Stroke is usually identified as a brain attack. Brain attack or stroke occurs when regular blood circulation is hindered to the extent that the brain-cells do not get sufficient blood. However, in few situations, brain cells can recover after sometime, but if right preventive measures are not adopted, these cells can cause permanent damage. Stroke occurs suddenly but it can be prevented by knowing about the health condition and following the preventive measure properly and methodically. Know what puts you at risk for a stroke and take action to prevent it.
What Puts You at Risk for a Stroke?
Stroke is indeed an emergency medical situation. But if you are aware of some important facts, you can prevent it to a great extent. There are ways to manage and lower the risk of stroke and the first step is to know what puts you at risk for a stroke. For example when a person is suffering from high blood pressure or one is having smoking habit, the risk for a stroke increases. Besides, depending on age or race, stroke risks increase as well as decrease.
According to the report of National Institute of Neurological Disorders stroke can be prevented, even if it is a sudden and abrupt health ambush. While it is possible to prevent the stroke, you need to talk to your physician regarding your medical history and the lifestyle. Your physician can offer you sufficient help to identify and prevent your risks for stroke, treat and prevent conditions appropriately.
Here are some types of strokes to be aware when you consider your risk for a stroke.
Among varying stroke types, ischemic stroke is the common one. It occurs when the blood vessel, which circulates blood to the brain, somehow, gets blocked. Sometimes it is the blood clot that travels in the body and leads to stroke. Often in arteries, fatty deposits builds up, gradually after some span of time the deposits break off and flow to the brain resulting in blood clots. Having fatty deposits in blood vessels and related heart problems is what puts you at risk for a stroke of this kind.
Another kind of stroke is hemorrhagic stroke which occurs when the blood vessel in the brain somehow bursts and bleeding occurs which can hurt the tissues. However such condition is rare to find but serious when occurs. When blood pressure is uncontrolled there could be overusing of blood thinners which may bring about hemorrhagic stroke. Severely high blood pressure, untreated blood pressure or overuse of medicines can increase the risk of this type of stroke.
Another kind of stroke is a transient ischemic attack which is identified as “mini stroke”. In such situation temporary blockage occurs, however such stroke does not provoke any permanent brain damage symptoms, but these symptoms may continue for minutes or hours. Having a history of mini-stroke can also put you at risk for a stroke in future, hence proper treatment and care is needed.
Here are some conditions related to stroke. Suffering from any of these is what puts you at risk for a stroke.
Conditions like atrial fibrillation (AFib), sickle cell disease, severe anemia, diabetes, hardened arteries as identified as atherosclerosis, different heart diseases, hypertension or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or being overweight can increase your risk for stroke. Regular screening, monitoring and proper treatment of these conditions is necessary to avoid problems like stroke in future.
High blood pressure is a serious thing that increases your risk for a stroke. When high blood pressure is 140/90 or even higher, there could be a risk of stroke. High blood pressure is the condition when blood is seen to be pushing the wall of vessels too forcefully against the arteries wall, it can literally damage the artery and weaken the system and lead to stroke, so it’s better to keep the blood pressure below 120/80. Get a regular medical check-up done, take medicines as advised with blood pressure monitoring to ensure proper control.
How to Reduce the Risk Factors of Stroke?
Diet: Watch your diet, as it plays an important role in triggering weight problems, heart and brain disorders. Faulty dietary habits, high fatty or sugary foods cannot only cause health problems but also increase risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins to stay healthy and active. Eat healthy fats from nuts and seeds, fatty fish, olive oil and include fiber in your diet.
Physical Activity: If you are physically not that active, you may develop heart problems and increase the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, overweight and diabetes. It is better to go for brisk walk, jogging, swimming or do yoga and climb stairs. Moving body and limbs are essential when you are trying to reduce heart risks. Exercises for at least 30 minutes of a day can give many health benefits and reduce your risk for a stroke.
Carotid Artery Disease: If you have carotid artery disease or other artery diseases, it’s necessary to seek treatment right away to prevent stroke. Carotid arteries is responsible for supplying blood to the brain when these arteries are somehow narrowed by the fatty deposits, where plaque buildups close to the artery walls, there could be serious blood clots. While carotid arteries are responsible for causing stroke in most cases, any artery disease may contribute to stroke, hence must be treated at once.
Peripheral Artery Disease: Those who are suffering from peripheral artery disease as known PAD run through the risk of stroke. When this disease occurs, blood vessels narrow down and blood fails to circulate in leg and arm muscles. Hence, it is important to get it evaluated and treated to prevent or reduce the risk of stroke.
Atrial Fibrillation: If you have AFib, the stroke risk actually increases fivefold and must be treated appropriately. It also increases the risk of sleep apnea which can affect the oxygenation and blood circulation in the body. So be aware of your complaints and get the right treatment to reduce the risk of stroke.
Sickle Cell Disease: If you have sickle cell disease which is also identified as sickle cell anemia, you need to seek immediate treatment. “Sickled” red blood cells are not capable of carrying oxygen to different organs and tissues, these cells are seen to be sticking to varying blood vessel walls, which can block the arteries to brain thus causing stroke.
Similarly, people with auto-immune conditions, connective tissue disorders, etc. too need to be treated properly to reduce the risk of stroke. Now that you are aware of various conditions that put you at risk for a stroke, you can prevent or reduce them and take the right treatment to manage them.
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- Types of Stroke: Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke, TIA
- Detecting Stroke: Can You Feel a Stroke Coming On?
- Hemorrhagic Stroke: Symptoms, Treatment, Recovery, Survival, Causes, Types, Prognosis
- Brain Stem Stroke: Treatment, Life Expectancy, Recovery, Causes, Symptoms, Prognosis, Rehabilitation
- Silent Stroke: What You Need to Know
- Stroke vs Dementia: Differences Worth Knowing