Health & Fitness

Center-aged diabetes can imply stroke later

Article overview:

People with diabetes in their forties or fifties are 30% more likely to have ischemic stroke in their sixties
Elevated blood sugar levels due to diabetes can cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict
The natural way to prevent diabetes by improving your lifestyle by eating more fiber and managing stress better

Can Diabetes Increase Your Risk Of Stroke?

Everyone knows that type 2 diabetes is a serious, largely self-inflicted disease. Despite this knowledge, it is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. Diabetes is linked to all kinds of health problems, including nerve damage, kidney failure, and damage to the retina that can lead to blindness. New research now shows that diabetes can also contribute to stroke over time.

The study, conducted at Tianjin Medical University in China, found that type 2 diabetes in middle age is linked to an increased risk of stroke as senior citizens. These results are based on data from the Swedish twin registry and included more than 33,000 men and women born before 1958. None of the subjects had a stroke or signs of constricted blood vessels in the brain before the age of 60.

Nearly four percent of the participants had been diagnosed with diabetes by the age of 40 or 50. By the time they reached the 1960s, however, more than nine percent had suffered a stroke or narrowing of the cerebral blood vessels. Patients with type 2 diabetes were 30 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke after age 60. Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke that occurs when a blockage forms in a blood vessel in the brain that reduces or blocks blood flow to the surrounding area.

How diabetes increases your risk of stroke

The research wasn't designed to prove cause and effect, but it undoubtedly showed a clear link between middle-aged diabetes and the risk of stroke later on. But why should diabetes increase the chance of ischemic stroke? The answer isn't entirely clear, but it may be due, at least in part, to the effects diabetes has on blood vessels throughout the body.

If blood sugar levels get too high, it can cause a buildup of fat deposits or clots in blood vessels throughout the body. Depending on where these clusters occur, it can lead to complications such as blurred vision, heart disease, and likely affects the blood vessels in the brain as well. If they narrow due to excessive blood sugar levels, it could explain why the likelihood of ischemic stroke increases over time.

Protect yourself from diabetes and stroke

The good news is that even if you have type 2 diabetes, it is a manageable condition and you can potentially improve your health to get rid of it completely. Diabetes is a major risk factor for stroke, as is high blood pressure, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. But these things are also risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity, inactivity and a family history of the disease.

Ultimately, if you prevent diabetes, you will also significantly lower your risk of stroke. You can start by increasing your fiber intake to 25 to 29 grams daily. You may still have a long way to go as the average American only consumes 15 grams of fiber per day. However, a 2019 study at the University of Otago in New Zealand showed that increasing amounts of fiber was linked to a 16 percent reduction in the chance of developing diabetes. You can easily and deliciously increase your daily fiber intake by adding raspberries, artichokes, lentils, and other high fiber foods to your diet.

Another suggestion is to get your stress levels under control. You may not be able to avoid stress completely, but you can learn to deal with it much better. Prolonged stress causes the body to release the hormone cortisol, which increases blood sugar levels even in people without diabetes. To better manage stress, meditate mindfully, relax with friends and relatives, and supplement it with a natural stress reliever that includes herbs like St. John's wort, ashwagandha, and L-theanine.

You may also want to include a sugar metabolism enhancement formula in your daily routine to mitigate many of the effects of consuming too many high glycemic carbohydrates in your diet.

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