Stress And Diabetes - It's A Memory Thing
picture by mrhayata flickr
I was interested in reading recently that research has shown that older people with type 2 diabetes can suffer an increase of memory loss and a general cognitive decline, when also under excessive stress. This is believed to be because of the higher levels of Cortisol in their bloodstream.
My mother was only 60 when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had a normal memory for her age with no other mental issues. However she was a very highly strung person and life just seemed to get her down all the time. She reacted very badly to any form of stress and generally didn’t handle it very well.
As the years went by she became more and more forgetful and because she was not that old she feared that she was suffering from some form of dementia or even Alzheimer's. This only added to her stress and she became more and more forgetful and generally much older than her years mentally.
She was never diagnosed with any form of dementia and now I suspect that her general loss of mental ability was due to the combination of her diabetes and her response to stress.
The original research was set up to discover whether or not there was s connection between stress and diabetes. Now that there is some evidence that this is true further research is in progress to discover more about this connection and how these ill effects may be reduced for older diabetic patients.
Sadly this will come too late for my mother, who passed away recently but I have high hopes that new medication will be available one day to help reduce the Cortisol levels which may be contributing to the overall cognitive decline.
In the mean time managing stress and reducing its affects becomes even more of a priority for those older people suffering from type 2 diabetes.