Published: Sept. 30, 2010
Updated: Sept. 30, 2010
By Margaret Jazayeri, PA-C
A stroke is a “brain attack” where the oxygenated blood cannot reach your brain cells and they begin to die. Stroke has become a leading cause of death and permanent disability in America -- almost 750,000 people have strokes each year.
The good news is that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
There are a lot of choices and lifestyle changes you can do to help prevent a stroke. I've highlighted some of the most important below.
If you check your health regularly, you can more quickly recognize and treat a risk factor for stroke.
For instance, if you have high blood pressure, you should monitor your blood pressure regularly to make sure the values are staying in a normal range. If it is not within norms, you should seek your doctor’s advice immediately.
Being overweight or obese can significantly raise your risk factor for not only stroke but many coinciding health problems.
Keeping a healthy weight includes making healthy food choices and getting regular exercise. Always check with your doctor before initiating an exercise plan.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of stroke. It can raise blood pressure, cause blood vessel changes such as narrowing, and increase your risk for forming blood clots.
Your doctor can assist you in finding programs to quit smoking and discuss smoking cessation medications available to you.
Drinking too much can raise your blood pressure and add unnecessary calories to your diet. It is best to limit your alcohol to two drinks daily for men and one drink daily for women.
Just following these few healthy choices and lifestyle changes could make a big difference in your life for a better health. Should you choose to not make or are unable to make necessary changes for your health, you can be at risk for a stroke.
Everyone should know what the signs and symptoms of a stroke are so that you can be prepared to get medical attention quickly. The faster medical treatment for stroke is given, the better the outcome for most individuals.
If you notice the following signs and symptoms, call 911 immediately: weakness, numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling on one side of your body, trouble seeing from one or both eyes, slurred speech, trouble talking, or problems with thinking, sudden severe headache, dizziness or feelings of spinning, loss of balance or falling easily, and blackouts.
With stroke, prevention is the best medicine and treatment.