May is Stroke Awareness Month and educating ourselves on strokes can help prevent potentially life-threatening issues. Knowing the risk factors for a stroke and the signs of a stroke is the first step to prevention.
Major Risk Factors For A Stroke
- High blood pressure: Patients with hypertension are the most likely to experience a stroke in their lifetime. Managing high blood pressure and reducing it can stay off further damage to the cardiovascular system. Know your blood pressure and consult a physician about a healthy range for your body.
- Smoking: The second highest risk factor for a stroke is smoking. The nicotine, carbon monoxide, and 7,000 other chemicals in a single cigarette permanently alter and affect the cardiovascular system. If you smoke AND take birth control, you will be at an even higher risk. Try quitting smoking and tobacco use to reduce this risk.
- Diabetes: Whether a patient is type one or type two, keeping blood sugar controlled is important in artery health. The risk increases further if a patient is also obese or sedentary.
- High Cholesterol: Hyperlipidemia and unhealthy cholesterol levels contribute to your overall cardiovascular health. Too much plaque and fat in the blood can cause blood clots which lead to stroke. Speak with your cardiologist about controlling your cholesterol.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Each of these are significant risk factors for strokes. If you are finding it difficult to maintain a healthy weight, seek medical help to manage your health.
Signs of A Stroke: