The Connection Between Diabetes and Stroke
If you have diabetes you are at higher risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. As with many of the health problems associated with diabetes, higher-than-normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels raise the risks.
High Blood Sugar Levels Raise Stroke Risk
Persistently elevated blood glucose levels contribute to the buildup of plaque in blood vessels. Plaque -- a pasty substance made up of cholesterol, calcium, cellular waste and protein -- sticks to the walls of blood vessels and can interfere with blood flow.
This impaired blood flow can lead to stroke.
Your blood sugar level over the past couple of months is indicated by the hemoglobin A1c test. The American Diabetes Association says that people with A1c levels above 7% are nearly three times as likely to have a stroke as people with an A1c level below 5%.
For those with diabetes, the important thing to do when it comes to reducing stroke risk is to keep blood sugars within the target range. Controlling blood glucose levels will help minimize plaque buildup.
What Is a Stroke?
A stroke involves blood vessels and the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, “A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot [ischemic stroke] or bursts [hemorrhagic stroke]. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.”
Strokes happen suddenly and require immediate medical attention.
Treatment within 60 minutes of the first symptoms often leads to a good prognosis. If deprived of oxygen for more than a Continue reading