Dementia Risk May Be Increased When Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics Are Too Low

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Diabetics already face enough health risks when dealing with blood sugar levels. If levels become too low (hypoglycemia), it may lead to seizures or loss of consciousness. But a new study indicates that low levels may also increase the risk of dementia.

Hypoglycemia can become an issue when measures to control blood sugar become too aggressive. So even though elevated levels are unhealthy, the same is true when they dip too low.

The study, published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, involved 783 patients, between the ages of 70 and 79, who had type 2 diabetes but did not have dementia. It was found the risk of dementia was double for those who experienced severe occurrences of hypoglycemia requiring hospitalization. On the other hand, it was also discovered that people with dementia had more than twice the chance of developing severe hypoglycemia.

At this time it’s not clear why there may be a connection between low blood sugar levels and dementia. One possibility is that brain damage may occur because of the lacking supply of sugar to the brain, according to researchers. And if dementia is already a problem, the ability to properly manage medication for diabetes might be an issue because of memory impairment.

One of the underlying concerns from this study is whether or not preventing diabetes could also reduce risk of dementia. But researchers indicate that since there isn’t a clear cause-and-effect relationship, further studies are needed.

Whether there is anything to this, it is critical that blood sugar levels aren’t undertreated. At the same time, overtreatment could damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.

Complications from diabetes or dementia can result in disability. This may necessitate a claim for benefits. For help in understanding one’s rights to disability benefits, contact the Disability Help Group