Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stroke Prevention Tips

Before, suffering from stroke means a funeral after. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die – and so does the person. More than a disease, stroke is really a medical emergency, one that should be given attention promptly. Without prompt medical attention, there is a higher risk of severe brain damage and complication.

While fewer people have died because of stroke in the past 20 or so years, it is still a threat. Despite effective treatments, prevention is still the best recourse when it comes to stroke. If you want to prevent stroke or lower your risks of suffering from it, here are some tips:

1.Talk to your doctor about the risks of you suffering from stroke.

Knowing your risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. Talk to your doctor and get yourself checked to identify your risk factors. Risk factors like fluctuating blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and high blood pressure can be controlled if you take the right steps. Doing so will make it easier for you to practice prevention measures.

2.Stop smoking and exposing yourself to second-hand smoke.

Quitting smoking reduces your risk of stroke. Several years after quitting, a former smoker's risk of stroke is the same as that of a nonsmoker. However, it is also wise to keep your exposure to second-hand smoke to a minimum – especially if you are a nonsmoker. Environmental Tobacco Smoke or ETS as second-hand smoke is more commonly known is just as dangerous as smoking itself due to the nicotine and chemicals present in it.

3.Keep a healthy weight.

Being overweight contributes to other risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Eating a balanced diet can limit your consumption of fats that can make your cholesterol levels soar. Exercising also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress. Gradually work up to 30 minutes of activity such as walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling on most, if not all, days of the week for a no-fail workout.

4.Reduce stress by practicing stress management techniques.

Stress can cause a temporary spike in your blood pressure, a risk factor for brain hemorrhage, or long-lasting hypertension. It can also increase your blood's tendency to clot, which may elevate your risk of stroke. Simplifying your life, exercising, and using relaxation techniques are all approaches that you can learn to reduce stress. Deep breathing, meditation, and sipping tea are just some of the most common stress reduction techniques.

5.Manage preexisting conditions.

Chronic illnesses like heart problems and diabetes increase your risks of stroke. Managing these conditions and keeping them under control can certainly help you lower stroke risks. Continue treatment for these conditions but be certain to ask your doctor if the prescription drugs you are using for these diseases are not increasing your risks for stroke.

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Kristine Anne Gonzaga is a content writer and researcher who specializes in health topics and health-related issues. She delights in finding tips and ideas on simple and practical healthcare and sharing them through her writing.

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