As we are now in Mid-May, I want to acknowledge the fact that May is also considered National Stroke Awareness Month. So let’s discuss the important warning signs that lead up to a stroke and some steps you can take for prevention.
I know of at least 2 people within my family/friends that have suffered from a stroke or almost had a stroke. And I am sure you know of someone who has perhaps suffered from a stroke or may have been on the thin line of having one. It can be difficult to differentiate between a Stroke and Heart attack for both of the warning signs are very similar and the reaction between both of health issues can be life or death.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is a occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. The brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. If not caught early, a stroke can lead to brain damage or can be fatal. A Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Each year, approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke and more than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States.
There are two types of Strokes:
- Ischemic stroke- occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain
- Hemorrhagic strokes- occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures such as an aneurysm. But the most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).
Warning Signs of a Stroke?
Some of the common signs of a stroke can happen gradually leading into a sudden stroke. However the signs of a stroke can depend on the affected area of the brain. And these signs can be confusing because they can be painless.
- Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
- Difficulty speaking; drooping face
- Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
- Problems walking or staying balanced or coordinated
- Severe headache that comes on for no reason
When these warning signs occur, the important thing to do is to think F.A.S.T and call for medical attention immediately.
Following you doctor’s recommended orders and adding a healthy eating and active lifestyle are great steps to self care and changes to your body function. Many preventatives that you will see below will not only reduce the risk of a stroke but will reduce the risk of many overall health related issues.
- Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Lowering the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet. .
- Quitting tobacco use.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all.
- Avoiding illegal drugs.
For other sources and information on Stroke symptoms, signs, and preventatives. All Sources listed below: