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can anyone share with ideas about "vascular dementia" or "out of control diabetes"

By April 6, 2010 - 9:05am
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7 year breast cancer survivor; vascular dementia (newly diagnosed - one of two of brain arteries going into brain is completely blocked - can't put stent in it); blood flowing well in other one and in the two in your actual brain for now. Just read article in this forum that states person usually just lives 5 to 10 years after diagnosis. That scares me - hoping for more personal stories or other hopeful outcome. Diabetes 2 out of control - numbers run in the 300s... on both short acting and long acting insulin 3 to 5 times daily. Sugar highest in morning! Metabolic Syndrome X and Insulin Resistance. Please anyone with success stories, diets, etc would like you to share them... Any specialists out there who can give some input also.... Of course neither the cardiovascular expert nor my regular medical doctor said anything about the 5 to 10 year prognosis. Currently have me on Plavix and probably going to start me on Aricept also... Just got put on medical leave with instructions to Rest and De-Stress. Kind of hard

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Janer831

Thank you for question and welcome! I'm so sorry to read that you've been going through so much, but congratulations on your breast cancer outcome.

With regard to your vascular dementia, diabetes may have actually raised your risk of getting this. There is no 'cure' unfortunately, for vascular dementia although our Vascular Dementia page lists some treatment options. They are:

Treatment options include:

There are no medications currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat vascular dementia. But depending on your symptoms, certain medications, such as nimodipine, methylphenidate, and donepezil (eg Aricept), may be beneficial in treating some symptoms of vascular dementia.

Behavioral Treatment
There is evidence that engaging in behavioral treatments (eg, increased pleasurable events, problem-solving exercises) may help reduce certain symptoms of vascular dementia.

Janer, do you or your doctors know what brought on this condition? You didn't mention stroke so I will assume that was not the trigger. Is there something else, that you know of?

Are you in contact with the Alzheimer's Association? If not, I think contacting them is a great idea. You can read about vascular dementia (the second most common form of dementia) here: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_vascular_dementia.asp

and you can contact them at 1.800.272.3900 and on the web at www.alz.org

They can provide you with lots of support and possibly introduce you to a support group in your area.

Please also visit our own Vascular Dementia page here: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/vascular-dementia-0

Additionally, Yahoo Groups has a very active on-line support group for people with vascular dementia called DementiaRescue. You can join this group here: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/dementiarescue/

With regard to your type 2 diabetes, diet plays an enormous role. Have you been outlined a special diet?

Our Type 2 Diabetes pages discusses treatment:

Treatment aims to:

Maintain blood sugar at levels as close to normal as possible
Preventing or delaying complications (regular medical care is important for this)

Follow a balanced meal plan. Eat consistent and moderate amounts of food at regular times.
Do not skip meals.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fiber .
Eat limited amounts of fat .
Eat moderate amounts of protein and low-fat dairy products .
Carefully limit foods containing sugar .
Keep a record of your food intake. This will help a dietitian or doctor advise you.
Weight Loss
If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about a reasonable weight goal. You and your doctor can develop a safe diet program for you. Weight loss will help your body respond better to insulin.

Exercise/Physical Activity:

Can make the body become more sensitive to insulin
Will help you reach and maintain a healthy weight
Can lower the levels of fat in your blood
Has been found to improve blood sugar control— Aerobic , fitness, and resistance training can help to improve hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels. * 2 This is a measure of your average blood glucose levels over the past three months. Researchers have also found that long-term strength and endurance training may improve HbAIc, even if participants didn't lose weight. * 12

Talk to your doctor about any restrictions. Work with your doctor to make an activity plan. Even a brief counseling session may help to increase your activity levels. * 9

Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. Exercising can help to reduce your risk for heart disease.

Oral Medication
Medications taken by mouth may be used to lower blood sugar:

Drugs that prompt the cells in the pancreas to make more insulin (eg, sulfonylureas [ glyburide , tolazamide] )
Insulin sensitizers—a class of drugs that help the body better use insulin (eg, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone )
Starch blockers—a class of drugs (eg, acarbose and miglitol ) that lessen glucose absorption into the bloodstream
Drugs that reduce the production of glucose by the liver (eg, metformin )
Amylin analogues (eg, pramlintide )
Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DDPP-4) inhibitor (eg, sitagliptin )
Incretin-mimetic (eg, exenatide )

Some studies showed that the use of certain drugs to reach very low blood glucose level may increase harm. Talk to your doctor about your drug program. * 3,6,7,10

In some cases the body does not make enough insulin. Insulin injections may be needed.

This is needed when blood sugar levels are not kept low enough with lifestyle change and medicine

Blood Glucose Testing
Checking blood glucose levels during the day can help you stay on track. It will also helps your doctor determine if you treatment is appropriate. Testing is easy with a blood glucose monitor. Keeping track of blood glucose levels is especially important if you take insulin.

The HbA1c may also be done at your doctor's office. Doctors advise that most keep their HbA1c levels below 7%. This level can help to avoid diabetic complications.

Regular blood sugar testing may not be needed in patients with type 2 diabetes. It may not be needed for those whose condition is under reasonably good control without insulin. * 4 Talk with your doctor before stopping blood sugar monitoring.

Alternative Therapies
One study focused on people with a specific type 2 diabetes. When given vitamin E they showed a decrease in the rates of heart problems. * 5

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, follow your doctor's instructions .

Lifestyle changes seem to be most effective. To reduce your chances of type 2 diabetes:

Participate in regular physical activity
Maintain a healthy weight
Eat a well balanced diet
Get enough fiber
Avoid fatty foods
Limit sugary foods like soda

Read more our our special Type 2 Diabetes page here: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/type-2-diabetes#definition

and contact the American Diabetes Association here:

Please let us know how else we can help. Regarding the 5-10 years life expectancy after diagnosis, than really does vary, based on each person's individual case. And since most people are over 65 when they are diagnosed, those statistics may be simply based on average life expectancies.

Pleas do contact these support groups and if other readers have experience with Janer's story, please join in this discussion!

Janer831, does this information help you>

April 6, 2010 - 1:07pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

Hi Susan - thank you for so much information - I have been fighting depression over this - and all your information helped me tremendously. When they did the angiogram, they said I probably had a mini-stroke or a few of them. Thank you for the resources listed - I will read them. It's so important to keep a positive mind and destress - so it's been a "Catch 22" for me because of worrying. Thanks again - I will look at some of the sites now. - Jane

April 8, 2010 - 5:24am
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