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Strokes – How To Prevent Them. How To Not Get Another One
You may have heard about someone you know having a stroke. While you know that sometimes the side effects of having a stroke can be devastating, what exactly is a stroke and how do you know if and when you are having one?
What exactly is a stroke?
A stroke has been likened to a cardiovascular problem and called a brain attack. It happens when the regular flow of blood to the brain gets cut off. In many cases, the cells around the brain die if they don’t receive oxygen fast enough or glucose so they can survive. If your stroke is caught right away you have a greater chance of surviving it. If not, you could end up with severe and permanent damage to your brain and you could even die.
The two types of strokes that occur are called an ischemic stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke. The ischemic stroke is just like a heart attack except that it affects the brain. They involve blood clots, fatty deposits, and damage to the blood vessels around the brain.
The hemorrhagic stroke is the result of a ruptured blood vessel located in the brain ruptures or breaks. The brain cells become damaged when blood gets into the brain tissue as a result of an aneurysm or high blood pressure.
How do you know if you are having or had a stroke?
The following symptoms could mean you are having a stroke or recently had one:
- One side of your body begins to feel numb or weak including your leg, arm, or face.
- You are unable to talk, your speech is slurred, and you cannot understand what other people are saying to you.
- You have trouble seeing – your vision has become dim or you are unable to see at all.
- Many stroke sufferers suddenly feel a severe headache and do not know where the pain is coming from.
- You may be unable to walk and you have no sense of balance.
- Your face may tingle and become numb on one side and your mouth may begin to droop.
- You do not know the answer to simple questions such as what year is it and who is the president of the United States.
If you feel any of these symptoms, head directly to the nearest hospital and check into their emergency room for medical attention.
How can you avoid having a stroke?
Here are some ways that you can try and avoid ever having a stroke or even prevent yourself from having another one. Many of these things are lifestyle changes, but they are the only way you could ever put off having a very serious condition such as a stroke.
1. Lose weight
Even just losing 10 pounds if you are overweight will help to lower you chances of having a stroke. Make sure you aim for a body mass index of no more than 25 or less if you can do it. You can lose weight by reducing your calorie intake to between 1,500 and 2,000 calories each day.
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2. Keep your blood pressure normal
Get yourself a blood pressure cuff and make sure to record your blood pressure readings every day. Knowing your blood pressure levels is important so if you find that they have been running high, consult your doctor and make sure to take any medications that are prescribed to you. Having high blood pressure and high cholesterol are the top reasons you could end up with a stroke.
3. Exercise every day
Start an exercise program and do it daily no matter how little you can do to start. Make it your goal to reach 30 minutes of exercise per day every day. Activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, tennis, and golfing are all great ways to keep your body moving.
4. Stick to just one drink a day
If you like to drink, bring your drinking under control by keeping it to a minimum. Limit yourself to one drink a day, whether it is one beer, one glass of wine, or one glass of alcohol.
5. Get your diabetes under control
Having diabetes is a major contributor of having a stroke so keep it under control. Check your blood sugar levels every morning and log your numbers at all times. Take whichever medication your physician has prescribed for you and don’t miss taking any of them on time.
6. Take care of your atrial fibrillation if you have it
If you have atrial fibrillation, make sure you have it taken care of so it is under control. This condition consists of an irregular heartbeat and can result in blood clots that can be found near your heart and travel to your lungs and brain causing a stroke. You may have to be on blood thinners so check with your doctor to see what he or she prescribes.
7. Stop smoking
Smoking restricts the flow of blood through your veins and can be a major contributor to having a stroke. It contributes to forming clots, raises the amount of plaque that builds up in your arteries, and it can increase the thickness of your blood.
How can you prevent having another stroke?
Sometimes by the time you feel as though you may be getting another stroke, you are already having one. Go over everything that you need to do to not get the first stroke and make sure you stay on track with everything.
To prevent the second stroke, it is recommended to make sure you quit smoking, take all of your medications for diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure, and look up the Mediterranean diet and follow it as closely as you can. Eat more of a plant-based diet and include as much fish that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids as you can.
Change your lifestyle and keep yourself as healthy as you can. It is much easier to get healthy in the first place than having to heal yourself from some serious conditions.