TYPE 2 diabetes can increase the risk of developing serious health complications, such as having a stroke. It’s therefore important to take measures to ensure health problems don’t occur. What can you do to lower your risk?
Type 2 diabetes is when the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
This is dangerous because if not controlled properly, too much sugar in the blood can cause various health problems, including those with the heart, kidneys, feet, eyes and nerves.
Having diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to a stroke.
But why is this the case and what can you do to lower your risk?
A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, starving it off vital oxygen and nutrients.
Having a stroke can lead to permanent damage of the brain.
A stroke can happen when the blood vessels are damaged or blocked, which can occur if the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
“You’ve got millions of blood vessels all over your body and they carry blood cells to and from your heart,” said Diabetes UK.
“If you have too much glucose in your blood for a period of time, your blood blood vessels can start to get damaged.”
This is because the body can’t use all the sugar properly, so more of it sticks to the red blood cells and builds up in the blood.
This build-up can block and damage the vessels carrying blood around the body.
Even mildly raises blood sugar levels can, over time, increase the risk of this happening, according to Diabetes UK.
In order to reduce the risk of damaging the blood vessels, it’s important to keep as close as possible to target HbA1c levels.
HbA1c refers to the average blood glucose levels for the last two to three months.
Blood vessels can also be damaged by high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so it’s also vital to keep these in check, especially if you have diabetes.
People with diabetes are advised to get their blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure checked at least once a year.
“By managing these three things, you’ll be helping to manage your diabetes and protecting yourself against heart complications and stroke,” said Diabetes UK.
You can also lower the risk of having a stroke by not smoking, ensuring you eat a healthy, balanced diet, and keeping physically active.
If overweight, try to get down to a healthy weight, as carrying too much weight adds strain on the body.
Always take medication as prescribed. Some medications also help protect the body by reducing high blood pressure.