American Diabetes Month 2016: Chronic kidney disease, NAFLD, cognitive decline, dementia, and hearing loss

lunch box with sandwich of wholemeal bread on white backgroundNovember is American Diabetes Month, so in light of this we present our articles discussing diabetes and related conditions, including chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cognitive decline, dementia, hearing impairment, liver fibrosis, and memory loss.

Although diabetes affects glucose levels, it can impact other parts of the body, too. Many complications can arise as a result of unmanaged diabetes, and this stresses the importance of managing your blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is a preventable condition, so if you haven’t already been diagnosed it’s important that you continue working towards reducing your risk of developing diabetes.

Chronic kidney disease risk in type 2 diabetes patients may be reduced with diet, moderate alcohol intake


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) risk in type 2 diabetes patients may be reduced with diet and moderate alcohol intake. The study involved 6,213 patients with type 2 diabetes. After 5.5 years of follow-up, 31.7 percent of patients developed chronic kidney disease and 8.3 percent died.

Compared to the patients with the lowest healthy scoring on diet quality, the healthiest group had a lower risk of chronic kidney disease and lower mortality risk. Further findings indicate that patients who consumed more than three servings of fruit per week had a lower risk of chronic kidney disease, compared to those who consumed fruit less frequently. Continue reading…

non-alcoholic-fatty-liverNon-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes together may increase liver fibrosis risk: Study

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develops when fat accumulates in the liver. This can occur in individuals who don’t drink alcohol or who drink in moderation. In some people, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) causes no symptoms or complications. However, if it progresses, it can ultimately lead to liver failure.

If you’re diabetic you should also be concerned about your liver health. Diabetes can put a person at an increased risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The Mayo Clinic reports that at least half of diabetics with type 2 diabetes will develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Other contributing factors of non-alcoholic liver disease include being overweight, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Although diabetes may contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the association works the other way around, too, meaning NAFLD can lead to the diagnosis of diabetes. If diabetes is poorly managed, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can worsen. Continue reading…

midlife-diabetes-linked-to-faster-cognitive-declineMidlife diabetes linked to faster memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia progression in next 20 years: Study

Midlife diabetes diagnosis is linked to faster memory and cognitive decline and dementia progression during the next 20 years, according to research findings. The researchers found that diabetes ages the mind up to five years faster, compared to normal effects of aging.

Study lead Elizabeth Selvin said, “The lesson is that to have a healthy brain when you’re 70, you need to eat right and exercise when you’re 50. There is a substantial cognitive decline associated with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and poor glucose control in people with diabetes. And we know how to prevent or delay the diabetes associated with this decline.”

The researchers used data from Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), which followed 15,792 middle-aged adults. There were four follow-up visits, three years apart, and then the fifth follow-up was between 2011 and 2013. Cognitive function was evaluated on the visit two and visit five. Continue reading…

higher-dementia-risk-linked-to-higher-blood-sugar-levels-even-among-people-with-no-diabetesHigher dementia risk linked to higher blood sugar levels, even among people with no diabetes

Higher dementia risk is linked to higher blood sugar levels, even among people with no diabetes. In the study, blood sugar levels averaged over a five-year period were associated with greater risks of developing dementia in over 2,000 older adults over 65.

Patients without diabetes had an 18 percent higher risk of dementia if their glucose averaged 115 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), compared to those with an average of 110 mg/dl. In diabetics with generally higher glucose levels, the risk of dementia was 40 percent higher if their glucose averaged 190 mg/dl, compared to those with an average glucose level of 160 mg/dl.


First author of the study Paul K. Crane explained, “The most interesting finding was that every incrementally higher glucose level was associated with a higher risk of dementia in people who did not have diabetes. There was no threshold value for lower glucose values where risk leveled off.” Continue reading…

hearing-impairment-linked-to-type-2-diabetesHearing impairment linked to type 2 diabetes: Study

Hearing impairment is linked to diabetes, and studies recommend hearing testing for type 2 diabetes management. The research found compelling evidence that diabetes can damage the auditory system, and that doctors should recommend regular hearing tests for their diabetic patients.

Researcher Elizabeth Helzner said, “An association between diabetes and hearing impairment in human subjects has been shown in many, but not all, studies. Direct comparison of these studies is complicated due to a lack of consistency in defining hearing impairment and other factors. However, the association between diabetes and hearing impairment tends to be stronger in studies that included younger participants, perhaps because in older samples, other causes of age-related hearing impairment may mask the contribution of diabetes to the impairment. This factor in itself lends weight to the notion that type 2 diabetes can damage hearing.” Continue reading…