You could be riding the diabetes train straight to dementia

You might not feel it right away. You might not even know it's happening.

But if you've got diabetes and you're not keeping tight-fisted control over your blood sugar, the disease is wrecking you from the inside out.

And while you already know how hard diabetes is on the heart, that's nothing compared to how it treats your brain.

All that sugar rushing through your skull is like getting punched in the head, repeatedly, without the actual fist.

That's why diabetics are 83 percent more likely to develop dementia than everyone else -- a risk so common that the brain-robbing condition is often called "type III diabetes."

And now, the latest research shows not only HOW it happens... but also WHEN it happens... and if you're not watching your blood sugar levels like a hawk, odds are it's happening right now.

It doesn't matter if your memory is sharper than a butcher's blade. It doesn't matter if you remember every birthday (and even your anniversary). It doesn't even matter if you can still name your fifth-grade teacher, along with how many times he sent you to the principal's office.

Because long before you suffer that first brain hiccup -- long before you have any sign of memory loss -- your brain is rotting from the inside, growing the infamous "plaques and tangles" seen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

When compared to folks without the disease, older diabetics are more likely to have higher levels of the tau protein, which indicates more tangles in the brain.

They're also more likely to suffer from thinning in the cortex, which has the highest concentration of nerve cells than anywhere else in the brain, according to the study of 124 older diabetics and nearly 700 healthy folks.

That means even if dementia isn't showing up today, it's on its way -- and that leaves you with two options.

If you don't have diabetes, make sure you don't get it. It's easier than you think -- just a few simple tweaks to your diet can help bring blood sugar back under control and help get you back on track.

And if you do have the disease, it's not too late.

Those same changes can help bring the condition under control and limit the damage. And if you're disciplined about it -- if you make changes to your diet and take supplements that can help control blood sugar such as cinnamon and chromium -- you can avoid the worst of the damage and prevent dementia.