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Diabetes Health Center

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The Link Between Stroke and Diabetes

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Treatments continued...

Other treatment options include a surgery called carotid endarterectomy to remove plaque from inside your carotid artery, which supplies much of the blood to your brain. Another treatment is known as carotid angioplasty and stenting. Doctors insert a deflated balloon into the artery to expand its walls. They follow it with a mesh structure, the stent, which holds the artery open. This procedure may not be as effective, especially if you have diabetes.

There are other ways to remove a blood clot in the brain. The FDA has approved the Merci Retrieval System and the Penumbra System for certain people. These devices can remove a blood clot after the stroke.

How to Prevent Stroke

If you have diabetes and your doctor suspects your arteries are hardened, he may suggest diet and lifestyle changes -- along with medicines -- to prevent the blockages that lead to stroke. Other ways to lower your odds of a stroke include:

  • Don't smoke.
  • Control your blood sugar level.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get your cholesterol checked (especially your LDL, or "bad," cholesterol). The target should be an LDL level of less than 100 mg/dl. Your doctor may suggest changes to your diet to help get the numbers down.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. The guidelines are no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks a day for men.
  • Have your blood pressure checked. Your doctor will tell you how to get it under control it if it’s high.
  • Take preventive medicines if your doctor prescribes them.
  • Take daily aspirin if prescribed by your doctor. Some people with diabetes can benefit from low doses of aspirin (81 mg - 325 mg a day) to prevent heart disease.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on January 27, 2015
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