Can Diabetes Steal Your Mind?

Can Diabetes Steal Your Mind

Diabetes is a disease that no one wants to have. When insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels, becomes deficient or ineffective, the body suffers from chronically high blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes results when inadequate amounts of insulin are produced; type 2 develops when the body doesn’t use insulin properly. In both cases, the resulting damage to blood vessels harms every organ in your body, including your brain.

Being overweight (diabetes + obesity = diabesity) makes things worse. Recent research revealed that people with early stage Type 2 diabetes who were also overweight had more severe and progressive abnormalities in brain structures and cognition than normal weight type 2 diabetics. The temporal lobe, which is one of the first brain regions to show changes in Alzheimer’s disease, was particularly vulnerable.

Both Daniel and Tana Amen have lost loved ones and friends to the scourge of diabetes. They have seen first-hand how devastating the disease can be to someone’s health, happiness and life—and to their families.

But diabetes doesn’t have to ruin your life. This is a disease that can be prevented—and even, in some cases, reversed—through simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising more and eating a healthy diet, with more fiber, vegetables and fruit.

Diabesity is one of the risk factors in the Amen Clinics BRIGHT MINDS Program, which identifies and treats the 11 risk factors that can rob you of your memory and your mind. Research shows that addressing all of these vulnerabilities is the best way to keep your memory strong for life.

The list below includes all 11 risks, summed up in the words BRIGHT MINDS, which makes it easier to remember them:

B – Blood Flow

R – Retirement/Aging

I – Inflammation

G – Genetics

H – Head Trauma

T – Toxins

M – Mental Health

I – Immunity/Infection Issues

N – Neurohormone Deficiencies

D – Diabesity

S – Sleep Issues

If you are overweight or getting on in years (age is a primary risk factor for diabetes), make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss these lab tests:

  • Hemoglobin A1c, or HbA1c, a test that measures blood sugar levels over approximately three months
  • Fasting glucose
  • Fasting insulin

It is also important to know your waist to height ration (WHtR), which you can calculate by dividing your waist size (in inches) by your height (in inches). A woman with a 30-inch waist who is 5’4” (64”) would divide 30 by 64 to get a WHtR or 46.8 percent. A ratio that’s less than 50 percent is considered healthy. Use a tape measure to get an accurate waist size!

The other critical number to know is your body mass index, or BMI, which is a measurement that compares your weight to your height. An optimal BMI is 18.5 to 25; overweight is 25 to 30; over 30 is considered obese. Several online calculators will give you your BMI if you plug in your weight and height.

To lower your risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes, adopt these healthy habits:

  • Don’t drink your calories—the healthiest beverage is water
  • Start the Memory Rescue Diet; more on that below
  • Lose weight slowly and steadily if you are overweight so you can develop good lifelong habits
  • Exercise! Along with diet and weight loss, it’s one of the most important lifestyle habits to adopt, according to the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study—the first randomized, controlled lifestyle intervention study to show that in persons with impaired blood sugar tolerance, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by lifestyle changes
  • Take a good multivitamin/mineral, vitamin D, magnesium and an omega-3 EPA/DHA supplement daily
  • Consider supplementing with chromium picolinate, berberine, cinnamon and alpha-lipoic acid
  • Eat low glycemic, high fiber, nutrient-dense foods, and be sure that every meal contains protein and fat to stabilize blood sugar and cravings
  • Use cinnamon and nutmeg in cooking
  • Add fiber-rich foods to your diet: broccoli, spinach, lentils, green peas, winter squash, cabbage, green beans, coconut, artichokes, chickpeas and chia seeds
  • Avoid sugar! It has no nutritional benefit and depletes chromium and other vitamins and minerals
  • Stay away from low-fiber foods, including white and wheat bread, pasta and white potatoes and rice

In the video below, Dr. Daniel Amen discusses diabesity and the role diet plays in rescuing your memory today!

To learn more about Amen Clinics Memory Program based on Dr. Amen’s BRIGHT MINDS approach, check it out HERE.

How Brain SPECT Imaging Can Help

Brain SPECT imaging looks at the functioning of the brain. It can tell us if your brain is healthy, experiencing accelerated aging, injured, overactive, or underactive. Without imaging and other assessments, there’s really no way to know what’s going on inside your brain.

Although getting older is unavoidable, aging is optional. To learn how we can help you prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.


  1. I thought this article was going to be about sugar. Sugar is barely mentioned. What about people addicted to sugar? It’s real and extremely difficult to quit. I tried as hard as I could for 6 years but failed miserably – even spending time in bed over the DT’s. I found a superfood shake that contains maca powder. I quit sugar within a week with no withdrawal symptoms. Pretty amazing.

    Comment by Julie — November 29, 2017 @ 6:34 AM

  2. Since cloves, cinnamon, etc are anti-inflammatory, is there benefit to using essential oils of these spices and diffusing them into the air? Of course primary benefit would be via ingestion of the spices, but since oils are much more concentrated than the spices themselves, I would think that inhalation as a delivery method would provide additional benefits – thoughts?

    Comment by Karla Ely — November 29, 2017 @ 7:43 AM

  3. Please go to to learn more about the safe use of essential oils, including diffusion. Robert Tisserand is a leading expert in the use of EO, and the site offers a wealth of information.

    Comment by Julie — November 29, 2017 @ 11:39 AM

  4. Julie – thanks for your comments. I have been an avid user of 100% pure essential oils (Young Living) for over 6 years – I know that these oils are safe – I was wondering about efficacy of diffusion of oils vs. ingestion of spices. My own experience leads me to believe that diffusion of the more potent oils would be of superior benefit to ingestion of lesser concentrated spices. Of course, ingestion of the oils themselves (which I also do) would provide the largest benefits.

    Comment by Karla Ely — November 29, 2017 @ 12:28 PM

  5. I posted my response because safety should be a primary concern when using any essential oil. Not all people will be able to use EO without adverse effects as you claim to do, due to variations in biochemistry. I strongly urge you and others to please take time to check out the website I recommended for additional information.

    Comment by Julie — November 29, 2017 @ 2:48 PM

  6. I would add a 12th risk: Stress. From one: Bright MINDSs!?

    Okay there may more than one! lol

    Comment by Doug Bernacchi — November 29, 2017 @ 5:45 PM

  7. How did you make the maca shake taste good? I don’t find maca tastes so good.

    Comment by Disqus-Bisques — November 29, 2017 @ 9:13 PM

  8. I have the same issue with sugar, going on at least 9 years now. Quitting smoking and drinking was easy compared to sugar. Ugh.

    Comment by Ursula Nonya — November 29, 2017 @ 9:36 PM

  9. I agree strongly with Julie – where is the info on quitting sugar???? I am totally addicted to sweets – desserts, candy, etc. How does one stop consuming sugar laden foods. I do not use sugar in coffee, tea, cereal, etc. I just cannot stop eating foods that contain high amounts of sugar. Otherwise, I eat healthy. Gailrose

    Comment by Gailrose — December 4, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

  10. Hi Julie, I’m not sure if I missed your reply about how to make the superfood shake w/maca powder? I am most interested since as everyone else, I’m addicted too and want to try anything that can help. Thanks in advance.

    Comment by ebbyd — December 5, 2017 @ 6:40 AM

  11. Hi Julie, I’m very interested in knowing about the Superfood shake that contains maca. I’ve recently come to recognize my addiction to sugar and it’s getting worse. I do well avoiding sugar for a little while, then I get a taste, and it’s an avalanche of sweets for the following weeks. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Katy — December 5, 2017 @ 6:55 AM

  12. hey Jullie, I have read through all these replies and have not seen your response on the Maca powder queries. please advise. am a sugar lover and want to quit of it as well.

    Comment by caroline mm — December 31, 2017 @ 12:34 AM

  13. Try this maca smoothie.

    Comment by HP Stewart — May 7, 2018 @ 7:07 AM

  14. Julie. Where do you find this macca powder.

    Comment by Carolyn Cunnigham — February 6, 2019 @ 4:15 AM

  15. I have Struggled with sugar addiction for about all my life. Last March 2018 I made a decision to get off of sugar and so I weaned myself off of it so to speak. I ate a lot of fruit and vegetables and I tried to do that as often as possible; also lean meat and the traditional healthy foods. Drinking a lot of water helps but you have to just be very convicted and not eat the sugar. I didn’t like it at first but I developed a taste for Stevia which is a natural sweetener. I missed the taste of chocolate the most and so I put powdered cocoa in my coffee mixed with a little Stevia milk and cinnamon and it pretty much takes care of any cravings for chocolat I didn’t like it at first but I developed a taste for Stevia which is the natural sweetener. I missed the taste of chocolate the most and so I put powdered cocoa in my coffee mixed with a little Stevia milk and cinnamon and it pretty much takes care of any cravings for Sugar.The very act of not eating it is what gets you off of it. I know that sounds tough but it is possible because I did it at age 60 and I have Lost 33 pounds and feel so much better. I have 15 pounds to go and the last few pounds are the toughest. But you have to keep at it because sugar is a real addiction-worse than some drugs! It is an ongoing battle because you are really not going to just get off of sugar and stay off forever without craving it. It is like a real drug. So you must find ways to stay off of it ( substitute it with foods that you really like that are very healthy like nuts raisins fruit ) and you will not crave it anymore but yes the minute you start in to eating it you’re going to have more problems again. Portion sizes are extremely important because you can overdo it on most to need food. I cannot stress how good it feels to get that monkey off your back so it It is well worth it!

    Comment by Sherry Payne — February 6, 2019 @ 4:15 AM

  16. Weight loss can be nearly impossible for those of us with hypothyroid/Hashimoto’s, especially being undiagnosed by the allopathic community and even one naturopath for 30, yes, 30 years. My point is people who are heavy KNOW they need to lose weight and it’s painful to keep reading it everywhere when it’s not doable for those of us with other issues causing a slow down in metabolism etc. Having Hashimoto’s/lyme-babesia and spinal injury issues since high school, many exercises aren’t possible for me and with these conditions, one doesn’t have a ‘normal’ metabolism.

    Comment by Ellen-Sue Diamant — February 6, 2019 @ 7:24 AM

  17. Thanks for your comments and suggestions, Sherry. I started my fight against sugar two weeks ago, your recommendations will help me.

    Comment by thanks, Sherry, for your comments and suggestions. I started my fight against sugar two weeks ago, your recomendations willhelp me — February 6, 2019 @ 9:25 AM

  18. Try adding chromium picolinate to your supplement regimen. It is specific to blood sugar metabolism. Too, sweets craving can be indicative of protein deficiency.

    Comment by gypsy Kate — February 6, 2019 @ 12:44 PM

  19. I’m a little confused about the part about the BMI Index. That index doesn’t take into consideration muscle mass, fat distribution nor water weight. It’s a big blanket number that isn’t adequate to solely determine if someone is healthy, overweight, underweight or obese. I’m confused as to why that number would take any place in this study, considering its lack of precision and meaning.

    Comment by Eloise — April 5, 2022 @ 5:51 AM

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