Insulin Resistance and Your Brain

Article by: Georgia Ede MD

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease Is Easier Than You Think
Science shines new light on root cause of memory problems.

Do you have Insulin Resistance?
If you don’t know, you’re not alone. This is perhaps the single most important question any of us can ask about our physical and mental health—yet most patients, and even many doctors, don’t know how to answer it.

Here in the U.S., insulin resistance has reached epidemic proportions: more than half of us are now insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is a hormonal condition that sets the stage throughout the body for inflammation and overgrowth, disrupts normal cholesterol and fat metabolism, and gradually destroys our ability to process carbohydrates.

Insulin resistance puts us at high risk for many undesirable diseases, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Scarier still, researchers now understand that insulin resistance is a powerful force in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

What is insulin resistance?
Insulin is a powerful metabolic hormone that orchestrates how cells access and process vital nutrients, including sugar (glucose).

In the body, one of insulin’s responsibilities is to unlock muscle and fat cells so they can absorb glucose from the bloodstream. When you eat something sweet or starchy that causes your blood sugar to spike, the pancreas releases insulin to usher the excess glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells. If blood sugar and insulin spike too high too often, cells will try to protect themselves from overexposure to insulin’s powerful effects by toning down their response to insulin—they become “insulin resistant.” In an effort to overcome this resistance, the pancreas releases even more insulin into the blood to try to keep glucose moving into cells. The more insulin levels rise, the more insulin resistant cells become. Over time, this vicious cycle can lead to persistently elevated blood glucose levels, or type 2 diabetes.

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