There are 2 types of stroke. Ischemic strokes account for 80% of strokes and they occur when a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain or one leading to it. The rest are hemorrhagic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Stroke victims may experience slurred or difficult speech, diminished comprehension, and trouble with physical activity. Symptoms often come on very suddenly. 80% of strokes can be prevented, so it’s crucial that you take steps to stay healthy and protect yourself. Click To Tweet
How to Prevent a Stroke
Stroke ranks as the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke can be devastating to individuals and their families, but is often preventable. Here are 5 tips to protect yourself from a stroke:
- Monitor Your Blood Pressure
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Manage Existing Diseases
- Stop Smoking
- Know Your Family History
1) Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is by far the biggest risk factor for stroke. Hypertension significantly increases your risk of a stroke before age 80. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor should help you work out a strategy to bring it down to the normal range.
2) Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity and inactivity are commonly associated with stroke, as well as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Staying within a healthy weight range for your height will reduce your risk for all of these health complications.
3) Manage Existing Diseases
Strokes rarely come out of nowhere. They’re usually brought on by existing diseases or health issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. This makes it especially crucial to manage these problems to ensure they don’t grow more serious and cause complications, like a stroke. Talk to your doctor or endocrinologist to create a plan to care for any health issues you have.
4) Stop Smoking
There are many reasons to stop smoking if you do, and preventing a stroke is one. Smoking doubles your risk of ischemic stroke and increases your risk of hemorrhagic stroke by four times. It’s been linked to the increase of fatty buildup in the carotid artery, the main artery supplying blood to the brain. This type of blockage is the leading cause of stroke.
5) Know Your Family History
Stroke seems to run in the family. Several factors may contribute to this. Members of a family might have a genetic tendency for stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes. The influence of common lifestyles among family members also could contribute to familial stroke. It’s important to take your family history into account so you can take steps to improve your health.
Spot The Symptoms
Knowing the symptoms of a stroke may help you seek treatment more quickly, possibly preventing it from happening, or lessening its effects. Symptoms may include:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body
- Confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- A problem walking, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
- A severe headache with no known cause
You can’t reverse the years or change your family history, but there are many other risk factors that you can control. Knowledge is power, so if you know are predisposed to having a stroke, you can take steps to mitigate those risks.
Contact Us to learn more about taking care of your health and minimizing your risk of stroke.