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Preventing a Stroke: 9 Tips On Stroke Prevention

Preventing a Stroke: 9 Tips On Stroke Prevention

Facts About Stroke Prevention You Need To Know

A stroke can cause serious disabilities to your body or even death. That is why it is important everyone knows how to prevent a stroke and how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

It is so important to get medical help as soon as possible when a stroke has occurred in order to survive and reduce the risk of long term disabilities from the stroke. 

A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked. This can cause hospitalization or death and happen at any age if symptoms and causes are not identified and treated early. Preventive healthcare can save your life and save you money as well but first, you need to know the causes and symptoms you need to watch for.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke.*

Save yours or a loved one’s life by following the tips we’ve compiled for you.

Here is what we will be covering:

  • Causes and Symptoms Of a Stroke
  • Statistics On Strokes
  • 9 Tips on How to Prevent A Stroke

Causes and Symptoms Of a Stroke

What causes a person to have a stroke?

A stroke can happen to anyone of any age; however, blacks are at higher risk than whites. There are several risk factors that can lead to a stroke and someone who does not have any these risk factors can still have a stroke.

Risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure that is not controlled
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • History of stroke or TIA (Transient  Ischemic Attack or mini-stroke)
  • Smoking
stroke signs infographic
Stroke signs and symptoms infographic from the Norman Regional Health System.

 

Symptoms of a Stroke

Do you know the symptoms of a stroke to watch for? The sooner you can get help for yourself or someone else the greater chances of survival.

If you notice any of the following symptoms that come on suddenly seek medical attention right away:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, legs, or arms especially on one side that comes on suddenly
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes that causes difficulty in seeing
  • Difficulty walking, lightheadedness, lack of balance or coordination
  • severe headache without any cause that begins suddenly

Other signs that can signal stroke are:

  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea or vomiting

Sometimes these symptoms can be short-lived and clear up on their own these are known as mini-strokes or TIAs. Most people will ignore these situations and just pass it off. DON’T! You are having these issues for a reason, they are signaling that an underlying problem exists that you should not ignore such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Treatment and control of these underlying problems can save your life or the life of a loved one.

This is why it is important to have regular visits with your doctor and tell him or her of any symptoms you have experienced in between visits so that lifeline screening can diagnose any problems and treatment can begin.

Statistics On Strokes

Some stroke statistics according to the CDC that you may not know:

  • Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds
  • Approximately 610,000 of the 795,000 strokes that happen every year are people who have never had a stroke before
  • Strokes cost the United States an estimated $34 billion each year in hospital, health care services, and medications
  • Roughly 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes (blood flow to the brain is blocked)
  • Approximately 1 of 4 strokes are in people have had a stroke previously
  • In 2009 nearly 34% of people hospitalized for stroke were under the age of 65

Some of these statistics may have surprised you and you may be wondering how people can help reduce their risk of a stroke.

How to Prevent A Stroke

Having preventive healthcare visits is the starting place but there are things you can do to prevent a stroke; things that are not terribly difficult or expensive.  

  1. Watch your weight. Eat a balanced nutritional diet that has plenty of choices and exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Some good foods that can help with stroke prevention are
  2. Eat plenty of citrus fruit. According to a study that was published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association women who eat plenty of citrus fruit may reduce their risk of stroke approximately 19%.
  3. Whole grains. It has been reported that eating whole grains may reduce the risk of stroke by 7%
  4. A Mediterranean diet. Eating a Mediterranean diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, fish, and nuts but avoid saturated fats and processed foods are good prevention measures for not only stroke but heart disease and diabetes.
  5. Exercise. Proper exercise should be done a minimum of three times a week for at least 30 minutes; it can be a combination of walking and bicycling, yoga or Tai Chi. Low impact exercises are best for the joints and still help you lose weight and become fit.
  6. Take control of your other health issues like high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. You can begin with diet and exercise on all these but you still may require medication so make sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations on the medication prescribed for any of these issues. The Mediterranean diet is good for lowering cholesterol and control diabetes. If you are diabetic and your doctor has not put you on medication to help reduce the stress on the walls of the arteries ask him or her about it.
  7. Reduce stress. This can be done by avoiding high-stress situations as much as possible but if your work is a high-stress job then you should find ways to reduce the stress with things like meditation and exercise. However, you may need help from your doctor with stress.
  8. Quit smoking. This may not be easy but smoking raises blood pressure which in turn causes heart disease and can lead to stroke. Vaping may be a way to quit but your goal should be to get rid of nicotine altogether.
  9. Regular doctor visits. Having regular visits with your doctor for wellness exams that include monitoring your blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol, and weight could save your life. At least an annual visit should include health screening tests such as vascular tests and heart screening. Your doctor should have your family history from you of potential health risks that run in your family; such as, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other health related diseases.

 

Screening ProcessThe more you take control of your health and health care the easier it is to prevent stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. These illnesses can cost you thousands of dollars a year or more and cost you days off of work or even make it so you cannot work at all.

At EMSITE, we offer Carotid Artery Screenings (Stroke Testing) to help you gain a better knowledge of your health in between your annual appointments. Book a screening with us today!

 

 

Sources:

Stroke Facts – https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm