Diabetic Retinopathy can cause significant damage to ones eyesight.

It's caused when the blood vessels in the back of the eye burst and bleed. The retinal arteries may narrow due to reduced blood flow. The best way to diagnose this disease is to see an Ophthalmologist.

One of the best ways to prevent Retinopathy is to control your blood sugar. Keeping your A1C at about a 6 or 7 may help prevent diabetic retinopathy. Controlling your diabetes with diet, exercise, and even medication may help offset retinopathy. A lack of control may lead to blindness.

Stroke Q&A

Question: Does a patient with diabetes/heart disease need to work out at a gym to reduce risk of stroke?

Answer: According to MedlinePlus, “A continuous brisk 30-minute walk at least five days a week lowers your chances of heart disease and stroke.” Build up to 30 minutes safely and slowly if needed and consult a doctor prior to initiating an exercise program.

Question: As a patient with diabetes, what can I do, in addition to exercise, to help prevent stroke?


  1. Have regular checkups and labs.
  2. Check AIC regularly and keep blood glucose in check.
  3. Take all medications as prescribed; if you have questions or concerns talk to the prescribing physician.
  4. Don’t stop taking medications without talking to your doctor.
  5. Keep blood pressure in check. Check it at home if able.
  6. Report spikes/patterns of blood sugar changes to doctor.

Question: What should I do if I see signs of a stroke?

Answer: Remember B.E. F.A.S.T. Watch for Balance changes and changes in vision/Eyes, Facial droop, Arm (or leg) numbness and Speech changes. Time – seek medical attention right away. Getting medical attention within three hours of symptoms can greatly reduce long-term debility and deficits.

If you have a stroke, ask your doctor for a prescription for physical, occupational and speech therapy early to maximize your recovery. Follow PT/OT/speech therapy plan of care and home exercise program as prescribed by your therapist and attend all scheduled appointments.

Question: Are there special therapy training programs available for patients with a stroke?

Answer: If you have a stroke, programs specializing in neurological or stroke rehabilitation can improve your outcomes.

Question: Since I have diabetes, am I more likely to have a stroke?

Answer: According to the American Stroke Association people with diabetes are two times more likely to have a stroke than people who do not have diabetes.

Question: Are people with prediabetes also at a greater chance of having a stroke?

Answer: According to the American Stroke Association, people with prediabetes are also at an increased risk for having a stroke.

Question: Can high glucose levels increase my chances of having a stroke?

Answer: According to the American Stroke Association, over time increased blood sugar levels can cause increased fatty deposits or clots in blood vessels causing strokes.

Question: Besides high glucose levels, what are other risk factors of stroke?

Answer: According to the American Stroke Association, high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol also put you at risk for having a stroke.

Question: As a diabetic patient, what should my fasting sugar level and blood pressure be?

Answer: According to the American Stroke Association, a fasting blood sugar level over 126 milligrams is dangerous. Blood pressure should be lower than 140/90.

Stroke Risk Factors

Click for information from Stroke.org.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- “Diabetic patients have two to three times higher risk of having a stroke compared to non-diabetic patients,” said Dr. Syed Abbas, a vascular neurologist with Willis Knighton Health System. 

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Around 34 million Americans have diabetes. That number is expected to double by 2050, according to Dr. Laura Kimball-Ravari, an endocrinologist at Willis Knighton Health System. 

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