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Raul Southgate

Raul Southgate

Diabetes Advocate

Articles by R. Southgate
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Do not take the information from this blog as medical advice in any way. Your diabetes require specialized care conducted by your currant doctor or by your medical care team. Do not change your medication or lifestyle based on information you may find here.

Although there is no known cure, diabetes can be kept under control by medication, dieting, and physical activities but only under professional attention, which this site does not offer.

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Diabetes Complications – Stroke

~ Diabetes Complications – Stroke ~

Stroke is one of the most dangerous,Diabetes Complications - Stroke yet frequently, diabetes complications. People with diabetes are in bigger risk for stroke compared with people without this condition as many studies and researches have shown.

The brain is constantly supplied with oxygen and nutrients by the blood stream. It relies on a fine blood vessels mesh called capillary. When capillary are damaged or blocked the blood cannot reach a certain area of the brain. This diabetes complication is called strike. Brain cells begin dyeing if they are not supplied with oxygen for more than 3-4 minutes. Two types of stroke are known:

  • Hemorrhagic Stroke, when the capillary are broken
  • Ischemic Stroke, when the capillary are blocked

Main causes for this diabetes complication are high blood pressure, high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and smoking. High level of LDL and smoking ease the blood vessels blockage. In minor cases of stroke the arteries surrounding the damaged area will supply with oxygen and nutrients the brain cells. However, in a person with diabetes the arteries are already affected by atherosclerosis and the blood doesn’t reach the affected area.

Strokes are very dangerous and can lead very fast to permanent brain damage. Knowing what are the symptoms make easy the intervention of the professional care team. Symptoms for a stroke are:

  • Weakness in arms, legs or face
  • Understanding simple sentences or speaking difficulties
  • Deterioration of the vision, blurring (only one or even both eyes)
  • Loss of balance, in-coordination of the body movements
  • Dizziness
  • Light loss of consciousness
  • Paralysis
  • Intense headache

There are two types of treatment for these diabetes complications and both of them must be applied as soon as possible, within 2-3 hours from the moment the stroke occur.

First type requires inoculation into the blood stream of a clot buster (tPA). The clot that has blocked the artery is dissolved by this drug and thus the blood circulation is re-established.

Second type requires surgery intervention and it implies the cleaning of the carotid artery by removal of the plague inside. In some cases a stent (mesh structure) is inserted into the carotid to keep it large opened. Several new drugs that may stop brain damage due to stroke are in experimental phase but the recovery of the patient brain remains uncertain.

For a person with diabetes is important to obey to the following rules, in order to avoid the stroke or to minimize the risk of stroke.

  • Don’t smoke
  • Regular check the blood sugar levels; keep it under control
  • Control the body weight
  • Practice physical exercises regularly
  • Keep your cholesterol under control, especially LDL (target: less than 100 mg/dl)
  • Limit (reduce) the amount of alcohol
  • Check the blood pressure and control it if necessary
  • Follow the diet the professional team recommends
  • If advised, follow the aspirin therapy

Remember that if you are diabetic your chances to have a stroke are two times bigger than to a person without this disease. If you sense any of above symptoms call immediately 911. Earlier the stroke treatment is done the bigger are the chances to recover.


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