Stroke Prevention

Stroke physicians often emphasize the importance of stroke prevention, as this is the best way to deal with the pain and suffering that even a single stroke can bring to you and your family.

Did you know that:

  • Of the 700,000 strokes that occur in the U.S. each year, a whopping 600,000 of these could be prevented?
  • According to The Ol' Boomer's math, that means over 80 percent are preventable!
  • It is estimated that about 50% of these strokes occurred in people who had no symptoms of their impending strokes?
  • And even though stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, only a small percentage of Americans is able to name even a few of the diseases and unhealthy habits that can increase a person's risk of stroke?

Well, Boomer, do you think stroke prevention
might be just a little important to you?

The good news is you can help prevent stroke by making healthy lifestyle changes and attempting to control any adverse medical conditions you may have. And the best way to start is to get your stroke susceptible self over to your doctor and start working with him/her and stop ignoring his/her advice. Nuff said?

What causes a stroke

A stroke can be caused either by a blood clot in an artery to the brain or by blood leaking from a blood vessel in the brain. For a more detailed explanation you may want to read our section about Causes of Stroke.

As you can see from the video there are two types of risk factors for stroke. Those you can control and those you can't.

Controllable Risk Factors

High Cholesterol-High cholesterol causes the build up of blood clot producing plaque in your arteries.

High Blood Pressure-A leading cause of hemorrhagic strokes. If you have high blood pressure, work to keep it under control.

Diabetes-Your stroke risk is increased by diabetes as it has an adverse affect on your arteries.

Heart Disease-The most common disorders of the heart can lead to the formation of blood clots which could eventually break loose and then block/restrict the flow of blood to your brain or within your brain.

Atrial Fibrillation-As you saw in the above video, Baby Boomers with AFib are six times more likely to have a stroke.

Migraines-It has been found that there is a strong correlation in hemorrhagic stroke victims who had frequent migraine headaches.

Sleep Apnea-Baby Boomers with this condition have also been found to have a higher chance of stroke.

Obesity-Not only puts more strain on the heart but also correlates to excessive fatty deposits in the arteries/blood vessels. (See high cholesterol above.)

Smoking-Smoking DOUBLES your risk of stroke as well as increasing the risks of many of the other factors for stroke. Stopping smoking is one of the most significant stroke prevention acts you can do.

Lack of exercise-Exercise, a combination of aerobic and resistance, can help cardiovascular circulation (strengthening the heart muscles) as well as help with weight loss.

Excessive Alcohol consumption-Drinking too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure. It can also increase your weight if you drink a lot of grain based products. (Ever heard of the term "beer gut"?)

Warnings from a TIA-A TIA is your body's way of telling you that you are primed for a stroke. It's the yellow traffic light of stroke prevention.

Taking your medication-DUH!

Your Diet-I read an article about "5 Foods That Can Trigger a Stroke" that I've linked to below. Basically, it tells you to either stay away from or minimally consume these foods and why you should:

  • High Trans Fat Foods
  • Smoked and Processed Meats
  • Diet Soda
  • Red Meat
  • Canned Soup and Prepared Foods

You can read the full article here.

Non-Controllable Risk Factors

Previous stroke

Family history-African Americans have a higher incidence rate of strokes than the general population.

Your sex-Men have a higher risk for stroke than women.

Advanced age

In Conclusion

Strokes can be prevented over 80% of the time. However, it's up to you to be in charge of your own personal stroke prevention with the advise of your doctor. This probably will require you to make lifestyle changes in order to reduce your risk as well as constant monitoring by your medical professional of any at risk medical conditions you may have.

Probably the best way to summarize the information on this page is by paraphrasing two old truisms we learned as children:

"Only YOU can prevent your stroke."
"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure."

May your stroke prevention be successful.

Do you have some ideas about Stroke Prevention?

Please share your ideas or comments with the rest of we Baby Boomers.

Where to go now?

Go to Causes of Stroke

Go to Stroke Symptoms

Go to Stroke Treatment

Go to Baby Boomers Health Issues

Return from Stroke Prevention to the homepage


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