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Diabetes and stroke

Diabetes and stroke: : What is diabetes? (Type 1 or Type 2)

Our bodies need a hormone called insulin to turn sugar (from our food) into energy. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body does not produce insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin.

This means your body has difficulty absorbing the sugars from food. If diabetes is left untreated or uncontrolled it increases the risk of vascular disease (disease of the blood vessels).

This is when your artery walls become hard and narrow. This increases the risk of stroke, particularly ischaemic stroke.

People with diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure. This can also increase your risk of further strokes.

If you have diabetes it is important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels to reduce your risk of having a stroke or second stroke.

I have diabetes

If you have diabetes it is important to keep your blood sugars within a recommended range. (This is sometimes called ‘controlling’ your blood sugar levels). This requires regular monitoring of blood sugar levels (BSLs) usually through finger-prick test.

If you have Type 1 diabetes you should have your blood sugar level checked 4–6 times per day.

If you have Type 2 diabetes you should talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about how often to check your blood sugar level. It should be at least two times a day but could be more often.

If you have Type 1 diabetes you will need to use insulin to keep their blood sugars in the healthy range. Insulin is usually taken by an injection.

If you have Type 2 diabetes you can usually use a healthy diet and regular exercise to keep your blood sugars in the healthy range.

Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about the things you should do.