The relationship between strokes and diabetics has been made unambiguous in the past couple of years. At least, in the fact that we know that the odds of a diabetic experiencing a stroke is 1.5 times greater than those who do not suffer from the condition. But, how does the relationship between the two actually work?
When blockages (caused by blood clots) in the blood vessels prevent blood from flowing to the brain, an ischemic stroke will occur. This is the most common type of stroke, but there are also hemorrhagic strokes that can occur as a result of ruptured blood vessels and temporary mini-strokes that are a result of temporary blockages or limited blood flow to the brain (transient ischemic attacks.)
Any of the strokes described above causes the deprivation of oxygen and nutrients provided by blood. Which results in the death of cell tissue and, inevitably, in temporary or permanent brain damage.
Fortunately, there are preventative methods and ways of recovering available. However, the risk of a stroke occurring is always there, especially as some of the risk factors involve race, age, gender, and other uncontrollable genetic factors.
And so, we get to the crux of the problem. As was mentioned in the beginning, diabetes has been studied to increase the risk of a stroke occurring. But, how?
Well, it all has to do with the health of one’s blood vessels. For example, high blood sugar levels are one of the risk factors associated with a stroke — as it is known to cause damage to blood vessels and nerves. And, it just so happens that diabetics often have high blood sugar levels – which of course increases a person’s chance for damage in the arteries.
The same can be said for other risk factors of stroke, like high blood pressure and obesity, which are also more prevalent in those with diabetes. These facts, put together, has inspired studies where it was discovered that 16% of diabetics over the age of 65 die from a stroke (whilst up to 68% percent die from some form of heart disease.)
Final Thoughts: Relationship between Strokes and Diabetics?
Observed relationship aside, however, that does not mean a stroke is on the horizon for all diabetics. It all depends on how ‘controlled’ the condition is. In fact, many risk factors associated with stroke can be controlled in some way. It’s just a matter of putting in the effort to ensure that the progression of your condition is kept in a manageable form.
If you want help with that, then the best thing to do is to contact your doctor. With access to your medical history, they should be able to provide the necessary treatment plans that can help make sure that you are kept happy and healthy for many more years to come.
- Ergul, Adviye, et al. “Cerebrovascular Complications of Diabetes: Focus on Stroke.” Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders Drug Targets, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3741336/.
- “Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes.” Www.heart.org, https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/why-diabetes-matters/cardiovascular-disease–diabetes.