Preventing stroke

May 4, 2023 Providence News Team

Regular checkups, exercise, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle – including knowing and managing risk factors – can help prevent or limit the damage of a stroke. To prevent or limit the damage of stroke, call 911 if you see symptoms of stroke.

Symptoms of stroke start suddenly and include:

  • Confusion or difficulty understanding others and difficulty speaking
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache
  • Trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Weakness or numbness in your face, arm or leg, often on just one side

Risk factors for stroke include:

  • High blood pressure (diastolic blood pressure > 90)
  • Age; stroke risk rises after age 65
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of stroke
  • Gender; men have a higher incidence of stroke
  • Prior stroke or TIA
  • Race; African-Americans have a higher incidence of stroke
  • Smoking
  • Vascular disease, especially carotid bruit (narrowing of artery carrying blood to the brain)

Stroke is a symptom of vascular or blood vessel disease. Most strokes are caused by blood clots blocking an artery.  A blood clot can come from another part of the body, or can be caused by a smaller clot in an artery narrowed down from plaque build-up.

Things you must do to lower your risk for stroke:

  • Monitor blood pressure regularly and treat high blood pressure
  • Exercise
  • If you are diabetic, control blood glucose levels
  • If you smoke, quit
  • Manage cholesterol levels
  • Manage weight

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