Controllable Risk Factors – Diabetes

Did you know that people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a stroke than people without diabetes? Learn more about the connection between diabetes and stroke. Approximately 20.8 million Americans have diabetes. People with diabetes are up to 4 times as likely to have a stroke as someone who does not have the disease, mainly because many people with diabetes have health problems that are also stroke risk factors. 

Diabetes is a disease that affects a person’s ability to move blood sugar, or glucose, out of the blood and into the cells where it is used as the body’s primary source of fuel.Many people with diabetes have health problems that increase their risk for stroke such as:

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure. As many as 2 out of 3 adults with diabetes have high blood pressure.
  • Heart attack and atrial fibrillation (a type of irregular heart beat) are also common among people with diabetes, and both increase the risk for stroke.
  • Have high cholesterol:  Buildup of cholesterol, can block blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the brain. Any time blood flow to the brain is decreased, the risk for stroke increases.

Brain damage may be more severe and extensive if blood sugar is high when a stroke happens. The good news? Stroke risk can be reduced by managing diabetes — it’s never too late to better manage personal health with a doctor’s help. To find a physician on staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital to help manage your health call Physician Match at 708 423-3070.

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