People with diabetes are far more likely to have a stroke than non-diabetics. Although this kind of stroke is properly called an ischemic stroke, it is sometimes called a diabetic stroke. However, even non-diabetics can also get ischemic strokes. Anyone exhibiting the signs of a stroke needs to be hospitalized immediately.
Signs of a stroke include a sudden bad headache, sudden inability to move or control a limb, tingling or numbness in a limb, difficulty speaking, suddenly speaking nonsensical words, having one side of the face droop, confusion, fainting, or blurred or loss of vision in one or both eyes. A good diagnostic test is to have the person hold up both arms at the same height. If the person can't, it could be a stroke.
There can be no delay in calling an ambulance or doctor for help if a person exhibits these signs, even if the person strongly insists that they do not want to go to the hospital. A stroke cuts off oxygen to the brain and the longer you wait to get help, the more brain damage may occur. Check the list of emergency phone numbers in Resources in order to call for an ambulance.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 65% of diabetics die from stroke or heart disease. Since Type II diabetics (the most common type of diabetics) are often obese or overweight, they already have the conditions which can give them a stroke or a heart attack. These conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and circulation problems.
Other activities which can bring on a stroke in a diabetic include smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, eating a high-fat diet, not exercising regularly, having a mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) in the past and abusing legal or illegal drugs. All of these conditions must be dealt with in order to prevent a diabetic stroke or prevent a second stroke.
Diabetics are more prone to having blocked up blood vessels, which stops the needed flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This blockage is due to plaque on the vessel walls from high cholesterol or from a blood clot. The brain requires 20% of the body's oxygen intake in order to do its job.
Because of the high incidence of diabetics having strokes, their treatment needs to include better diet and exercise in order to lower their weight. Smoking has to stop, as this can slow down a person's circulation as well as make their blood vessels and heart work harder. Medication for stroke prevention such as low-dose aspirin or to lower blood pressure may be prescribed. This will also help to regulate their blood sugar levels.