Diabetes can affect the overall health of the circulatory system and is responsible for increasing the development of vascular diseases and conditions such as Arteriosclerosis/Atherosclerosis that can block the arteries and blood vessels supplying the brain. Stroke, also called a cerebrovascular accident, occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off or is almost completely blocked by a blood clot, plaque or a break in a blood vessel, cutting off the brains supply of oxygen and nutrients.
• Prior strokes or heart attacks
• Sickle cell anemia
• Carotid artery disease
• Atrial fibrillation
Since stroke is directly caused by arterial or blood vessel blockages, all of the factors and conditions that affect circulatory health listed in "How Diabetes Affect the Heart" section of this web site, can contribute to stroke as well.
Someone that has Arteriosclerosis/Atherosclerosis in the arteries that is impeding the blood supplying oxygen and nutrients to their brain may have sudden symptoms of stroke such as:
• A sudden numbness on one side of the body
• Paralysis or weakness in your arm or leg (particularly on one side of your body)
• A sudden weakness of, or drooping muscles in your face
• Sudden difficulty in walking
• Sudden confusion
• Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• A sudden excruciating headache with no known cause
• Trouble speaking (aphasia), slurred speech or inability to understand what someone is saying
• A Sudden difficulty seeing or loss of vision (particularly in one eye) or a dimness, blurred, blackened or double vision in one or both eyes
Most people have little or no warning of a stroke, but a condition called "a transient ischemic attack" or (TIA) can occur that is one possible sign that a full blown stroke is impending. A transient ischemic attack is a brief interuption in blood circulation to your brain that lasts anywhere from a few minutes to twenty four hours with the same symptoms of a stroke, but does not appear to cause any permanent effects.