Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Select An Article

Stroke and Diabetes

(continued)
Font Size

What Is the Treatment for Stroke?

One FDA-approved treatment for ischemic stroke is a clot buster drug called tPA. This drug must be given within the first three hours after stroke symptoms begin for it to work. This drug dissolves the clot that has clogged an artery and can reestablish blood flow to brain tissue. This drug is not appropriate for all ischemic stroke patients, especially for those with a history of major surgery in the last two weeks or recent head trauma. 

Also, there are several new and experimental drugs that may stop -- and even reverse -- brain damage if administered immediately after a stroke.

Options for inpatient stroke treatment include carotid endarterectomy, or surgical removal of the plaque from inside the carotid artery (the artery that supplies much of the blood to the brain). A less invasive treatment is a carotid angioplasty and stenting procedure, which may be appropriate for some patients who have blockages within the carotid arteries. This involves inserting a deflated balloon into the artery in order to expand the artery walls and then inserting a mesh structure (stent) to hold the artery open.

Angioplasty of the cerebral arteries can also be performed.

There are other ways to mechanically remove a blood clot in the brain. The FDA has approved the Merci Retrieval System and the Penumbra System for selected stroke victims. These devices can remove the blood clot after the stroke; however, improvement in stroke outcomes are uncertain.

 

How Can Stroke Be Prevented in Diabetes?

If you have diabetes and your doctor suspects that you have atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), he or she may suggest changes in diet and lifestyle, as well as certain medicines that may help to prevent the blockages that cause stroke. Other ways to reduce your risk of stroke include:

  • Don't smoke.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels controlled.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Have your cholesterol checked (especially your "bad" LDL-cholesterol) and if necessary, lower your levels by limiting the amount of fat and cholesterol you eat. The target should be an LDL level of less than100 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). Some experts recommend even lower levels (less than 70 mg/dl) for those considered very high risk.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Guidelines are one drink per day for women and two drinks a day for men.
  • Have your blood pressure checked and control your blood pressure, if necessary.
  • Follow your health care provider's instructions for changing your diet.
  • Follow your health care provider's instructions for taking preventive medicines.
  • Take daily aspirin therapy* as prescribed by your doctor.
Next Article:

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article