Manage diabetes to help prevent stroke

Manage diabetes to help prevent stroke

By Annie Sanford, RN, BSN
Stroke Clinical Effectiveness Coordinator

Did you know that 6.2 million people in the U.S. are unaware that they have diabetes?

Stroke risk is two-and-a-half times higher in people with diabetes compared to those without diabetes and, in combination with heart disease, is the #1 cause of death and disability.

Here are some tips to help optimize your health:

  • Does anyone in your family have diabetes?  Talk to your healthcare provider, it may be necessary for you to be tested regularly. They will also have information about lifestyle changes that may help you stay healthy.
  • Do you have diabetes yourself?  Work with your healthcare provider to manage your health.  It is important for you to monitor things like your blood sugar.  You may also need to follow-up regularly with your provider to monitor your progress. 
  • Do you have a prescription for medicine?  Be sure to take all medications as directed (including insulin). Follow the treatment guidelines of your provider and if you have any questions make sure to ask your provider.
  • Do lifestyle changes seem overwhelming?  Take it one step at a time - make one small change, build it into a habit, then choose the next small change. Repeat this cycle, continually adding healthy habits and before you know it...you will accomplish your goal.

The American Heart Association is a great resource for education – check out this website to learn more, or consider taking this free stroke risk assessment to learn more about your risk factors for stroke.

For more information about stroke, visit www.swedish.org/stroke or call 206-320-3200.

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