Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of long-term disability, according to the CDC. It’s more common in people who smoke, drink a lot of alcohol, and suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. It’s less likely for people who exercise regularly and maintain health eating habits.
Click through the article below to see the symptoms of stroke and the FAST response that can save lives.
If you have already had a stroke
Having one stroke increases your chances of having another; about one quarter of strokes are recurring strokes. One in four stroke survivors will have another stroke in the next five years.
This means that the top priority for people who have had strokes is to prevent the occurrence of another event.
Lifesaving treatment for stroke begins in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and may include medications administered in the hospital. Medication, therapy, and surgery may be needed for full recovery, and it can take weeks or months to recover ver completely.
Sometimes there are permanent changes following a stroke. You may experience paralysis, weakness on one or both sides of the body, trouble thinking or speaking clearly, numbness or pain, and depression.
Therapy, including speech and physical therapy as well as working on regaining the ability to perform ordinary tasks, will usually be part of treatment for strokes.
Your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes. Fortunately, the healthy habits needed to avoid a second stroke are good for everyone. You can involve your family in developing these habits and support one another as you make changes.
- Stop smoking if you already smoke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
- Limit alcohol. Talk with your doctor about the right limits.
- Exercise regularly. 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a great goal!
- Choose healthy eating habits. Lean protein and fruits and vegetables should be the centerpiece of your meals.
- Track your blood pressure. Keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range is important.
- Take your medicine. If you are prescribed medication to manage the underlying causes of your stroke, make sure to take them as prescribed.
Your primary care physician can give you the tools you need to improve your chances of leading a normal life after a stroke.