Stroke and Diabetes: Connection, Types, Risk Factors & Procedure
Stroke is one of the lethal diseases closely associated with diabetes. Multiple studies have shown that people with diabetes are more prone to stroke than people without diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of getting stroke by 1.5 times.
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce and use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that maintains the level of glucose in the blood. It moves sugar into the cells from the blood, which is either stored or used for energy. High blood sugar levels or hyperglycemia is considered a significant factor that can contribute to the build-up of plaque, clot, or fat deposits inside arteries and may hinder the blood supply to the neck and brain. Growth of these deposits can cause narrowing of blood vessels or even complete blockage. The brain cells too can get damaged in the absence of proper oxygen, blood supply, and nutrients, which will eventually lead to a stroke.
Diabetes can also increase the chances of getting multiple health complications such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, blood circulation problems, and atherosclerosis.
What is a Stroke?
Stroke is a medical condition in which the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen and nutrients become damaged or blocked.
Strokes are categorized by numerous factors, such as the size and location of the damaged blood vessels, and the event that causes the damage to the brain.
Different Types of Strokes
Strokes can be of three types:
Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, as it accounts for around 87 percent of stroke cases. It occurs when the blood vessel that carries blood to the brain gets obstructed by a blood clot. Brain cells begin to die in the absence of oxygen and nutrients.
Transient Ischemic Attack or Mini Stroke:
In the case of a transient ischemic stroke, a temporary blockage causes reduced blood flow to the brain. This stroke generally lasts a few minutes and fades away in 24 hours. In rare cases, it may not even be felt by the individual.
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to bleeding in the brain which causes the neighboring brain cells to get damaged and die eventually, resulting in stroke.
Read also: Everything you need to know about Strokes
Risk Factors for Stroke:
Race is considered as a risk factor for stroke in many countries. Various studies suggest that Africans are more prone to stroke than Caucasians.
The risk factors for stroke may include:
- High cholesterol
- Increasing age
- High blood pressure
- Circulatory problem
- Carotid artery disease
- Consumption of alcohol
- Sickle cell anemia
- Imbalanced diet and sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of heart disease
- History of heart attack or stroke
How do people with diabetes prevent the chances of getting a stroke?
People with diabetes do not certainly suffer a stroke but diabetes increases the chances of getting a stroke. Although we will never be able to eliminate all the risks related to stroke, we can follow certain habits that can reduce certain risk factors and increase our chances of living a healthy life.
Here are some ways to prevent stroke despite having diabetes:
- Early detection of diabetes can prevent the chances of stroke. Early diagnosis will help to keep the situation of the person under control. It is always advisable to visit a doctor for routine checkups and follow proper medications as prescribed.
- Another way to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke is by consuming a healthy and nutritious diet. Food items like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fat should be included in everyday diet. These food items prevent cholesterol and stroke thus called healthy heart foods.
- As smoking causes various serious health-related issues in the body, it is often advisable to quit smoking to prevent heart-related problems, especially stroke. It also reduces the risk of getting affected by the diseases associated with cholesterol, COPD, cancer, etc.
- Daily physical activity is considered best for people having diabetes as it not only reduces the risk of getting stroke but also keeps the body healthy. Performing exercise daily maintains the proper weight of the diabetic person and reduces the risk of becoming obese.
- Alcohol consumption has serious impacts, which can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, heart diseases, liver diseases, etc. So, alcohol consumption should be either limited or stopped completely to reduce the chances of getting strokes.
- Managing stress levels and adopting healthy lifestyles promote a healthy life. A person suffering from diabetes is advised to keep his stress level under control to avoid the chances of getting stroke and heart-related issues.
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