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What is a stroke?

Stroke is when blood stops flowing to part of your brain.

This damage can affect brain areas that control different body parts, such as hands, legs, and speech. Symptoms of stroke vary based on the affected brain region.

Who is at risk of having a stroke?

  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • You are a cigarette smoker.
  • Diabetes.
  • Not physically active.
  • Overweight.
  • Been diagnosed with certain blood disorders like sickle cell anemia.
  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Family history of stroke. Your chances of having a stroke is greater, if any of your parents, grandparents, sister or brother has had a stroke in the past.
  • Diet is high in salty, fried or greasy food.
  • Stroke is more common in men than in women.

How can you tell if you or someone is having a stroke:

  •  When the person smiles, the face is not even.
  •  One of your arms is weak or numb. When the person lifts both arms at the same time, one arm falls downward.
  • The person’s speech is difficult or the person cannot repeat a simple sentence correctly.
  • When you see this, it means it is time to quickly go to the hospital and be evaluated by a doctor.

Other common symptoms of stroke you need to watch for include:

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both of eyes.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  • Sudden confusion.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the arm, face, or legs especially on one side of the body.

If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately seek medical help IMMEDIATELY.

What can you do to help prevent yourself from getting a stroke?

  • Controlling your high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the number one cause of a stroke. This is also the most controllable risk factor for stroke. We can follow up with you to check your blood pressure regularly.
  • Manage your other health conditions like diabetes. They can increase your risk for stroke.
  • Stop smoking cigarette if you do. Smoke damages your heart muscles and this can predispose you to heart attack or stroke.
  • Physical inactivity and overweight. Being physically inactive overweight or both increases your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stroke. Therefore, go on walks or exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 3 to 5 days a week.
  • Poor diet can also increase your risks for stroke. Foods high in fat can increase your blood cholesterol. This also increases your risk for stroke. Foods high in salt can increase your blood pressure and this also increases your risks for getting a stroke. Foods high in calories can increase your weight which is also a risk factor for stroke. So know your cholesterol levels at least once a year and also check your blood glucose levels. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken and beans.
  • Please take your medications as ordered once your leave our clinic and also make sure you return for all your follow up appointments.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can increase your risk for stroke. Alcohol may increase your blood pressure or thin your blood, which increase your risk for stroke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your doctor or nurse about what should be your recommended weight.
  • Manage your stress. Stress can increase your blood pressure which is a very high risk factor for stroke.
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