Diabetes increases the chance of having a stroke, which can damage brain tissue and cause disability or even death. To prevent stroke, people with diabetes should manage blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. You and your loved ones should know the signs of stroke so you can get quick medical attention.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. A stroke interrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which can damage brain tissue and lead to:
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Adults with diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than people who don’t have diabetes. And they are almost twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes.
Diabetes prevents your body from processing food properly. Your body can’t make insulin or can’t use insulin correctly, which causes glucose (sugar) to build up in your blood.
Over time, high glucose levels can damage the body’s blood vessels, increasing the chance of stroke.
Many adults with diabetes also have other health problems that can lead to stroke:
The symptoms of diabetes-related stroke are the same as the symptoms of any stroke:
A stroke is a medical emergency. Get medical attention immediately if you experience any of the symptoms.
If you may have had a stroke, a healthcare provider will likely:
If a stroke or stroke risk is identified early, some treatments can help, such as:
If you have a stroke and have long-lasting effects from it, rehabilitation may include:
If you have diabetes, certain lifestyle changes can help you lower your chance of stroke:
The outlook after stroke varies a lot from person to person. Depending on the type of stroke and its effects, recovery can take weeks to years. Some people have minor strokes and don’t experience any effects. Others have major strokes and lifelong disabilities.
Similarly, some people may be able to go home quickly after stroke treatment. But others may require time in the hospital or a long-term care facility (rehabilitation, also called rehab).
If you have diabetes, you and your loved ones should be aware of the signs of stroke. Seek medical attention right away If you experience:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
People with diabetes have a higher chance of stroke, which can cause serious health problems and disabilities. But you can reduce your risk of stroke if you monitor and regulate your blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Talk to your doctor about your risk of stroke and ways to prevent it.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/15/2021.
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