The incidence of stroke increases with age, but up to 80% of strokes are preventable! While about one-third of stroke victims recover completely, the rest may have to deal with some long-term disability. There is no cure for stroke, but there are steps you can take to help prevent having one, or at least minimize the damage.
A stroke occurs when there is a blockage in or a rupture of a blood vessel that cuts off blood flow to the brain. Stroke can happen to anyone, at any age, and at any time. What happens after a stroke depends on how much of the brain was damaged and where in the brain the stroke occurred.
Strokes can be treated with clot-busting drugs and medical devices, but seconds count! The faster the treatment, the more likely one is to recover without permanent damage. Learn the signs of stroke to help you act FAST. The signs are Face drooping, Arm weakness, & Speech difficulty. If these signs are present, it’s Time to call 911!
While some risk factors for stroke are beyond your control (age, race & heredity), there are things you can do to reduce your risk. At the top of the list are maintaining a healthy weight, keeping alcohol use moderate and not smoking.
Being overweight can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of diabetes. Both high blood pressure and diabetes are risk factors for stroke.
If you enjoy having a drink in the evening, consider drinking red wine. The resveratrol in red wine has been shown to help protect both the brain and heart. But all things in moderation. One drink a day is all you need to gain some health benefits.
Smoking is a major risk factor for stroke. In fact, a smoker has double the chance of having a stroke as compared to a non-smoker. Smoking can lead to plaque build-up in your arteries and cause clot formation.
The lifestyle changes suggested above will not only help to prevent stroke, they provide other health benefits as well. Doing things that are good for your body will be good for your brain!
For more information, visit www.strokeassociation.org – on the American Heart Association web site.