Stroke Prevention. Are you or someone you love in danger of having a stroke? Every year, in this country, over 2,000,000 people die of heart attack or stroke. Strokes are the main cause of all disabilities. These medical conditions can devastate and bankrupt a family. The average age of women having strokes is, 65 years of age; in men, it can be much younger. A stroke occurs when blood is blocked from reaching the brain, causing the death of brain cells, brain death and or physical death. There is no guarantee you will never be sick, even when you do everything right. However, there are things you can do to help you beat the odds of having a stroke or heart attack. You will be surprised to know you have a lot of control over your health and are your best advocate for change.
What are the Signs of a Stroke?
Some of the signs you might be having a stroke are sudden blurriness or blindness, loss of coordination, numbing of the face, arm an leg on one side of the body, a twisting of the face an slurring of speech, or sudden confusion. The tongue is also an indication of a blood clot or stroke. If you can catch a stroke within three hours, it is almost always reversible. stroke.org has a great way of helping you recognize if you or someone you know is having a stroke.
FAST is mnemonic help you to remember the signs of a stroke.
- F – Ask the person to smile. – Is the face twisted, droops?
- A – Ask the person to raise their arms. Does the are stay up?
- S – Ask the person to speak. Are they slurring, incoherent?
- T – If you see 3 or more of these signs it is time call 9-1-1.
There is another sign of a stroke is the tongue. Ask the person to stick out their tongue. If the tongue is crocked or to one side of the mouth, this is a sign of a stroke. If the person is unable to do any one of these, take them to the emergency room immediately.
Types of Strokes
There are different types of stroke, ischemic, intracerebral cerebral bleed) and subarachnoid. An Intracerebral stroke occurs when a rupture in an artery in the brain, takes place. The pressure of this blood causes a build-up of pressures in the brain, causing impairment or death.
An ischemic stroke is caused by a block in an artery leading to the brain. A cerebral bleed is an intracranial bleed that occurs within the brain tissue or ventricles. A subarachnoid stroke is caused by a rupture of an artery outside of the brain. Things that can cause stroke: High cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, birth control, diabetes, and aging.
Stroke Prevention – What You Can Do
Weight loss: Being overweight can negatively impact many areas of your health. Obesity can lead to high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to kidney disease, heart attack or stroke. So one of the greatest things you can do to improve your overall health is to lose unnecessary pounds.
Manage High Blood Pressure: If you work to manage your high blood pressure effectively, by weight loss, exercising, proper diet, you will limit your chances of having a stroke.
Eat Heart Healthy: Incorporate these foods into your diet. Salmon, walnuts, raspberries, chickpeas, oatmeal, olive oil, avocados, blueberries, dark chocolate, citrus fruit, green tea, red wine, coffee, flax seed.
Exercise: Exercise is vital for losing weight, strengthening muscles and keeping the heart strong and healthy. Find an exercise that, you can be successful at. Walking is always a great start if you do not already exercise regularly. Weight training with light weights is also very beneficial to older people.
Stop smoking: We all are aware of the dangers of smoking and the benefits of becoming smoke-free. Smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer heart attack and stroke. One-third of all deaths related to smoking is cardiovascular diseases. It reduces blood flow to the heart and reduces oxygen intake to the body. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and if you have high cholesterol or blocked blood vessels, this is a recipe for disaster.
Maintain cholesterol levels: You can lower bad cholesterol by avoiding or limiting your daily intake of trans fats, maintaining a healthy weight and exercise. Raise good cholesterol by increasing healthy essential oils to your diet, such as olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, omega 3-fish oil, etc.
Manage diabetes: If you are a diabetic, make sure that you take your medication religiously, maintain weight and exercise.
Address Migraines – Don’t ignore migraine headaches. If a migraine is accompanied by weakness, numbness, vision loss or speech difficulties, go to the hospital right away.
Doctor’s do not encourage taking aspirin unless you are having a heart attack. Taking aspirin when having a stroke will cause a thinning of the blood and accelerated unwanted blood flow to the brain.