1. Reds

    Reds Registered User

    Sep 5, 2011
    539
    Hertfordshire
    Hi all

    Does anyone have any experience of who they care for having too much sugar. My husband's behaviour is challenging and first diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He has a sweet tooth and prob surprising what sugar he has as even in orange juice, cereal bars, likes quite a bit of sugar on his cereal and puts extra in his tea when he makes it. Likes tomato sauce which obs has sugar as well as baked beans and likes cake, biscuits and chocolate bars. At one time hubby wasn't eating enough so was glad he would eat anything but now wondering if sugar content might make him seem more hyper at times.

    Any advice or news of experiences appreciated.

    Reds x
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,702
    Female
    Dundee
    My husband has a very sweet tooth and that became worse as the dementia progressed. If we were in a cafe he would try to empty the sugar sachets into his hand so he could eat them! They're put well out of reach now! He ate grapes as if they were going out of fashion and of course I just bought them for him as he enjoyed them so much.

    He had a fasting blood test at the GP and was said to be pre-diabetic. After a year or so they said after one of these tests that he now has type 2 diabetes. I do my best to restrict the sugar he has (he has never taken any in tea or coffee funnily enough). I don't buy biscuits or cakes but he does get these at the various activities he his to. I no longer buy grapes!! At his last test they were happy that we were managing his diet well.

    I think this may be easier for me as Bill can no longer make himself anything to eat or even go looking for biscuits etc. he has to eat what he is given!

    Has your husband been tested for diabetes? If not it might be a good idea to ask the GP to arrange a test. If he has been then maybe a check up to see if there is a problem.
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,967
    Brixham Devon
    I think this is quite common. My OH never had a sweet tooth before he became ill. That soon changed:eek: To him anything sweet was good! Because he couldn't clean his teeth properly (he just sucked on the toothbrush) his lovely white teeth became discoloured. However, as he neared the end of his life I fed him anything that gave him pleasure. Pete never suffered from diabetes but, as Izzy says, it would be good to ask for a test.

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
     
  4. Reds

    Reds Registered User

    Sep 5, 2011
    539
    Hertfordshire
    Thank you vey much Izzy.

    I will mention it to his GP when we next see him. He has been calmer today so may be even reducing his sugar by even a little has helped. Would be quite amazing if after all the behaviour challenges I have had to cope with, reducing sugar making a difference! I am aware of course we shouldn't have too much but because there is only certain foods he enjoys it was very convenient to give him an apple, for example, as he wasn't eating much at one time. He definitely enjoys sweet foods, particularly chocolate but then I like chocolate too! Ha. My husband can be like a child in any way so perhaps not too much sugar would be a good idea, but difficult as too much in foods anyway these days, such as tomato sauce of course and bought cakes etc are loaded.

    Thanks again, Reds x
     
  5. Blogg

    Blogg Registered User

    Jul 24, 2014
    64
    I've read before that as dementia progresses the ability to taste goes, but sugar is one thing that can still be detected. Might explain it? Will see if I can find a link.
     
  6. Reds

    Reds Registered User

    Sep 5, 2011
    539
    Hertfordshire
    Thanks too, Lyn T and Blogg xx
     
  7. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,538
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    My Mum has Alzheimers and although she certainly has a sweet tooth, its my Dad with MCI that is the pre diabetic one who is the worry.
    I take Mum shopping every week, and every week there is a 500gram bag of either brown sugar or white sugar on her list for Dad. Its not a case of doubling up either
    By my count Dad has between 4-6 cups of coffee or tea a day with 2 heaped tspns in each.
    I measured out how much sugar Dad was taking in his cuppas a day. He denied it. ::rolleyes:
    By my reckoning its about 50-100gm of sugar a day when you add in biscuits, cakes, icecream or custard.
    His GP said the time to worry is when his blood tests move from pre diabetic to Type 2.

    The only thing I have manged to do is change his lemonade to diet lemonade.
     
  8. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    My dad has always had a sweet tooth, mum always baked, we always had biscuits in the house, as his dementia progressed he tucked into anything he could find to eat. Everything is hidden now, they done take sugar in teas/coffees luckily.
    Clubs he goes to there are always cakes, biscuits, puddings on offer so it's hard to keep a full check on his diet. He is now on medication for his diabetes and recently mum has had to start testing his blood sugar each morning , just another stress for her to deal with trying to keep him stabilised.
     
  9. mrf94

    mrf94 Registered User

    Dec 17, 2014
    20
    huddersfield
    please look up or try stevia

    mrf94

    david
     
  10. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,280
    Male
    North Manchester
    "I've read before that as dementia progresses the ability to taste goes, but sugar is one thing that can still be detected. Might explain it? Will see if I can find a link."

    There may not be a link in the normal sense, only a link to a post I made some time ago.

    SALT explained to me that sweetness was quite often the last taste to deteriorate in people with dementia, not only was it important that food had some taste but moreover the sense of taste promoted a swallow.

    As long as his blood sugar is checked and in control I would not worry, as dementia progresses just getting calories in can become important.

    As regards hyperactivity try reducing the amount of chocolate and see if that has any effect.
     
  11. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,589
    Pre-diabetes tests are something that are under the microscope at the moment.
    It's been said that 11-20 million in UK could be found to be 'pre-diabetic' but the proportion who develop it are low.

    It is one area (of a number) where pro-active preventative medicine causes more need than is required.
    i.e. a Hypochondriac's Nirvana.
     
  12. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,702
    Female
    Dundee
    Well in Bill's case it was real.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point mobile app
     
  13. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,589
    But in the majority it is not.
     
  14. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,662
    Salford
    Bit of a feisty reply to izzy, calm down:D
    You are, however, right. "Between 5% and 10% of people with prediabetes go on to develop Type 2 diabetes each year" (link to source below), izzy's OH must be in the unlucky 5 - 10%.
    I effectively "control" (as she can't) everything my wife eats if I don't buy it then she doesn't get to eat it, when she asks for sweet things I just tell her we're out of them but I'll put it on the shopping list and never do. I guess it's harder if you have a sweet tooth too, me I can't remember the last time I ate a biscuit or chocolate maybe that's why I got taken off statins at my last annual check up.
    K

    https://www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/News/Prediabetes-whats-it-all-about/
     
  15. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    Back to the sugar consumption , I would definitely try decreasing , I find sweeteners too sweet but I don't have a sweet tooth 'unless' I've been eating sweet things , dropping the amount of sweetness consumed whether sugar , biscuits or just sauces etc as mentioned (homemade you can control the sugar) , the want (addiction) tends to drop .
    My dads half biscuits habit he has had for yrs since I was a child , more habit than want of it.
    So many foods, fruits, cereals which are supposedly good are loaded with sugar, you really have to scrutinise packets. Anything processed is loaded to make it taste better and anything low fat avoid ..sugar load.
    Whether could develop diabetes or not sugar is not good for any of us.
    Good luck in getting a grip of it Reds.
     
  16. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    442
    My mum will eat 2 fruit pies at one go, but has to be encouraged to eat a proper dinner at home and only then if it is a spicy curry or chilli. She also likes grapes, pears and kids fruit jellies. She will eat a spicy salad. She is getting a bit of everything which seems better than eating nothing at all.

    She has been checked for diabetes.
     
  17. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,589
    You stirrer, Kevin! :)

    I wasn't being 'feisty' just stating a fact.

    There was an interesting, informative item about pre-diabetes test on 'Health Matters' Radio Four 28/7/15 starts at about 5 minutes in.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0639w4c

    Transcript
    Porter

    Now a new variant of diabetes – well, sort of. Pre-diabetes is already well established in America and now the label has arrived here and could be applied to as many as 11 million adults across the UK.



    Using one of three measures – a person’s fasting blood glucose level; how they react to drinking a sugary drink; or an HBA1c test that gives an idea of glucose levels over weeks – it is possible to identify people with borderline normal readings. And it’s this grey area between diabetes and normal that is being called pre-diabetes, with research suggesting that as many as 1 in 10 people so labelled will go on to develop full blown Type 2 within a year.



    But the new label remains controversial, not least because opinion differs as to what is normal and what’s not, and how you test for it. Edwin Gale is Emeritus Professor of Diabetic Medicine at the University of Bristol.



    Gale

    To explain the story of pre-diabetes I should first of all say that everyone’s blood glucose tends to rise as you get older. Now there are three ways of defining a blood glucose. So one of the problems with pre-diabetes is that there are three doors in, there aren’t actually any doors out, there is no official way I’ve discovered of being undiagnosed with pre-diabetes. Now if all three measures correlated 100% there would be no problem but in fact they overlap very weakly. For example, fasting blood glucose overlaps by only about 30% with the definition of diabetes in terms of a glucose tolerance test. So the result of having this very wide net is that you’re catching an awful lot of fish and you’re not necessarily catching the people you want to catch.



    Porter

    So it’s quite possible to get two different results, you could be told you have pre-diabetes on one and be told you’re perfectly alright on another?



    Gale

    Absolutely, in fact quite a few people who terms in HPA1c have pre-diabetes don’t on strict glucose criteria, so you’re going into a semantic circle as to what exactly you’ve got.



    Porter

    We’re picking a lot of people up with pre- so-called pre-diabetes.



    Gale

    Well of course you are, I can speak to that personally because I’m 70 so I guess I class as elderly and I also have pre-diabetes in terms of a mildly elevated blood glucose. But so do most people over the age of 80, in fact over the age of 80 74% of women and 55% of men have diabetes or pre-diabetes, so it’s a normal ageing phenomenon. And we’re left with a question of what’s disease, what is normal ageing process. If you put that label upon someone what evidence have you got that you can actually help them?



    Porter

    Well that’s my next question. So if somebody’s coming in who is 78 and otherwise fit and well and is found to have sugar levels in this borderline range and have pre-diabetes I can see the diagnosis might not be – putting a label on might not be that useful. But if they’re 40 and they’re six stone overweight, they’re a smoker and they’ve got lots of other risk factors it might just be useful in terms of galvanising some action, both on behalf of the doctor and the patient.



    Gale

    Well here you come absolutely to the nub of the issue. Telling someone they’ve got a blood glucose that’s high at the age of 30 is actually something that makes a huge difference to their life and which they can do a lot about. But there’s in fact no evidence at all that in the elderly person, as against the young person, that that intervention will be helpful.



    Porter

    So pre-diabetes may not be useful at the age of 90, at one end of the spectrum, it probably is very useful in your mid-20s, it’s the grey area in between which is actually where a lot of these people are being picked up, so it’s middle age and older.



    Gale

    I think my grouse there is that we have a diagnosis and a guideline based on a one size fits all number, it’s ludicrous to give a single number to every member of the population. And I think that’s the entire problem.



    Porter

    Well listening to that in the studio with me is Simon O’Neill who’s director of health intelligence at Diabetes UK and Dr Margaret McCartney is in our Glasgow studio.



    First of all Simon, what do you think of the term pre-diabetes?



    O’Neill

    Diabetes UK doesn’t really like it and when we’ve spoken to people who are at risk of diabetes the problem is they seem to think that means they’re diagnosed with diabetes, they’re just diagnosed a bit earlier and it’s sort of inevitable that they’ll go on to develop diabetes. And of course that’s not the case, only 5-10% of people who would fall into a pre-diabetic range will actually develop Type 2 diabetes in the following year. We wonder that therefore that actually makes them think because it’s inevitable I might as well just not do anything and let it happen. However, I think there is a really important thing that people in this early stage where their blood glucoses aren’t quite working properly – if they’re overweight, if they’re not very active – they can do something to actually reduce that risk. Therefore we prefer the term to be at high risk of Type 2 diabetes.



    Porter

    Margaret, do you use the term pre-diabetes in your consulting room?



    McCartney

    No I don’t and I have to say I’m very suspicious of the medical industry’s desire to start categorising more people with having pre- something. We’ve seen it with pre-dementia, we’ve seen it with pre-hypertension and this, I think, is yet another instance of criteria being brought down, more people being caught in the net and the question is how many of those people will benefit from an earlier diagnosis of something that may never happen to them.



    Porter

    Simon, let’s pick up on Prof Gale’s concerns. Firstly the cut offs – are you confident that we’ve got the cut offs in the right place? Looking on the Diabetes UK website I mean they talk about a fasting plasma glucose 5.5 -7 means that you’ve got pre-diabetes.



    O’Neill

    Yeah I mean I think this is a really good question Mark. There are lots of different people saying different things and that’s where the confusion lies. So we talk in the UK about an HPA1c, that long term blood glucose, being over 6, in the States they talk about being over 5.7. If you look at the population of the UK at 5.7 that’s puts eleven and a half million people at high risk.



    Porter

    As do those criteria that I mentioned for the fasting. So one in three adults…



    O’Neill

    Whereas if you move it to 6, which doesn’t seem a big move, that drops it down to four and a half million people. And I think it’s really – actually working out who is going to best benefit from being told they’re at high risk of diabetes and who is actually going to best be able to do something to prevent that happening and prevent the long term complications.



    Porter

    So what’s being done about that because I know that you’re involved in the Type 2 prevention programme, a national programme?



    O’Neill

    We will be defining at criteria that works in terms of meeting the highest risk patients who are most likely to benefit. So it will be a slightly different cut off point I’m sure than ones we’ve had before but hopefully it will refine that into the most high risk. That doesn’t mean that those who are the sort of lower level, especially if they’re overweight, shouldn’t be being encouraged to become more active and lose weight.



    Porter

    Margaret, let’s pick up on Prof Gale’s other concern and that was that there’s no age adjustment. Given that this to some extent is a natural process, as we get older all of our sugar levels creep up a little bit, it’s surprising that the diagnostic criteria don’t reflect age as one of the criteria for interpreting it?



    McCartney

    Well I think that GPs will often use discretion but the problem is that we’re judged by guidelines, we’re judged by QOF points in terms of what we’re meant to do, it’s meant to be a one size fits all to a certain extent. And I think we need much more leeway in order to have a bit of flexibility about how we interpret the data really when it comes to asymptomatic older people especially if those older people are frail. I think the medical industrial complex is really all for diagnosing things earlier, faster but we very rarely I think consider the harms that we do when we do that at the same time. And for older people I don’t think we accept what normal is enough.



    O’Neill

    I think we have to be very careful about how we interpret this and not over-medicalise, exactly as Margaret says.



    Porter

    It may be normal for them.



    O’Neill

    Exactly.



    McCartney

    Absolutely. I mean you’re trying to pick up people who don’t have any symptoms from diabetes, so people who are otherwise well. What you’re really trying to do is prevent complications that will happen over decades if a diabetic state is left untreated. And if you’re already 75 or 80 it might take a couple of decades to start developing complications so the benefits that you might get from treatment are pretty low.



    Porter

    Okay, so the last of Professor Gale’s concerns and that’s the three different tests that we’re using, I mean I have to write them down every time because I forget the figures, I’m sure you’ve committed them to memory, but it is confusing, are we going to go with the one test?



    O’Neill

    Personally I think the HBA1c test is probably where most people are going but it is confusing and I’d hate to be a GP out there trying to decide what’s the best thing to do.



    Porter

    Simon O’Neill from Diabetes UK. And, if you are one of those GPs or nurses, then the type of test - and the thresholds that are going to be used for the national Type 2 diabetes prevention programme, that Simon mentioned there - should be announced over the next month or so.
     
  18. Reds

    Reds Registered User

    Sep 5, 2011
    539
    Hertfordshire
    Thank you for all the replies, interesting.

    Went food shopping this morning, so much of it is loaded with sugar, quite hard to reduce it.

    Reds
     
  19. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    19,049
    Durham
    You can get low sugar baked beans and tomato ketchup. I have to be careful what my husband eats as he has diabetes, I also get him sugar free biscuits and just give him 2 at a time,
    [​IMG]



    You can get them from Aldi and Home Bargains and can get digestive, chocolate chip cookie, marie, wafer and shortcake, they are nice you would never think they had no sugar in. I also make cakes with pureed fresh fruit added instead of sugar,
     
  20. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    566
    I would definitely advocate a reduction in sugar consumption to a minimum - when you think what young children are like if they have too much sugar I can't see why that wouldn't translate to adults too. Sugar is so omnipresent in processed foods - as you have said Reds in supposedly savoury things like baked beans and also in low fat things yogurts where the sugar content is upped to compensate for the reduction in fat as reducing the fat reduces how good it will taste - you'd be better off, IMO, with the full fat versions, they'll fill you up more and far less added sugar. Like jeany I make cakes and biscuits so that I can control the amount of sugar in them.

    There is of course another aspect, discussed here - http://www.diabetes.co.uk/type3-diabetes.html that Alzheimer's disease may be reclassified as Type 3 diabetes. Food for thought, no pun intended.
     

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