Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Diabetes and Dementia

Friday, 19 November 2010 02:19 PM

Question: I am only 50 years old but am having a terrible problem with my memory. Sometimes I can’t remember conversations I had the day before. I have diabetes and am very overweight. Am I in danger of dementia?

Dr. Hibberd’s Answer:

From my experience, it sounds as though your diabetes is not well controlled. Erratic fluctuations in blood sugar and chronically elevated blood sugar levels are definitely connected to memory decline and greater dementia risk.
Changing your eating habits and getting regular exercise are absolute requirements, as medication is an aid rather than a substitute. I know it’s difficult to make such changes but with the right education and help, it can be done.
I suggest you start by walking as far as is comfortable every day, and gradually increase the distance. It doesn’t matter if you can only go down your driveway at first.
At the same time, see your doctor to check if your medications need to be adjusted. And, ask for a referral to a certified diabetes educator to learn how to choose and prepare foods you like in a way that will control your blood sugar.

© HealthDay

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