Strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. According to the National Stroke Association a stroke occurs every 40 seconds with 1 person dying every 4 minutes.
Signs of a Stroke
Signs of a stroke can be determined by using an acronym called F.A.S.T. – think of the fact that the faster you receive medical attention the better your chances are of surviving a stroke.
F – FACE is drooping, tingling or simply feeling odd
A – ARM weakness, heaviness or inability to move an arm on one or both sides (Contrary to some belief, it is not always the right side that is affected by a stroke)
S – SPEECH impairment or difficulty, slurring of words or unable to find the right words
T – TIME is of the essence! If you show any of the signs above or even think you feel “odd” CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY! It’s better to be safe than sorry!
The American Heart Association offers an online community geared towards stroke prevention. Approximately 80% of strokes can actually be prevented, according to the AHA, and you have the ability to prevent one from happening to you!
- Smoking – Don’t smoke! Smoking causes cardiovascular disease, lung disease & cancer. That’s just the short list! Smoking kills and you can stop smoking to decrease your risk for strokes, heart attacks, and many other health issues.
- Blood Pressure – Maintain a watch on your blood pressure and be sure to consult your doctor regularly for checkups. High blood pressure can cause strokes and heart attacks but taking the right medication can reduce that risk greatly by getting your blood pressure under control.
- Know Your Risks – African Americans have a higher risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease; which in turn increases your risk of not only stroke but many other health issues that can cause a stroke. As a matter of fact, CVD is the #1 cause of death among African Americans.
- Diet – It is important to maintain a healthy weight & eat a healthy diet. Part of this healthy diet includes a reduced sodium diet, which can greatly decrease your risk of hypertension/high blood pressure.
- Diabetes – Type II Diabetes is on the increase and with that comes the increased risk of stroke. Maintaining a healthy diet is the easiest way to control and even overcome Type II Diabetes; however, if you have diabetes you must understand that you are at increased risk of CVD and must maintain insulin levels in order to reduce your risk.
- Cholesterol – Controlling your cholesterol can be done with diet changes. Clogged arteries are one of the biggest reason for CVD and the issues that come with it.
- Stress – Trying to reduce the amount of stress that you are under can help reduce your risk of stroke. Once again, this is related to blood pressure levels which when increased will also increase your risk of having a stroke. Learn meditation and breathing techniques that can reduce your blood pressure & stress almost instantaneously.
If you or someone you love has a stroke there is help available. In home caregiving is one of the best options for stroke victims because it keeps them in their surroundings while ensuring their safety.
What we would like you to take away from this blog the most are two things:
- Strokes are often preventable
- Remember F.A.S.T. to determine if a stroke could be occurring & getting help FAST