Steps to Prevent a Stroke
Stroke has been called the silent killer. It is the third highest cause of death in the United States, claiming 4.4 million lives every year. And for those who suffer from strokes yet live, it can have lasting repercussions on your health and well-being. Therefore, it is important to do all you can to prevent strokes.
The term “stroke” is given to problems with blood flow in the brain. It can result from either a blocked or burst blood vessel in or leading to the brain, which disrupts the flow of oxygen and essential nutrients to your brain. Due to loss of oxygen, brain tissue can quickly die, leaving you with problems in speech, movement, sensory information, thought, or many other areas. Because brain damage can become permanent in only four or five minutes, strokes can be absolutely debilitating.
Thus, there are certain things that you should do to protect yourself from stroke. First, your diet is a large part of your overall health, as well as the prevention of strokes. Consuming high levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases your chance for stroke. Additionally, high cholesterol is a risk factor for stroke as well. Bad cholesterol can harden or block blood vessels, making it more difficult for the heart to pump life-giving blood throughout your body, including your brain.
Next, besides a healthy, low-sodium diet, you can also protect yourself from stroke by participating in regular exercise. Exercises not only lowers blood pressure, but it also helps give you better circulation. With regular workouts, you can also decrease your bad cholesterol levels to keep your blood vessels flexible and open.
Additionally, alcohol and tobacco usage can contribute to stroke. Heavy, frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages can greatly increase your blood pressure, increasing your risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage. One of the main ingredients in cigarettes, nicotine, has been shown to raise blood pressure as well as cause hypertension. Even if you do not smoke, you can inhale dangerous chemicals from secondhand or sidestream smoke.
Strokes can cause devastating damage to your brain, and thankfully, there are many things that you can do to help prevent this disaster. Sometimes, you may need medication and expert medical help to aid you in managing problems like high blood pressure so that you can avoid stroke. If you need help affording visits to the doctor, you should consider adopting or changing your health insurance plan to better help you.