A stroke or brain attack occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel or artery, or when a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When a brain attack occurs, it kills brain cells in the immediate area. Doctors call this area of dead cells an infarct. These cells usually die within minutes to a few hours after the stroke starts in order to reserve the current rise in disability and death associated with stroke.
Try to incorporate these guidelines established by consensus panel of nationally renowned stroke experts issued by National Stroke Association (NSA).
Know your Blood Pressure- Having high blood pressure, or hypertension, increases stroke risk four to six times. It is the single most important controllable stroke risk factor. High blood pressure is often called “the silent killer” because people can have it a nd not realize it, since it often has no symptoms. Blood pressure is high if it is consistently more than 140/90. Between 40 and 90 percent of all stroke patients had high blood pressure before their stroke.
Find out if you have Artial Fibrillation- AF is caused when the atria (the two upper chambers of the heart) beat rapidly and unpredictably, producing an irregular heartbeat. AF raises stroke risk because it allows blood to pool in the heart. When blood pools, it tends to form clots which can then be carried to the brain, causing a stroke.
Normally, all four chambers of the heart beat in the same rhythm somewhere between 60 and 100 times every minute. In someone who has AF, the left atrium may beat as many as 400 times a minute. If left untreated, AF can increase stroke risk four to six times.
Don’t smoke- Smoking doubles stroke risk. Smoking damages blood vessel walls, speeds up the clogging of arteries by deposits, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.
If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation- Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with stroke in a small number of research studies. Its specific role in stroke has not yet been determined or proven. Recent studies have also suggested that modest alcohol consumption (one 4 oz. glass of wine or the alcohol equivalent) may protect against stroke by raising levels of a naturally occurring “clot-buster” in the blood.
Know your cholesterol level- High levels of cholesterol in the blood stream can lead to the buildup of plaque on the inside of arteries, which can clog arteries and cause heart or brain attack. A cholesterol level of more than 200 is considered “high.”
Take special care of your diabetes.- Diabetes places you at an increased risk of stroke, besides by controlling diabetes, you can control the risk of a stroke.
Exercise daily- As little as 30 min a day of any brisk activity can improve your health in many ways and reduce the risk of stroke.
Get checked for circulatory disorders- Stroke can be caused by any number of problems involving the vessels that supply blood to the brain. Circulatory disorder include- atherosclerosis, sickle cell disease and severe anemia.
Maintain a low-sodium, low-fat diet- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains along with a moderate amount of protein each day.
Know the symptoms of a stroke- The Five Most Common Stroke Symptoms Include:
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause, often described as “worst headache ever”.
It’s important to remember that having one or more uncontrollable stroke risk factors DOES NOT MAKE A PERSON FATED TO HAVE A STROKE. With proper attention to controllable stroke risk factors, the impact of uncontrollable factors can be greatly reduced.
National Stroke Association has grown to be the leading resource for stroke. NSA is the only national non-profit organization in the United States devoting 100 percent of its resources to stroke through a variety of innovative and high impact programs.
They provide education, services and community-based activities in prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery for more log on to http://www.stroke.org/