Did you know that stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year (about 1 out of every 20 deaths) and that more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year? Just like with most serious health problems, a stroke is preventable if you take care of yourself and implement healthier habits into your lifestyle.
How can I prevent a stroke?
The best way to prevent a stroke is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy, balanced diet, participating in regular physical activity, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These habits alone can reduce your risk for clogged arteries, hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol.
Even people who’ve already experienced a stroke can benefit from making these simple everyday changes and reduce their risk of having another stroke.
Who is at risk for a stroke?
While anyone can experience a stroke there are certain factors that put you at an increased risk for stroke. These risk factors include,
- A family or personal history of stroke
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Artery disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Blood disorders
- Sleep apnea
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Increased age
What are the warning signs of a stroke?
It’s important that you seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of the warning sign of a stroke including,
- Weakness or numbness in the face, arms or leg (on one side of the body)
- A sudden and severe headache
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Slurred speech
- Drooping on one side of the face
- Changes in vision (blurry vision; blindness)
Sometimes people experience transient ischemic attacks (TIA), which are mini-strokes that occur when there is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. While TIAs do not cause permanent damage many people who experience TIAs do end up having a stroke later on. This is why it’s so important that you see a doctor right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
If you or a loved one is at risk for a stroke, call Preventive Health Medical Institute at (208) 813-9292 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ralph Sutherlin.