According to the American Diabetes Association, ADA, a person with diabetes is 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke (ADA, 2014). A stroke occurs when blood is stopped from getting to the brain. This causes tissue damage and can have serious, life-threatening side effects.
The ADA states: “A stroke can cause movement problems, pain, numbness and problems with thinking, remembering or speaking. Some people also have emotional problems, such as depression, after a stroke” (ADA, 2014).
It is very important to take your risk of a stroke seriously because it is preventable. First, we must know what are some things that put us more at risk of having a stroke.
The ADA suggests several factors that raises your chance of having a stroke.
If you are older than the age of 55, then your chances of having a stroke increases.
If you are from African American descent, you are more likely than other people to have a stroke.
If you have had a stroke in the past, you are also more at risk to have another one. Therefore, if you have ever had one before, it is extremely important to take care of your health.
If you have a family history with strokes, then you should also be more alert. Especially if one of your close relatives has had a stroke, you should take steps to start preventing a stroke. Talking with your family will help you to discover if you have a family history of strokes.
If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you are more likely to have a stroke. If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have cardiovascular problems. This is more reason to make sure that you are staying on top of your diabetes. Control your health; don’t let it control you.
Having high blood pressure can also increase your risk of having a stroke. 2 of every 3 people with diabetes has high blood pressure or are currently taking medication for high blood pressure.
If you are overweight or obese, you are also more likely to have a stroke. Eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly can help you lose weight. It is normally suggested to lose 5% to 7% of your body fat to help prevent risks with diabetes. This would be a good target range to aim for with strokes as well.
High amounts of bad cholesterol can also cause a stroke. Making sure that you maintain a healthy diet that does not raise your cholesterol is very important.
If you are not physically active, this will also make you more likely to have one as well. Therefore, it is very important to create an exercise plan with your doctor in order to take care of yourself better. This will also help you maintain your diabetes.
Finally, if you smoke, then you are more likely to have a stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding a way to quit (ADA, 2017).
Overall, diabetes increases your chance to have a stroke and many other conditions that will also increase your chance. Make sure you are doing the best procedures to lower your risk for stroke.
American Diabetes Association. (2014). Stroke. American Diabetes Association. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/heart-disease/stroke.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/