How to Prevent a Stroke

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is very important, but perhaps even more critical is the knowledge about how to prevent a stroke from happening in the first place.

There are several risk factors for stroke, and let’s go through some of the more common risk factors as some of these risks can be reduced through diet and exercise changes.

stroke-preventionFactors which increase your risk of experiencing a stroke:

1. High Blood Pressure – This is the most common and one of the most important risk factors in stroke prevention. Make sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

2. Diet – It is very important to eat a well balanced diet which is low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Having your weight be within normal limits can also be very helpful with regards to both blood pressure and your dietary intake, so make sure to eat healthy foods, and watch your weight.

3. Diabetes patients are at greater risk for strokes, so make sure if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, that you stay in close contact with your physician and make sure that your diabetes is well controlled.

4. Smoking – It is important to note that smoking increases the risk of stroke, so if you smoke, stop smoking as soon as possible. If you need assistance with this check into a smoking cessation class in your area, but the bottom line is that this is a risk that can be reduced by changing your behavior.

5. Alcohol use: if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation, as alcohol use can increase the risk of a stroke especially if the alcohol use is excessive

6. Discuss with your doctor the option of including a low-dose baby aspirin every day in your regimen. Studies have shown that taking a low dose baby aspirin helps prevent strokes as it thins the blood. Make sure to discuss this with your doctor however, before taking any type of over the counter medication. There are certain conditions in which taking an aspirin each day would not be a good idea, and if you are already on any type of blood thinning medicine, like coumadin, for example, then you don’t want to take aspirin in addition unless your doctor has specifically prescribed it.

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