Diabetes and Strokes
Can diabetes cause a stroke? Diabetes can cause a stroke and you better believe it! The fact is that diabetics are 1 1/2 times more likely to experience a stroke than those non-diabetics. It’s possible to live a healthy and a long life with diabetes as long as you take action to control it. It can lead to stroke and many other health issues so the sooner you address it the better. This is so important so let’s dive right into it!
Knowing that diabetes increases your risk for a stroke by doing damage to your blood vessels and depriving your brain of oxygen is enough incentive alone to want to avoid ever having one. You want to get your diabetes under control and know what the warning signs of a stroke are.
I’ll get more into the warning signs but any sudden awareness of numbness in your arm, leg, or face is a heads up for sure! So you can help to control your sugar with exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
People with diabetes that do suffer a stroke will have a worse prognosis than non-diabetics. At the time that the oxygen to your brain gets blocked it’s possible for other arteries to bypass the blockage and successfully get sufficient amounts of oxygen to your brain. The problem with diabetes is that you can possibly have other narrow or blocked arteries that cannot help in accomplishing this.
There are multiple issues in addition to diabetes that put you at risk for not only a stroke, but heart attack as well. One issue that is vital to your risk of a stroke and heart attack is your blood pressure. The American Diabetes Association recommends a blood pressure reading of 130/80 that is normal and healthy.
So stroke is actually related to more than just diabetes. But this must be controlled in order to prevent a possible stroke. You have to take a hold of your life because diabetes doesn’t play games or play favorites. It’s just the truth. It can and will do harm to you and your body but that’s ONLY if you let it. Nobody wants to be unhealthy no matter what it is.
Personally, I want to do everything that I possibly can to control diabetes so that I don’t ever have a stroke, heart attack, or any other serious health issue. It’s always been said that knowledge is power. I truly believe that and I want you to have that knowledge about diabetes so that you can take the bull by the horns and do something about it.
S-T-R-O-K-E…When is the wakeup call? Is it when it’s too late? No, you can’t let it be then. All you have to do is realize what it can do to you and decide to do something NOW! Okay, I know it’s a lifestyle change and it might not be easy but neither is a stroke and a wheelchair. Once your mindset is on the right track, you will make the right and healthy choice.
Diabetes. It’s a killer. It’s not to scare you or I, but to make us sit up and take notice. There’s nothing else I can say about it and the fact that can cause a stroke and then some. Now let’s talk about other factors of a stroke that are and are not related to diabetes because the bottom line is for us to fight back against it and win!
First: The Symptoms of a Stroke
I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to you being aware of the symptoms and warning signs of a stroke. This can help save your life! Without knowing these warnings, there may not be a positive outcome. So this is what the American Stroke Association recommends for knowing and remembering the symptoms of a stroke:
They call it FAST:
- Face drooping
- Arm weakness
- Speech difficulty
- Time to call 911
The other symptoms that are a possible sign of a stroke are:
- Possible issues with walking correctly
- Becoming dizzy
- Becoming confused
- Either weakness or numbness of your legs and arms or your face (just on one side is a more positive indication)
- Sudden and headache that is severe and appears for no particular reason
- Problems with your vision in one eye or both
- Problems with understanding speech
- Losing your coordination and/or balance
Second: Risk Factors of Your Life Behavior
- Not exercising sufficiently
- Following poor nutrition and poor diet
- Abusing alcohol use
- Smoking or any form of tobacco use
- African Americans have greater risk of dying from stoke than Caucasians
- Greater risk of stroke for women than men
- Risk increases with age- increases two fold for every ten years after 55
- Family history of stroke
- High LDL bad and low good HDL cholesterol
Third: How to Treat Type 2 Diabetes and Prevent Strokes
* Make changes in your diet- This is one of the two most important changes that you can make. It’s time to start eating the way you’re supposed for your health and your body because you don’t want diabetes or a stroke. Your lifestyle should be that you eat to live, not live to eat.
Pass on the red meat and go for the fish. Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. Avoid SUGAR because it is the enemy! (Okay, you do need some sugar) Avoid the white foods such as white bread and potatoes. Go for the whole grains instead. Start decreasing your fat and salt intake. This is important.
* Exercise- This is the second most important thing that you need to do to avoid a stroke. I know that everyone talks so much about diet and exercise but that’s because it’s just that important. Plain and simple. To the point. It’s not that hard. You can find at least 20 minutes a day five days a week. Walk. You don’t have to lift weights or even go to a gym. But get up and M-O-V-E! If I can do it, you can too.
* Alcohol- Excess alcohol can be a problem. There’s been research done that showed that too much alcohol results in an increased risk for stroke. So ladies, one drink, and guy no more than two drinks a day? This can help you lessen your chance of stroke.
* Smoking- I don’t know what else to say about smoking except that there is no health benefit at all. I’ve never smoked but I know people who have and it turned out that the ones who quit benefited for sure. It most definitely decreases your risk of stroke. By continuing to smoke, your risk is 2 times that of a non-smoker for stroke!
* Sleep- We all need our sleep and a good night’s sleep of 8 hours keeps us healthy and moving. Now believe it or not 7-8 hours is what is optimal and if you sleep more than 10 hours a night your risk for stroke raises by more than 63%! So get your sleep but not more than 8 hours! Get up! Time to get moving and get healthy so a stroke will hopefully never happen to you.
* Depressed or sad?- Being sad is one thing and we all experience it but there’s a big difference between just being sad and being depressed. People who are depressed are almost 30% more at risk for a stroke than those who are not. There was research done on thousands of women who were depressed and they were found to eat and weigh more, smoke more than normal and of course exercise less.
So what do think might likely happen to these women? Well it will lead to other health issues that are not under control such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension which will possibly lead to a stroke. Your mental well being is just as important as your physical well being is. It definitely affects your body and only leads to going down the wrong road with your health. Get professional help if you’re going through depression.
* Stress rewind- We’ve all heard that stress kills and it’s true. It’s all the things that light your fuse and set you off. Find whatever you need to for lowering your stress levels. Patience is a virtue. There are so many things and in fact probably the majority of things that happen that aren’t worth stressing over.
* S-A-L-A-D- I never used to eat salad much, but now? I love salad and eat it all the time because it’s good and very healthy and with all the fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, it is known to lessen your risk of stroke. There are so many healthy foods you can have in your salad, but be sure to exercise caution to the dressings you add. You certainly don’t want to be adding dressings with carbs and calories. The best choice is olive oil. It will help protect you against cardiovascular disease.
Here’s a fact for you: Folks over the age of 65 who use olive oil on their salads on a regular basis are able to lessen their risk of stroke by more than 40%! And Omega-3’s are responsible for reducing inflammation and that also brings down the chance of a stroke occurring.
* Sugar, the ultimate enemy- I cannot stress how much excess sugar is bad for you and how it is linked to stroke, heart attack, and of course diabetes. Studies have shown that if you are gtting approximately 20% of your daily calories from added sugars, then your risk is almost 40-50% higher of dying from cardiovascular disease and this includes stroke!
There are sugar substitutes but only a few are any good for you. The rest are connected to hypertension, including agave syrup. You should have no more than 10% of your calories each day coming from added sugars.
* Vitamin D- Another risk of a stroke is being deficient in vitamin D. It’s important to get enough vitamin D especially if you are Caucasian. Eat foods packed with it and get out in the sun!
* Potassium- This is another thing you don’t want to have enough of. Without sufficient amounts of potassium you’re again at a higher risk for stroke. Eat beans, sweet potatoes, yogurt, bananas, beets, avocados, and spinach to get more potassium.
Foods to Consume to Avoid a Stroke
- Whole grains
- Green tea
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy green vegetables
Foods to Avoid Having a Stroke
- Dairy products
- Diet soda
- Salty or sodium based foods
- Foods with high cholesterol
So by now you know the answer to the question can diabetes cause a stroke. There’s no doubt about it and if you don’t do something now to change your lifestyle, you won’t be able to prevent it. Now’s the time. You now have the tools to do this. Don’t wait. Avoid ever having a stroke. You can do this. Just take action!
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If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and pass this on to others who may need help. I would appreciate it! Thank you for reading and have a happy and a healthy one!