Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Select An Article

The Link Between Stroke and Diabetes

Font Size

While multiple studies say diabetes puts you at risk of conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure, a healthy lifestyle and insulin treatments can help keep your risk low.

What Is a Stroke?

In a stroke, one of the many blood vessels that supply your brain with oxygen becomes damaged or blocked. If the blood flow is cut off for more than 3 to 4 minutes, that part of your brain begins to die.

There are two types of strokes:

  • Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a ruptured artery.
  • Ischemic strokes result from a blocked artery.

Diabetes can also make it harder for your body to respond to a stroke. When your oxygen supply is cut off, other arteries can usually serve as a bypass. But if you have diabetes, those vessels may be hardened or clogged with plaque, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This makes it harder for blood to get to your brain.


High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke. Others include smoking cigarettes and high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.


A stroke is an emergency whether you have diabetes or not. If you or someone near you has any of these symptoms, call 911 at once.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Trouble speaking or understanding words or simple sentences
  • Sudden blurred vision or worse vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble swallowing
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Sudden inability to move part of the body (paralysis)
  • Sudden, unexplainable, and intense headache


One treatment for ischemic stroke is a clot-buster drug called tPA, which must be taken within the first 3 hours after stroke symptoms begin. It dissolves the clot that has clogged an artery and can restore blood flow to brain tissue. But this drug isn’t for all people who have an ischemic stroke, especially if you've had major surgery in the previous 2 weeks or recent head trauma.

Also, several new and experimental drugs may stop and even reverse brain damage if taken immediately after a stroke.

Next Article:

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.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
jennie brand miller

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner