Diabetes & Stroke: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Wockhardt Hospitals

Diabetes & Stroke: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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Diabetes is a condition that can increase the risk of developing other health conditions, particularly getting affected by a stroke, which may lead to disability and cause damage to brain tissues or even death in some cases. To prevent stroke and reduce the possibility of having a stroke, it is important for diabetic patients to understand the relationship between diabetes and stroke. Moreover, they should ensure that their blood glucose level, along with blood pressure, body weight, and cholesterol levels, are in control. More importantly, one should know the signs and symptoms of diabetic stroke to recognize it and seek medical attention immediately to prevent complications.

What is a Diabetic Stroke?

Diabetic stroke, or simply any stroke for that matter, is a condition in which the blood supply of the brain gets disrupted due to blockage or damage in the blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to the brain tissue. There are two main types of stroke:

  • Hemorrhagic stroke happens as a result of a ruptured artery
  • Ischemic stroke results from a blocked artery

Having diabetes can make it harder for the body to respond to a stroke. Diabetes can harden arteries and clog them with plaque, leading to a medical condition known as Atherosclerosis, therefore making it difficult for the arteries to deliver blood to the brain. 

Diabetic Stroke Symptoms

Diabetic stroke has similar symptoms as that of any stroke, and it is considered a medical emergency. Therefore, it is important to look out for the following signs in a patient with diabetes.

  • Sudden, unexplainable, and severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble walking or balancing 
  • Loss of speech
  • Brief loss of consciousness 
  • Sudden confusion
  • Double vision or trouble seeing
  • Trouble swallowing suddenly 
  • Trouble understanding when spoken to
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body (such as one side of the face or one arm or leg)
  • Sudden inability to move (paralysis) any part of the body

Diabetic Stroke Causes

Diabetes prevents the utilization of glucose from food by the cells due to a lack of natural insulin production by the body. Diabetes also prevents insulin in the body from working to facilitate the absorption of glucose or sugar by the cells. It leads to the build-up of sugars in the body. Over time, this build-up of glucose can increase the blood sugar level, which can potentially damage the blood vessels and increase the diabetic stroke risk.

Diabetic patients also suffer from a number of other health problems which can contribute to the increased risk of stroke. These health problems may include:

  • Being obese or severely overweight
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol levels
  • Having a heart condition

Smoking cigarettes and alcohol consumption can pose an added diabetic stroke risk in diabetic patients.

Diabetic Stroke Treatment 

The treatment of diabetic stroke may be done based on whether it has been identified early or has caused indelible effects. When detected early, stroke may be treated in one or more of the following ways:

  • Clot-busting drugs: Clot-dissolving drugs may be given within the first three hours of a stroke to clear away any blockage in the artery and restore blood flow to the brain tissue.
  • Carotid Stenting: It is possible to surgically insert a deflated balloon into the artery and place a stent to keep the artery open. This diabetic treatment procedure is known as carotid stenting to increase blood flow to the brain.
  • Carotid Endarterectomy: Another diabetic stroke treatment option for stroke involves surgically removing plaque from inside the carotid artery in a procedure known as carotid endarterectomy.

Long-lasting effects of stroke require rehabilitation care as stroke may impair various functions, including speech, movement, and even cognitive abilities.

  • Occupational therapy: Doctors may recommend occupational therapy to regain control of muscles to perform simple tasks of daily life like writing or getting dressed.
  • Physical therapy: It may be necessary to regain strength and function of the limbs if impaired by a stroke.
  • Speech therapy: Those whose speech has been affected by stroke may require speech therapy to be able to talk better.

Preventions – How to Reduce the Diabetic Stroke Risk? 

If a patient has diabetes and it is suspected that their arteries have hardened up, doctors may suggest dietary & lifestyle changes along with medicines to prevent any arterial blockages that may potentially lead to a stroke. Many lifestyle changes that may help to lower the chances of diabetic stroke risk factors may include the following.

  • Checking blood sugar level regularly and keeping it below a certain level (less than 140 mg/dL)
  • Check blood pressure often and manage it well.
  • Cholesterol levels should also be checked once or twice every year.
  • Consume a healthy & balanced diet to keep cholesterol levels low and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly to prevent obesity and keep the body healthy.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Limit the intake of sugar and salt in the diet. Use sugar-free alternatives.
  • Quit smoking and intake of tobacco products.
  • Take all the medications on time every day.

Why Choose Wockhardt Hospitals?

Diabetic people have a higher risk of stroke. At Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai, we are dedicated to managing various emergencies as well as providing comprehensive healthcare for various health conditions to prevent complications. Our doctors and medical specialists work closely with rehabilitation therapists to provide all-encompassing professional care for patients with physical and mental impairments. We are committed to providing holistic healthcare services for managing and preventing a broad spectrum of ailments and complications in our patients.

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