The National Stroke Association notes that strokes are the fourth leading reason of death cases in America. They’re also the main reason for disability in adults.
In a new study, it was found that many adults in the US at the age of 45 or older may have experienced a stroke without actually being aware.
This is why it’s essential to recognize the easy symptoms and seek medical help, especially if you notice any of the early signs.
Doctors may provide stroke meds after the symptoms have been noticed and they can make a huge difference in the stroke’s outcome.
There are people who recover completely from a stroke; however, two-thirds of survivors have a long-term disability caused by the stroke.
In order to function optimally, our brain needs a constant supply of blood. The blood carries essential oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells.
The blood vessels which bring blood with oxygen from the heart to the brain are the arteries. A stroke happens when a blood clot blocks the flow of the artery, known as an ischemic stroke.
The other reason is a burst of the artery or a hemorrhagic stroke which causes an interruption in the blood flow to a certain brain area. In both cases, the blood flow to the brain is obstructed. This results in brain cell death and ongoing brain damage.
This is why the abilities which are controlled by that part of the brain may be lost, for example, speech, movement, or memory.
Some strokes are small and a minor arm or leg weakness may be experienced. On the other hand, larger strokes can cause one side of the body to become paralyzed and/or lose its speech ability to function.
If the blood supply to the brain is restored in the minutes and hours after the stroke, some of these brain cells may recover.
8 Tips to Lower the Risk of a Stroke
- Work out moderately
Moderate physical activity helps lower your risk of heart attacks by 30 to 50 percent. Include at least half an hour of aerobic exercise, for at least five days per week.
By working out regularly, you will have a healthy blood flow, a healthier heart, and reduced blood pressure.
- Reduce your intake of alcohol
Studies often link excessive intake of alcohol with a higher risk of strokes.
For example, in one study, consuming more than two alcoholic beverages per day was found to elevate one’s chance of a stroke by 50 percent.
Therefore, it’s essential to balance your intake of alcohol, especially if you consume it more than you should.
- Don’t forget to take your heart meds
In one study, 130,000 Americans were found to die on a yearly basis due to not taking their heart meds as their doctors advised them to.
So, if you’re also not following your heart medication schedule, it’s important to realize you’re not alone, but that it’s pivotal to keep up with it.
Consult your physician if you don’t find the meds suitable or if you need help in taking the meds regularly.
- Quit smoking
It’s never too late to quit smoking.
Even if you don’t smoke, but spend time with someone who smokes a lot, your risk of experiencing the negative effects is higher. Unfortunately, smoking is linked with heart disease due to exposure to second-hand smoke.
Consult your physician to learn about effective methods to quit smoking.
- Keep up the regular dentist checkups
Having your teeth cleaned every six months decreases the risk of heart attacks by 24 percent and the risk of strokes by 13 percent.
Moreover, dentists are also able to recognize symptoms of heart illness like swollen gums and loose teeth.
So, they may help you pick up the early symptoms and advise you to consult a heart doctor.
- Follow a healthy diet
A nutritious and balanced diet is pivotal because we are what we eat.
Consuming whole foods and reducing the intake of processed and refined fruits helps us decrease the chance of a stroke by 25 percent.
Although it’s never good to have restrictions because they can backfire, balance is crucial. It’s normal to have cake and reach for a soda drink, but only occasionally.
- Add dark chocolate to your diet
According to studies, people who consume dark chocolate more than once per week reduce their risk of cardiovascular health problems by almost 40 percent, diabetes by 30 percent, and stroke by 30 percent.
The higher the percentage of cocoa, the better. Opt for quality dark chocolate and consume several chocolate pieces several times per week.
- Include foods abundant in potassium
In a recent study published in the journal Stroke, the consumption of potassium was found to decrease the risk of strokes, particularly in post-menopausal women.
Foods rich in potassium that should definitely become a part of your diet are salmon, avocados, mushrooms, bananas, acorn squash, non-fat yogurt, etc.