Strokes and Diabetes

Strokes are common in diabetics that have poor control of their diabetes These brain events are commonly known as a cerebrovascular accident. This happens when the blood supply to part of the brain becomes interrupted, causing brain cells to die within minutes. The damages to the brain can continue for many days after you have had this medical emergency.

These traumatic brain events are one of the leading causes of death in the US, and affects at least 650,000 people each year. People that have diabetes are much more likely to have a brain-related event then non-diabetic people.

Having a stroke is a medical emergency. The quicker medical attention is received, the better for the person to make a fuller recovery. Waiting to receive quick treatment can result in more brain damage occuring in brain tissue. This means a loss of speech or paralysis, and sometimes death can occur. There are two types of events concerning stroke:

Ischemic brain event. This is the most common medical emergency which is brought on by the lack of blood supply into the brain. There are two causes known for this event, and that is blood clots forming inside the artery because of artherosclerosis, or it can travel right through the bloodstream from another part of the body and lodges itself inside an artery known as an embolus. These conditions are termed as thrombotic and embolic stroke.

Hemorrhagic events are the type that occurs when blood from the arteries leaks out into the brain after a rupture has taken place.

Besides starving the brain of essential blood and oxygen needed, the blood that has accumulated can cause more damage by exerting pressure on the brain in the surrounding tissue. Bleeding from in the brain (called cerebral hemorrhaging), accounts for a small percentage of strokes. Bleeding around the brain which is subarachnoid hemorrhaging, accounts for an even smaller still, percentage of these medical events, like around 3%. Hemorrhaging cerebally is usually brought on by hypertension, which according to what I've read, affects 70-75 percent of diabetics. A subarachnoid hemorrhaging event could also come from a ruptured aneurysm, which is when the arterial wall is bulging out. Head injuries can also bring on these traumatic brain events.

Type 1 diabetics have a higher risk of a major brain event since high blood glucose does damage the blood vessels over time. This makes the arterial walls thicker and less flexible, and prevents passage of blood. Type 2 diabetics are just as much at risk. Diabetics with type 1 or 2, tend to have a higher level of fats, especially type 2. This narrows and clogs blood vessels that result in artherosclerosis. People with diabetes are more prone to blood clots therefore, more then non-diabetics.

Diabetics are more likely as well to have coronary artery disease, obesity, and many other risk factors that bring on strokes.

The best way for diabetics to guard themselves from a serious brain event is by taking one aspirin a day unless you have very thin blood or bleeding problems, watching blood pressure, taking control of your weight by eating right, and exercising.

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