Diabetics have a higher risk of dementia

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Dangerous combination

Dangerous combination: increased risk for diabetics to develop dementia and depression

Diabetics are much more likely to develop dementia or depression than other people. Experts are now warning of the dangers of this vicious circle.

Danger of brain damage from diabetes Type 2 diabetes is spreading more and more rapidly in Germany. In Germany, almost nine million people are said to be affected. The undisclosed number of undetected cases is said to be around four million. The risk for type 2 diabetics to develop vascular dementia is up to four times higher than for people without the metabolic disease. And Alzheimer's dementia occurs 1.5 to twice as often in them, according to the German Diabetes Society (DDG) on Tuesday in Berlin. These are the results of several studies. Patients may experience severe hypoglycaemia, for example as a result of incorrect insulin administration, and this apparently leads to further brain damage, which can accelerate dementia. In order to standardize and improve the therapies of those affected, the DDG presented a previously unique guideline under the title: "Psychosocial and diabetes."

Depression in diabetics twice as often Diabetics are also affected above-average by depression. In contrast to the normal population of around ten percent, it is about twice as strong, according to Johannes Kruse from the University Hospital Gießen and Marburg (UKGM). This often leads to a kind of vicious circle: "On the one hand, depression increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, the burden of physical illness goes hand in hand with the development of depressive symptoms." The doctors therefore point out that In all of these cases, early psychotherapeutic support, possibly supplemented with medication, was important. The president of the DDG, Erhard Siegel, warned: “If the mental illness in diabetes patients remains undetected, a good diabetes setting is made more difficult. The result is a shortened life expectancy. ”Mental illnesses and diabetes benefited each other. Siegel therefore emphasized: "Somatic and psychosocial factors are equally important for therapy and long-term prognosis."

JYoung diabetics face the greatest dangers It has long been known that women are affected by eating disorders much more often than men. Studies by researchers at the University of Leipzig have shown that the female population is affected five times more often. But eating disorders also occur frequently in diabetes patients. Physical and mental illness are often mutually dependent. For example, depression could be the result and cause of diabetes. On the one hand, depressed people exercise less on average, eat less healthily and become overweight, which increases the risk of developing diabetes. On the other hand, the metabolic disease can trigger depression at the same time.
Both together can have fatal consequences. Another extremely dangerous combination often occurs in young women who have diabetes if there are additional eating disorders. Stephan Herpertz of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum warns: "If the blood glucose level and weight of a young patient fluctuate greatly, bulimia nervosa should be considered." Bulimia leads to a loss of control over food intake and to address excessive calories many people consciously feel too little insulin to lose weight. This can have enormous consequences for future health because there is a risk of so-called diabetic late damage. In the long term, this could have a dramatic effect on the eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Image: Bernd Kasper / pixelio.de

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Video: Mayo Clinic Minute: Is Alzheimers Type 3 diabetes?


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