9 Ways to Prevent a Stroke!


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., but did you know that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable? Here is what you need to do to protect yourself.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. But the good news is you can lower your risk! The first step: don’t light up.

“I think the important thing to do is stop smoking,” said Raj Makkar, MD, the Director of the Interventional Cardiology and Cath Lab at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, California.

Smoking thickens blood and increases the amount of plaque buildup in your arteries. But, within two to five years of quitting, your stroke risk can fall to that of a nonsmoker. Next, keep blood pressure less than 120 over 80. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can quadruple your risk of stroke. To keep it low, limit salt to no more than half a teaspoon a day, eat a healthy diet, and exercise at least five days a week.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you’re overweight, losing as few as ten pounds can impact your stroke risk. Aim to keep your body mass index at 25 or less. Also, you can drink alcohol but only in moderation. Studies show if you have about one glass a day, your stroke risk is lower. Lastly, treat any other health problems you have.

“If you have other risk factors such as diabetes, you should go ahead and take care of those other risk factors,” Dr. Makkar told Ivanhoe.

Take all your prescribed meds and let your doctor know if your symptoms worsen. These are simple steps that could prevent a stroke from happening to you!

One myth about strokes is that they only occur in older people. In fact, about one-third of stroke patients are between ages 20 and 64. Even babies can have strokes and sometimes it is before they’re born.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.

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REPORT #2462

BACKGROUND: Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 800,000 people have a stroke each year. 40 percent of stroke deaths are in males and 60 percent in women. A stroke occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen or nutrients as a result of problems that happen with the blood supply to the brain. Either the blood supply is blocked or the blood vessel ruptured within the brain, causing brain cells to die. Strokes are most likely to impact individuals who are overweight, aged 55 or older, smoke or drink, or have a family history of stroke. Some symptoms of strokes are confusion, headache, trouble seeing and walking, and depression. There are three types of stroke; ischemic, hemorrhagic, and TIA. The most common form of stroke is ischemic stroke and accounts for 85% of all strokes. Ischemic stroke occurs when there is a reduced blood flow that damages the cell. Hemorrhagic strokes can happen when arteries in the brain leak or burst. TIA stokes are similar to Ischemic strokes except the blood flow to the brain is only briefly interrupted. The acronym F.A.S.T is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and Time to call 911. For best diagnosis, treatment should take place at a hospital within 3 hours of symptoms’ appearance.

(Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7624.php)

THE TREATMENT: The most efficient way to prevent a stroke is through a healthy lifestyle and treating any underlying conditions that are considered to be risk factors. There are a couple of activities that can be very helpful in facilitating a healthy way of life: walking 20 minutes a day, taking care of your mental health, and setting the alarm for seven hours of sleep. A person can also reduce the risk of getting a stroke by being cognizant of migraines and heart palpitations, using olive oil to cook, and eating sweet potatoes. However, actual treatment for strokes is dependent on the type of stroke. Ischemic stroke can be treated with the drugs that break down clots and prevent others from forming. Hemorrhagic stroke can be treated with drugs that reduce pressure in the brain, control overall blood pressure, and prevent sudden blood vessels from constricting. Moreover, surgery can also be used to repair problems with blood vessels by placing small clamps at the root of an aneurysm or fill them with detachable coils to cease blood flow and prevent rupture.

(Source: https://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/women-and-stroke-how-lower-your-stroke-risk)

LINK BETWEEN INSOMNIA AND STROKE: According to the American Heart Association journal Stroke, insomnia can increase your chance of having a stroke.  Young adults between 18-34 years of age diagnosed with insomnia were eight times more likely to have a stroke.  The risk decreased over the age of 35. It was also found that subsequent hospitalization for stroke due to insomnia went up to 54 percent over four years. Another risk factor for stroke in insomniacs is diabetes. The link between stroke and insomnia is uncertain, but evidence shows that not getting enough sleep may alter cardiovascular health via impaired glucose tolerance, systematic inflammation or hyperactivity and increased blood pressure. A common sleep disorder that mostly goes undiagnosed is sleep apnea.  Approximately 1 in 15 adults has moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where an individual’s breathing continuously stops and starts while asleep. Symptoms include loud snoring, sleeping during the daytime and restless sleep. Sleep apnea is caused by several factors: muscular change that occurs while sleeping, causing the airwaves to narrow and preventing the flow of air and out of the lung, and thickened tissue or fat that surrounds the airwave, restricting air flow. An additional cause of sleep apnea is when the neurological controls for breathing are abnormal. Sleep apnea can be cured with lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, alcohol, and smoking cessation.

(Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/178633.php and http://newsroom.heart.org/news/insomnia-may-significantly-increase-stroke-risk)

* For More Information, Contact:

Catherine Pope