get 20-30 minutes of sunlight exposure between the hours of 8 am and noon to fully benefit from all nature’s light has to offer in regards to your waistline. 

10- Cold Showers

You read that correctly. It’s not a typo. But, don’t skip this one…hear me out…

As awful as a cold shower sounds, first thing in the morning, there truly are many benefits to be had from this practice. 

While a hot shower is no doubt comforting, the heat can actually be pretty harmful, causing unwanted skin conditions and even high blood pressure. 

A cold shower, however, while it certainly boasts benefits to the health of your skin and hair, can also help you lose weight! 

A specific type of fat, known as brown adipose fat, can be activated by a cold shower. The activation of this fat then causes the release of two types of hormones (irisin and FGF21) which can help you lose weight by burning white fat tissue. 

A cold shower in the morning can also boost your metabolism and improve your energy levels. 

But, since the thought of a cold shower first thing in the morning doesn’t sound all too pleasant, let’s detail the best way to reap those benefits: 

  • First, you can begin your shower at a temperature that is comfortable to you, then gradually continue to lower the temperature after the first few minutes. 
  • Once you’ve reached a cold temperature, keep the water at this temperature for at least 3-4 minutes. 
  • Keep in mind that you can also ease yourself into this practice, starting with only a few seconds (of cold temperature), and then working your way up each day until your body is used to the cooler temperatures. 

As your body seeks to warm itself after these cold showers, you’ll automatically be burning more calories, already on your way to shrinking your waistline! 

#1 Sleep mistake packs on belly fat 

Did you know sleeping a certain way could pack on belly fat?

One 68-year-old grandma was making a big mistake and since fixed the issue and lost 84 pounds…

#1 Sleep mistake packs on belly fat

Who knew this sleep position was causing a deadly, stress-induced response in her already frail body that caused her metabolism to crash and this one recurring nightmare to almost come through…

#1 Sleep mistake packs on belly fat

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HEALTH

Finding Balance: The Key to a Healthy Work-Life Routine

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In today’s fast-paced world, finding balance between work and personal life can be a challenging task. With the constant demands of work and the pressures of personal life, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. However, finding the right balance between the two is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life routine and ensuring overall well-being.

One of the key aspects of finding balance is setting boundaries. It is important to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life in order to prevent one from encroaching on the other. This means setting aside time for work during designated hours and making sure to prioritize personal time for relaxation, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones.

Another important aspect of finding balance is time management. It is crucial to prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities in order to effectively manage one’s time and avoid feeling overwhelmed. This may involve setting a schedule, making to-do lists, and setting realistic goals in order to stay on track and maintain a healthy work-life routine.

In addition, it is important to take care of oneself both physically and mentally. This means prioritizing self-care activities such as exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and taking time for relaxation and stress relief. Engaging in activities that promote well-being and relaxation, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature, can help to recharge and rejuvenate both the body and mind.

It is also important to communicate with others about your needs and boundaries. By being open and honest with colleagues, managers, and loved ones about your priorities and limitations, you can establish a support system that can help you maintain a healthy work-life routine. This may involve setting boundaries with work colleagues, asking for help when needed, or expressing your needs to your family and friends.

Ultimately, finding balance between work and personal life is a continuous journey that requires effort and commitment. By prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, managing time effectively, and communicating openly with others, you can create a healthy work-life routine that promotes overall well-being and happiness. Remember, finding balance is not about perfection, but about making small, sustainable changes to create a more fulfilling and satisfying life.

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HEALTH

Link Between Diabetes And Dementia?

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Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are diminishing the health of many across the nation, increasingly affecting children as well, at an alarming rate. 

And, though I’m sure you’ve heard of the ways that these factors can adversely affect your health, putting you at risk for concerns such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes to name a few, they can also affect the health of your brain. 

Instances of diabetes leading to dementia are growing, and this is causing researchers to dig a bit further into this now-commonly-known link.  

So, what is the connection between diabetes and dementia? 

Do age and onset make a difference? 

And, if you have diabetes, or are at risk for diabetes, what can you do to reduce your risk of cognitive decline? 

Diabetes & Dementia

Diabetes is a health condition that changes how your body converts food into energy. 

As you eat, foods are normally broken down into glucose (sugar) which is released into your bloodstream. 

When the amount of sugar in your blood increases, this sends a signal to your pancreas to release insulin, a substance that allows your cells to then use that sugar as energy. 

In the case of diabetes, however, the body doesn’t produce adequate amounts of insulin, causing too much sugar to remain in the bloodstream.  

This can then lead to further health concerns such as kidney disease, problems with vision, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. 

And, it’s the last threat on that list that is garnering much attention as of late. 

Diabetics actually have a 73% greater risk of developing dementia than non-diabetics, with type 1 diabetics being 93% more likely to develop dementia. 

And, while dementia can be caused by a number of illnesses or even injuries, specifically speaking of its link to diabetes, it is thought that high levels of blood sugar and insulin can also cause harm or damage to the brain. 

So then, what is the connection between these two health conditions? 

First, we know that diabetes most often leads to a slow and subtle decline in brain function, but in patients who are already experiencing cognitive decline, the likelihood of this decline progressing to full-blown dementia increases greatly. 

But, aside from those already experiencing cognitive decline, diabetes knowingly causes damage to blood vessels, and it is also a known risk factor for vascular dementia, a type of cognitive decline often associated with brain damage due to problems with a lack of blood supply to the brain. 

In fact, the risk of developing vascular dementia increases by 100% in diabetes patients. 

And, as diabetes can lead to heart damage or stroke, blood vessels within the brain can become damaged in such instances. 

Diabetes can also cause chronic inflammation throughout the body which is known to damage brain cells. And, some studies have shown diabetes to cause an increase in the production of a toxic protein which causes damage here as well. 

And, type 2 diabetes, in particular, is linked to a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and even mild cognitive impairments including difficulty concentrating, problems with memory, learning new things, and making decisions. 

The link here is usually seen in patients with type 2 diabetes and those with Alzheimer’s disease, both suffering from oxidative stress and diminished insulin signaling. Here, insulin resistance in the body leads to diabetes, and insulin resistance in the brain leads to Alzheimer’s disease. 

But, as recent research has given us greater knowledge regarding this connection, a finding that is particularly troubling surrounds the age of onset, given the fact that the age of diabetes diagnoses seems to be getting younger and younger.

Age Of Onset Could Make All The Difference

While the link between diabetes and dementia has been well established, this connection has led scientists to search for even more answers. 

And, the results of this ongoing research have led scientists to believe that the earlier one is diagnosed with diabetes, the greater their risk is for developing dementia. 

Over time, the effects diabetes can have on blood pressure and heart health are thought to be one of the largest contributors to dementia as heart and brain health are closely linked. 

Another risk associated with an early life diagnosis of diabetes is that the longer you are faced with controlling your body’s blood sugars, the more likely you are to have had instances or episodes of low blood sugar as well. 

Instances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) over time can cause damage to the hippocampus (the brain’s memory center), leading to memory loss and dementia. 

Thankfully, not only are there some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes in the first place, there are also things you can do to reduce your risk of dementia as well, even if you already have diabetes. 

Decreasing Your Risk Of Dementia When Living With Diabetes

So, now we’ve learned that diabetics also have to be concerned with cognitive decline as they manage an already troublesome disease. 

But, thankfully there are some ways to manage that risk! 

Maintaining a healthy weight, or losing weight if you are overweight or obese can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and can prevent complications (like dementia) from the disease if you are a diabetic. 

Losing weight can…

  • keep your blood sugar levels healthy and in turn reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure or the buildup of arterial plaque which can both lead to heart disease or stroke, thus potentially damaging your brain
  • make your body more sensitive to insulin, causing insulin resistance to decrease and allowing diabetes to be better managed
  • reduce the risk of vascular damage, a common link to dementia

Exercise and a healthy diet are often mentioned in conjunction with weight management, and these certainly are crucial in keeping or reaching a healthy weight, but these can also help you to manage diabetes and decrease the risk of the disease progressing to dementia as well. 

To effectively manage diabetes, aside from controlling blood sugars, be sure to 

  • exercise at least 30 minutes per day 
  • eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins 

These practices can prevent diabetes, keep the disease from progressing, and may potentially reduce the risk of diabetes progressing to dementia. 

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See how it will do the same for you too

Here’s to the new you!

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