Diabetes and Stroke


Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or becomes blocked by a clot, stopping the flow of oxygen to the brain and causing brain cells to die. Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, but if you have diabetes, your risk of stroke increases significantly. In honor of American Diabetes Month, learn more about the correlation between diabetes and stroke, symptoms of stroke, and how you can decrease your risk.

Why Diabetes Increases Your Risk

Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas produces too little or no insulin or the body does not use the insulin correctly. Insulin is needed to allow glucose to enter cells in the bloodstream to provide energy. Without insulin to convert glucose into energy, the unused glucose builds up fatty deposits along the walls of blood vessels. This increases blood pressure and increases the risk of a clot, which cuts off the oxygen supply to the brain, causing a stroke.

Think F.A.S.T.

Remember the acronym F.A.S.T. to spot the signs of a stroke quickly. In the first signs of stroke, head to the nearest emergency center or certified stroke center immediately to reduce the risk of long-term disability or fatality.

signs of stroke

Decrease Your Risk

There are ways diabetics can decrease their risk of stroke. Take these steps to a healthier lifestyle.

  • Manage your insulin levels.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Control your cholesterol level.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stop smoking.

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