In many ways, obesity weighs as heavily on the mind as it does on the body. Living with excess weight increases your risk for developing anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. It also makes you more vulnerable to developing issues of cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
When we talk about the long list of ways that obesity can negatively influence your health, too often the mental health and cognitive concerns are left out of the conversation. Despite all evidence to the contrary, obesity is still too often considered an aesthetic issue. The most common reasons cited for wanting to lose weight are to look better, to be more comfortable, or to fit into old clothes. While any reasons is a great reason to want to lose weight, you don’t want to lose sight of the health concerns that obesity can cause.
Obesity, Chronic Disease, and Memory Loss
The longer you live with obesity, the more likely it is that you will develop an obesity related disease. Obesity impacts the body over time, causing damage that builds gradually until it becomes severe.
Type-2 diabetes is one of the most highly associated chronic diseases with obesity. This disease develops when blood sugar levels in the body fluctuate unhealthily, causing severe spikes and drops in insulin in the body. Unfortunately, these insulin spikes are now thought to be associated with memory loss and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. This means that being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes needs to become a call to arms in the fight against dementia and memory loss.
If you think you are at risk of developing memory loss, try employing healthy strategies that will help keep your mind alert. These include:
- Playing Sudoku
- Doing crossword puzzles
- Playing chess or other logic games
- Using memory games to remember new names
- Being social and trying new experiences that shape new memories
- Exercising regularly
The good news is that losing weight can help you reverse the onset of type-2 diabetes. Working closely with your medical weight loss doctor to make changes to your diet and exercise habits can help stabilize insulin levels and cure you entirely of type-2 diabetes.
However, any damage that diabetes caused cannot necessarily be undone in the same way. If diabetes prompts memory loss, losing weight can’t bring memories back. The best thing that you can do is to be proactive about weight loss and to prevent type-2 diabetes before memory loss can settle in.
Your risk for developing type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is going to be higher if you have a family history of any of these concerns. Talk to your medical weight loss doctor about healthy strategies that will help you lose weight and prevent potential issues with obesity related diseases.