Keeping Blood Sugar in Check After Stroke: Key to Recovery

Study shows that it is important to control blood sugar levels in patients after a strokeA recent trial suggests that controlling blood sugar levels in stroke patients who’ve received powerful clot-busting drugs could improve their chances of survival. High blood sugar increases the risk of a dangerous brain bleed after clot-busting drugs reopen blocked brain arteries. This was seen particularly in older patients who had experienced severe strokes, researchers found.

Dr. Andrew Southerland, the lead researcher who is a neurologist at the University of Virginia Health, emphasized the need for more focus and research on managing high blood sugar in stroke treatment, especially for those with severe strokes.


In this trial, scientists examined data from over 1,100 participants, with 63% receiving clot-busting drugs and about four out of five having type 2 diabetes. Half of those who received clot-buster therapy were randomly selected for intensive insulin treatment to control their blood sugar levels more aggressively.

Generally, higher blood sugar levels after clot-busting therapy correlated with a higher risk of a brain bleed, with each 10-point increase in average blood sugar elevating the odds of a brain bleed by 8%. Patients who achieved lower blood sugar levels earlier following clot-busting therapy generally experienced more favorable outcomes.
Despite the specific insulin treatment used not showing significant differences in the risk for a brain bleed, the study’s findings underscore the importance of managing blood sugar levels.

According to Southerland, while the insulin therapy didn’t yield the desired results, it’s crucial for patients, especially those with diabetes, to work with their doctors to manage their blood sugar levels through lifestyle changes.

Further research is necessary to determine the most effective ways to manage blood sugar levels after clot-busting therapy, especially for individuals who have experienced severe strokes. Southerland anticipates that these discoveries will direct upcoming clinical trials aimed at refining blood sugar management in high-risk individuals with severe strokes, especially those receiving clot-removal treatments.

Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.