Diabetes and stroke are both serious conditions that may be debilitating to a person who suffers from them. Unfortunately, a person who is at risk of diabetes is most likely at risk for stroke as well. A diabetes stroke is likely to occur in a diabetic who has high blood pressure or smokes. This is yet another reason to quit smoking and start exercising more.


Diabetes Stroke Risk


People with diabetes are more likely, than the general population, to have a stroke, heart disease, or a heart attack. According to the American Diabetes Association, 2 out of 3 people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke. This is not a death sentence, however. There are ways of reducing your chances of having a stroke in diabetes. High blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, smoking, and history or family history of a transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) are all risk factors of having stroke diabetes.

You can lower your diabetes stroke risk by keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels on target. This is usually done by planning meals with the help of your physician, increasing your physical activity, and taking medication correctly. There are warning signs of stroke, but onset may develop suddenly. Typical warning signs of diabetes and stroke are:

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or trouble comprehending
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance
  • Trouble seeing out of both eyes or double vision
  • Severe headache


Can Diabetes Cause a Stroke


Diabetes does not cause a stroke, but mismanagement of blood sugar can lead to stroke. This happens in a few different ways. First, excess glucose levels add to plaque that sticks to the walls of the arteries, causing the blood clots, which trigger a stroke. This is the most direct way that diabetes leads to stroke. This diabetes and stroke condition is called an ischemic stroke. Second, high glucose levels cause high the arteries to narrow, resulting in high blood pressure. Low blood pressure can also lead to stroke, in that the scarcity of blood sugar weakens the blood vessels because the cells do not get the energy they need to function correctly. You can avoid diabetes and stroke conditions by:

  • Checking your blood sugar levels regularly
  • Consulting a nutritionist and keeping a healthy diet
  • Taking medication as prescribed
  • Exercising daily and keeping a healthy lifestyle
  • Getting ample rest and controlling stress
  • Visiting the doctor regularly and following his/her advice


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