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Stroke and Diabetes

Diabetes can change some of the substances in the blood, causing the openings in the blood vessels to narrow or completely clog up. This results in a blockage or slowdown of blood flowing in the body. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to or in the brain becomes blocked.

strokeWhile all diabetes problems are serious, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of early death among people with diabetes. In fact, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Many people with diabetes have what's often called Metabolic Syndrome X, a "cluster" of other health problems in addition to diabetes. These other problems include high blood pressure, bad cholesterol and obesity. Many researchers believe that the Metabolic Syndrome may be associated with insulin resistance, a condition in which your body does not use insulin well and is comman with type 2 diabetes.

Because each of the problems associated with the Metabolic Syndrome increases one's chances of having a heart attack or stroke, together they can add up to big trouble.

Fortunately, you can delay and/or prevent complications by learning about the ABCs of diabetes.

The American Stroke Association warning signs of stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Because most strokes do not cause severe pain, patients often delay seeking treatment, resulting in extensive brain tissue damage.